Why You Need to Put the “Self” First in Self-Employment

In Dr. Deborah’s, 6 Steps to Career Focus, she emphasizes that we should focus on the “self” first and the “employment” will follow. You may be wondering what exactly this means.

In many coaching and self-help programs, the first steps are to simply ask what do you want to do and then immediately jump into the process of drafting a business plan. However, choosing a career, especially in self-employment, should be a much more mindful process, and you may be surprised by what you find when you take a deeper look.

For example, one of our clients originally came to us and said that she wanted to start her own virtual assistant business and had even begun writing her business plan. However, when she took a step back and went through the 6 Steps, she discovered that what she truly was passionate about was teaching art. From there, she was able to come up with a business idea that she was actually excited about.

The key to this process is to stop thinking about what will make you the most money or what others are saying you “should” do, and instead start by looking inward to identify your own strengths and passions. This is Step 1 in the 6 Steps to Career Focus. We all have our own inherent strengths that improve with practice and experience. When you play on those strengths, your career possibilities are endless. Understanding your strengths, and weaknesses as well are the groundwork for building a career you actually enjoy going to every day.

This mindful approach to career planning doesn’t stop there. Once you have identified your strengths and then determine if they could be translated into a career, you then should look at your personal values and goals for your future. Do you want more time with your family? More financial independence? More flexibility in your schedule? These factors are vital in picking the right career path. Once you have them identified you can create a LifeMap, a visual representation of all of these factors, which helps you see how they align and overlap with each other. Your LifeMap is a tool that will allow you to better determine what you want to do for a living and how you want to do it, whether it be through self-employment, traditional employment, or another means.

The ultimate goal of this entire process is to help you better understand yourself – your interests, your values, and your goals. Once you have a better grasp on what you want out of life, it becomes much easier to create a better quality of life and a career path that you are excited to pursue.

Life is short. Don’t waste it on a job that you don’t love. Through self-employment, any career dream can be possible. You just have to work hard, and most importantly, believe that you can succeed.

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