Design Your Own Work

Yolanda Welch

If you’re not self-employed, do you want to be? What would you do if suddenly, you no longer had to work for a set number of hours, a set wage (or salary), and for another person? Furthermore, what does it mean to you to be self-employed? Do you know if this is a path that you value?

I am the proud owner of a necklace that a self-employed friend hand-made. She found something she was excellent at doing, and more importantly, something she loved to do. A lot of people describe self-employment as the freedom to do what they love for money, as well as freedom from wage slavery. They are correct.

If you are curious about entering the world of self-employment, below are three tips to guide you.

1) Love what you do, and the proper stress will follow.

The word “stress” has multiple meanings, not all of which are negative. However, we’ve placed such a negative focus on the word “stress” that we do our best to avoid it totally. Here’s the thing: there is unhealthy stress, and then there is healthy stress. What’s the difference? Unhealthy stress comes from doing what you feel obliged to do out of necessity. It manifests itself as anxiety, depression, pain, illness, and even death. Healthy stress keeps you energized, on your toes, and deeply immersed in hard work for that which you LOVE. Whether it be the gourmet chef who madly mixes ingredients to the right proportions or the writer who pauses in frustration to express a concept as colorfully as possible, the foundation for good stress is love for their gig. Love what you do!

2) Know that you are a resourceful human being, not just an employee.

When some people decide to leave the rat race and take the entrepreneurial path, they continue to think like employees because they are still living under the old work paradigm, which says that the employer dictates what the employee can and cannot do. They are used to living in accordance with a top-down authoritarian structure, where employers (a.k.a. managers, supervisors) have all the authority. Let’s face it; in a workforce dealing with a weak economy, it is almost always the employers’ market. This is even found to be true in right-to-work states in the U.S., where anyone can terminate employment at any time without any reason. Employers have the final say on the terms of employment, while applicants and candidates often wait and hope for the opportunity to work. As a potential or new entrepreneur, be watchful that you don’t unintentionally approach the world with a “please hire me” tone of mild desperation. You are no longer part of that world. Instead, develop an authentic, confident, and service-oriented voice that says “this is how I can improve your life today.”

3) Keep it real, and your work will feel effortless.

This is key. You can love something all day long, and talk the talk, but if you are not authentically working to make it happen, you will be right where you began. Being authentic can be somewhat scary because it involves exposing your true self, with all of your potential, ignorance, and brilliance, to others. While some people might insult you and reject you as you share what you love, there are countless others who will give encouragement and constructive feedback. Ask experienced entrepreneurs your questions, no matter how strange those questions may seem. As a result, your work will come with more ease as it goes hand in hand with allowing that good stress to fuel your mind and body.

Designing your own work involves thinking outside the box and making a personal paradigm shift for your well-being. Is this shift worth making to you? If it is, then know that every moment is your opportunity to chart your course to your heart’s delight.


Yolanda Welch is a blogger, eclectic pagan, coffee lover, and bookworm living in the USA. She supports young adult women and seasoned women with their academic writing and content creation. Empowering women with the opportunity to find their voice and improve their writing skills is her mission. In addition, she has provided writing instruction to students through supplemental service educational programs in Arizona. Yolanda holds a Master of Education degree from Arizona State University.