by Michelle Ray
When it comes to making choices such as pursuing a new vocation or business, your most important asset is mindfulness. It is all about practicing “Me” management—being able to effectively manage yourself. The process begins by connecting with what truly feels right to you. Can you discern your own truth and are you able to follow through on your own values and beliefs by putting them into action, rather than rhetoric?
There were many lessons that I learned in the early years of being an independent contractor. When I first started out, there was one client who gave me a lot of work. I was so excited to have that kind of stability. But then, I began to realize that there was an expectation that my calendar was an open book and therefore I could be called, at a moment’s notice, to work for however many days the contract required. In fact, it was indeed an “open” contract, which meant that although there were no guarantees regarding how much work I would be given, the assumption was that I was available for my contractor and no one else.
I became attached to their value system and made myself completely available to them. The more I continued to say “yes,” the more I sacrificed opportunities for new work with other prospective clients in order to grow my business. This played havoc with my own personal time because I found it difficult to turn work down.
I realized that I was attached to what is called a “scarcity mindset.” I so desperately wanted to be a successful solopreneur that I made myself completely available to this one client at the expense of all else. Unfortunately, I did not understand this concept nor the degree to which I had allowed this to be my code for living over a considerable period of time.
Many of us buy into what is perceived as “the norm”: job=security; money=happiness; title=success. As a result, we experience an inner conflict as the real “me” is trying to find the way. Experience is truly the greatest teacher. As an independent contractor, my first client afforded me a deeper, richer learning—developing an inner-knowing around my own work habits and life priorities. As a result, I was able to define the core values that remain central to my business and personal life and, more significantly, to give them meaningful application.
If you are truly considering embarking on becoming an independent contractor and joining the self-employment world, it is important to examine your motives behind doing so and making sure that you understand the realities of this lifestyle. In order to succeed, you need to be ready for the thrill of the ride—it is sometimes exhilarating and sometimes terrifying. Make sure that you are flexible enough to change course if your plans don’t quite work out. And always be mindful of your values. The more clarity you gain around your values and beliefs, the more effective “me” management becomes and the happier you will be with your new boss—YOU!
Lead Yourself First! - Indispensable Lessons in Business and in Life
by Michelle Ray
Are you ready to become the leader of your own life? Apply simple, powerful strategies to take charge of yourself, your career, your destiny.
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