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. Do you want to build a business or just another job?
- Business owners scale their income. The self-employed continue to trade dollars for hours.
- Business owners leverage the skills and talents of others. Self-employed people rely only on their own skills.
Feeling discouraged or a little frightened at the concept of “building your own business?”
Don’t be! Pretty much every business owner starts out self-employed and there’s nothing wrong with that. Just don’t limit yourself by staying 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 (the tasks that are in your genius zone) and those you dislike or aren’t that good at. Then make a solid plan to get those that you aren’t good at off your list of things to do.
For those of you who can’t afford to outsource just quite yet, start with what you tend to procrastinate the most on, even if it’s just a few hours each month. Just don’t forget that the goal is to eventually be able to put the tasks you dread the most onto someone’s plate.
Don’t Allow Yourself to Work All the Time
This is one that I struggle with a lot and have to remind myself that’s is OK to have downtime and actually have some fun!
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 workday and your home life.
Since there’s always work to do, it’s easy to find yourself working at every available moment—often to the detriment of your family or friends.
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 and indulging in what you enjoy
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 team members or contractors who can handle things when you’re not available
- Leverage automation tools such as email autoresponders and evergreen webinar systems
- Create repeatable systems so you’re not always reinventing the wheel and it’s easy to teach others how to do them
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.
Think it’s impossible? It’s definitely not! With some forethought and planning, you can create a team—and the systems they need—to successfully run your business for you without you or them becoming overwhelmed and overworked.
Build a business—not a job
The last thing you want to do is create another job that you must show up for in order to make money. It’s definitely possible to do that when you work from home, even if it’s on accident.
(Trust me, I’ve somehow managed to that myself!)
Focus on creating a business where you can step away every now and then. Have ways to generate income passively and/or have a team that can run the essentials of your business without you. Don’t let your new business become the thing you want to step away from.
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