The entrepreneur dream is to work for themselves, be their own boss and work with amazing clients on projects we love. If you are an entrepreneur you know that this is not easily done. Being an entrepreneur is more than just being your own boss it is dealing with difficult customers and working on projects that are not always your favorite.
There is a huge difference between building a business and being self-employed. Business owners scale their income and business. Self-employed people trade dollars for hours. Business owners leverage the skills and talents of others whether that is virtually or with a hired staff. Self-employed people rely only on their own skills.
But don’t get discouraged. Every business owner started out self-employed. Just don’t stay there. These tips will help you build a sustainable business instead of just another job.
Don’t Do It Alone
It is more cost effective to simply do everything yourself when running a business. But wearing all the hats (sales rep, customer service, accounting, social media management and much more) can lead to burnout and cost you more time and money in the long run. Building a sustainable business requires that you leverage the talents and time of others.
Instead, separate your tasks into those that you love and are especially suited for (such as marketing or sales) and those you dislike and aren’t good at (like accounting or website development). Then make a solid plan to get those that you aren’t good at off your list of things to do. If you feel like you can’t afford to outsource it all right now, start with what you tend to procrastinate the most on, even if it’s just a few hours each month. For example, writing blog posts. You can find guest bloggers to assist with creating content for little as $15-$25 per post. You can also find virtual assistance on sites like Fiverr, Upwork, and Guru.
Don’t Yourself to Burnout
There is always work to do. As a mother, full-time employee or other roles, you may have throughout the day your work is never completely done. Once you have checked off your tasks you have another set of tasks waiting for you. This is especially hard for someone like me that always works from home. The trouble with working at home is that you live at work. And that means that there’s no clear line in the sand between your work day and your home life.
Since there’s always work to do, it’s easy to find yourself working every available moment—often to the detriment of your family relationships.
You can help avoid this by:
- Setting—and maintaining—clear work hours
- Having an office with a door you can close when you’re done
- Scheduling time for family and other activities
- Taking time for yourself
Don’t create a business that requires you to be “in the office” every day. At the start, you may need to be available more, but you should definitely be planning for the day when you can be “off the grid” for extended periods of time. Remember the benefit of working for yourself was to generate income from a talent or skill you loved. Not to create more busy work that you hate doing it.
- Outsource to those that can handle things when you’re not available
- Leverage automation tools such as autoresponders and auto-webinar systems
- Create repeatable systems so you’re not always re-inventing the wheel
- Simply shut things down
While you might not be able to function with no internet access for weeks at a time, at the very least you should be able to reduce your workload to a daily check-in. Create office hours for yourself so that you are not going from your 9-5 to your business tasks right away. Give yourself a break and a chance to catch your breath. Also, if you are a service-based business you need to train your clients to work within your office hours. If not, you will find yourself on the phone or answering emails late at night when you could be resting.
Sound impossible? It’s not. With some forethought and planning, you can create boundaries, a team—and the systems they need—to successfully run your business without becoming overwhelmed and overworked.