Want to be your own boss? Follow these simple steps for career success

These are the six questions you need to answer honestly for a fabulous freelance life

If you’re thinking of making the leap to go it alone, Lizzie Penny, co-founder of The Hoxby Collective, an award-winning community for self-employed, knows what you need to follow your dream…

Am I a resilient person?

‘Coping with not having the stability of a monthly pay cheque takes resilience and so does bouncing back after disappointments. Reminding yourself of your priorities and values during those times really helps. I am still amazed by the tough lows and ecstatic highs of being your own boss, but I can’t imagine working any other way.’

Does this work motivate me to give 100 per cent?

‘When you’re not employed by someone else on a wage, you need to want to go to work. If you’re deeply passionate about what you do, there is a much greater chance of success in being your own boss; you’ll inspire others, make connections and convince them that they want to work with you, too.’

What are my weaknesses?

‘To thrive as your own boss, you need to be acutely aware of your strengths and weaknesses. You need to know what you’re brilliant at, but also realise when you need to ask for help or lean on others. Just because you’re working for yourself, it doesn’t suddenly mean you can do it all.’

Am I ready to collaborate?

‘The onus is on you to find ways to engage with others. Even if you’re comfortable with spending time on your own, finding a mentor, gathering feedback on your business, working with collaborators and a community to reach out to for help when needed, is really important. Research communities in your field or consider setting up in a co-working space.’

Am I disciplined enough?

‘Working for yourself means deciding your own work style and then having the discipline to stick to it. It also means being able to say no and doing so with confidence when a client or project is wrong for you, or would compromise on the reasons you started working for yourself in the first place. Being disciplined with staying on top of self-employed admin is also hugely important.’

Do I have the business nous?

‘It’s important to recognise if you’re going freelance that you’re running the business of You. You need to know your day rate, where your next piece of work is coming from, keep an eye on your cash flow and manage things such as your tax return.’

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