Lessons from a full time entrepreneur
Whether you are an entrepreneur or thinking of starting your own business, here are some tips that I wished someone would have shared with me when I started my full time practice.
Who You Work with Has a Huge Effect on Your Happiness
And one of the best parts of working for yourself is you can choose who to work with (and who not to work with). I used to feel guilty about passing on projects simply because the person I’d have to work with stressed me out, but then I realized: the whole point of working for myself is to NOT be stressed out. Find ways to work with great people, and pass on everything else. You’ll be so much happier that way.
Saying No is More Important than Saying Yes
The smartest entrepreneurs and writers know they can’t execute all their ideas. Because we have SO many ideas, right? That’s why we’re good at what we do!But what separates the good from the great is being able to capture those ideas without acting on every one. Instead, choose the ideas (and clients and projects) that will most help you get where you want to be, and focus there. If you try to execute everything, you’ll end up doing nothing well.
Sometimes You Have to Focus on What Pays
Sure, you’re in a lifestyle business to do work you enjoy, but you still have to pay the bills. You’ll never find work freedom if you don’t make enough money to support your lifestyle. So when you’re bombarded with requests to write guest posts (for free), ask yourself whether that work will truly pay dividends. Sometimes the payment will be in web traffic or personal connections, but other times you’ll need to bring in actual bucks. Don’t feel guilty about this. To succeed as a business and create the life you want, you have to make money.
Going After Clients isn’t Always the Best Way to Land New Business
Here’s what has worked better in my world: helping clients find me.How do you do that? The easiest way is via an online presence.
If You Want Time Off, You Have to Make It a Priority
No one will make time off for you. This applies to most traditional jobs, but even more so to entrepreneurship. If I want a weekend to relax or hang out with family, I have to block off those days as non-work time — and stick to it.And guess what? If you don’t answer emails for a weekend or avoid non-emergency correspondence after 7 p.m., the world will not end. Your business will still thrive — perhaps more so, because having time off will help you enjoy work more when you do sit down at your computer.
Most of Us Feel Fulfilled When We’re Learning and Growing
Years ago, I thought I’d be in marketing forever. And I still am, in a way — that experience and knowledge will forever affect how I communicate and get clients. But surprisingly, I can be happy doing something other than marketing! I feel abit nostalgicat times, but I’m so excited about the projects that I’m working on — and so enjoying learning along the way — that I don’t miss what I thought was my professional life-calling. I feel totally fulfilled, satisfied and happy with my work.And so I ask you: if you’re NOT feeling happy and fulfilled with your work, how can you introduce more learning into your life?
Outsourcing Isn’t Just for Big Shots
Hiring other professionals to help you (creative designers, financial advisers or coaches) or finding strategic partnerships is the best thing I’ve done for my business.
Sometimes You Have to Spend Money to Make Money
Newbie entrepreneurs tend to be wary of this adage — either that, or they go overboard, putting way too much money into their business upfront. You really don’t need a huge investment to start your own side hustle or full-time business, but sometimes it’s worth spending some money.For example: I quickly learned my brochures would make a better impact if they were professionally designed, since that’s potential clients’ first impression ofthe services I offer. I paid $400 to a creative designer, and earned that investment back quickly. Go ahead and be lean, but not too lean.
An Email List is Invaluable
Blog subscribers are great, but email subscribers are better. Why? Because you can go to them rather than waiting for them to come to you.Now that I havea newsletter, my list is growing fast, which results in more blog traffic and more clients. If you’re starting a blog or a business, start collecting emails as soon as possible.
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Life, The Coach Shiri way.
Shiri Gabriel, Career Consultant and Life Coach