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. Self-employed people rely only on their own skills.
Discouraged yet? Don’t be. 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 Try to Do It All Yourself
Building a sustainable business requires that you leverage the talents and time of others. While it might seem cost-effective to simply do everything yourself—especially in the start-up phase when you likely have more time than money—it’s a path to burnout and stress.
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.
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
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.
- Have trusted contractors who can handle things when you’re not available
- Leverage automation tools such as autoresponders and autowebinar 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.
You may think about breaking away from your boring job and setting out to build your own business and become your own boss – but would the drastic change really make you happy in the long-term?
When you’re considering breaking away and finding happiness as an entrepreneur, there are some things to think about – the advantages and disadvantages in both.
One advantage of being your own boss is that you get to set your own hours and make decisions about what you’re going to work on at any given time. But, there will also be those times when you have to be the one to do all the work, both fun and boring.
The buck stops with you and the success of your business and personal future depends on how you handle the freedom that being an entrepreneur affords. When you work for an employer, you’re usually given a certain task or set of tasks as your responsibility. As an entrepreneur, you’ve got to know it all or be willing to learn.
Your income as an employee is predictable – you get a paycheck at certain times of the month. Even though you may have put yourself out much more and expended much more energy on a project, you still get the same amount on your paycheck.
You may also work during predictable hours and can enjoy your weekends and holidays as your own time. There may be health insurance involved – and today, that’s very important with the rising costs of health care and the major catastrophes which can occur. And, there’s the retirement account, although it’s likely worth much less in the scheme of things than it used to be.
When you’re an entrepreneur, you have the possibility of gaining a large amount of wealth from the work you do building your business. It’s much easier to get excited about the bottom line of your own business than one where your well-being is dictated by the “powers that be.” The energy of that can be tremendously empowering.
There’s no cap on how much you can make when you run your own business. If you have the ideas, the time and the know-how, you can chart your own destiny of success and take it as far as you want to.
While becoming an entrepreneur can be stressful and you’ll have to wear many hats (CEO, accountant, administrative assistant and CFO), you’ll love the challenges that each position brings – because it’s your own business.