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Freelancing With Depression and Finding Career Support

16th May 2018

In a recent Facebook post I credited much of my progress towards a healthier happier mind to the people I have surrounded myself with and their incredible support. The most recent change was finding the right career support which I felt I was lacking before. I had become well versed in how to handle my brain in personal terms and friends and family have been paramount to finding that balance, however, they couldn’t help with the biggest area of stress/worry; my business.

 

Business Coaching

What has made an enormous difference to me this year was finding a business coach. Having someone else onboard with your goals and aspirations that you can turn to when you’re feeling deflated or unsure of the next step to take can help give you a real confidence boost. I have also found that because someone else is investing their time in me I now feel accountable to really push through any difficult patches to put in the work.

Finding someone who has an in-depth understanding of your industry and experience with your area of expertise is essential. I drafted in Rhea Freeman as she is perfectly positioned to offer really solid advice and has an expansive knowledge of the equestrian industry, PR and social media marketing; plus I knew she had experience working with photographers. This means when I’m running low on inspiration or brain power there is someone I can turn to who will have great tips and ideas for how to progress and the next steps to take.

As well as the business advice, this is a great pillar for emotional support too. It’s like having your own personal cheer leader to gee you up and egg you on. I see it as my positivity tanks being topped up at every session! Just as you top up your fuel tank, I fill up to the brim during a coaching session and over the next few weeks burn my way through it and find I need to refuel a month or 6 weeks down the line.

It’s really important to find someone who will understand your thought processes and provide support in a way that fits with you. Although this is a professional relationship, I think a good personal connection is key to finding the right business coach. Personally, I’m a goof, the more light-hearted we can be the better. There is very little that a good bit of humour won’t get me through. You either laugh or cry, right?

Online Community

A really supportive corner of the internet can not only help tackle the isolation aspect of working from home but also be a great place to seek help and guidance from a group of people who might have been there and done it or had similar experiences with a few wise words to offer you.

Facebook groups provide excellent online communities with groups set up for all sorts of interests. What’s brilliant here is that you immediately put yourself in a “room” with hundreds or thousands of like-minded people that you can bounce ideas off, learn from and chat to who will understand your experiences.

I have recently joined a few business and photography groups and these are such a positive place to interact with the online community. If I’m having a particularly cruddy day or have a problem I’m not sure how to approach, I can throw it out there and more than likely someone else has been through it and can suggest a sensible solution.

You can find groups for almost anything, including support groups for medical conditions. If you feel anxious about talking to someone in person, then finding a really friendly group where you can open up and express how you’re feeling can be a good idea. Chatting with people who have had similar experiences or know exactly what you’re going through can be a huge relief and it might give you the confidence to seek help from a medical professional who can start you off on the right treatment.

No freelance business is built off the back of one person. Yes I am a sole trader but I would never have managed any of this on my own.

Having the right support will make a huge difference to your productivity, mind set and overall well being, whether or not you have a mental illness. I have heard it time and again to choose your company wisely as you absorb the energy you surround yourself with. Find the people that can offer the best practical advice, the emotional support you need and be your “motivation petrol station!”