When we’re self-employed it can feel like your business is “just me,” and in many ways it is. However, it is also its own entity. Supreme court rulings aside, it’s vital for all businesses to recognize themselves as larger than just a single owner. Let’s dig into this.

Your business impacts you in two main ways. One way is that it delivers you a steady, reliable income. The other way is that it offers a way to contribute to society. But there are indirect impacts of your business.

Your business also affects your customers. Customers use your products or consume…


Frequently, aspiring self-employed business owners ask me if their business idea is possible. But when I answer that question, they’re typically not satisfied because that’s not the actual issue. So today I’m going to tell you the truth about that question. You will likely feel unsatisfied (but hopefully a smidge inspired) and then I’m going to give you the answer to what you’re actually trying to ask. Before I get to “is your business idea possible” indulge me in a short story about the stuff we are made of.

When my younger sister was 19 she developed acute liver failure…


Navigating decisions is difficult at the best of times, but I notice it’s stepped up a notch for those of us who are alone in business. Not having a team to help weigh decisions with is a challenge unique to us self-employed people. Added to this, self-employment can feel risky in and of itself. This makes each decision seem even more high-steaks. Here are my recommendations for how to navigate decisions when self-employed.

When making a decision it’s important to have a good strategy, as well as sound criteria. …


Recently I attended an anti-racist community event at which the question was posed: What moves us to do this work? While another participant shared their vision for a future without the harms of oppression, I looked inward. The future seems too far off. In this moment, the future is a fiction that I can’t be sure will be achieved; it’s too abstract. Yet in this moment I had a felt sense of why I was in it, in the here and now of my reality. I’m committed to anti-racism work for the same reason I’m committed to self-employment. This is…


Image shows a man happily fanning many $100 dollar bills.
Image shows a man happily fanning many $100 dollar bills.

Self-employment has a variable income stream. This is intimidating for most, and that’s understandable. If managing your money with a steady paycheck is like standing on one foot, then self-employment is standing on one foot on the back of a galloping horse. By no means is that impossible… it’s just an order of magnitude more challenging. No matter where you are in your self-employment journey (including “not yet started”) it’s a great time to start getting “good” at money.

Step one in this process is to throw out reductive labels that describe your skill at money. If you think of…


When I was a child, I wanted to keep my training wheels on my bike for… well, for always! I was completely capable of riding without them, but I wanted the security blanket of having them. This meant that as I turned corners, I’d lean into the curve as appropriate to my skill level. Designed for a less-skilled rider, the training wheels would grate along the ground. Eventually, the rubber all came off the training wheels and it was only then that we took them off my bike. If I’d taken them off sooner, they would have been perfectly good…


One of the scariest questions aspiring business owners have is “How do I get clients?” This is a make-it-or-break-it question for any business. If you can’t get clients (or enough clients) then you won’t have a business. It’s also something most aspiring self-employed people don’t have any prior experience with. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible. I’m going to give you your first marketing project, and some principles to guide you towards future marketing.

There are so many marketing options out there: websites, listing sites, social media, paid advertising and more. All can be so shiny and alluring. But which is…


When we become self-employed, our success becomes contingent on some level of salesmanship. You’re passionate about your work. So you’ve probably learned far more about serving clients than landing them. Sales trainings that could help you land clients are often designed for career sales-people. But you don’t need to be making million-dollar deals! You just need this potential client to become an actual client. You actually already have skills to accomplish this! Here’s how your current skills can help ensure you convert clients.

First I want to digress for a moment and differentiate “sales” from “marketing.” For my purposes, I…


IMAGE IS OF A PERSON WITH A SUITCASE WAKING OUT INTO THE OUTDOORS WITH A BEAUTIFUL SKYSCAPE IN FRONT OF THEM.
IMAGE IS OF A PERSON WITH A SUITCASE WAKING OUT INTO THE OUTDOORS WITH A BEAUTIFUL SKYSCAPE IN FRONT OF THEM.

I cultivate a strong boundary between work and not-work. So when a client introduced me to the concept of an email sabbatical, it felt superfluous. It seemed like overkill. And, as a point of pride, I had to take on the challenge! As I prepared for a trip in late December, I set up my email system for a full sabbatical. It seemed like a lot of steps when an out-of-office would be simpler. But I soon forgot that effort as I closed my laptop and packed my bags for my trip.

The first part of my trip included the…


IMAGE SHOWS THE TITLE OF THE ARTICLE OVERLAID ON AN IMAGE OF A PERSON IN A FOREST TRYING TO DECIDE BETWEEN TWO PATHS: ONE DARK AND ONE LIGHT.

As a business owner, it’s vital to make wise decisions. And this is something so few of us have confidence in. How do we know we’re making a wise decision? A lot of my work is helping people process and come to a decision. Some might think the business coach has the answer, but actually, it’s the process that has power. I’m going to spill the beans and tell you how to make good decisions all by yourself. (But I’ll still be here if you need me ❤)

Background: Internal Regulation

You have three internal states of regulation. You might be familiar with…

Maggie Karshner

Maggie is a business coach who helps launch and grow self-employed businesses. Learn how she could help you at https://www.maggiekarshner.com/

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