How to Manage Yourself When You're Self-Employed

Updated on July 23, 2018
Regi Brittain profile image

A stand-up comedian and freelance writer, Regi Brittain loves life and wants to help you enjoy it!


Of course, it’s not nearly enough to simply be one’s own boss. You want - you frankly need - to both be your own boss and make money at the same time. That cannot happen if you do not focus on your work. This article will show you how to do that, even when you are not in the mood to work.

You May Have to Trick Yourself

Honestly, I tricked myself to flesh out this article. And I’m glad I did it because - and you’ll surely be sending me fanmail in agreement (just kidding) - I think this article is exceptional. Now, it didn’t get this way because I’m anything special. I am just a person who is willing to play games with his mind that help keep things moving because I know that I have the potential to produce special things.

In fact, most people have that same potential! They simply need to apply themselves, and I apply myself by first applying tricks that put me into motion.

Do What I Do

If you are like me, you are easily distracted. Heck! I got distracted halfway through writing that sentence and had to steer myself back on track.

I need focus tricks to manipulate myself and keep going. There are many tricks, from rubber bands on the wrist to trigger words.

Whether you want to be your own boss at home, when you travel, or both, you will be more pleased with your results if you stay focused and on the ball, so you will need some way to trigger or recenter your focus. Read the next section to find a good one!

Put Procrastination on Hold

I am realistic. We all procrastinate sometimes, and even someone who has put a stop to it for awhile can fall into the trap of procrastinating again.

So I’m not going to talk about how to stop procrastination - just how to manipulate it and put it on hold for a good, long while.

The best method I have found for placing a hold on procrastination is The 5 Second Rule, as framed by its author, Mel Robbins. I like Mel. She is realistic. She gets that we are all human and that we all slide into unproductive habits sometimes.

Mel has written about meeting your ideal 70-to-80 percent of your workdays. If you can pull off that range, you will be doing great!.

Her five-second rule has nothing to do with food, the floor, and germs. Instead, it is a technique for taking action within five seconds of getting the impulse to work toward your goals. According to Robbins, if you wait longer than five seconds after you get such an impulse, then your brain, which is built to protect you from potential harm, will think of a reason not to take action because action involves risk.

Thus, to put procrastination on hold, count backwards from five and immediately take action!


Lead a Balanced Life

A truly wealthy life is found in a full-fledged existence, not an impressive resume. You cannot count on ever getting completely rid of worry that you’re ignoring something when you are involved with something else, but you can give of yourself to your community, your family, and your personal, nonwork sides.

The concept of a truly balanced life may be somewhat unattainable, but as your own boss, you get to find out just how close you can come to balance.

In other words, kick butt when you are working, so you can deserve to take time away from work, cultivate other facets of your life, and return to work ready to kick twice as much butt.

Get Enough Sleep

You can’t kick butt if you don’t sleep a proper amount. You can’t be a good boss to yourself either, and you definitely can’t be a good employee to yourself when you are exhausted. Do whatever you must to get the rest your body and brain need!

Understand Just How Much More Work You Must Do to Succeed

When you are self-employed, success awaits in your ability to work longer and harder than folks who trade their time to employers for an hourly wage. Until you have found consistent success for a long string of workdays, you should focus on your work and push yourself as much as you can.

Get the sleep you need. Be present in other areas of your life. Put procrastination on hold. And work like you never have before. After you are well-established, you can work less and enjoy your labors’ fruit.

Keep Taking Action

There is regular procrastination, and there is procrastination that feels like action. We do it when we analyze instead of act.

When you are self-employed and things are not going the way you want, you might start analyzing to try to figure out how you might tweak your approach and find your way to success. Alas, plenty of one-person outfits crash and burn because their owner analyzed when they should have been acting.

Often, we do not have enough data to effectively analyze and find solutions to our businesses’ challenges.

If I have two clients and I want 20. I’m better off networking and otherwise busting my bum seeking new clients than I am wasting full days asking what these two clients have in common and whatnot.

Analysis has its place. Keep it to a minimum until your business is raging.

If you take enough action, one day, you will have too many clients. Then, you can apply your analytical skills to decide which clients to refer elsewhere and which ones to keep. Until then, take action at least 90 percent of your workday.


Now that you have read this article, are you ready to be your own boss? Definitely! Don’t wait! Take action, and surprise people! Surprise even yourself!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

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