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The Guilt of Self-Employment

Updated: Feb 18



Shout out to all my self-employed ladies building their business one day at time !! I don't know about you but this topic is something that has been on my mind for a while and I just wanted to put my thoughts down and share.

Self employment is weird. Yep I said it because it is. There are no rules, no schedule set in stone, no one to report to as you are the CEO, the employee and the finance department of your job. I think it is because of this that the idea of guilt can creep in. Don't get me wrong I love my job, I tried employment and it didn't work for me. Even though the steady income was nice (and easier to plan life around) I need to be my own person and work in a way that fits with my ethos which I get from working for myself.

However I always get this feeling of guilt when I am not working. That if I have a day off or some time free I need to be doing some kind of work otherwise I'm not taking myself seriously, sound familiar? I think this is because we are so used to the 9-5 culture that if we don't work within those parameters we are going to fail. Even though the very nature of my job is to work around those hours physically I still feel I need to continue to work between them as well. For example a rough guide (I say rough as clients cancel/change, extra things may come up) of my working week goes like:

Monday: Morning classes and Evening Clients with about 4/5 hours of admin work in between

Tuesday: All Day at the gym a mixture of morning clients, shift work, teaching classes, evening clients, admin

Wednesday: Morning clients and shift work, lunchtime clients. Break at home (normally do something work related). Evening classes

Thursday: Another Gym based day starting at 6 finishing at 4 - clients and shift

Friday: A couple of clients then a content day for blog and social.

Within this there is obviously breaks for training, eating and other moments that may come up that I feel I need to work when in reality it is actually ok to take 5, read a book, chill out for a bit but I feel guilty for doing so. Isn't that strange ??

I think this comes from the business culture of hustling and grinding - being switched on all of the time shows you are successful and doing anything otherwise shows you are not. Which in reality is far from the truth because success is measured on how you deem it not anyone else. As you are SELF - EMPLOYED no one else sets that notion you do !

Work Life Balance as a self-employed person can become blurred as you are normally in a job you love so separating work and life out does't come as easy as it may to someone who is in employment. And where I don't necessarily see this as a bad thing I do think that we need to let ourselves switch off now and then. Whether it's having an out of office on your emails to stop you from replying or dedicating a day every week just for you or having a routine in place at some point in your day that is self care orientated. If you can as well start tailoring your day to you a bit more, work out when you are most productive, when you need time to chill and create the hours accordingly. Due to the PT life I can't do this as much but I am starting to as and where I can.

I feel another thing that drives guilt is that lovely thing ... MONEY. Money = Success right ? That is what we have been taught. Money and income is something that every self employed person I know will slightly stress or worry about at some point. As we do need a certain amount to survive and live our lives. But what I have come to realise over the past 4 years is the amount in question is determined by you. How much do you need to earn to have the life you want to lead ? Because once you know that you can work in a way to get that in the smartest and healthiest way possible. For me I don't measure my success on what I earn. I measure it on the clients journeys, the achievements I have made and the life I am living. Money is a necessity that helps with this but it isn't my driving force behind my business.


This is a very rambly post I am sorry, like I said at the beginning it has been on my mind for a while and I just wanted to write it down. I obviously don't have the answers as I am very much still trying to work it out myself so I want to put the questions to you:

What are your tips to combat this ?

Do you feel the same?

Love Vicki xxx

#selfgrowth #personaltrainer #girlboss #work #career #blogger #weblognorth #freelance