Being your own boss seems like the thing that everyone dreams to be able to do one day.
But it’s not always as glamorous as it seems. In fact a lot of people quit and go back to having a job within a year. And they don’t really know of all the factors that determine if you are going to be successful or not.
I have not realised them myself either until a year into the business already. The reason I am sharing them with you is to help you be prepared and have an action plan in place as these things will affect your ability to perform and succeed as an entrepreneur.
When you are planning and consistently addressing these things you will not only be a much more healthy, happy person, but your chances to succeed will skyrocket!
So, here are the 9 things you need to pay attention to and have strategies in place if you really want to make it as an entrepreneur.
#1 – Morning routine
It might sound obvious, but actually this is a real struggle for most women who also have children and try running their business at the same time.
Now, when you know you have some place to go, you set the alarm, you wake up 2 hours ahead of everyone else and you get ready for work. But when you are working from home you are going to be tempted to wake up at the last possible moment to get the children ready, and then maybe spend half of your day in you pyjamas… and have breakfast at noon.
While it may work for a while and the rebel in you might gloat as you don’t have to do anything now that you don’t want to.. In the long run, this will create more problems than not.
And, actually this one is the one that sets the tone for all the things in the list below. Thus, if you manage to get this right, then everything else will be a lot easier to do. PLUS, your success will be amplified.
So, keep your morning routine of waking up early, getting yourself ready before everyone else; maybe add something you always wanted but couldn’t because you had to run to work. You might want to consider something like a short walk or meditation, but keep everything else like you would go to ‘work’ even if work is in the next room! 🙂
#2 – Schedule
It’s hard to believe, but being in a completely different environment, even though you don’t have your colleagues or your boss to interrupt you, it will be hard to focus when you’re just by yourself in your house. Suddenly you realise there is some laundry for you to do or some more stuff to buy for your children or the mess in the living room is bugging you 🙂
So make sure you create a schedule for the day, for the week and for the month. Create a layout for the day to have a general idea what will you be doing in the morning, what will you be doing in the afternoons as well as for the week: what activities will you be doing on Monday, Tuesday, etc.
For example I have Monday to work on the business and not in the business. Everything that requires me to learn more or strategise about where I want to go next it will happen on Monday. And as a result i don’t schedule anything else in (like strategy calls or clients).
I also do my lives in the first half of the day as that’s when I am the most energetic and creative. So it works well for me.
Make sure you add in regular breaks to walk, stretch for reasons which will become apparent with “#6 – Posture”.
Also make sure you plan time for your lunch, snack and even an afternoon nap if you are going to be working in the mornings as well as in the evenings!
#3 – Diet
This one is a big one. I really didn’t think of it much. But when I had the job in the city I will always eat out. And usually I would eat something else every day, as you would imagine.
Now, when working from home, all I wanted was to have something fast, I can put in the microwave, and then in 2 minutes is done. So I don’t waste a lot of time cooking or cleaning…
And guess what? It didn’t pan out really well… As I was eating the same thing almost every day .. and without knowing I put on extra weight…
But that wasn’t such a big problem, UNTILL I started getting very tired and didn’t know why. So it turned out that my high carb diet affected my gut and enabled bad bacteria to spread throughout my body. This created a lot of health problems for me. But mostly the mood swings and the lack of energy made it hard for me to see things clearly. As you would expect, it affected my performance in my business also .. and I almost quit.
So take time to consider what will you eat, will you cook or will you oder something in? Really crucial!
#4 – Social time
That wasn’t something I thought much about either. And I am an extravert, I take energy by being around people, talking to people…
I thought that if I am in the online arena I will be chatting to people .. and that should be enough .. it turns out it wasn’t.
When working in an office, you take breaks, you talk about different things with your coworkers, not always work related. You bitch about things you don’t like and you have some connection.
When you are alone at home for a very long time all the conversations you have are either business, or kids and husband. And most of the time is always about them. Never about yourself. So you can’t have a free conversation about what is happening with you, in your business, in your life generally.
Of course when things go well you go speak to your husband! But when you struggle … you won’t necessarily get the support you need from him… Not because he doesn’t want to support you, but because he does not really know how to do it.
So, suddenly, even if you have more time with the dear ones you start feeling more lonely as ever… as you start lack connection and can’t really share what’s happening with you as you don’t want them worried.
So it’s really important at this point to create something of your own. Either online groups that you hang out, but most importantly some face time. Find out regular networking events, meet-ups that you can go at least once a month, to just mingle, decompress, talk about something else to take your head off things…
You can also check my FREE Facebook group. I strive to make it a supportive, inclusive community, to know you are not alone! And I try to make it better every day! Help me keep doing that by showing up for the rest of the 1000+ women there as well as for yourself !
#5 – Friends
I don’t know about you but most of my friends were coworkers. And because I moved countries the relationships were new too.
So not many very deep friendships. And the ones that I did manage to create, they live half of a day travel away and they mostly travel around the world these days. So no luck meeting with them very often.
Moreover, working in a male dominated industry, most of my friends were male 🙂 And I quickly realised that I needed to make some female friends pretty quickly! 🙂
That because, again, the journey of an entrepreneur is difficult, and men, while their intentions are good, they won’t listen very well. But women tend to do that a lot better. And having at least one good friend to meet regularly and catch up will do wonders to your morale and general state of mind.
So make sure you either tend to the relationships you already have, even if circumstances have changed, or create some friendships with more entrepreneurial women so you can support each other through this journey.
#6 – Posture
I bet you didn’t think about this one, did you?! 🙂
Well… yes! Being mobile and flexible means you can do your business in your bed, if you choose to.
At the office, the employer needs to follow the guideline for good posture, the desks are of the right height, the chairs have support for you back, the computer stations are properly positioned, etc.
In my case, I wasn’t much in control of that as I was renting the house. And the desk was built in, in a very small room :). So I could not fit completely under the desk and could not have my hands resting while typing.This in turn created a lot of problems for my back which translated in terrible hip pains …
So while it sounds like a romance to work in your pyjamas from your bed… long term.. really bad for your back!
So make sure you have a ‘proper office’ space and take regular breaks, proactively check with a chiropractor and plan to go regularly for an adjustment of your spine. And this leads me to the next point which is,
#7 – Exercise
I wasn’t exercising much when going to a regular. I had on and offs with the gym .. mostly because of the commute time and I had to pick the kids up from the nursery. So no schedule will work for me, unless in the week-ends. And I did not want to giveaway my weekends 😀
So, I didn’t think I was doing anything less by working from home!
Well, I guessed wrong.
As when going to the office, I would do 1h30 commute back and forth and it involved a lot of walking, mostly running to catch the next train or bus.
And when I started working form home, all I did was 5 minutes walk to drop off and 5 minute walk to pick up the kids from school.
On top of it, because of lack of people around me to go and talk to, I would actually sit a lot longer, even though technically I was working less hours.
So, my back, my energy levels, my overall wellbeing suffered now from a ‘complete lack of exercise’!
Don’t do what I did!
Plan to have regular exercise in your routine and regular stretches throughout your day, irrespective of what is happening in your business. Do them from day 1 and keep them throughout.
This is the only way to ensure you will succeed!
#8 – Advice
When you are your own boss, guess what: you are your boss! So you are the person who sets the target for yourself. And you are the one to direct/influence/help yourself achieve them. Now, when you’re doing something you’ve never done before, no matter how capable you are, how determined you are, how good of a manager you are, and good of a boss you are, if you don’t know how to do things, you have no one to turn to. You don’t have peers to bounce ideas off of them, you don’t have your boss to ask for advice, you generally are on your own.
So this is where you want to make sure you have a strategy in place to help you when you’re stuck, when you don’t know what to do next, when you don’t know what’s not working and so on and so forth.
Check for the masterminds you can be in at the level you are currently at so the advice is relevant to you. Also, research coaches and mentors who can support you with the goals you want to achieve.
You can also join my FREE Facebook group. There are tones of FREE resources for you to draw inspiration from. Check them under Units section of the group!
If you know already you want to set yourself up for success, and you don’t want to shoot in the dark, guessing your way to freedom, and have someone who knows what’s ahead besides you, then schedule a FREE Strategy Call with me here. We’ll discuss strategy, plan, results and everything you need to make your dream business a success!
#9 – Self-care
I guess, last but not least make sure you have put in place some practice to take care of yourself. Being an achiever and always striving to get to the next level, and the next goal, can put you on a path to burn out and exhaustion and feeling like you don’t yet deserve to rest and take care of yourself.
This is extremely important, irrespective if you work for yourself or for someone else. More so if you work for yourself, especially in the first years, where your results will take longer to show up while you’re building the foundations.
So, for example, I have Fridays as my days off. I don’t do housework nor business work.
Everything that I do is for me and me only: stuff I need to buy, appointments I need to make, massage, chiropractic, hair, nails.. You name it! And this day is also when I reflect about my general state, how I feel and what do I need in order to feel happy, strong, energetic and successful at the same time.
I hope you will find this article useful. Post in the comments what has resonated with you the most! ❤️
Fast Results Strategist | Coach to Aspiring Female Business Owners
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