Sitting in a Starbucks in the middle of Manhattan seemed the ideal setting to write this blog post and reflect on my first month of girl bossing and going full force into entrepreneur life. It’s been a busy month and I have learned A LOT and I know for certain their is more to come.
Before working for myself I had many misconceptions about what days looked like when you worked from home. Sleeping in, sipping coffee, chatting with clients, it all seems easy when you are viewing a mere snapshot through Instagram of fellow girl bosses who are working from home. I quickly realized while it would be nice if everyday looked like that it was absolutely NOT reality. I think a lot of us have misconceptions when it comes to being your own boss and working for yourself. Throughout the last month I can honestly say that I have learned something new everyday and have grown within myself and my business. As I have been reflecting over what the past month has looked like I realized that there are 5 main things I have learned and put into action since I took the leap.
1. Stick to a schedule
Now this one should be a no brainer, but as I mentioned above, I think it seems like people who work from home have allll day to do whatever they wish. The thing is, assuming that is not incorrect. Working for yourself does provide you with the freedom to do what you want, when you want and it is definitely a perk of the gig. However, for myself I realized that in order to be successful in my own life and business sticking to a schedule like I did when I worked the normal 9-5 was necessary. I try to wake up early most mornings (5:30-6:30am), workout or take a workout class, have some quiet time, and then get down to business. Some days are harder than others when I am sleepier than usual and know I can snooze my alarm, but I know I’ll start my day off on a better foot if I get up and tackle personal things I want to do and then dive into the work day after.
When you are working for someone else it’s easy to prioritize your daily tasks because you have someone laying out the guidelines for you of what needs to be completed. At first I struggled with this in my own business. Starting out there are 100 things on your to do list that you want to get done. You are the CEO, CFO, IT Department, Customer Service Department, and every other important role rolled into one. Point blank: you are juggling every aspect of your business yourself. I have to admit that within this first month of working for myself I have had times of feeling really overwhelmed as I would check one thing off my to do list and another 5 would be added. I started writing a list each night in my phone of things I need to tackle the next day FIRST before I did anything else. This helped give me structure the next day so I wasn’t trying to accomplish 10 tasks at once. Have a master to-do list that is more long term? My advice is to make a list and number the things on it from 1-10, etc. Number one being the most important and ten being the least. When I did this it helped to give me some clarity into what I should be doing first.
3. Do something for yourself
Whether you go to a workout class, catch up on your favorite show, take a bath, read a book – I find it so important to do something for yourself at least once a day. When you have your own business you are typically doing everything yourself, which can mean long hours and late nights. Taking 30 min to an hour each day to do something for myself has been huge for me this past month. I usually workout first thing when I wakeup, which helps me start my day on a positive note and I know no matter how crazy the day gets I’ve done something for myself and feel accomplished. Most days I spend about 10-30 minutes having quiet time, too. My quiet time usually involves my devotional and Bible but quiet time can be anything that helps you feel centered and grounded, like meditation, yoga, etc.
4. Share in your successes and failures
Like me, if you are working for yourself, you probably went from an office full of people at your 9-5 gig to a party of one. While my days are really busy, I find that it can sometimes get lonely when the only person you have to talk to is yourself most days (More of a reason to adopt a dog soon! Ahem, Travis). In an office environment it’s easy to share in company successes, failures, and daily tasks with your c0-workers, but even when you work for yourself it’s important to still share in those with the people in your life who support you. Besides doing a celebration dance alone when I figure out a solution to a problem or land a dream client, I try to share in my successes with my parents and Travis at the end of each day. When I am facing a problem I bounce ideas off of them too, they might offer a solution or bit of advice from a different perspective I couldn’t see.
5. You’re doing better than you think you’re doing
But really, it’s hard to see it when the work is your own and you have a lot invested, but most of the time you are doing a heck of a lot better than you will ever see. When I find myself getting down at the end of a long day and feel like I got nothing done I try to tell myself 2-3 positive things that I did get done that day. Did I have an issue with printing something? Yeah I sure did. But did the 3 hours I spent trying to fix it solve my issue? YES! Working for yourself is totally about celebrating the little victories each day. Some days are more challenging than others and my running to-do list is still growing, but when someone tells me they are proud of me it makes me take a step back and think of everything I’ve done in the past month. If you are working as hard as you can each day and not seeing the results you want yet, be patient. Great success does not happen overnight, but that doesn’t mean that the small strides you are taking each day aren’t beneficial or the stepping stones to get you where you want to be.
Running your own business is hard work, but boy is it so worth it! I’d love to hear what you do to stay on track and see success in your work! Whether you’re working for someone else’s company or working for yourself, what is the number one piece of advice you have for working and being successful each day?