how to believe in yourself when you’re self-employed

8th June 2017

Most business owners will tell you, being able to feed your family from the contents of your very own imagination is one of the most fulfilling sources of joyful pride, ever.

Less discussed, is that it can also resemble something like intense daily therapy.

When you’re self-employed, alongside the complete autonomy, comes ultimate responsibility.

It’s completely up to you. And no one has done this before, in quite the way you will. So, of course, all your stuff comes up about worthiness and value, motivation, visibility, your limitations, how you take care of yourself, your relationship with time and money.

And that’s before you’ve even had a peek at what other people in your industry are up to (top tip: DON’T LOOK).

It doesn’t matter where you are in your self-employment life, one thing is always true:

We need to believe in ourselves while we’re creating something that doesn’t exist yet.

You might be dabbling with a blog, Instagram, pottery as the business potential unfolds over time. You might be holding down a day job while making beautiful jewellery in the evenings. You might have sold out all your yoga classes as you contemplate how to share the philosophy of yoga off the mat.

Being self-employed requires us to both occupy our current reality, and hold on to an imagined future vision, while navigating the financial, emotional and experiential rollercoaster in between.

It’s incredibly bloody complex!

This is not a logical or rational path, it belongs in the realm of dreams and faith. And I’ve found the most helpful approaches have an esoteric edge to them too.

Here are my three favourites:

Embrace devotion:

Finding the work that brings you alive, is a singular joy. That sense of being in flow, fully yourself, in your element, content – all of that is for you. Devoting yourself to your work is a form of radical self-love. And like all the best love stories, it’s not for the faint-hearted – it requires time and energy, staying even when everything is unloveable, telling the truth, being vulnerable.

But there is a reciprocity to this devotion – continuing to show up for your work, learning, growing, sharing your joy, inviting people to buy from you: this creates the conditions for your work to provide you with unlimited emotional, creative, financial, even spiritual fulfilment.

Hand it over:

Half a dozen years ago when I found coaching and knew in my bones this was what I was supposed to do, I had no idea how to let go of my big-assed corporate job, start a business, give up my ridiculous salary, find clients, be someone who could coach: it all seemed too big.

One of my teachers suggested choosing a talisman – something that would remind my of why I wanted this and what it meant to me – every time I noticed the talisman I would be reminded that the ‘whole universe was conspiring to help me’.

I was deeply sceptical. So partly out of defiance, I chose an elephant. It’s size reflected both the impossibility and the sense of bigness of it. Also: I would never see elephants in London, so maybe this wasn’t ‘meant to be’.

I saw them everywhere. I still do. They always make me smile.

Make space:

I’m currently inviting coaches to participate in the Magnetic Conversations Summer School and I’m holding the outcome of 10 (now nine!) new coaches enrolling in the programme before July 1st.

I am making some energetic space for them with a card (pictured above) on my desk. As each person enrols I can experience deep gratitude and excitement that we’ll be working together.

Every day I look at the card and think about the folks that might be contemplating this investment, and I lightly hold the thread that joins us, trusting that the timing is right.

Remember – everything is figureoutable. You’ve got this.



Hello, I'm Sas Petherick. I'm a self-doubt researcher, coach and podcaster who helps thinking humans transcend self-doubt. If you'd like to receive these posts in your inbox please subscribe here (with bonus info and first notice of opportunities to work with me). PS: I totallyInstagram - join me there?


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