Setting up your own business is a brave, ambitious and darn right brilliant feeling. But while it’s great to have the freedom to work as and when you like, there’s a few things you should know before reaching for your laptop in bed.

1) Show up for work – sitting around in your PJs may be one of the reasons you wanted to go freelance in the first place, but work doesn’t come to you anymore, you’ll need to find it. So get dressed, brush your teeth, comb your hair, get your game face on and show up for work.

2) Set deadlines – no boss, no problem, but you’ll need to find a way to motivate yourself to complete tasks by setting your own deadlines. Sounds silly but do as you would in your job and write a list – ticking off each job as you complete it. Oh and start with the task you like the least – it’s a great feeling to tick that one off!

3) Reach out – use everyone you know. Now is no time to feel coy, capitalise on every connection you have. Use LinkedIn and invite people for coffee? Email your previous employers to let them know what you are doing and that you are available – if that’s appropriate. Go to networking meetings and even if it feels weird, speak to everyone you meet there. Trust me no one is good at networking and most people are really glad when you’re the one to break the ice.

4) Show you’re a professional – don’t go anywhere without your business cards, anywhere! Friends and family are going to ask how it’s going and are bound to have an idea for a lead or connection you could make. Have a website and business email. This costs so little to set up and you’d be mad to use a yahoo or excite email address – you only get one chance to make a first impression.

5) Enjoy the journey – remember that this is your journey and take the time to enjoy it. If you’re up at 5am because you need to get a job completed by a deadline, remember that you are your own boss now, so you could just as easily finish work as soon as it’s done and do something for yourself – like finally book a hair cut and arrange a night out!

Everyone’s journey is going to be different but it’s really useful to connect with other business owners for advice and support along the way. Working with the Women’s Organisation has proven really useful to me. For more information visit The Women’s Organisation website and good luck to you all!

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