Creative Genius Podcast

Season 5 Episode 3

Putting the Self in Self-Employed (Jeffrey Shaw)

Putting the Self in Self-Employed (Jeffrey Shaw)

Do you put as much work into yourself as you do your business? As a solopreneur or entrepreneur, you are your business. This means that your business can only grow if you grow with it.

In this podcast, Gail talks with solopreneur and business coach Jeffrey Shaw, author of The Self-Employed Life, host of the Self-Employed Life podcast, and founder of the Self-Employed Business Institute. Jeff had a highly successful photography studio for many years before adding “self-employment coach” to his resume.

Gail and Jeff started off their conversation by talking about how being self-employed is different from owning, operating or being employed in other types of businesses. Gail noted that to be successful as an entrepreneur you must be very grounded as an individual. Jeff concurred. “Personal development is a big part of my work for business success,” he said.

“Self-employed begins with the self,” said Jeff. The personal development process is the starting point for business growth. You need first to expand your capacity through personal development in order to be able to expand your business.

“What fundamental mindset shift do you need to make in order to grow?” That, said Jeff, is the key question he asks his clients to address. How is the way you currently look at the world not serving you any longer? That view may have served you well up until now, but it can hold you back from progressing further.

Another way self-employed individuals often hold themselves back is that they feel guilty about their success. They hit what he called the “deserving ceiling.” “You can’t expect more in success from your business if you haven’t stepped in fully to believing you deserve more,” he said.

Jeff went on to describe the three components of what he calls the “self-employed ecosystem”:

  • What goes on at home affects your work, and vice versa.
  • You can control the environment for the results you want.
  • The three main elements of a healthy ecosystem are personal development, business strategies (having a “right-sized” business), and daily habits and mindset (to maintain stability)

Toward the end of their conversation, Gail and Jeff had a discussion about pricing for services. He offered a rule of thumb that has worked well for him. For that insight and many others, listen to the entire podcast.

Mentioned in This Podcast

To learn more about Jeff, his services, his podcast, the Institute, and his books, visit his website at

Jeff’s two books are:

  • The Self-Employed Life: Business and Personal Development Strategies
  • That Create Sustainable Success and LINGO: Discover Your Ideal Customer’s Secret Language and Make Your Business Irresistible.

Both are available in bookstores and through online sellers.

Gail referred to a series of books by Steven Kotler, who studies and writes about neuroscience and the flow state.  For more information, visit his website at

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