Taxes & business banking for the self-employed


Self Employment and Freelance in 2020: Endurance is the key

Kate Bailey

Freelance Editor

Dec 15, 2020

As we close out the year, it is of course so tough to look back with much fondness, especially those of us who are self-employed and freelancers. It is a year of exceptional loss. With exceptional loss comes also exceptional lessons, ideas we take forward as we try to edge ourselves closer to being at the end of the tunnel, basking in the light.

Many of you are self-employed and freelancing and we want to share today some ideas around endurance, perseverance and on keeping on trucking with your business.

We thought when the first lockdown hit it would be bad, but we did not know we would have a second that actually escalated with each passing week. Endurance is the ability of an organism to exert itself and remain active for a long period of time, as well as its ability to resist, withstand, recover from, and have immunity to trauma, wounds, or fatigue.

It is usually used in aerobic or anaerobic exercise but in 2020 - it is used to describe a quality we all must have to make it to the end. Perseverance is the ability to keep doing something in spite of obstacles. People who persevere show steadfastness in doing something despite how hard it is or how long it takes to reach the goal.

And lastly, to ‘’keep on trucking’’ is of course the Western/Anglo colloquialism that suggests ‘’continuing to do something that is ordinary and boring.’’ Frankly, if you were reading this and thinking, I do not need to hear this again - well, I understand you. But it is worth knowing what goes into this because frankly, again, there is no way out. There is no shortcut and we are all in the same boat. It’s almost the same as having to pay your VAT every month. There is only one way to do it properly even if it sucks.

On ‘’Staying Strong’’

On the one hand, it is an enormously positively charged term, on the other hand, the collective term conceals numerous individual properties that only make up this inner spiritual power in interaction. For example, mentally strong people are characterized by the fact that they:

  • are able to focus on your goal even in difficult situations .
  • See setbacks as lessons.
  • have a high tolerance for frustration .
  • Pair adversity with strength of will.

In short, these people have a healthy mix of discipline, self-confidence, and realistic optimism. Mental strength is therefore an essential key factor for personal success, but also to better master life itself.

Good Things to Practice as a Freelancer or Self-Employed Person

You can judge rationally.

And not only hours later, but in the situation itself you are able to reflect on your feelings and evaluate them with your mind. This not only ensures emotional stability, but also impulse control.

You know your fears.

And consciously meet them. That doesn't mean you're less afraid, but this is less of a blockage. This makes it easier for you to name triggers and turn unfounded worries into what they are: unfounded worries.

You must not want to please everyone.

There is a difference between treating one's fellow human beings with respect and kindness, or always trying to please others so as not to offend anywhere. Mental strength is also shown by being able to say no and, if necessary, deal with upsetting someone else.

You can be alone sometimes.

Those who are alone are automatically more concerned with their own feelings and thoughts. Mentally strong personalities have no problems with this, they do not depend on being entertained or distracted by others, but can also be happy with themselves. Or to put it another way: Without self-love, mental strength is impossible.

You sharpen your talents.

Instead of putting them on display. Because often there is uncertainty behind the latter. Some try to have others confirm what they can and do. Mentally strong people, however, are confident of themselves and intrinsically motivated to constantly develop themselves further.

You stand by your weaknesses.

And don't try to hide them (which would be nonsense). Everyone has weaknesses, no reason to be ashamed of them. But mental strength deals with it differently: Either by working openly on it - or by surrounding yourself with people who compensate for these weaknesses. Behind this is what scientists call healthy self-acceptance .

You live your values.

And also feel comfortable with it. That means: You can easily make decisions that correspond to your values. Do not be unsettled and can come to terms with the possible consequences. In other words, you are authentic .

Your self-esteem is based on who you are.

And not on what you have achieved or lost. This makes you less susceptible to self-doubt and saves you and your self-esteem from over-imagining what you have achieved and forgetting to help you.

They practice gratitude.

At first glance, some may wonder what gratitude has to do with mental strength. A lot! A grateful attitude not only makes you healthier and happier, it is also a key to more self-control and lets us forego short-term gratuities in favor of long-term goals. And that's a sign of mental strength.

You learn from mistakes.

The majority claims that for themselves. But just watch yourself and how you deal with mishaps or defeats: Is your first impulse to look for excuses and explanations? Or are you trying to identify opportunities in being more successful in the future?

You take responsibility.

For each of your own decisions. Quite a few people complain about their current unsatisfactory situation - because it is more convenient than doing something about it. On the other hand, people with mental strength accept what cannot be changed or change what they do not want to accept. Both are a decision - and you take full responsibility for both. Just like for her life.

You see yourself as part of the solution.

And not as part of the problem. The point is closely related to the previous one. But it goes beyond that: Out of circumstances - no matter how adverse - mentally strong people do something. Or as the bon mot sums it up so nicely: If you want something, you will find ways; Who does not want something, finds reasons.

You enjoy the success of others.

Mentally weak people see life as a zero-sum game: if one wins, someone else has to lose - if in doubt, they themselves. Envy , bitterness and jealousy are their primary feelings when others are more successful than they are. But intellectual strength and greatness of character prove who is happy for and with others (and can laugh at himself). Such a person is also internally free.

Last we want to offer some more practical advice for your Christmas break and we remind you of your options for government support, just in case you were not aware of them:

  • November Aid - Started on November 25th, 2020
  • Bridging Aid II - Started on October 21, 2020
  • Emergency Aid V - Grant for SMEs

So, these are the reminders we should take with us into the new year as we wait out this storm. We hope that gives you something to reflect on and lean into.

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