growing as an entrepreneur while working for someone else
Entrepreneurship is booming right now. Lots of people want to be their own boss or own their own company and I am all for it. If you (yourself) have created a product or service that you put your time and energy into and believe it will help the world, I am so on board with you. But let's face it, most of us can't quit our day jobs to work at our dreams full-time. That's just not how it always works. If you have, congratulations to you! The rest of us are trying to get there!
I have never thought of myself as a business woman. I've just always had side hobbies that were able to generate a few pennies here and there (as well as lose some). However, since self-publishing my books, I realized I needed to kick it up a few gears, and before I publish my next one, I really need to grow my audience. I am not a successful entrepreneur. Seriously. I don't even have a large "following" on social media either. So I'm not here to give you the keys to successful entrepreneurship. I just want to give you seven tips on what has helped me balance my day job and my business without going crazy. Because it will drive you crazy.
here we go.
1. cut out the negative
Really, cut it out. If you are balancing a full-time job (some of us two or more jobs) AND trying to run a business, you really have no time to be involved in negative issues if you can help it. Negativity brings you down emotionally and physically. It will make you tired. It wears on you. Think about all the time we spend worrying about something out of our control. Too much right? If someone is bringing negativity into your space and you don't have the time for it, remove yourself. No excuses needed. Another thing to cut out is celebrity news and mindless drama that has nothing to do with you. I can't tell you how much time I have saved since unfollowing all celebrities or people on social media who don't influence me in a positive way. Because we all know how it goes - you click one thing, read up on it, then follow the next link, then the next video, and the next, and all of a sudden you've spent three hours reading gossip that has absolutely nothing to do with you and somehow found your way onto amazon buying a bop-it. WHAT?! It's not worth your time. Is Drake paying your bills? I didn't think so. Stop worrying about what he's doing with his life.
2. keep relationships healthy
This tip is slept on. Since outside relationships don't typically have much to do with your business OR your day job, people don't think about how much this contributes. But it does - A LOT. When your home relationships, family relationships, and friendships are unhealthy, your heart hurts, your emotions are constantly ebbing and flowing, and your mind will not be able to compartmentalize your feelings while at work. In turn, your craft will often lack depth in more areas than one. Like we talked about in tip one, you just don't have the time to fret over the negative. This DOES NOT mean ignore the bad. It means fix it. Work at it. Or leave it. Some friendships may not be growing at the rate you need them to be. It is okay to love someone from a distance! Put your time and energy and heart into the ones that are most important to you. Keep them healthy. Water them and they will water you. This growth will be reflected in your work.
3. make the space and time to work on your craft a priority
This! It is easy to put your business to the side because it might not be generating much income, or it may be in the beginning stages and off to a shaky start. (Or you might have no clue what you are doing). Don't let that stop you from making it a priority! Your friends and family may not understand how much it means to you. Show them! If you had planned to spend the entire weekend working on your business and a friend asks you to hang out, guess what. You should decline. Treat your business like your day job, if not better. You can't (shouldn't) just call in when a friend wants to hang. Clock in the same way you do as if you were getting paid the same amount you would at your day job.
Having a space to work on your craft is also helpful. I just picked up a free desk from a curbside (in awesome shape btw) and have been loving it! It makes me feel like I am "at work," which makes me motivated to get work done. Whether it's a desk, an office, or a table at Starbucks, create a space for yourself where you feel comfortable to work hard and let your creativity flow.
4. work hard and remain positive at your day job
I know this is hard to do some days. If you are really wanting to be your own boss, it's hard to work for someone else, especially if it's not in a field you're particularly passionate about. Work hard anyway. There will be days where your own business is going to frustrate you. You're going to need to show up and work hard anyway. Be positive in your work. Keep work relationships healthy. Don't overextend yourself, but offer to provide extra help when it's doable. Building healthy work relationships and having a positive work ethic will shape you into a better entrepreneur when you're ready to break free from your day job. All experiences are growth experiences.
5. have a vision, clear goals, and a schedule to meet those goals
Can I get an amen? There is nothing more important than knowing where you are going with your business. What is your vision? What are your short term goals? Long term goals? What are the strategies you're using to reach them? All of these questions need answers. And these answers should be clear. BUT that doesn't mean they need to be definite. As much as i love using pen, I write my goals and strategies in pencil (hubby taught me that). This way I don't need to feel restricted to them. If I decide somethin I'm doing isn't working, I can erase it and write out a new strategy. I have a schedule that I try to stick to. It keeps me accountable in getting work done. I make lists and cross items off when completed. Is that old school? Idk but it helps me!
6. prayer, mindfulness, gratitude, praise
Now this is huge for all aspects of my life. Because of my faith, these things are important to me. If your faith life or spiritual life differs from mine, these can still be put into practice. I won't dive into each specifically but prayer, mindfulness, gratitude, and praise all minimize myself. Wait, what? Why would I want to do that? Well, it helps me recognize something bigger than I - God, the world around me, and to what and Whom I owe my gratitude and praise. When I recognize things outside of myself, I take pressure off of myself. I realize just how little I actually am in this world, and although yes, I want to make a difference and believe that I can, there is also a sense of freedom in recognizing that I am one of many, I am not in charge of everything, I have been given unique abilities and blessings, and not everything I have is of myself. This is reflected in the way I work on my craft, work at my day job, and live out my daily life. I hope you'll see that too.
7. make time to do things that you love
This is probably THE most important for your sanity. As entrepreneurs, we tend to feel the pull to *que rihanna* work work work work work ...and never take the time to just enjoy life. To just be. It is so important to slow it down every once in awhile. This allows you to rest your mind, sharpen your tool, and come back with energy, vision, new ideas, and a happy spirit. Ask yourself what brings you joy, what makes you feel less stressed, what relaxes you? Maybe it's baking, or you want to take on a weekly yoga class, maybe a life group, a trip to the library or taking up an art or craft. Planning something with a friend or simply planning to stay home and just sit on the couch with a pint of ice cream on a hot summer day. Whatever it is, MAKE the time to do it. Because it won't just come to you.
If you are reading this, you've already got the desire needed to make it work. You can do it!
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