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  • Writer's picturePia

I am starting my own business!

start, start new, fresh start, independent, starting point
Picture by Ann H. on

14 April 2024: It's Sunday morning, I'm sitting by the window and watching the people in the park. I see children playing, people with dogs, walkers and joggers. The sun is shining from the blue sky and I ask myself, was it the right thing to do? Was it right to venture out of the safe harbour of a permanent job into the unknown, into self-employment?

I constantly feel the urge to do even more, to prepare myself even better. It's the weekend and I'm restless. For the last few weeks, I've felt a constant inner restlessness, no matter what time of day it is, no matter what day it is, no matter how much I've already done. Nothing is good enough. I'm never finished.

Well, I'm the boss. But what does that actually mean? I'm torn between fear and anticipation, self-confidence and doubt. Am I worth it? Will I be successful? Can I demand a certain price? Do I have the stamina it takes? What if nobody wants me? What if the insurance companies classify me as uninsurable?

Questions upon questions to which I have no answer. I hate not knowing what will happen next. I hate not being able to plan for all eventualities. I'm further away from my comfort zone than I've ever been in my life.

But how did I actually end up here?

I've spent my whole life trying to please others. Not to offend, to please everyone. At the same time, I dreamed of being self-employed. I dreamed of being my own boss. All my working life I fought for a good wage and for my qualifications and achievements to be recognised.

In my first job, a personnel clerk had taken it upon herself, quietly and secretly, to withhold my request for a pay rise. In her opinion, I didn't deserve it. Others would have got it before me. Unbelievable, isn't it? She had deliberately defied the instructions of our managing director and didn't even have to face the consequences in the end. In another job, I was offered the prospect of a management role for years. However, the plans for this were changed again and again, postponed for various reasons, until at some point it was no longer discussed at all. I have also been persuaded from time to time to take on jobs, tasks and activities where I knew in advance that I wasn't cut out for it! .... doesn't work...there's not enough time. But why did I say yes? That brings us back to "wanting to please everyone". I had such an unconscious fear of rejection that I often said "yes" when I actually meant "no". After that, I was so annoyed with myself. I tortured myself to no end before I even considered backing away from my "yes". I was too afraid that the others would take offence.

And then came 2022, a year full of professional challenges that I had largely chosen for myself. However, when a private break-up came along, I was at the end of my tether. After a few days, however, I simply carried on as before. I "worked" for another 4 months. Then it was over. Nothing worked anymore. I was tired and sad. And what was it all for?

It was time to change something. I had to change something, and quickly. Over the next few months, I worked intensively on my patterns and behaviour. I learnt to be aware of my needs and to stand up for them. I slowly and steadily got better. And suddenly the day came when the scales fell from my eyes.

I was tired of others having the authority to make decisions about me, to judge me and categorise me on their scale. I was tired of selling myself short. Suddenly I realised: I have to get out! Out of the employment relationship. I have to make my own rules and orientate myself to my own values. What a liberating realisation!

So I resigned and took a few months off to sort myself out. I took some time to think about what I want and what I don't want (anymore).

And so I'm sitting here now, full of anticipation and with great respect for everything that's to come.



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