A realistic view of being self-employed
Being self-employed requires a lot more than most people think. If you’re thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, you’ll want to know everything about your field, your products, and your customers… but you WILL NEED to know how to run a business. It is important for business owners to realize all the hidden areas that consume a surprising amount of time and energy behind the scenes of running a business.
Whether you produce one work of art per week, one book every 3 years, or 500 products, you are running a business and should treat it as such. Five-year business plans and annual agendas (also known as action plans) are essential elements of any business.
If you’re serious about your career, review the business plan every 5 years: find out what worked, find out why it didn’t achieve what you hoped for, and write a new 5-year business plan. Hold monthly meetings and try to get through the “to do list” before the next meeting. It is also advisable to allow spontaneous brainstorming sessions on a regular basis.
Consulting and marketing, record keeping, blog management, bookkeeping and tax preparation, as well as time for education and research, need to be scheduled. We spend a surprising amount of time cleaning the studio, offices, entrance areas, and client bathroom. Other time-consuming tasks include preparing the studio for workshops and sending out appointment reminders, invitations to events, or promoting an interview that has just been published.
Depending on the type of business activities you have planned, you can run a blog, update a website, run an advertising campaign, or use social media. It will be necessary to create logos, images and promotional materials. It’s also nice if you have a media page, where you share links to places you’ve been featured in the media. You may need to produce new articles, press releases and create new web content to keep your site looking stale and to ensure constant media exposure.
Whether you staff, outsource, or have a partner, you’ll need to learn how to manage people skills in the workplace. Here are the most important tips for working effectively in a team:
• Be patient with each other.
• Understand, empathize and work within the capacities of the other person.
• Work with what individuals enjoy (or hate) doing.
• Understand when circumstances prevent agendas from being carried out.
• Be a ‘cheerleader’ or ‘problem solver’ for each other.
Letting go of the things that run through your mind over and over, long after the workday is over, can be a challenge. The best thing is to write it down, whatever it is, and when it comes to mind again say to yourself: “Okay, it’s written, you won’t forget it and you can take it when you have time”. “. Make sure you get to those lists.
Changing your mindset can also be helpful. Learn to see all the pressures you face in a positive way. Instead of stressing about all those items on your to-do list, celebrate the fact that all these great options are there to keep track of, one item at a time.
To be successful and happy, business owners learn to enjoy feeling pressure. Personally, I like to have a to-do list and feel productive. I like to look back on the day and see that my efforts had some kind of measurable effect. A satisfying sense of accomplishment is important to me. I tend to keep a positive attitude, although with chronic pain and some lack of sleep from time to time… I can also get a little irritable. However, in general, work does not affect me. Complications yes. When things go wrong and equipment crashes or we lose data… that’s when I can get cranky. However, with every complication comes a learning curve and we develop new prevention skills and contingency plans.
I also learned that just because there are options and opportunities that some companies have been successful with doesn’t mean we have to take them all. Some of those options are not the right choice for our business right now. Location, contacts, skills, talents, budget, and time all play a part in what works for the individual business.
As you can see, open communication and a professional attitude will take your business to the next level. Learning to be flexible and organized, create solid plans, and be prepared for contingencies will help you stay grounded when business-interrupting issues arise.