Being an entrepreneur always looks glamorous from the outside. You get to work in your robe and get bathroom breaks as needed. There is no clock to punch and there is no boss holding you to deadlines that they deemed to fit to cover the work that they assigned to you. While that is seemingly attractive, there are a few things that are not seen from the surface that you should consider.
Roll out of bed when you feel like it.
Employees are given a handbook and a set of expectations when they decide to work for any employer. This is because the employer wants to ensure that they can lay out their expectations that allows them to maximize the time that they are paying you for. Well, when you work for yourself, the same applies. When you refuse to treat yourself like an employee with guidelines and rules, you’ll do yourself an injustice. Some easy ways to be that employee are:
- Set your working hours & show up on time
- Create a To-Do list of your daily task
- Take a lunch break at the same time daily
- Minimize distractions (social media, texting, etc.)
You can do several things at once, effectively.
There is a thought process that suggests that 80% complete is better than 0% complete. While this is true, it should not be applied to multitasking. You cannot effectively do two jobs at once without sacrificing time, attention, or with precision. When you divide your attention, you are destined to neglect something else. I’ve paid a lot of attention to how I manage my day and it takes me about 15 minutes to get back on track when I’ve run to another project to put a fire out. Multitasking is a myth.
Ride the wave of continual support from your friends & family.
This was a big one for me. I did not realize how quickly my friends & family would be “over” my journey. I don’t mean that in a disrespectful manner… but eventually, you blazing your own trail will soon be just a thing to them. If your sole motivation for doing this rest on your ability to please those closest to you, you’re in it for the wrong reasons. Support is great and confirming but with what’s ahead of you, you’ll need much more to sustain yourself.
Let’s face it, there are 1001 companies today that are pushing their trendy app or website builder to help you DIY your way to creating a sustainable and professional brand. What most people don’t take into consideration is the time that it takes to learn how to use these devices. They are often accompanied by another skill that you may or may not possess. In the time that you’ve used to finish doing this on your own, you could have paid a professional to create and really help you launch on the main stage.
Workout whenever & eat what makes you happy.
I have a FitBit that goes off every hour between 9a and 5p that reminds me to at least 250 steps before the hour is up. This is a great reminder for me to take a break and return to my work with a fresh mind and body. However, as entrepreneurs, we don’t get the constant motion that our former careers gave us. So make a plan to include exercise and eating right into your day.
Help? You don’t need help!
This was another big lesson for me. When I first began, I had a distinct focus on one service. As my client list began to grow, my time wore thin. Before long, my marketing suffered (because I only created marketing materials when business was slow) and my time was severely mismanaged. There are several networks of professionals out there that can offer support in various ways to help you maintain your goals. One big thing that keeps us from exploring help from individuals who’s journey is similar to ours is competition. There are millions upon millions of dollars out there and there is enough to go around. So after you’ve vetted someone that could be of help to you, create paperwork to protect you both and allow yourself to be helped. You don’t have to conquer the world today.
These are simple yet practical examples of the things I wished someone had told me before I ventured out. Even though being a full-time entrepreneur is not for everyone, it is worth it to explore it. The time I get to spend with my family is priceless now because I’ve earned it.