On my Facebook page this week, I've been going Live every night, to discuss why being self-employed is the best.
My business coach (yep! I have one of those and she's awesome!) tells me that going Live on my FB page is one of the best ways to let people see who I am. And I'll keep doing that as it's important to me that you know who I am - you're going to trust me to teach you how to run your own business - it's important you actually like me or you won't trust what I'm telling you! BUT if you're like me and you'd rather read a paragraph than watch a video, then scroll down passed the video to see what it was I was actually saying!
Day One - Job Security
This might sound a bit odd, to say that being self-employed is more secure than a PAYE job! I know that as I was growing up it was something that was instilled in me that it would be better to have a PAYE job rather than working for yourself because of all the perks that come with that.
I want to tell you a story about my Dad. My Dad is a lovely man, who looks out for his kids and expressed his concern for me being self-employed as he felt there would be no job security. He was really worried about it - I wouldn't have a pension, the market might turn... I'd been working for myself for a while at this point, and I told him "I am the person responsible for generating my own work, and I know that I can rely on myself". I know I work hard and I don't need anyone behind me, encouraging me to work harder - I'm hard enough on myself! Essentially, if I ever need more work, I know exactly how to get it because I've already done it, so I just repeat the process and find more. I know that sounds simple and self explanatory, and it is really.
I also wanted to share with you some recent experiences I've had, something that has happened occasionally over the years. So I had been working in a care home for about 3 years and about 6 months ago, the home had a change of manager. And as some new managers do when they come in, they want to make changes, out their stamp on the place, and generally one of the first things that happens is to cut the expenditure. Unfortunately, activities are one of the easiest things to cut. So I wasn't expecting it, but I was aware that I might be cut, if this was the new manager's style. A little while later I got asked to reduce my sessions from once a week to once a fortnight and from there I was kind of fazed out.
But things like this aren't a big deal. One of the great things about running Join The Circle sessions is that you're never reliant upon just one home, just one source of income. There are loads! So I'm working in around 10 homes a week at the moment - 10 different places that give me income on a weekly basis and if one turns around and says they don't need me anymore, that's fine. I can put my marketing strategy into place, I know my marketing strategy works, I can go out and I can generate myself more work. It's not a big deal!
Day Two - Flexibility & You are your own boss!
This has been a big one for me, the ability to book work when I want to work and fit it around my schedule. I'm a jazz singer and I work a lot of weekends and it's been really good being able to work the rest of the week that fits in with that. so if you're part time and you're looking for something you can do on the side - a side hustle! - than working for yourself is a way you can do that.
If you have family, kids, friends, who you want to see more of, putting more flexibility into your work life is the best way to do that. I'm one of those people that bows out of things if I've got a busy week on because I get really tired, so for me having the flexibility of being able to do things during the week in the evenings where I know I don't have to be in work the next morning is really nice! If you have special events coming up - you don't ever have to say no to them! Specifically if you have kids, running Join The Circle sessions is great because they will all take place between 10 and 4. You're never going to get sessions outside of that time frame so if you're looking to work around the school run - it's perfect!
Another thing I wanted to link in with flexibility is that I have problems with my mental health. A few years ago I was diagnosed with a mental health disorder and that means that sometimes I wake up in the morning and I know it isn't going to happen. I call them black days - they're either black days or glitter days depending on whether I've managed to turn them around or not! But it's one of those things where I know I can phone my care homes and explain that I'm 'having a day' and everyone is fine with it. I never have to justify taking time off for my mental health. And that's something that is still a bit stigmatised in regular PAYE work. It's still a little risqué from what I've seen and heard from others. People can feel awkward taking time off, because they don't want to talk about it, because it's embarrassing - it shouldn't be embarrassing but it is embarrassing and you have all of those hang ups that go with it. But if you're working for yourself, the only person you have to justify taking time off to is you!
The next thing I wanted to talk to you about is that you get to be your own boss. I know that's a phrase that gets bandied around quite a bit, but everything begins and ends with you. You are accountable for you. Now, I don't have a problem with authority - I'm not a rebel, I'm more of a goody goody! - but I have very strong opinions about the way things should be done and if I can see a more efficient way of working and no one is listening to me, it winds me up! I love that running my own business takes away that frustration - I only have to answer to me. and I'm ok with that!
There's no pressure or targets - once you've got to where you want to be, financially and in terms of the amount of time you want to spend running sessions, there's no pressure to improve. I know that sounds a bit weird but there's no 'we must beat last month's sales targets', no 'we must be bigger and better than before'. You have space to enjoy the work you're doing and enjoy the time you're spending without an external pressure that you would probably take home with you.
There's no right way - there's your way! So, if that's like me, where I do my invoicing in my PJs with a cuppa on your day off - there's no one telling you that you can't! Everything begins and ends with you.
As much as being completely reliant on yourself might sound scary, it's also exhilarating. Join The Circle sessions make such a difference to people's lives and you get to be a part of that. It's amazing.
Day Three - Money & Franchising
This is a really big one for me!
I was talking to my partner, Dave, he's a sound engineer and he went fully self-employed last year from being half part time job and half self employed. When I asked him 'Why did you want to do go fully self-employed?' he said the main reason, was money.
So when you become self-employed there are no restrictions as to how much you can earn - the only thing the restricts your earning capacity is how much you are willing to work in your business, and on your business. For example, if you're working for yourself, there's no one telling you that you can't have a pay rise, that there's no overtime available. If there's a month where you need to earn a little bit more, there's nothing to stop you if you're self employed - you make your own opportunities. And i love that!
I've got some money goals at the moment I'm goign to share with you. I'm working with a business coach - Lisa Johnson, from Just Own This - she's great and one of the things she is always encouraging is to set money goals. One of money goals at the moment is to raise funds for a trip to San Diego with Dave. We went there a few years ago and absolutely fell in love with it and we want to go back again next year. We've worked out our costs and it's going to be about £5k for the whole trip. So I've broken this down further and gone 'How many sessions do I need to do to cover that?' and it works out at around 240. So then I break that into months, weeks, and it works out about 5 extra sessions a week to get that 5k in a year. And this goes back to what I've said in previous lives - for every care home that books you for weekly sessions, that's an extra grand added to your annual income - a nice round figure!
Also if you're self-employed, you can claim back your expenses! So all of your travel fees, petrol, new equipment, you can claim for that. If you're spending over 10 hours working from home a week, you can claim back a little bit of a subsidy to help with your mortgage or your rent. So as soon as you become self employed, you can claim back anything that is a business expense. Including your training! The initial outlay you can then get back as part of your tax return, provided you make more than the personal allowance.
I looked up today - so out of the loop! - the national minimum wage and it's £7.83. Just doing a little bit of Maths - never my strong point - so about £8, and you're working 8 hours a day, that's £64 daily wage. So to earn the equivalent of that, with JTC sessions, would be 4 sessions, roughly 4 hours. And this is only in the first year.
I recommend to my trainees to keep their prices at £20 a session for their first year with a home. After a year, as a co-ordinator they will be more experienced, more knowledgable, and have built a rapport with those care home residents. They can then put it up their price to £25 a session - which will obviously take even less time to earn your £64. So money wise, you can earn a lot more in a lot less time.
Now, I know I'm not the only option out there for anyone who wants to start their own business. I was listening to 'The Bottom Line' on Radio 4 this evening, and they were talking about the benefit of franchises over starting up your own business from scratch. There was a really interesting statistic that said of all start ups - after 5 years, only 5% of start ups are still going. So 95% of business start ups fail! With franchising though, it's the complete opposite, with only 5% failing and 95% still in operation after 5 years.
And it makes complete sense! If you're entering into a franchise, someone else has already worked out that successful business model. They've put the money and time into developing it and making the mistakes everyone makes when starting up, so that you don't have to. They've got their system in place, they know it works, all you have to do is follow their instructions.
Now, I feel a little bit uncomfortable with franchising, and I've touched on this before - I don't like being told what to do! So, I don't want to impose that on anyone. So with Join The Circle, you don't buy a franchise, you buy training. So I train you how to run your business, I give you my systems - I know they work because I still use them! Obviously you have to put some work in too, but I show you what to do, how to spend your time, and what to do to make the best possible sessions, keep getting those regular bookings which will help you make it a financial success.
I'd also hate to limit someone's creative input. If someone wants to do their own routines, use their own music, I'd hate to think they wouldn't because it hadn't been 'Join The Circle' approved! Sod it, if you want to do your own stuff, you go for it! I want to encourage community and collaboration over competition and that's why I've got the membership side of JTC, because it's about all of us doing this together and spreading this joy across the UK!
Here's the link to the episode of 'The Bottom Line' I listened to - https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b6pdr6?platform=hootsuite
I hope all this has been interesting! If you'd like to find out more about Join The Circle Co-ordinator training, have a look at my 'Co-ordinator Training' page where you'll find everything you need to know! Or if you already know it's for you, contact me to arrange your FREE consultation!
Want to know what happens in a consultation? Watch my video about it!