Many of you dream of working for yourself, being your own boss, and having the freedom to only take on projects that you love. What you don’t realize, though, is that there’s a huge difference between building a business and being self-employed.
Business owners scale their income. Self-employed people trade dollars for hours – like I used to do when I was doing nothing but ghostwriting years ago. Business owners leverage the skills and talents of others. Self-employed people rely only on their own skills.
Many business owners started out self-employed. It’s just important that you don’t stay there.
Don’t Try to Do It All Yourself
Building a fulfilling career online requires that you leverage the talents and time of others at some point. 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.
I used to spend hours trying to do graphics or figure out some wretched technical task. It took me awhile to understand the cost effectiveness of outsourcing.
Separate your tasks into those that you love and are skilled at 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, first.
The ones you simply don’t like, but are capable of doing, can be outsourced later when you have extra funds. If you feel like you can’t afford to outsource right now, start saving up five dollars here and there. Don’t go deep into debt.
Don’t Allow Yourself to Work All the Time
The trouble with working at home is that you live at work. And that means there’s no clear line in the sand between your work day and your home life.
I was really bad about this and had to FORCE myself to have downtime.
Since there’s always work to do, it’s easy to find yourself working every available moment.
You can 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.
I’ll admit I’m never off the grid but I do take time now to enjoy life. Wish I’d done it sooner. If you can:
- Have trusted people who can handle things when you’re not available
- Leverage automation tools such as auto-responders systems
- Create standard operating procedures 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.
You have to plan well and not fly by the seat of your pants every day.