Select Page

February 21, 2024

Episode 21: Is Entrepreneurship Right For You?

In this conversation, Pam and Sarah discuss their journeys into self-employment and the differences between being self-employed and having a traditional job.

They explore the themes of stability vs. freedom, income predictability, career growth and development, and work-life balance. They highlight the pros and cons of each and provide insights into how to navigate these aspects of entrepreneurship.

They discuss finding support and guidance, taking creative urges seriously, networking, and learning as you go.


  • Self-employment offers the freedom to set your own schedule and choose the projects you work on, but it also requires careful financial planning and budgeting.
  • Both self-employment and traditional jobs offer opportunities for career growth and development, but self-employment allows for more flexibility in pursuing personal interests and learning new skills.
  • Work-life balance can be challenging in both self-employment and traditional jobs, but setting boundaries and creating a schedule can help maintain a healthy balance.
  • Each individual’s experience with self-employment and traditional jobs will vary, and it’s important to choose the path that aligns with your values, goals, and preferences. 
  • Find a community or mentor who can guide you through starting a business.
  • Take creative urges seriously and take the next right step.
  • Network with people in different industries to expand your business opportunities.
  • Start your business and learn as you go, without waiting for perfection.

Links, Corrections, and Whatnot

Other Ways to Listen & Subscribe





This transcript was generated by AI so please ignore any weird errors. If there is anything really terrible, let us know.

[00:00:08] Pam: I want to start today with a disclaimer that I have the flu. So if I sound a little bit different, that is why. I’ll do my best to not sniffle, but it actually plays perfectly into our episode today because we’re talking about entrepreneurship. And when you are a business owner, when you’re self employed, sick days can look a lot different than they do when you have a regular job and you get paid time off.

So we’re going to get into a lot of the, pros and cons and differences that you may experience, as a business owner versus having a quote unquote regular job. But I thought maybe we would start just with a little backstory about how each of us became self employed and what our journey into business ownership looked like.

[00:00:54] Sarah: Yeah. How long have you been self-employed because you were self-employed for a lot longer than I’ve been.

[00:01:00] Pam: Yeah, it’s been about 15 years now.

[00:01:04] Sarah: Okay.

[00:01:04] Pam: I am terrible at keeping track of dates. I know other people that are self employed, and they’re like, Oh, my date that I, left my job was X.

[00:01:13] Sarah: The birthday of my business. Yeah.

[00:01:15] Pam: I have absolutely no idea. Because my business just happened organically and, out of necessity.

I guess I can start with my story if you want, and then you can tell yours.

[00:01:27] Sarah: Yeah.

[00:01:29] Pam: so I grew up with parents who were self employed. They owned, an auto repair and parts business. My dad was the mechanic. My mom ran the shop and the parts department. And I watched how hard they struggled.

When they first started the business, my dad worked seven days a week. He had a cot in the shop and he would spend the night there so he could work really long hours to build his reputation and build this business. And, he would fall asleep at the dinner table when he came home at night because he was just so exhausted. And I remember being younger and thinking, I never want to own my own business because this looks like so much work. And I thought I wanted the stability of a regular job and a paycheck. So I went to college and I did that. I got regular jobs. And then I kind realized that, what I actually wanted was not necessarily the stability of a paycheck because a paycheck isn’t necessarily any more stable than running your own business.

you can be fired or let go at any time.

[00:02:41] Sarah: 100%. And it’s also not necessarily any less work.


[00:02:47] Pam: so I joke now that I’m unemployable because I realized that having a boss and having someone else in charge of my time just really didn’t work with my personality and what I want from my day to day. I was at a job that I was really unhappy at and I ended up leaving it because I had an opportunity to work with a friend with a business that he was building.

And I did that for a while and it was going really well, but then we had an economic crash. And that business was not doing well anymore and could not sustain two employees. So I was in a position where I had no income at all and very quickly had to either find a job, which the jobs were scarce at the time, or start making some money.

And so I had been networking in the marketing world for a decade. So I just put the word out and was like, Hey, I’m taking on clients on the side, if anyone has any need. And, I got one and two and it just snowballed. And then 15 years later, I have a very successful marketing consultancy.

And, it was never intentional, but looking back, it was really the only right answer for me ever was to be self employed.

[00:03:57] Sarah: Mmmmmmm I love what you share and my story is of course different, yet there’s a lot of details about what you said that resonate for me. One thing that came up for me was this idea of assumptions. Like we would, might have an assumption like, Oh my gosh, whatever it is. You had it as a little kid, right?

Cause you saw your dad and then created a story like, Oh, being self employed… I don’t want to be sleeping on a cot in my, brick and mortar business cause I’m working so hard. I want a life that has more freedom and more ease or whatever words you had for that at that time in your life. I’m going to go work for a company and get that, right?

And then so we can have a story that like working for yourself is hard. And people will sometimes say that to me too. Oh, it’s always such a hustle, isn’t it? And you’ve always got to hustle. And then I think, that’s an assumption. Some people need to hustle and maybe one could interpret what I need to do to generate income as hustling, or one could choose another word for it, right?

So anyways, I just wanted to preface it with that. I find that super interesting and I’m happy we’re having this conversation because I think you and me both used to have, and probably still have right now, our own assumptions about what being a business owner means. Working for an organization means, and I’m sure for our listeners, it’s the same thing.

let’s see if in this conversation we bust some of those open, because of course every situation is different. Every organization is different, every person is different, and every business that you… there’s so many ways to run a business.

All right. So for me, I started about five years ago and funny, I thought you’d be a person who knew the exact date when you started your business, but I actually was like looking at LinkedIn before we met to be like, when did I have my last, normal job before I went into coaching full time?

It was about five years ago. And, I was laid off, so it was a contract position that was, supposed to turn into full time, blah, blah, blah, and it just… funding shifted, and I was laid off. And I was super unhappy about it, and I had been pursuing coaching as a hobby.

So I had very slowly gotten my coaching credentials over, again, I don’t know the years. three years. It took me a long time, relatively, because some people start coaching certification and they just bang it out. That wasn’t the case for me because I was working, I had two kids, so I really had to space it out from a resource management perspective for myself.

But I had been seeing clients on the side, making a very small… almost like a donation based, kind of income from it, like extra income, but very, little. I wasn’t doing it for the money. I was doing it for the love. Which could also be said for a huge part of my first career, which was in nonprofit, but anyway, that’s another story.

The point was I, so I was laid off from my full time work, but I had this side business. Certainly a passion for coaching. And in that moment, I wouldn’t have chosen to pursue it full time, not because I didn’t want to, but because I was too scared and I thought I wouldn’t… I just didn’t see that as an option for myself.

I didn’t see myself as being like, again, I would have stories like I would have said at the time probably, Oh, I don’t think I’m savvy enough. I don’t think I’m good enough at spreadsheets. I don’t know how to do sales, right? That’s what I would have said. Yet, when it was presented to me as, oh, you you no longer have this working at this organization.

You’d have to go back to the drawing board and apply for another job. I just felt like in my body, I don’t want to, I don’t want to go back, to the traditional workforce right now. I wonder if I can make this work.

And my husband and I set like a timeline, like why don’t you try it for a year and see how it goes. And we made some adjustments for our budget. At the time we started renting out our basement on Airbnb. And then that supplemented my income while I started to grow it.

I felt so daring at the time when I sent out an email and said, this is what I’m doing now. My calendar’s open. Who wants a coach? I’m, I can do this for you. I have my credentials. And so I didn’t have a lot of the systems set up. It was very much bootstrapping it. I was super nervous. but I started and then, since then, it’s really, my business has grown and taken on many facets, including teaching, which I absolutely love.

And it is also a resuscitation of one of my earlier careers. Actually, I worked as a teacher for three years in Asia. So now I’m doing the teaching and the coaching and I have a lot more awareness about how to build a business and what it means to be profitable and it’s been up and down. It’s not like I read a book and I figured it out.

It’s been very much up and down and I’m still learning, but I love it very much.

[00:09:11] Pam: That’s so interesting that you have only been coaching full time for about five years because that means when you and I started working together, you were not that far into your,

position doing this full

[00:09:23] Sarah: hmm.

[00:09:24] Pam: speaking of assumptions, when we worked together, you were so good and had your program down that I just assumed that you had been doing it for 10 years.

[00:09:34] Sarah: Cool. there’s evidence for our listeners that, you can refine something and offer it and have it be good, even if you don’t know everything in the world about it and have all of your ducks in a row and still offer value.

[00:09:47] Pam: Yep. Yeah.

And I think the similarity there is we were both in a position where we just had to start. And I think that a lot of people that I talk to who have this idea of starting a business, it’s really that first step of starting that is the hardest part. Either because they’re in a job that’s comfortable, it’s paying the bills and maybe they would have to leave that job to really commit full time to doing what they want to do. Or, , just it’s the unknown. It’s scary to like you said, send out an email saying, I’m offering this now. Neither of us necessarily made this decision of I’m going to quit a job and I’m going to go do this. It happened organically. And I, I like that idea for people who are, maybe struggling with the idea of starting something.

They can just start small, like you said, do it on the side or, start with what they can offer right now and then build on it. It doesn’t have to be a huge, like today, day one, I’m starting a business.

[00:10:46] Sarah: Yeah, a hundred percent. And also our journeys can be circuitous. So maybe you want to start your own business. Maybe you want to do it on the side. Maybe you want to jump into it full time. Then maybe you want to take what you’ve learned and go back to the workforce in a different role.

Maybe you’re hired full time as a consultant. I don’t know. That might happen to me in the future that I’m brought on to do learning and development or coaching at a great organization. I’m not closed off to that, right?

So I think sometimes people see it as, Oh, I’m going to do this. Then I’m going to leave forever. And I can never, what if I regret that? And that’s. That’s not true. it can be a chapter and, who knows how long that chapter will last, but whatever happens, you’ll be able to learn from it and then take the next right step.

[00:11:37] Pam: Yeah, nothing’s ever permanent…

We’ve got a couple of, buckets here of things that we can talk about, like the differences between self employment versus a traditional job. And the first one is stability versus freedom. And in your notes that you mentioned that this is a double edged sword for you. Can you talk a little bit about that?

[00:11:56] Sarah: People say they want freedom. I say, I want freedom. And that feels good. It feels good to think, I can create my calendar. I have more freedom to say no to things. For example, working with people with whom I don’t jive for whatever reason, working in environments that don’t feel right to me.

In fact, that rarely happens, but I know that I have the freedom to walk away from that. And that’s not the case for many of my clients and friends who, if they’re in a position of working full time in an organization that really doesn’t work for them, that they feel is toxic or just not in alignment, right?

that’s you’re there. So for me, that’s an ultimate feeling of freedom is just knowing that what I’m spending my time doing feels very valuable to me. And then the people with whom I’m working, it feels like it feels right. And I love all my students and clients and I love supporting them.

So that’s one expression of freedom that feels super important.

[00:13:02] Pam: I’m sitting here laughing because I’m thinking about the movie Pretty Woman, where Julia Roberts’ business partner or roommate, she says, we say who we say when we say how much

[00:13:13] Sarah: Right? Yeah, yeah.

[00:13:17] Pam: feeling of early in your business, you may be in situations where you have to take on jobs that you maybe wouldn’t necessarily want to, or that end up not being worth the money. But over time, as you build up your business and your reputation and your sales funnel, you can definitely get to the point where you can turn away bad money. You can turn away projects that don’t make you feel good. And, I think that is the ultimate dream with the freedom that comes with self employment.

but I definitely want to make sure that people understand that comes with time. You don’t just immediately start out and say, Oh, I’m going to be really picky and choosy about the projects that I’m going to work on. I’ve definitely had some, clients and some projects in the past that I. Wouldn’t choose to take on today.

But I’m 15 years down the line so I do get to have that flexibility and that freedom. And that is very, very important to me as well. Having control over my time and what I’m actually working on is, paramount to my happiness. So I agree with you there.

[00:14:19] Sarah: I appreciate what you’re saying and yeah, by no means am I trying to paint this rosy picture that, it’s just looking at this spreadsheet and then picking, the top projects only of options. But at the same time, it’s almost like this known sense that, there’s like many people I’m going to work with and many organizations, and it’s not just like one kind of structure that I’m going to be a part of.

[00:14:44] Pam: Yeah.

[00:14:46] Sarah: but so that’s the freedom part. And then I said the double edged sword, I also love the idea of stability. Like I also love the idea of, oh, wow, here’s your paycheck that you’re always going to get. And here’s all the great benefits that are going to be offered to you. And here’s what’s given to you if you’re working at a decent organization. If they’re giving you certain perks or privileges, making extra payments into retirement, special speaker series or whatever it is. And the stability that could come with a community at work. If you do love your colleagues, which often I have loved my colleagues.

I love that too. It’s not that I don’t want that. So that is a loss as well.

[00:15:27] Pam: That’s interesting. I would say that I build in stability into my business. So, one of the things that I recommend to people when I talk to them about starting a business is treat it like a business, right? Because a lot of people will start a business and they don’t do the really businessy things to make it stable and make it successful. And so some of the things that I have built into my business to make it stable, are that I set it up so I’m actually an employee of the business. I pay myself a paycheck, so taxes are taken out of my paycheck. It’s all set up so that it works the same as though I had a regular job. with taxes and everything like that, it’s not that dissimilar. I have a retirement plan set up, so that stability is built in there.

Budgeting is a huge part of that stability. I make sure that my business has three months of operating capital on hand at any time. So if I lose a big client or something changes, I’m not in a position where I’m having to scramble to make up that income. So I think there’s definitely things that you can do as an entrepreneur to build in some of that stability so that it doesn’t feel quite as scary as it could.

[00:16:47] Sarah: A hundred percent. And I would say that’s in the last couple of years, building in those structures to make it, to make my business an actual business and not a hobby. This is a business. You need to have all of these things lined up. that’s something that I’ve been growing into, and I’m continuing to do.

And that’s one thing that inspires me about you is that you have. Really, gravitate towards that. And it seems like you really have all of those organized and I think it makes a huge difference and it’ll help your business be successful.

[00:17:22] Pam: Yeah, it does help it be successful. And it also helps me, have that freedom to not take on projects that I don’t want to take on just because I need the money.

So part of the stability and freedom there… they’re opposite sides of the same coin. So you need the stability to have the freedom.

[00:17:41] Sarah: All right. and again, I think the words, they’re loaded words, so I think, I encourage listeners. Yeah. Just to think about whatever assumptions you have about stability versus freedom. Some people think, I want, I want to be employed by someone cause that’s going to give me more stability.

And yet when I have, that might be an assumption some people have, and I often have a different assumption, which is, no, because you can be laid off at any moment. And if you don’t have another skill set lined up to generate your own income then how stable are you? But that’s my own assumption.

So I think our own idea and what does freedom mean? so I just think these are key words. That’s why I wanted to start here. stability versus freedom. These are often keywords that are thrown around when people are talking about work and work options and being employed versus self employed.

[00:18:36] Pam: Yep. And we, aren’t saying that one is better or worse than the other. It really comes down to what you’re comfortable with, what you, need to, feel secure and stable and where you thrive. I don’t thrive in a corporate environment. I don’t thrive in having a regular job. I thrive in the situation that I’m in where I’m in charge of my day to day and, it really comes down to me and what I want to do with my time.

but that’s me. There’s, we need people that are going to work in the, corporate jobs and we need people that are going to be entrepreneurs. Both are excellent choices and it really just comes down to what is best for you.

[00:19:18] Sarah: Agree.

[00:19:19] Pam: You’ve got income predictability in your notes here. And we talked a little bit about that with what I just said about budgeting and making sure that I have, three months of operating capital on hand at any given time. But I think it is important for people to know that you do have to be much more organized, I think, with finances as a business owner

[00:19:41] Sarah: you really do.

[00:19:42] Pam: Yeah, it may not come easy for people. I happen to love it. So that’s great. it works for me. But, one of the things that you can just start doing, like we’ve talked about in a couple of other episodes, is just tracking your income and your expenses. It doesn’t have to be a huge Deal. Or, you don’t have to go out and get a degree in accounting to figure this out.

just having a general idea of what your money is coming in and going out can really make a difference in that feeling of stability and knowing my bills are covered this month, or I need to bring in this much more money in the coming months. So you have a target and you’re not just always feeling financial anxiety.

[00:20:25] Sarah: A hundred percent. And I think that it can be a challenge for some new business owners, that financial literacy piece, and also it’s a huge growth opportunity. Because when you put, if it doesn’t come as naturally and comfortably as it does for you, the financial literacy, the organization, because I know for many people, it can cause great anxiety.

And thinking, how do I even start? And this feels overwhelming for me. And so if you can get the tools, the learning, the support, whatever it is to face that and start learning it, what a great opportunity to feel empowered about your life and your business. So I do think it’s, it’s one of the, like everything, like one side challenge and other side opportunity.

[00:21:17] Pam: Yeah. I like that. And as you become more financially literate with your business, that helps you in your personal life as well. And it can only be a benefit. So I love that.

[00:21:29] Sarah: Yeah, because I think if, Again, assumption. If you’re in, paid a salary and they’re taking the deductions, I think it can, for some people, they can just think, oh, it’s taken care of. I don’t really need to worry about it. Whereas when you’re running your own business, you can’t do that.

So you’re forced to really to look at it. so, that’s an opportunity. the other thing I wanted to say about the income predictability is And again, I’m challenging this assumption that sometimes I hear about, oh, you’re always needing to hustle and it has to be hard. And I think there’s, especially at the beginning, you are working at first just to cover your expenses, and then, you’re generating a profit, and then you’re figuring out how that goes, and then learning about taxes, and there’s so many parts to it.

But there’s also an opportunity for, growth when you have your own business, right? So when you’re within a certain sector, generally, you know what the band is for payment, whereas when you have your own business, really, theoretically, the sky’s the limit in terms of what you can earn.

So on the one hand, there’s, there’s more risk and, it can feel challenging. And on the other hand, there really is opportunity.

[00:22:47] Pam: I hadn’t really considered that, limit to salary, for instance. in an organization you may only have so far that you can go in the ladder before you hit a ceiling. And even if you change to another organization or another job, there’s really a limit on how much you can earn in a salaried position.

But when you are setting your own rates and your own services, you do have that flexibility of being able to charge more. You can get to this point where you are making a lot more than you would be if you were working in a salaried position. So that’s definitely, an upside.

And I had this argument with our bank when we tried to get a mortgage a few years ago. My boyfriend and I are both self employed so banks would not give us a mortgage even though we have W2s from the businesses. They were like, you’re a self employed people. You’re very unstable. And I was like. we’re making more money than we need to for this mortgage and I could lose three clients and still pay the mortgage. Whereas, someone who has one job, one source of income could be laid off and lose all of their income in one shot.

Yeah, it is definitely interesting that, we, definitely have a structure, like you said, these assumptions in the world that, the paycheck is stable and that’s the, best way to go for maximizing income, but that’s certainly not the case for everyone.

[00:24:16] Sarah: No. Okay. Thanks for that example. So that I think wraps up our idea number two about income predictability. The conclusion is both are unpredictable.

There’s no right way. Both are unpredictable. Just pick your unpredictability.

[00:24:34] Pam: So then, let’s transition into career growth and development. We talked about that a little bit with that you can grow your income, but, talk to me about the benefits to you or the pros to you.

[00:24:46] Sarah: So for me, this is. I think it’s a huge one because I happen to love my career and find it very interesting. I find coaching super interesting, I find human development and leadership development super interesting. I love communication skills, so I truly love what, my area of work. And it’s, the area is unfolding in so many ways.

All the different areas that I can go with it. For example, there are so many. Offshoots or not even offshoots, but there are so many ways I can deepen my learning. I could pause all my work and just learn for, a couple of years with pleasure if that whole income thing weren’t a part of it, right?

That’s how interesting I find my work. There’s so many more things I can learn and I know that will continue for my whole life. Like I want to be doing this until I’m an old woman continuing to learn about whatever is interesting me about this field. So for example, now we’re getting into podcasting.

So podcasting, speaking. when I think about coaching, I’m very interested now in semantics and, the body and movement and how to use the body to support with coaching. I’m interested in NLP, Neuro Linguistic Programming. I want to learn about that. I want to spend more time on breathwork as a vehicle for healing.

And then when I think about teaching or facilitation, there are so many incredible courses about group dynamics, facilitation… So many different ways to deepen my understanding of what effective leadership even looks like, what effective communication or connection is really all about. There really is no end to how I can keep learning and growing.

And that’s my career. That’s my life. That’s my work. So that’s really exciting to me. Of course, I have to make sure that it fits with my business, like that my clients want that, that’s going to benefit them. And I have to make sure that I can generate income from it.

Otherwise it fits into the hobby category. But if those things align, then that means I get to grow and develop in a way that’s deeply meaningful for me. So that’s a huge bonus.

[00:27:16] Pam: I’m thinking about how anything that you learn can apply to anything that you do. So when you were talking about, learning about breathwork or any of these modalities and having to make sure that it aligns with your business and it’s what your clients want, I actually think about it maybe a little bit differently, which is I’m constantly learning anything that sounds interesting to me because there are nuggets that you pick up that apply to things that you would never even think about.

So I think that’s really an important mindset to have, is that desire to continue learning and expanding your abilities and just following your curiosity, just seeing where it leads.

[00:27:55] Sarah: I love that. And yeah, it’s very true what you say.

[00:27:59] Pam: So in a traditional job, you may have the opportunity to have training paid for. You may be sent to conferences or classes. I definitely had that experience. I was sent to conferences in my marketing roles. Now, as as self-employed person if I want to go to a conference, I have to pay for that.

It’s a little bit more of a calculation of, what’s the benefit of going to this conference going to be? What’s the networking going to be like? Is the cost of the ticket worth the knowledge that I’m going to get. The opportunities are endless for education. Like you just said, or we’ve talked before about how many courses are available and you can literally, learn something new every single day, but as a self employed person, you do have to do that calculation of the value of what you’re learning maybe build in a set budget for your education for the year and for your skill development. Not only to make sure that you’re not overspending on it, but to make sure that you do spend on it. Because I can be guilty of getting stagnant. I want to learn a bunch of other things that I’m curious about, but maybe not professional development.

having a budget set aside for that makes me commit to doing professional development.

[00:29:09] Sarah: I like that you called out the fact that if you’re in an organization, maybe they’re going to support that. If you’re on your own, you’re carving it out. A key truth about this is that when you have your own business, you really get to decide how you want to develop it and what skills, how you want to evolve it and what skills you want to tap into.

Whereas if you’re working for an organization, you are developing in the way that’s offered to you right? What’s expected of you.

[00:29:41] Pam: And I think that’s a great point that you may start a business and go down a path and you can decide that the path that you went down is no longer the path that you want to be going down or you want to add services that are different from what you offer. And I’ve definitely done that through the development of my business.

I’ve offered some services and then stopped offering them. And you can be flexible with that. You can try things, you can grow into one area and then decide it’s not for you or grow into that area and then decide what you were doing before is not for you. You can definitely have that flexibility to take your career anywhere you want.

[00:30:19] Sarah: It sounds like we’re landing on the fact that this is one area where when you have your own business, you do have more freedom in terms of how you want to pursue your interests and develop them.

Not that you can’t do it with it in an organization.

Sometimes we land at great places that will support our growth or we’re given the opportunity. It’s wow, I didn’t know that I was going to love this so much, but I’ve grown so much. So it certainly can happen within a more traditional workplace.

[00:30:48] Pam: Yeah, absolutely. And I think early in your career, for sure, that can happen where you get into an organization and you’re maybe in a lower level role and you have a boss that sees an opportunity for you or sees an interest that you may be able to pursue and it’s there. Thanks. It’s easier, I think, at that point in your career to have that flexibility and to try a lot of different paths within the corporate world.

I definitely learned the skills that I have for, what I do in my agency because of the job that I had. I didn’t just magically develop these, skills and get this knowledge. That came from the corporate job that I had. So I think that’s important to know that you can get a lot of experience that will serve you if you do decide to go down the entrepreneurial path.

You can get a lot of skills and a lot of knowledge in a traditional job before going down that path.

[00:31:43] Sarah: A hundred percent.

[00:31:44] Pam: Okay, so the big thing that I think a lot of people always talk about is the work life balance. That has been a huge topic for the last few years for everyone, regardless of what their job is. we went through this like hustle culture phase where everyone was working constantly and, if you weren’t working, then you were wasting time. And then it swung the other way where people were like, I don’t want to work at all. And, so I think we’re maybe now getting back to a point where there’s a little bit more focus on what that balance is. And it can be very different, but I think also a lot of similarities, regardless of what type of job you have, whether you have a traditional job or whether you’re self employed.

I think there’s struggles and benefits on both sides.

Do you hear from clients that they struggle with actually being able to turn off work?

[00:32:39] Sarah: a hundred percent. Many, of my clients who are like part of the traditional workforce with the clients I have who are not self employed tell me that more and more their schedules during the day, like during working hours are filled with meetings. what does that mean?

It means all of their thinking work has to happen after hours. And it’s exhausting. So in terms of the, work life balance piece, which, where are you going to have more work life balance, I would say it always depends, right? You can work for yourself and never stop working. You can work for an institution and never stop working.

There’s no guarantee that either will give you the, work life balance. I think when you work for yourself, obviously you have more say in terms of when you shut down your computer, but you also have to make sure that, you’re generating enough income to do that.

So it’s not just snap your fingers and there you go, but that really is one of the ultimate benefits.

[00:33:46] Pam: I have people ask me all the time, how I can work from home and, especially because CK and I both work from home. So we are home and together 24/7. So there is really no separation between work and home. And so some of the advice that I give people to be able to create that separation is to have a schedule.

Even though you’re working from home or working for yourself, it’s still important to have kind of a schedule for your day to day so that you know when you are working and when you’re not, because it’s very easy for it to bleed over. I don’t necessarily have a time that I start every morning, but I do have a time that I end every day.

So I quit working and go cook dinner. And that is like the day the work day has stopped. That doesn’t necessarily mean that my brain shuts off and I stopped thinking about work, but it does prevent that bleed into the evening or, late night that can definitely happen when you’re working from home or when you don’t have a set schedule.

So I think that’s really important. That may not work for other people, but I find it really helpful to have that cutoff at the end of the day.

I also have the luxury of having a separate space where work happens. So I actually have an office. Not everyone may be able to do that, but if you can at least have a spot where you can put your laptop away so it’s not there and you’re not thinking about it and it’s not like drawing you to, go back to work if you don’t want to be. That can definitely help you have that separation so that you can actually have some downtime.

[00:35:25] Sarah: Yeah. And I think what you’re pointing at is really the need to come up with your own systems when you’re self employed. If you’re working for an organization, for better or worse, they’re giving you the system. They’re giving you your schedule and they’re giving you a lot of structure. You might like it, you might not like it, but that part’s being given to you.

And so when you’re on your own, it really is this blank slate, your day. I think it can take time and it’s going to change with the seasons of your life, perhaps, right? In terms of how you want to structure your day, how you want to structure your week. I’ve heard different people offer different things.

Take a self care day or a day off to do your bookkeeping, whatever it is, people have different suggestions. There’s no one right way. But the thing that is right is that you are conscious of that and that you think about, okay, what kind of structures and systems will support me to get my work done, but also.

Give me the balance that I want, whatever balance looks like to me, whether that means finishing and then cooking a nice dinner and chilling with my partner and being fully present. Whether that means having time for a hobby or interest, spending time with your family, going to the gym, whatever balance means to you, going to bed early, going out with your friends.

It doesn’t matter. It’s just what you want and then knowing that you’re creating a a container, a plan that will allow you to do that.

[00:36:55] Pam: Setting boundaries.

are there any other topics that you want to cover or things that you think would be beneficial for people if they’re thinking about starting businesses?

[00:37:08] Sarah: If you’re thinking of starting a business, find a community of people who are doing the same successfully. Or find a mentor or a coach, someone who can guide you through it. Because there’s a learning curve and support always makes it easier and makes it more tenable.

So that would be my first point, is find people who believe in you and know how this can be done, because it absolutely can be done.

And the second point, really my last point, is just to Encourage listeners to take their urges seriously. So if there’s something that you are interested in pursuing, why not try? I remember in the book Big Magic by Liz Gilbert… she spoke of creativity and, pardon me if I’m getting part of this incorrect, but how I remember it.

Creativity comes and lands on you like a bird. Like it just will like land on like a creative spark and like a bird or something that just land like a wind that lands on you. And then you have the opportunity to take that and do something with it in the moment. And if you don’t, it’s going to blow away and fly to someone else.

And then it’s theirs. And what I always love about that is this idea that… just do it now. Don’t keep waiting. Don’t wait till. Whatever conditions you’ve created in your brain are met, if a creative spark hits you, run with it. Doesn’t mean you have to throw, I’m not saying throw everything away in your career and start a full time business tomorrow, but pursue it.

Take it seriously and take the next right step, like a concrete step related to that little visitor you got on your shoulder.

[00:39:03] Pam: Yeah, I liked that. I’m going to add, on to your tip about finding people who do what you do and finding a mentor. I’m going to go the opposite way and, give people my biggest tip for networking, which is to network with people who do something different than you do, they will refer clients to you.

for example, I network with people who are in marketing, but don’t do the exact thing that I do because they’re going to have clients who need the services that I provide. So they’ll bring me in on their projects because I don’t do the same thing that they do so we can team up on things. So that’s a great way to do business development is to find people… if you’re a plumber, network with carpenters. They’re gonna bring you in on projects.

[00:39:50] Sarah: Great. And then my last comment is if anyone listening wants us to follow up on this episode with other specific topics related to entrepreneurship, building a business, specifically, we’re two female solopreneurs. So we have that lived experience of building businesses that we both care for a lot.

So happy to dive into more specific topics if there’s an interest there.


It’s Easy to Get Our Best Tips

We won’t email often but when we do, it’ll be good. Enter your email address below to get on the list.

(Don’t worry, it’s free and we won’t try to sell you anything.)