Posted on 03/02/2018

My Journey to Self-Employment: It’s Time to Take Action

If not now, when

Time to start working for yourself.

Belief in yourself will pay off.

What I didn’t mention at the beginning of this journey is that there is a sixth step in this guide to self-employment and it is to take action. After we have discovered what it is we want to do and considered how we’ll handle the challenges, we can delve more deeply into who we are as the “business of me.” Using the Work for yourself @ 50+ Toolkit, we set our priorities and learned about what it takes to frame out a plan. We even took a look at the unseemly scams that could be visited upon us if we are too eager to rush forward. However, this sixth step is just a recap of what we learned in the Work for Yourself @ 50+ Toolkit. The next, and most important steps are up to you, to us.

So, what are your next steps? Who do you need to talk to about your big idea? What more do you need to learn? I’ll share with you what I’ve been doing. I am still job hunting while I am building the foundation for my big idea, so every time I see an opportunity for networking, I’m there. All my friends know I am looking for jobs, so even though I am hustling up a dust cloud like Pigpen in the Peanuts gang, whenever friends share a referral that fits me, I follow up. Likewise, as a voice talent, whenever I see an audition opportunity, I ship out my demo. Industry conference? Ha, how much? If it’s more than I can afford I ask for a break as a newbie or offer to volunteer.  You don’t know if you don’t ask.

I wear several hats, and my greatest challenge is managing the time to put them on and take them off. I found an opportunity recently– a local community development organization was offering a workshop for budding entrepreneurs. It sounded like a great idea (and it was being run by someone I knew) but I had to make a choice: should I go back out after a day of work, travel 17 extra miles each way and spend $20 to take a class, or should I make an appointment with a community organization, like WACIF or SCORE, for more long-term, individual support?

I set a couple of deadlines for myself; the first, by the end of January, is to order new business cards. Three years ago, even before I spoke my first word on the mic, I ordered 500 business cards for $9.99. I claimed my new business then and believed it would come to fruition. I was putting my belief into practice.


photo of Michelle Higgs

Blogger Profile: Michele Higgs is on a journey to self-employment with the help of AARP Foundation’s “Work for Yourself@50+” program. In this blog series, Michele will describe her experience with the program, and will walk through the Five Steps to Self-Employment which provides guidance and advice on self-employment.

*Updated 03/02/2018

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