Starting a self-employed music business was the best decision I ever made for myself and my family! I desperately needed out of the 9-5 world. It is very rewarding but also a challenging endeavor that can have implications on mental health, especially when you're running the show on your own or "flying solo." You cannot treat your business the same way you did a 9-5 job.
Here are 5 tips I wish someone had given me before I went freelance, tips to help you be successful with your business and care for yourself mentally at the same time.
- Set Realistic but Big-Reaching Expectations: Acknowledge that starting and running a business is a gradual process, and success may not happen overnight. Set realistic and achievable goals to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Celebrate small victories and understand that setbacks are a natural part of the entrepreneurial journey, but know that ultimately the sky is the limit! Taking Big Think was a HUGE help for me on this part of the journey, especially when I began doubting myself.
- Establish a Routine: Maintain a balanced routine that includes dedicated time for work, rest, and self-care. Establishing a consistent schedule can help create a sense of stability and predictability, reducing stress and anxiety associated with the uncertainties of entrepreneurship. Creating "must-dos" versus just a "to-do" list can really streamline this process.
- Seek Support: Don't hesitate to reach out for support from friends, family, or fellow entrepreneurs (this is why I offer Music Leadership Coaching and the Freelance Music Teacher Moms group!). Sharing your challenges and successes with others can provide valuable perspectives and emotional support. Consider joining a business community or networking group locally to connect with like-minded individuals who can offer guidance and encouragement too.
- Prioritize Self-Care: Make self-care a priority by incorporating activities that promote mental and physical well-being. This may include regular exercise, sufficient sleep, healthy eating habits, and mindfulness practices. The Jumpstart was super key for me in making this simple and attainable rather than overwhelming. Taking care of your physical health can positively impact your mental resilience and ability to navigate the demands of entrepreneurship.
- Learn to Delegate: Recognize that you can't do everything on your own. Delegate tasks that are outside your expertise or that can be handled by others, whether it's hiring employees, outsourcing certain functions, streamlining processes (I love to help people with how to do this!), or seeking support from business partners. This not only reduces your workload but also helps prevent burnout.
Remember that your mental health is crucial for your overall well-being and business success. Taking proactive steps to manage stress, maintain balance, and seek support when needed can contribute to a healthier and more sustainable entrepreneurial journey. I have dealt with some of these myself and can tell you -- starting off on the right foot can make a world of difference when beginning freelance work! And if you find that stress and anxiety are significantly impacting your mental health, consider seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor.