I get asked what I do often, and many times I don’t really know how to respond to the question. It’s not like one day I woke up and suddenly decided becoming an entrepreneur will be my next title. I began by describing myself as a blogger. I then shifted my description to influencer as I began working with more brands. Eventually my response became “whatever I want!”
There’s nothing to make you feel more empowered than the realization that you can quite literally do anything you want (minus becoming a legal counsel or a medical expert without the experience or expertise-please don’t do that without proper training.) Being an entrepreneur means I can set my own hours, I can choose what tasks I focus on, and I also ultimately take the full responsibility for any failures.
For some people, it might be an overwhelming prospect. Personally, I find it a very small inconvenience for having the freedom to do what I enjoy. When we think of shedding our 9-5, we often think of the good parts. But there are overwhelming mindset shifts you need to make so your career as a kick ass self-employed boss doesn’t fizzle into a burned out ember.
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My point above stands: You’re responsible for every single decision and outcome.
If you’re uncomfortable facing your failures, this might be a tough road for you. You’ll need to build up not only your resilience but your attitude toward facing the failure itself. You’ll often have to analyze what went wrong and how you can fix it in areas you might not know much about.
This will be part of your learning journey, and unlike in a compartmentalized office job, you have no choice in whether you tackle said problem or hand it off to another person. This is fully your responsibility and you have to take ownership of every bit.
Weekends and evenings don’t have the same meaning.
You can say goodbye to the excitement that comes from the weekend approaching. Yes, you’ll have the freedom to take any day off you please, but you probably shouldn’t expect that many days off. If you truly love what you do, you’ll find yourself working more often than not. Your friends might get excited about TGIF drinks, but you won’t have the same outlook on the activity anymore.
That said, you’ll also probably opt out of some weekend activities because your business will need your attention. That’s OK though, because you’ll have dibs on Mondays and Tuesdays when things are cheaper to do and fewer people are crowding your favorite places.
You’ll need to build a routine and care for yourself with boundaries.
This seems like a throwaway, but trust me when I say this is one of the most important things you’ll have to do in your entrepreneurial journey. It took me about four years to finally find a rhythm with my business. FOUR YEARS! During those four years, I’ve taken up anxiety, therapy, marriage problems, depression and a fluctuating weight. These are all not very fun things.
I built my self-care routine around habit tracking apps, which forced me to drink more water, exercise, meditate and go to a hair salon once in a while. I also built-in reminders where I have to take a break and engage with my partner in a meaningful conversation and I strictly don’t check social media throughout the day. I have a set time for that.
These are all things you will have to figure out for yourself to keep heading toward success without a burnout. Remember, you won’t have a time when you can leave the office. You will be in your office ALL the time, so it’s up to you to keep up boundaries.
Start learning everything about accounting and budgeting.
You will have to keep track of every single transaction related to your business. Make it a habit to reconcile all your accounts every month and to enter all transactions on a weekly basis. Unlike a personal budget, you cannot have this part slip. These numbers dictate the health of your company!
Say goodbye to perfection.
Perfection is for the 9-5 employee looking for a bonus. You’re going to focus on rapid production. Having to focus on short and long-term goals will mean that you will constantly need to produce and put out work regardless of whether you think it’s complete or not. You can’t wait until your products are perfect. You will gather feedback and improve on whatever work you put out as time goes on.