Q52: Why Can’t I Suffer Fools Gladly?

“Not suffering fools gladly – the dreadful realisation that even if I was offered a conventional job, my dislike of being told what to do by someone I don’t respect wouldn’t be pretty.” I don’t see the problem here. Surely this is precisely the reason we are self-employed, so we don’t have to? Crack on! There are an awful lot of fools out there, you are right. And the good news is they are not in here. Well, most days they are not in here where the only numpty is, on occasion, moi!

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Q51: Why Do I Wake in the Night with Remorse and Terrors?

“The overarching optimism of a new idea that makes anything possible during the day, followed by the 4:00 a.m. sudden waking to remorse and terrors, depending how far I’ve got embroiled in the idea.” Wow! Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. I don’t know that I wake at 4 a.m. with remorse and terrors except if I have bitten off more than I can chew. Which isn’t necessarily a reason to stop the idea in its tracks, unless you decide that it is. Or maybe this is just your psyche keeping you safe for good reasons, or for small […]

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Q50: How Much Time Should I Put Into a New Area of Business?

“How to discern how much time to put into a new area of business (outside one’s sweet spot) that could be of real benefit further down the road e.g. training work flows to me but I am interested in building up my list to generate more affiliate income but right now I find the creation of videos a bit tedious because I am still making a lot of mistakes.” How long is a piece of string? I know you to be a wise bird, and vice versa, and were this me I would put in as much time as I […]

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Q49: How Do I Decide Whether and When to Expand?

“I am freelance and have been for 20 years but I wonder if you have any advice about knowing when to stick with freelance or move to expand, possibly using associates. I really like the freedom of being freelance but I sometimes wonder if I am leveraging my skill set enough.” This is a fascinating conundrum. I’ve been freelance, self-employed, a business owner, a director of a limited company, and a partner in a business. I think I have tried on every variety of working for myself that exists. Mostly, they aren’t better, they are just different. No, I lie. […]

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Q48: How Do We Respond to Unfair Online Reviews?

“I think my main ‘issue’ is that we are judged on the Internet with reviews – sometimes fairly and sometimes (it feels) unfairly, irrelevant, off topic, bizarre and totally randomly. We know we can’t please all of the people etc., but how to stick to cancellation Ts & Cs when someone you know WILL write you a bad review because they feel it’s not fair you have charged them even though it was the contract they signed up to.” I would find this very difficult myself, not being a fan very much of feedback or criticism or misunderstandings and, funnily […]

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Q47: Why Do I Not Have Control of My Own Day?

“I’ve no boss and just the normal domestic roles (plus a few voluntary bits) but I still seem to lose way too many days to other people’s drama.” The short answer is I have no idea. If we were speaking in one of my coaching calls I’d be able to ask you a few more clarifying questions. Given we don’t have that luxury today, I’m going to hazard a few guesses and hope that one at least is on the money. Firstly, when you say you have “just the normal domestic roles (plus a few voluntary bits)” that already denotes […]

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Q46: Why Is There So Much Work to Do All the Time?

There’s a deceptively large amount of work to be done by one person, isn’t there? Tell me about it! I can’t ever really remember being employed because it was so long ago but I do know that in a larger enterprise, everyone takes their part. But working for ourselves at home involves being all the departments. We are HR, legal, accounting, marketing, sales, warehousing, internal comms, transport, fulfilment, facilities management, IT and Uncle Tom Cobley. I will confess that I don’t need several of those departments in my own home-based biz but I do take care of HR (self-care), accounting […]

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Q45: Perfectionism and Procrastination

“When is it OK to be both a perfectionist and a procrastinator?” Never. Next? Only joking! I hope my client takes this in good heart, as it is intended. Earlier this year she consulted me about opening a new business bank a/c. I gave her my advice as a woman who has been using business bank accounts for forty years. They are all the same. There is nothing to choose between them. They are not really interested in us despite what they say in their adverts. The banks are staffed by underpaid overworked clerks and I, for one, do not […]

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Q44: In Emergencies, What Should I Focus On?

I think the short answer is the thing right in front of you. The longer answer is what is the nature of the emergency? If the house is on fire, or you’ve hurt yourself or a member of your family is poorly, then you know what to do. Dial 999 and get the emergency services onto it. If what you mean is in our businesses, then what sorts of emergencies are there? Deadlines Running out of money Threats various e.g. a solicitor’s letter The government changing the rules endlessly and trying to catch you out with a fine What else? […]

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Q43: Why Does Having the Right Mindset Feel Like a Bit of a Game?

“The sense that ‘having the right mindset’ is a bit of a game, and somehow I keep missing the ball because I’ve become distracted by any number of reasons.” Let’s start with the word mindset. I don’t like it, do you? It feels a bit jargony, a bit corporate. Yuk. I do remember where I was working as an accountant when I first heard it used daily and that was at a London recruitment agency where helping job applicants with their mindset was part of their brief. It always jarred with me, like fingernails down a blackboard. I don’t really […]

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