Entrepreneurship is no walk in the park. There are uncertainties, hardships, and long hours. But most entrepreneurs believe the benefits far outweigh the costs. Perhaps the most cited reason for taking the plunge into entrepreneurship: the ability to be your own boss.
Working for yourself comes with plenty of benefits, one of which is working without having a boss breathing down your neck and stressing you out. However, what many people who go into business for themselves don’t realize is that without a boss nagging them it’s hard to stay focused and do the work that must be done.
Here are a few ideas and tips to help you remain focused and grow your own business:
Learn to say no – Just because you are your own boss does not mean you are instantly accessible for others.
Always charge for your services – Never pimp away your own services for in order to get exposure. Stay strong on this point. Remember, you have worked hard to acquire skills and expertise. Charge for them.
Trust and listen to your little voice – There is a reason people say this. There are neurotransmitters that fire from our brain to our gut and vice-versa. Some of those transmitters are triggered in the stomach first. You literally feel something in your gut before your brain processes it about one second later.
Remember to give yourself a break – It is important that you take time off to rejuvenate your body and mind. Take a weekend, or a random Wednesday, and do something nice for yourself. If you don’t build in time off, it will never happen. Ever. And you will burn out.
Give yourself a raise or bonus – As an employee you will receive praise, be told you can leave early, or given a day off. As your own boss it is important to treat yourself in the same way.
Create a work schedule – Working for yourself allows you to have the luxury to set whatever type of schedule you like. However, once you set your schedule you should stick to it and avoid the temptation to start work late or stop working early.
Spend your cash on essential items – When you start working for yourself, it’s very easy to start thinking you need this and that, in order to really get going. The reality is that you rarely need as much money or material items as you think you do.
Don’t forget about social interaction – Burying yourself in your work for days without leaving your home or office for some downtime with friend and family is not healthy. Arrange a dinner with friends or even an outing to allow your mind to relax. Organize people who you like, and share some food with them. Drink some wine or tea. Laugh out loud. It does wonders for the soul, and sometimes even your business.
View your work as a career, not a hobby – If you love what you do, you will probably being doing it for many years and decades. Vie your work a s career. One that will serve many people. Be patient with yourself, but also realize your obligation to take it seriously.
Recognize your own problems and pitfalls – One of the easiest ways to make money is to solve people’s problems. Problems aren’t just a great area to find a market, but they also help you create one.
Identify the tasks that will grow your business – As early in your own business life as possible, define the most important things you can accomplish each day and give them utmost priority.
Set you goals and objectives – Make a list of goals to accomplish each day and once you get in the habit of meeting each goal every work day, you should find ways to add new goals and accomplishments to your daily work load. You should also have long-term goals, not only for your business but for your own career.
Create and build your own family tree – Find one person you admire professionally. Become obsessed with that person. Read everything you can about them. Find people that had the most influence on their life and then learn everything you can about those three people. If you take time to learn about others, you will succeed. It is about putting in the work. So many people simply don’t want to do this.
Get rid of all distractions – If you work from home you should consider setting up a work-only space and keeping it free of time wasters. If you can afford to do so, consider renting some office space to work in or set up a store front for your business.
Exercise the idea side of your brain – Write down your ideas every day – good and bad. Coming up with ideas will grow your business. The ideas can be about anything. All you need is to flex the idea side of the brain.
Always dress for success – Treat each work day like normal and do all of the things you would normally do before commuting to a job. Depending on your line of work you may not need to wear full business attire, but even jeans and a T-shirt will make you feel ready to work more than wearing your pajamas.
Share you experience and success with others – Be proud of the work you do. Even you don’t like talking about yourself, you need to celebrate our successes. It is what makes the sacrifice worthwhile.
Find a partner – don’t be afraid to turn your solo act into a duet. By adding another person to your business you have someone else to help take on tasks and to help keep you on task. You will find you work harder when you have someone else that is relying on you.
Consider continuing with your education – You might be skilled in a particular field but that doesn’t necessarily make you good at running your own company in that field. Consider going back to school o help you learn about good business practices and the basics of entrepreneurship.