Today I celebrate officially starting my business, Something Nutrishus Counselling & Coaching, 5 years ago on July 7, 2010. A lot has changed in that time, but I'm still here, I'm still self-employed, and I'm still able to pay my bills.
I have gradually been redefining my business as I figure out my passion, niche, motherhood, and areas I want to work in. After five years at this, I am able to be a bit pickier, but I still struggle to say no at times (I think it's the entrepreneurial concern of where the next pay cheque is coming from).
I can't say these are my top 5 memories or learnings, or the best of the last five years, but these are the notable things that came to me when writing this post and reflecting on how I got to today.
1) I am fortunate to have the support of my loving husband.
I could not do this without him. He helps in so many ways and I often feel like he's my business partner as I bounce ideas off of him, seek his advice, and seek his embrace when I get overwhelmed. He's my biggest fan and has always believed that I could work for myself and be successful (even when he has to help me define my success).
2) I do what I do for the freedom and flexibility.
I am not rolling in cash, but I am able to contribute to our household. Instead, I am able to enjoy the moments when I get to take my dog for a walk mid-afternoon, join a friend for coffee, spend time with my daughter, spend time in the kitchen, and be my own boss.
3) Self-employment is hard work.
My husband (refer to #1) often reminds me that many people have ideas, but few act upon them. I figured out in university that I was likely going to end up in private practice. I spent time emailing other dietitians, networking with other entrepreneurs, and going back and forth between loving what I was doing and wondering if I was crazy for choosing to do it. I now have a 7 month old daughter, and being self-employed means no formal maternity leave, but for me it also hopefully means more time with her each year, not just her first.
Most people go to work, come home, and leave their work at work. For various reasons there are some people who are not able to do that (myself included). Perhaps they have clients contacting them at all hours and expecting responses, they love their work and surround themselves with it intentionally (ie. reading about the subject in their spare time for continued understanding and improvement). For me, I am always thinking about social media posts, helping/inspiring others and trying to stay up on the field (although I keep being reminded that I'll never 'catch up' and that my to-do lists will never be complete).
5) I love that I can evolve and change what I do.
I often have too many ideas of what I could do, so I have to have perspective and bring myself into focus. However, it's great to look back on what I've done, who I've worked with, and how I have found focus in my chosen career. I don't know what the future holds (as I have so many ideas), but I look forward to figuring it out as I learn more about myself and what I want to do when I grow up!
I googled top 5 lists and thought these two sites were interesting if you like lists and have time to spare (or waste):
- the top 5 of anything
- top 5 lists (daily lists from well-known personalities)
Thanks for the support and for reading over the years,
Steph Langdon, RD