Leena, a dietitian, shares her recipe for financial well-being
Leena didn’t intend on becoming a sole trader – it just sort of happened. But 10 years of self-employment has proven the choice was right. Of course, there have been struggles. There always are. But in the end, the self-employed lifestyle supports her well-being.
Leena Putkonen has been running her own business for 10 years now. But originally the registered dietitian stumbled onto this path by chance.
“I didn’t mean to become a sole trader,” Leena laughs. She was in a stable job when a private health centre called asking her to work freelance. She accepted, and after doing the work realised she needed an official name to put on her invoice – to stay ready for tax time. And so, Leena’s journey into self-employment began.
For a long time, Leena didn’t identify as a sole trader. She kept her full-time job in the public sector until the strain of handling two roles at once became too much. Between full-time employment and freelancing, her own well-being began to suffer. It was time to make a choice.
Well… maybe once. ‘I thought there were two options: burn out at work or go solo. I chose the latter.’ And she never looked back.
Leena trusts her instincts and works in harmony with her ideals
‘When an idea starts to feel more and more appealing, it’s usually a sign that it’s worth exploring.’
When it comes to work life, Leena has followed her own advice unwaveringly. Over the years, she’s found that good things happen when she trusts her instincts and lets her ideals inform her choices.
‘I’ve always been interested in food and cooking. The health aspect has come in later, and it only adds depth and interest. I feel dietitians have this miraculous potential to help people, promote healthy habits, and even cure certain ailments through diet.’
In her work, Leena approaches the topic of well-being from different angles – from nutrition and leading a healthy lifestyle, to exploring our connection with the natural world. She’s also trained as a nature guide, yet another calling Leena felt compelled to answer.
So how does Leena see her role evolving?
‘It’s hard to imagine that I could have such a varied role as an employee. In the future, I’d like to offer more nature services and strengthen my connection to the outdoors, instead of just sitting in my home office all day.’
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‘Even in labours of love, you can still get worn out.’
As a registered dietitian going it alone, Leena is now in her dream profession. But she knows that working on her own has its downsides.
‘Even in labours of love, you can still get worn out – especially when working alone. The challenge is that no one limits or schedules the work. It can really get out of hand.’
Leena has learned from practice just how and when to say no. She avoided this at the start, too excited by the chance to work on something she genuinely cared about. But over time Leena came to appreciate the value in scheduling a manageable workload.
‘I’ve had quite a few challenges in self-employment, and finding a balance was one of them. Training as a nature guide felt like a gap year. I got distance and rest, and time to think about what came next.’
Leena found the freedom to choose her own path
Leena feels that despite an increasing workload – which stems solely from her own drive and professional dedication – self-employment has improved her well-being. She names freedom as a main benefit. She now feels freer than ever to choose the life she wants, opportunity by opportunity.
‘Self-employment brings a whole new level of responsibility. But at the same time, it brings control. For once, I have a feeling that my life is in my hands. I’m free to choose my own opportunities, to make plans that suit me.’
Leena can decide both what she works on and where this happens. In this way, she’s continually moving towards total well-being at work.
‘So many times, I’ve rejoiced in my newfound flexibility. When I like, I can schedule my workload around extended vacations, as opposed to always planning trips around someone else’s calendar.’
Financial well-being didn’t come naturally to Leena. She had to nurture it
This feeling of control extends to the financial side of Leena’s business. It’s important to know exactly where you stand financially and keep a clear oversight of cash flow. Especially at the start, Leena felt out of her depth when it came to business finances.
‘It made me anxious. I kept saying, “I’ll do this later.” Trust me, this is a disaster. Things pile up and suddenly even the smallest tasks seem too big to handle. It’s important to stay on top of things daily. This is where Holvi saves the day.’
Balance achieved, Leena’s now focusing on the ins and outs of business finance
Since joining Holvi, the financial side of Leena’s business has been smooth and stressless. Now she can carry out her work as a dietitian and nature guide, promoting wellness. At the same time, she can easily invoice clients, manage income and expenses, track cash flow and get ready for tax time. With Holvi, Leena has finally achieved a balance – and found financial well-being.
‘Holvi has been one of the most important factors in following cash flow in an easy, visual way – in real time! In the future, I also want to learn about my business finances more in depth. All the information is there at my fingertips. Now it’s time to explore it in Holvi and find insights.’
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