Sunday, 7 May 2017

Oh, You Work for Yourself?





So, at the moment I work for myself. I am a blogger, and thats where I am currently at. After starting my blog (in its very early stages) around 4 years ago, the past 8/9 months have been me being able to put my attention on my blogging in an attempt to make it thrive. Blogging has always been my source of income, so yes, I do work for myself. Its not been around for a long time, but I wanted to share with a few things about working for yourself that I've experienced along the way. 


1. Not everyone takes you seriously and yes, your Mum is your biggest fan.





The thing that really smacked me in the face when I started working for myself really was that not everyone takes you seriously. You will quickly learn who of your friends and family actually supports the independent decision of working for yourself, in whatever way that may be. In a small nutshell, people will either laugh in your face and pick it apart, or help push you in the right direction. Trust me on this, it is inexpressibly important to keep hold of those who support you throughout. Watch out to see who claps when you succeed and who was routing for you before. Have patience however, do not be quick to judge, not everyone may fully understand what it is you're doing. And without a doubt I can guarantee you'll get sick and tired of explaining it. 

2. People look down on you if you're young, hold your cards close to your chest. 



If I am completely honest, I think this one stands out all across the board in every aspect of life. Friendships, work life, relationships - PROVE PEOPLE WRONG.
I started out young. I started growing a following on Instagram when I was around 14/15, yep I was a little Instagram baby. This then grew into my blog, but still I was only around 15 when I set up my website. This meant that when brands started approaching me, they would always assume I was older than I was, and I was hell bent on keeping it that way. Events came my way and I stayed the same. This was all before blogging became anything major for me and before I began to earn from my platforms, but I knew that I would be looked at differently if this was open information. 
We live in a very openly judgemental society, and anyone young would never be taken seriously in the business world if they knew their age straight off the bat.

I meet people, I network, I do business and then if the topic of age comes up, I'll answer. But in that order and that order alone. They are usually surprised. 

Reveal what you want, when you want. 

3. Don't rely on everything to come to you, it probably won't. 



Opportunities will come your way, and thats amazing. What about the ones that didn't come to you? How do you expect to achieve what it is you want without chasing it? If I think I would work well for a job or a campaign or I know I have a good idea in my head, I reach out. Some of the best brand relationships and opportunities I have had throughout my blogging world have been through my own doing, me reaching out to them. Selling myself. It can feel strange at first, but at the end of the day its your job and your future. Some people I have talked to have been genuinely surprised I have the 'balls' to approach people with work and ideas, but why not? If you think you're a good fit for something, or have a great idea and want to try and make it happen, why not reach out? At the end of the day, the worst someone can say is no and you carry on as normal, or, you may end up with a great opportunity. 


4. Learn to negotiate and get tough. Sell yourself.

 

I can tell you right now that the thing I struggled with the most was actually making sure I earned money. I am a little bit too nice if I am honest, in a lot of ways. One way, which has always been the case, is I have been THE WORST at ever asking for people to pay me back that owe me money and will be the first person to hand it out if someone needs it. The idea of asking people for money genuinely makes me feel uncomfortable, even if its mine. Even when I was younger, I could never really ask my parents for money, or for anything specific really, I am shocking at it.

So, I found I really struggled when it came to charging for my time and charging correctly. I undersold myself for a long time, and I am sure sometimes still do. It was only when it was pointed out by those around my in my industry that I was not selling myself the way I should. I really just had to toughen up and grow some balls and grin and bare it. I have learned to charge for my time, and negotiate around. People will always try and get as much as they can out of you for as little as they can.


5. Set yourself up for some disappointments, you'll stress. 


I have found that working on my own is damn stressful, you don't really have anyone telling you whats best to do next, or what is going to work and what isn't. Its all on you. I have put lots of time and effort into images and posts for them to really not do as well as I thought they would, and its really disheartening. A lot of the time there is also a hell of a lot of focus on 'the numbers game', where you think you should be vs where you hope to be vs where you are - and it sometimes drives me mad. Things get cancelled, work falls through and sometimes it feels like the worst thing in the world. You question everything that happens, everything good and everything bad. I have learned to not get my hopes up until something is set in stone, it just helps. 


6. Learn how to positively view what you've achieved. Some people think its great. 



If you figure out how to do this one right, please let me know how. I think everyone has a tendency to put themselves down every now and again, comparing and contrasting to everything you see around you. I do this a lot, and honestly I struggle with it a lot sometimes. I guess if you're in control of everything you're doing it amplifies it all. The thing is, whatever you achieve off your own back no matter how successful or not it may be - its something to be proud off. I have learned to find happiness in a lot of little things, but I am in definite need of being proud of the little things I do.
I have also always been pleasantly surprised at how interested some people are when you get into what it is you do. I used to be really nervous for someone to ask me what I do, but honestly some of the experiences I have had talking to total strangers about what I do have been some of the most motivating conversations ever.

Its a funny thing really, the reactions and support I have had from strangers and people have been so varied. I think everyone has that reaction to a lot of things in their lives, if you're doing something a little different someone will always have something to say.

I am nowhere near being a veteran in the self employed world at all, and god knows whether I will stay. But these are the things that have stuck with me and lessons learned.

Love,

H x




SHARE:

6 comments

  1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post, Hayleigh. This is something I can 100% relate to. My mum is totally my number 1 fan and everything else you mentioned (especially the thing about age!) is sooooo accurate aha! xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much lovely - so glad you can relate! It's always something that I've always found odd working for myself - it's just so weird especially at this age haha! Xxx

      Delete
  2. I love it! Sometimes I can't really grasp the idea of being a vlogger or blogger full time because it seems too good to be true! I guess it is because I don't know what comes with being a full time blogger besides writing and meetings with brands. I would love a 'a day in my life- Work Edition' or something. I feel like that would be interesting to read. xx

    Cwww.chellebelle2016.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love it! Sometimes I can't really grasp the idea of being a vlogger or blogger full time because it seems too good to be true! I guess it is because I don't know what comes with being a full time blogger besides writing and meetings with brands. I would love a 'a day in my life- Work Edition' or something. I feel like that would be interesting to read. xx

    Cwww.chellebelle2016.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much lovely so glad you enjoyed! Yes! That sounds amazing - I would love to get working on that! Coming soon!! Xxx

      Delete
  4. This is really cool, thank you for sharing and defo inspired me to believe in my own blog.

    Phoebe xxx

    www.phoeberaye.com

    ReplyDelete

© @hayleighjm. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig