It’s been said that entrepreneurs are the only people who will work 14 hours a day so that they don’t have to work 9-5. There’s something uniquely wired in an entrepreneur that just has to be creating something. For some, the idea that things are already built or steady is a sign that it’s time to go do something else. It's not for the faint of heart.
Starting your own business or being self-employed is a major commitment. These people sometimes risk everything to make their ideas a reality. Even in a setting where being self-employed isn’t taking a huge financial commitment from someone, it’s still, in the eyes of many, an altogether unconventional or downright scary way to live and work.
If you’re self-employed, you’re on our list of favorite people. How lucky for you.
Here are some things we’ve discovered along the way as you manage the life of an entrepreneur:
Without focus, you’ll probably wash your car in the middle of a work day a bit too often. Without focus, you’ll probably take too many trips to the refrigerator in an hour. Without focus, you’ll probably find yourself on the receiving end of one-too-many invitations to a casual chat over coffee with a friend. Just because you work from home or a coffee shop, that doesn’t mean that all your friends, neighbors, and relatives should feel they have unrestricted access to you. Make sure your mom knows she can’t call you during the workday to talk about the latest person who got sick from church group. Make sure your clients or customers feel like they’re not competing for your attention with your chihuahua. Make sure you’re taking time for breaks without taking too much time away from productivity and performance.
Lest you think it’s all about focus and commitment, we have discovered the benefits and value in being flexible with our time. We break away for a coffee break or take a long lunch once in a while. We enjoy a sunny day and make up the time later. If we don’t, we quickly fall into the mindset that says that every minute we’re not working, we’re losing money. This gets tough when you work where you live and when the entire success of the business sits on your shoulders. You have to clock out sometimes. That’s why we say that it’s also about flexibility. Take advantage of the opportunities that your job affords. Some people do their best work in the evenings or early mornings. Some people need to be available for school drop off and pick ups or for chaperoning their 4th grader’s trip to the zoo. By letting there be some liquidity to your day and your schedule, it will help you feel like you “come up for air” enough to not snuff out the creativity that makes you good at the self-employed life.
Spend More Time on Your Brand
Being intentional in the work you do, the schedule you set, and the “culture” you create for your business will make it possible to build something that is bigger than you. Take practical steps to build out a workspace that feels like you and makes it conducive to your productivity and creativity. Spend time investing in your brand, your language and presentation, your space, your technology and equipment, your network of colleagues, mentors, and partners, and be intentional about building your support system of software and tools. The more you do this, the more you’ll find yourself willing to put the time and commit into the work in front of you. It’s when people are unwilling to make that investment of time, energy, and resources that they risk becoming unmotivated, unfocused, and rigid in their workday.
The more you can build sustainability in your work/life balance, the more you'll make your work-from-home environment something that really works for you. We invite you to partner with us. We care about helping your business succeed because we believe that the entrepreneurial life is challenging road worth walking.