Being an entrepreneur is hard work, especially if you still have a separate full time job, a family, and a life outside of work. My husband and I just recently became part of a start-up business and speaking from experience, it is not easy. In the world of an entrepreneur, there is no 40 hour work week, no 9am to 5pm schedule, and very little initial reward. Some days I would liken it to the schedule of a doctor- you’re on call 24/7 and generally kissing evenings and weekends goodbye. The cost is great, the risk is high, but you have great reward to look forward to if you survive the early stages: running a business that you are passionate about and hoping to make your full time endeavor. I wanted to share just a few tips that I have found helpful to maintain my sanity through these initial stages of our start-up.
- Time-management- Learn how to manage your time well. Make lists, prioritize, and weed out time wasters (*cough cough, Facebook or social media being one of those)
- Make time for yourself- this may look like some quiet time in the morning, carving out time to exercise, reading a book, hanging out with friends, etc.
- Spousal/Family support are huge- having the help and support from your spouse and/or family makes a big difference and they can certainly make your life a bit easier by helping you with tasks that you don’t have time for or just provide moral support and understanding through your start-up stage.
- Set goals- Make short, medium, and long term goals. The sky is the limit! But make sure your short term goals are attainable so that you don’t constantly feel like a failure if you don’t always meet them.
- Always keep the larger picture in mind- If you are dreading the extra work that needs to be done to make your start-up happen, remind yourself the reasons you started in the first place and let those reasons motivate you to stay on track!
- Make one day out of your week and total day of rest where you do nothing work or business related. For some this just may not be possible with the nature of your work or start-up, but I strongly suggest trying this if you can! Not having a day of rest is a sure fire way to burn-out.
I’m sure I could list many more tips, but these are by far the most helpful I have found so far. Good luck to those of you who have recently started a business. It’s not easy. Congratulations to those of you who have survived and have been successful in your entrepreneurial endeavors! To those who are contemplating starting a business- don’t let my words scare you away. It may be hard work, but it is well worth it if you are willing to put in the extra time and effort.