So being your own boss can mean many things in life, whether it’s being fully in power of your life or simply working for yourself. I happened to be my own boss in both of those matters. Today’s post is a sum of my short experience of working entirely for myself and my life decisions that led to it. I recently realised that I love listening to how others got to do what they do in life here’s my attempt at sharing my story.
Since I was small I knew I would do something of my own in life, I never imagined myself working for others. I always felt capable of running my own life and growing up with two boss parents it never seemed like an option to work for someone else. I feel super blessed to grow up with this mindset although I sometimes wish I had the ability to take up a regular job (more on that below).
We all have a choice in deciding on our life path, mine was mostly unintentional.
When I was 13 I had this crazy idea of starting a Youtube channel...for fun. Magically this turned into my life. At 15 I was already dealing with contacts, taxes, scary meetings in a conference room in front of 20 suits, you get the point. And I absolutely loved it, I thrived off the stress and formalities (yup, I’m one of those weird people who love spreadsheets). I went through my first degree and realised that I can’t just be studying, so I started styling. When styling was not enough I started selling vintage, and when that was not enough I started my own magazine. And when that will stop being enough I’m scared to think what else I’ll come up with.
Writing this post, makes it almost feel glamorous to me, but as with everything in life, there are pros and cons. Not everything is for everyone. I have days when I wake up and I wish I could have a 9 to 5 job so that someone could tell me what to do for once. What I found the worst is the fact that self-employment leads to loads of existential crises. There are days where I feel my life is sorted, but usually, it’s debating whether this whole thing makes sense and if in the long run, I’ll be able to pay my rent. It might seem like a trivial issue but without any guidance, making decisions is extremely hard. While I always have the option of a phone call to my mum, it’s me sitting most days and just struggling to be at peace with my career decisions.
While I’m super fine with doing my accounts and keeping thousands of receipts, what brings me down most often is my lack of proper time management. Funnily enough, most people are impressed by what I can do in a day, but it’s all random and unorganized. I don’t do schedules because I always forget about them, and what’s key in time management is scheduling in your hangovers (it is a thing!). Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have drinking issues, but I am 21 so most times, a drink with my friends will sound more fun than actually getting work done. Client work is different but whenever you’re working on your own project, basically you’re in charge of the deadlines and sometimes pushing them a day or two (or a month), doesn’t make a huge difference so thus the procrastination continues.
Also I just recently found out that something is majorly screwed up with my body and funnily no one knows what it is. I’m always exhausted, I sleep 12 hours, I get migraines, I wake up and I feel as if I’m sleepwalking. Crazily it took me years to realise that this is not normal. I lived thinking that this is how people are and I shouldn’t complain.
Thus the idea of being able to sleep as many hours per night (od day) makes being self-employed simply amazing. It’s so much fun to literally never have to put on an alarm. However, sometimes I need to wake up at 4AM in order to be at a shoot for 6 or 7AM so it’s not always this perfect, but it’s totally manageable.
Talking about workload, it is totally manageable. I’m happy to not yet be at the stage of pulling all-nighters but what’s the worst in styling jobs is the need to be at 10 places at once. This includes pickups, returns, being on set, dressing up models, pinning/adjusting or sending out 200 sample request emails. If spread out it would be super fun, but life loves to play tricks and usually, I’ll have 3 jobs in one week and then a month off. Quite inconvenient, don’t you think? I would loveee to hire an assistant but clients don’t put the budget aside and you end up running like crazy or hoping that one of your friends will feel sorry for you and help out.
I recently opened a Chinese fortune cookie which said: “soon you will receive a promotion” and you can imagine how ridiculous this felt. There’s kind of no way up? So I’m still hoping that my fortune can be understood as simply an advancement in my tiny creative career. I feel each year I have a tiny breakthrough so hopefully, that’s a good sign. Careers are such a tough thing and being stuck in the same place is sometimes painful.
Meanwhile, to fill in my spare days I have my Youtube channel, I have my Depop shop and I have my magazine, which all together concludes a full-time job (just without the 9 to 5). I absolutely love it; I just wish it would be enough to make a living hah. What’s best in the end, is that I am fully in control of my life. Whilst I believe most things happen by chance and luck, I still have the power to influence my career and adjust it to my own needs.
So whatever you’re doing, what’s key is to be in control. Maybe self-employment is not for you, and honestly, I get why it wouldn’t be (getting messages from clients on Sundays ain’t fun), but all of us have the power of directing ourselves and doing what’s good for us.
photos by Kuba