Life as an entrepreneur is never an easy one. While you have the flexibility of being your own boss and setting your own schedule, you also have to create your own motivation and eat your own losses when they come. If you really want to make it as an entrepreneur, consider trying out the following ideas.
Embrace Your Passions
It should come as no surprise that the most prosperous entrepreneurs are often the ones with the most heart. It’s not enough to stop there though: one of your best strategies as a self-employed person is to marry your existing skillset with a vision that you’re totally on fire for. The passion will keep you motivated when the way ahead seems foggy, but the skills you possess will empower you to keep taking steps forward. Consider the example of Mark Stevens, who used his marketing experience and technical sales work to launch himself into building an investment firm later on. He used his expertise to effectively dive into the field and achieve results.
Maintain a Schedule
When you’re working for yourself, it can be tempting to just roll out of bed, put in a few hours of work, then call it quits. However, successful entrepreneurs know that the secret to making each day the most productive it can be is establishing a set routine and maintaining a consistent schedule. This starts the night before a workday by getting to bed on time. In the morning, make time to exercise, eat a nourishing meal, and get your mindset in order for the day (for example, through journaling, meditation, or prayer). Then, check in on your priorities for the day and devote time to each task, setting any deadlines necessary to keep yourself on track. Consider starting each day with the hardest task on your list, which will make you feel accomplished all day long and make every other task seem easy as the day goes on. At the end of the day, make a to-do list for the next day; this will give you something to look forward to and give you a reason to get out of bed in the morning.
Make Time for Self-Care
In addition to intentional nutrition, adequate sleep, and healthy exercise habits, you should schedule regular mental and physical self-care. This might mean getting a vacation on the calendar, taking daily walks, seeing mental health coaches, scheduling the occasional afternoon off for a little R&R (rest and relaxation), or attending gatherings for spiritual or religious purposes. Entrepreneurial burnout can and will happen if you don’t take steps to keep it at bay.
Track Your Progress
Some seasons as an entrepreneur can feel like a hamster wheel, running the same old grind every single day. To avoid this feeling of fruitlessness, keeping a running tab of everything you’ve done. This can be as simple as keeping past to-do lists to look back at, but consider other methods of tracking progress as well. Habit trackers, goal posters, and project portfolios can help you keep in perspective all the work you’ve accomplished. When you hit big milestones, don’t forget to celebrate your success as well. This will help keep you motivated, even in the “Groundhog Day”-esque seasons.
Connect With Community
When you encounter challenges as an entrepreneur, what do you tend to do? For many people, the temptation is to isolate themselves or procrastinate their way around big problems. To get past these roadblocks (and help prevent isolation in the first place), one of the best antidotes is a strong community. This might be composed of business partners or other professional connections, people in your field, and your network of family and personal friends. Each of these people in your “village” plays a critical role in serving as a resource during tough times, reminding you of your vision when the way ahead is blurry, and generally giving you the support you need to just keep going. If you don’t have a lot of connections, consider reaching out through your place of worship, hobby clubs, or even social media groups. You need to have people you can count on during tough times.
Give of Yourself
A great strategy for reducing your stress load and keeping your spirits high is giving back to your community. Engage in a cause you’re passionate about. Donate funds and resources to humanitarian organizations. Volunteer in your children’s clubs. Spend time helping at a local charity. By getting a little outside of your own head, you can help reset your thinking and stay focused at work.
Working as an entrepreneur is full of both opportunities and risks. By intentionally caring for yourself, keeping healthy habits, and connecting with people and causes you believe in, you can set yourself up for success and a fulfilling career for many years to come.