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:
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.
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.
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.