Many people dream of working for themselves, being their own boss, and having the freedom to only take on clients and projects they love. What they don’t realize, though, is that there is a huge difference between building a business and being self-employed. Business owners scale their income. Self-employed people trade dollars for hours. Business owners leverage the skills and talents of others, however, people that are self-employed rely mostly on their own skills. Discouraged yet? Don’t be. Every business owner started out self-employed, the trick is to not allow yourself to stay there. These tips will help you build a sustainable business instead of just another job.
Don’t Try to Do It All Yourself
If you want to build a sustainable business you need to leverage the talents and time of others. When you’re first start out, it is very tempting to try and do everything for yourself so that you save money—especially when you’re in the start-up phase when you likely have more time than money. This can cause you to become burnt out and really stressed.
Instead, separate your tasks into those that you love and are especially suited for (such as marketing) and those you dislike and aren’t good at. 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.
Don’t Allow Yourself to Work All the Time
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.
Now there will be a lot of work to be done and it’s very easy for you to become dead set on working 24/7 which can really put a strain on your relationships and family life.
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
Vacations and Downtime Are Important
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.
- Make sure that you contract or outsource work + hire a VA to take care of tasks when you’re not available
- Leverage automation tools such as an auto-responder and auto-webinar systems
- Create repeatable systems so you’re not always re-inventing the wheel
While you might not be able to hit the road 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.
Sound impossible? It’s not. With some forethought and planning, you can create a team—and the systems they need—to successfully run your business without becoming overwhelmed and overworked.