Each year I have to file our tax forms for the government. My husband works for a company, so his part of the forms are not hard. I am self-employed, my part of the forms requires a lot of record keeping on the farm vehicles, equipment and sheep.
Being diligent in record keeping is one aspect of being self-employed. There are other activities I do being self-employed.
One lesson is to have a schedule. I schedule when to breed the sheep, by determining when I want them to lamb. With careful planning of lambing dates, I insure my ewes lamb three times in two years. More lambs means more profit. Scheduling also includes the deworming, vaccination and hoof trimming, as a healthy sheep is a happy sheep. Happy sheep have happy lambs.
My schedule includes when to do maintenance on equipment, sheds, fences, cleaning barns and other activities to keep the farm running smoothly.
All work is not good for any working person. I learned to schedule time for myself to do something other than sheep. I will always have to feed and water the sheep, and check ewes who are due to lamb. But one day a week, I do something to relax, destress and think about something other than sheep. Coming back refreshed with a more productive mind. Unwinding the mind helps to increase my productiveness.
One important tool for scheduling is an alarm clock. Being self-employed does not mean I can sleep late, or get up when I like. Self-employed means I work for myself. I should treat myself as I would anyone I work for by showing up to work on time, putting forth my best effort during the day, just as I would for someone I worked for. My boss, who is myself, deserves to have a good employee they can count on to do the jobs necessary for my business to prosper.
Self-employment has caused me to have personal growth and more discipline in myself. Being self-employed my confidence has grown more than it ever did working for someone else. The bottom line of making a profit or losing money rests on my decisions and actions.
At first it was overwhelming at times learning to be a sheep farmer, making mistakes that cost money. I really struggled. But as I learned to schedule activities and treat myself as my employer, my sheep farm is growing and prospering, as well as myself.
I have people tell me they could never be self-employed as they do not have the discipline to get up early and do the work everyday. Having someone to be accountable to is what motivates them. Perhaps, being self-employed would motivate them to self growth in being accountable to themselves.
Hope you are learning that raising sheep is not just about the sheep, but about yourself as well. What growth have you seen in yourself? Where are you improving as a person?
Along with checking on how well the business side of sheep farming is doing, a person needs to check on how they are improving as a person as well.