No time for your own entrepreneurial venture?

I have been in that shoes before.

If you don’t allocate time and effort, it will never happen.  Looking back from the day I jumped into a solopreneur in 2010,  my motivation was running. I wanted to become an athlete, I wanted to have time for my marathon goals, pursue yoga training and become a triathlete. I wanted to end the night-shifts as an hotelier and felt compelled I could do much more.

Sometimes, all you need is a spark to make you get out of the box you’re in. Did I ever become an athlete? a marathon runner, yes. Became a certified kids yoga instructor,  and still working on becoming a triathlete.

Being a solopreneur can also be overwhelming, in fact, it is overwhelming.  You’d have to find the time to fit everything: making money, developing a product, refining your skills and continuously marketing yourself to gain more clients.

It’s like going through an MBA program on steroids. 

In every corporate job I’ve endeavored to be in, I took it as an opportunity to learn.  I was always observing my peers, questioning my bosses, and volunteering to do more than what I am tasked to do; often times, I may have gone beyond what’s in my job description but that’s how we grow. If we settle, you’ll get stuck from just being where you are. Curiosity has always been roaring and I wasn’t afraid of asking, trying and failing.

If you’re stuck in a rut with that 9-5pm job, maybe you’d have to change that mindset and consider it as a free learning ground; and you get paid for the service rendered. Treat it as if it were your business, and you’ll be able to gain critical decision-making skills along the way.  Once you’re equipped, apply it to your next endeavor and pursue.

There were times I felt like a real mess when I was in my corporate job, especially when I experienced handling three (3) departments because all the heads resigned and I was the newbie who had no choice but to keep the business running. I had to learn the ropes on the fly, make use of the available resources and consulted every person I can.  Despite the overwhelmed tasks, it was also the gig I am most grateful for.

Leave complaints out of your way. Every hardship is an opportunity to grow.

It was a vicious spiral and I didn’t know how to get out of the rut. Throughout those periods when I used to work for other people, I realized I wanted to work with people and not just solely be enslaved by a daily routine.  I wanted to hit my goals so badly, I had finally found the thing I knew I was meant to do which will fulfill my being, fuel my drive, and enrich my interests. 

Once I managed to shift as I was headed for burnout, it all changed.

Here are  few practices I still use to this day, I hope this also finds to help you towards working on your entrepreneurial venture:

1.  FOCUS 

If you’re currently at your 9-5pm job, focus on your tasks and prioritize. Jumping back and forth between tasks not only make you feel inefficient, you’ll also feel burned out. Anxiety is the last thing we’d want to go through every day when deadlines approach.

2.  NOTE IT

Call me old school but I’m still the girl who carries pen and paper. If an idea pops in, don’t rely on ‘just remembering’ as trust me, you will never get to remember it completely. Write down tasks before you start and end your day. These reminders will help you go through your week and make you manage your schedule.

3. SCHEDULE 

As you take note of reminders, tasks, and ideas. You should have your calendar and notepad as your productivity best friend. Break it down into actionable tasks and manageable chunks, schedule the activities accordingly in order for you to set appointments and analyze which is best for face to face meetings, emails or conference calls.

Transfer your calendar notes on your mobile phone’s google calendar and send out client scheduling system for everything in order for you to set through the commitment.

4.  TOP 3 TASKS

Nothing in the workforce aren’t rush nor important. Every delivery is a priority, however, given the tight deadlines, it’s best to manage deliverables according to its weight. Even if you think you can manage and do everything in a day; given the uncontrollable circumstances, it’ll be impossible to accomplish everything.

Focus on the top 3 priorities especially those with dependencies.  Pressuring yourself to have everything done in a day not only will burn you out, it’ll also put a whole lot of unnecessary stress on your sleeves.

5. ALIGN DELIVERABLES

That also includes commitments.  Clarity would make the work easier and efficient. If you work with a team, being on the same page makes a whole lot of difference. Seek for their thoughts and make sure you’re all on the same track.

6. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF

Just like all other engagements, you’d have to also put yourself first. You only have yourself to depend to and there’s only one YOU.  Taking good care of yourself not only will it help you physically, it will also give you the breather you need. You’ll be kinder with your peers, efficient and productive.

If you can’t afford the gym, you can always resort to YOUTUBE videos, do jumping jacks and squats, and log-in a 3mins burpee. Monitor your mileage and walk.

7. CHANGE THAT MINDSET

If you keep on telling yourself “I have no time” and “will never find the time’, well, as you said, it’s never going to happen. You will physically and emotionally feel stressed, overwhelmed and anxious throughout all tasks laid on you. You are what you think.

Shifting that “never” mindset to reversing the belief, will completely change the way you feel and take action. Procrastination and unfocused action typically happen when you pour the negativity and take too much advantage of your free spirit.

As they say, your thoughts do create your reality. This has been proven numerous times from both scientific and spiritual perspective.  Your choice.

8. FOCUS ON THE SOLUTION 

Never the problem. There is no such thing as problems, there are only but challenges.

Troubleshooting, management, and critical strategic thinking can never be referred to textbooks but there may be rules to follow. You already have the solution in you, it’s how you face it which makes a difference.

Give yourself the space to get creative and avoid being reactive.

Pause and look inwards, and the solution will come. Get into the habit of putting your entrepreneurial capabilities hat on rather telling yourself that you have no power over the situation. You may not need to do it alone, consult.

9. ASK

There’s nothing wrong in asking for a helping hand or someone’s thoughts when you think you’re stuck in a rut or just can’t seem to get off a situation. It’s a people-centric business,  if you need support, by all means, lift the phone and schedule the meeting. Get it.

10.  BE RATIONALLY IMPATIENT AND DELEGATE

Have that sense of urgency but have patience. It’s okay to be impatient when there are goals you’d have to achieve and have set a deadline.  However, sometimes, due to unforeseen circumstances, consider the in-betweens.

Don’t feel left behind, just so long you’re committing time to your goals and working on milestones you’ve set – this shows how committed you are to your success.

Delegate if you must, one can’t-do everything alone.

What is your end goal? be clear and make it happen.  You’re on your own journey, on your own path. This is your true self, your own timeline. Don’t compare yourself to someone who has already started their chapter 1 long time ago. Being frustrated and overwhelmed is normal but being hard on yourself won’t’ make you a better entrepreneur.

 

Give yourself credit for what you’ve accomplished, where you’ve been, what you’ve gone through. This is your journey.  You have time. Don’t give up, you are limitless.



Getting into the Big Picture: Zoom in to the Path

You’ve chosen the course you’d want to take, took your internship and earned experience. Somehow, it gave you clarity on which route to follow. However, in a competitive world, it can be challenging to be what or where you do want to belong. What do you do? you follow your heart, convinced by what the elders say “Explore. The world is an oyster” and then all these opportunities get laid out. Instantly, it’s easy to get skewed from the big picture.

Even in business, with all opportunities one can devour on, distractions away from the little things could zoom you out from bigger, more meaningful career or business goals.

If you’re the type who get swayed and get disconnected from the ‘bigger things’ you’re destined to or called for. There are ways on how to fight the battle and zoom back in. There may be frustrations and humps along the way but re-focusing and doing what needs to be done can be and will be rewarding.

If it’s our decisions that define who we are, than this is who I am

1. GOAL: Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing

We’ve been taught and reminded about setting S.M.A.R.T Goals for ourselves, but have you really been practicing it? Setting timelines is as important as how you strategically reach the goal – the little things in order to claim that eye on the prize.

If you want to write a book, how can you publish one if you haven’t written nor have thought of the content you’ll be working on? Once you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a time off and hop straight back once you’ve recharged.

Visualize the end goal, feel and breathe the next steps. Nothing worth while is easy to achieve but once done, it’ll be the sweetest reward.

2. Stick to the Game Plan and Revise the necessary

Technology has its perks and downfall in productivity. With everything else a click-away, you’d hardly recognize you’ve been surfing, scrolling and reading articles or catching up on your friends social media accounts. Once this happens, or even before it does, have everything you need to do written on a task list, analyze what you’ve written and prioritize. Have those that are far from the goal parked on the dump list for later.

Gantt charts (a popular excel sheet commonly used for monitoring projects according to weeks, months and project management) weren’t made to bore us or to call it as ‘old school’ practice, the strategy on keeping tabs on the pulse of the tasks you’ve done has proven to be a guide on reaching the big picture.

3. Give yourself a pat on the back: You’re a work-in-progress!

Self-affirmation do work wonders! Having to see on your timelines and having to see those tick marks on your to do lists is the proof of your achievements. Be patient with yourself, stick to the game plan, and you’ll get there.

Remember, “Rome isn’t built overnight?” well, the world is yours to build.

4. Dig Deeper and Go back to Step 1

There are hindrances that may bump along the way but most of time, these are self-inflicted crossroads one need to fight. Factors such as procrastination or fear. Think back and remember why you’ve started and review where you are now from where you once were. If it’s fear of success, or fear on what other people might think or say about you – there’s only way but to block those thoughts and go on.

Write a journal, get your emotions out in the open. Instead of allowing such hindrances, turn it as a motivation for you to get better. You’ve gone this far, would your rather waste all the time you’ve worked on?

Emotions are there for you to manage and asses. You are what you believe in, and what you work on.  You’re almost there!

Shades of red and Ivy League Dreams: Admitted!

I haven’t blogged in ages. Forgive my rusty self.

The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of emotions and it was of great relief I stayed in the city for a quiet Holy Week break. From what supposed to be an out-of-town trip with my girl friends;  I opted to take a two (2) half-day retreats on solo to rejuvenate, clear my head and my emotions diluted; thanks to two (2) influential people I have ever met in my life who gifted me the opportunity, I was enlightened, blessed, guided and reminded of God’s love, God’s perfect timing and kindness in my heart to let go of those of which that hurt you, including comfort zones that has become painful to breathe in and out with.

Before you give me that stare – I am by all means not a spiritual being nor have been all out there preaching. I was going through that “I don’t need a job, I need a career” struggle or probably the “Holy smokes, I’m 30. What now?”

In the last two weeks, it was a drama fest filled with tears and confusion but, again, through God’s perfect timing  – I have been guided towards the direction I should follow.

Just when I was about to doubt myself, he opened the doors and blessed me with an opportunity I thought was gone forever.

7-8 years ago, fresh from college, I was given a scholarship grant from an Ivy League University, from the  “Harvard of the Hospitality Industry.” 7-8 years after, on the eve of April fools,  my scholarship from Cornell University of Ithaca, New York was reactivated. Boy, it was the best ‘April fools’ news I’ve ever had. However, there was a condition – I had to decide within the month or they’ll have it forfeited. Who am I to say no to such opportunity?

I AM READY. In a heartbeat, without a doubt, I’m taking it.

Looks like, this gives me the right to start with the Cornell University jargon and call myself as a “Hotelie.” It’s been a week since they broke the news. I am undoubtedly still elated. Life just gave me the assurance that everything is possible. Who would’ve thought my 23-year-old self who celebrated her Birthday in Manhattan reached an extension of bliss, years after.

lp_logo_cornellEverything and ANYTHING is possible. Gah, I’m so excited. I have been researching, reading and stalking fellow Hotelie’s blogs.  Dreams do come true, they do.

From the retreat to a bright lit news – I will be taking Hospitality Management: Focus on Marketing and Revenue Management. Onto the next steps, I will get myself back to the industry I sheered myself from but will be applying insightful, valuable and enriched lessons from the different industries I’ve explored and been with. 

Can’t hardly wait!

Lessons from and for a working environment

Progress and productivity are my personal choice of a drug.

I’m grateful for clients who trusts me on such exciting projects they’re venturing on. What motivates me most are the lessons you’ll learn along the way, honing your skills sets, fulfilling check lists and accomplishing tasks on the time table.

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From learning how to curate business financial plans, readjusting according to the budget, coordinating to purchasing; sales and marketing, it has been an exciting journey surprising yourself on what you’re capable of doing and maturing when it comes to work ethics.

Here are few things I discovered:

1. Never fall for gossips, let them be

– there are so many things left laid on the table, don’t waste your time resolving gossips however when these gossips happen to touch morality, better face the gossiper.

2. People tend to compare their salary to yours and they may create issues behind your back just to get rid of you.

– sometimes these people tend to forget that their job scope is different from yours and they agreed on how much they wanted to receive as their salary. Let them be. You don’t owe anyone justification.

At the end of the day, what matters most are the production, the numbers and the accomplishments. These distractions from other people are hindrances against your capabilities.

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If they don’t respect you, let them be. They will eventually. Have the proprietor mindset at all times agains the employee who’s filled with idle time and Coffee breaks.

Chin up,ignore as much as you could but stand firm once they reached your limit.

Anxiety Free Job Search

Looking for a job can be such a grueling task especially when the funds are starting to show deliquesce, bills are about to pile in and your belly is beginning to protrude. Mounting a job search for a new position or what you think seems to be rightfully aligned to your skills or your degree takes perseverance, patience, diligence and a weight of willingness to stretch out of our comfort zone. Everyone wants their career to sky-rocket and achieve a transition of change but searching is no joke – although some enjoy the acceptance for interviews, collecting job offers and praying over which of the choices should you give your career a chance to grow into.

Even job searching requires time and effort hence in a non-billable wording, it is billable to your efforts.

Here are few tips to keep yourself FOCUSED and ALIGNED to your goals:

Be Optimistic. Stay Positive

Clouds of failure will redirect to negative attractions and bad news. When you attend interviews it depletes your self-esteem and what you’re confident of. Apply to classified ads and as you hit the send button know that you’ll nail it and that eventually one of those applications you’ve sent will be yours. Repeat after me “Success is Mine

Plan your Day. Stay Organized

Just like at work or when working on a project, make this job search your personal project. Give yourself a timeline on the hours you put effort on job search, self-actualization, personal development and other things including the time you spend on facebook and snooze. Make a spreadsheet which includes the date and time you sent in your applications and when you’ll follow-up on your applications; keep your efforts at par – never waste time.

Connect. Network. Socialize

You meet people every day, get to know them – what they do, where they work and how do they do things. Every day is an opportunity to open gates to beginnings. Tell your friends your situation, seek for their help – especially those who work for the company you’re aiming for or industry you’d want to be part of. Keeping yourself well connected helps you speed up your job search and adds more credibility by referrals. Get to know people. Attend conferences or events that are aligned to your interest – you wouldn’t know what’s going to happen next, maybe you don’t need a job search anymore and all they need are consultants which cater and tailors to your craft and skills.

Be Informed. Stay Informed

You meet different people every day, you get to bump into different stores and stumble across a lot of random articles on the internet and even news from Twitter. Keep yourself abreast with a whole wide range of topics and try to grasp as much knowledge and practice in basic working skills especially Microsoft Office and Adobe photoshop. Hop into different dailies sites locally and international – its a world filled with information, cite your opinions and gain perspective towards others opinions.

Use the power of the Internet

With the wide range of opportunties online, it’s impossible for one not to score a gig. If you’re a creative individual who’s craft falls in writing and services, here are few options:

If you’re a photographer, you may make use of that passion and contribute for stock photos.

If you’re into teaching and speak good english, there are few where you may guide koreans and japanese to learn the language.

Take Care of yourself. Stay Well.

When you take good care of yourself, it shows and you glow.

Simple equation: When you feel good, everything else falls into the optimistic side of things. When you’re in a job search, it doesn’t mean you’ll go out on a binge spree or drinking session every single night – remember your timetable? make every day as normal as it is as if you’re on a job. Rest, eat right and exercise. “No matter if you are working or not searching for a new position takes a lot of mental and physical stamina. Pay attention to your health. It is the best thing you can do for yourself.

Keeping yourself focused and wise, taking good care of yourself and keeping that optimism would certainly make your job search bearable than stressful.  Don’t box yourself to anxiety, you’ll have this job search fly by in a breeze and you’ll have that job you’ve always wanted. Good Luck!