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Nurturing Employee Appreciation in a Company of One: A Guide to Self-Recognition in Solo Consultancy

In the realm of business, especially in the realm of solo consultancy, it's easy to overlook one essential aspect: employee appreciation. It is 8 years since I started working for myself as a solo consultancy, I work with clients and bring in team members across creative, research and media to meet my clients needs. As my own boss, managing every aspect of my business, from delivery, client services and strategy to administrative tasks, it's crucial to acknowledge the hard work that is put in. However, amidst the hustle and bustle of running a one-person operation, self-appreciation often takes a backseat. In this blog, I @Sally Chuku explores strategies to foster a culture of appreciation within yourself, ensuring you don't succumb to burnout and remain resilient in the face of challenges.

Recognising the Struggle

Running a solo consultancy can be a relentless journey. There's always a client to attend to, a project to complete, and new business to pursue and not every task is renumerated. It's easy to fall into the trap of overworking yourself, feeling undervalued, constantly chasing perfection, and feeling disheartened by setbacks. However, acknowledging the struggle is the first step towards building a culture of self-appreciation.

According to a study conducted by Gallup, burnout among solo-preneurs is a prevalent issue, with 45% reporting feeling stressed frequently. This highlights the importance of recognising the signs of burnout and taking proactive measures to prevent it.

Embracing Self-Appreciation

Celebrate Small Wins: In a solo consultancy, every achievement, no matter how small, is worthy of celebration. Whether it's completing a project ahead of schedule, receiving positive feedback from a client, or acquiring a new skill, take the time to acknowledge and celebrate these victories.

Set Boundaries: It's easy to blur the lines between work and personal life when you're your own boss. Establishing clear boundaries and allocating time for self-care is essential for maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

According to a survey by the Harvard Business Review, 94% of professionals reported working more than 50 hours per week, emphasising the need for boundary-setting.

Practice Self-Compassion: Be kind to yourself, especially during challenging times. Understand that setbacks and failures are inevitable in business but don't let them define your worth.

Research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests that self-compassion leads to greater resilience and psychological well-being.

Reflect and Reframe: Take time to reflect on your accomplishments and challenges regularly. Set aside time to have a plan and targets, chuck your goals, create a journal, connect with likeminded solo-preneaurs and share your stories or engaging in mindfulness practices can help you gain perspective and reframe negative thoughts to set a way forward.

According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, reflective practices promote self-awareness and emotional regulation.

Prioritising Mental Health:

Listen to Your Intuition: Trust your instincts when it comes to taking on new clients or projects. If something doesn't feel right, don't hesitate to decline or renegotiate terms. Prioritising your mental health and well-being is paramount in sustaining long-term success.

Seek Support: Don't hesitate to seek support from mentors, peers, or mental health professionals when needed. Running a solo consultancy can be isolating at times, but connecting with others who understand your journey can provide invaluable support and perspective.

Invest in Self-Care: Incorporate self-care practices into your daily routine, whether it's exercise, meditation, or spending time with loved ones.

Research published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology suggests that self-care practices buffer against the negative effects of stress and improve overall well-being.

Never stop learning:

Personal Growth: Engaging in learning and training opportunities allows you to expand your knowledge, skills, and expertise. In the 8 years I have worked for myself I have completed numerous paid for and free training course including 42 Courses training across aspect of digital marketing, behavioural science, Small Business Britain training on sustainable business, a post graduate masters level qualification in teaching, and Mark Pollards Strategy Summer Camp. As you acquire new competencies you build confidence in your abilities.

Accomplishment: Completing a course, gaining a certification, or mastering a new skill provides a tangible sense of accomplishment. Recognising your progress and achievements enhances self-esteem and reinforces the value you bring to your business and clients.

Adaptability: Continuous learning is essential for staying relevant and competitive. Embracing lifelong learning demonstrates your commitment to personal and professional growth, fostering a sense of pride and satisfaction in your ability to adapt and thrive in dynamic environments.

Self-Reflection: Engaging in learning and training encourages self-reflection and introspection. As you assess your strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement, you develop a deeper understanding of yourself and your capabilities. This self-awareness is essential for cultivating self-appreciation and recognising your unique strengths and contributions.

By embracing opportunities for learning and investing in your continuous growth, you not only enhance your skills and expertise but also deepen your appreciation for yourself and the value you bring to your business and clients.


In the world of solo consultancy, I have found that building a culture of self-appreciation is essential for long-term happiness, success and well-being. By celebrating every day that you are doing your own thing, acknowledging small wins, setting boundaries, practicing self-compassion, investing in learning and prioritising mental health, you can nurture a positive relationship with yourself and thrive in your solo business journey.

My last thought would be that to remember, you are your most valuable asset, and investing in self-appreciation is key to unlocking your full potential.

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