THE WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER …
We’re a generation of entrepreneurs and start ups, our ambition and drive means that more and more of us are embracing new opportunities, taking our dreams and turning them into real jobs, and generally living a life that 50 years ago would have been unheard of for the masses.
The blogging industry is an incredible example of this … so many passionate individuals turning what was a hobbie into a full blown career, a business and not just making a difference to their own life, but changing the shape of the industry at the same time. It’s pretty incredible, now more than ever we have the chance to take a risk, push ourselves and really create that ‘american dream’ a reality.
We’re told you can do anything you want, if you simply try. And whilst there are negatives to this (an unsatisfied generation, constantly seeking more, more from life and more success, without a view on what’s enough) … the positives are far greater. With the world as your oyster, becoming your own boss is no longer a dream, it can be a reality.
And as more and more of us take that plunge into self employed work … knowing how to effectively be your own boss becomes increasingly important. So today I thought I’d share FIVE things that are critical to running your own business, and hopefully in turn 5 tips that might help you in becoming your own boss too.
Successful people are not gifted; they just work hard, then succeed on purpose.
5 THINGS TO MASTER TO SUCCESSFUL BE YOUR OWN BOSS
#1 WORK LIFE BALANCE
I’m going to start with something that is less directly related to the functional running of a business & being your own boss, but actually integral to running a successful business and having a successful career (whether you’re your own boss or not). And that’s work life balance. If you want to take the leap and start your own business & become your own boss, good on you, but before you take this leap, ensure you’re clear on what a healthy work life balance looks like for you, be sure to have practised a healthy work life balance and most importantly be sure to understand the importance of the balance.
Taking time for yourself, is as important as taking time for your work. In actual fact productivity and efficiency are boosted when you have a healthy working and personal life, even when work demands are high, being sure to respect your well being is critical and will actually positively benefit your work productivity (even if you don’t feel so at the time).
Taking regular breaks, having regular time off, and being sure to allow yourself evenings without your laptop are all really important when you are your own boss. The hustle and bustle of an office routine is lost when you work for yourself, and so it’s even more important for you to create and enforce your own healthy working routine.
#2 CREATE YOUR OWN OFFICE SPACE
Being your own boss initially brings connotations of days spent working from bed in your pyjamas (dreamy), afternoons spent lunching and running from coffee shop to coffee shop & even weeks spent abroad (because holidays is limitless) … the reality is there will be times when those things happen, but when it comes to successfully being your own boss, you do need to have a little discipline too. And one thing of great importance, and something that will help your productivity & define a work / life split, is your own office space. Whether that’s a desk in the spare room, the kitchen table, or even a rented desk in a bigger company … creating your own ‘office’ will help mentally set you up for a days work, but also help you divide the working day and evenings off more effectively.
#3 HAVE A BUSINESS PLAN
As much as being your own boss means you’ll be doing your passion for a living, you also need to ensure your passion is bringing you work, money & enough business to sustain and grow your brand or company for the future.
Having a business plan is critical to a successful business. From outlining your goals and ambitions, defining success and how you’ll measure it, mastering analytics to creating a plan of action for delivering against these across the week, month or year. Your goals should push you, but be achievable, and your strategy and business plan should be regularly reviewed in line with your data monitoring … as your business grows, you learn more and failures occur you should be updating your strategy accordingly. Continually test and learn, it’s the only way to continue innovating and building your business.
But beyond having a plan, you also need to understand how to define and measure success, and that brings us to finance. Because if you’re running your own business, your income is going to be pretty important. When it comes to being your own boss, it’s not just your dream career you’ll be living, it’s the running of a business too, and with that comes financial responsibility. Managing your invoicing and payments, understanding taxes, keeping your business afloat and generally being financially stable. Being your own boss requires a business mind too, and so learning how to manage your finances is something you’ll definitely need to master.
I’ve actually written a few posts on creating a business plan and turning your blog into a business which I’ve linked below for you:
#4 SUSTAIN PASSION
But you can’t let the ‘business’ management take away from your passion, your enthusiasm and the joy that comes from doing what you love and being your own boss. As I mentioned breaks are super important, but so is inspiration, fun, and activities that revitalise your enthusiasm and motivation. Don’t let your passion become a chore just because it’s now your business. Being your own boss means you need to keep yourself motivated, passionate & determined. Create a plan of action full of little tactics that will help sustain your passion … pin boards full of quotes & inspiring photos, meetings with other self employed & like minded people, time to spend idea-ting and brainstorming, walks, coffee breaks … no matter how big or small, be sure to help yourself sustain the passion!
Managing stress levels is really important here.
#5 CONTINUE TO TAKE RISK
Continuing to keep your passion alive is key, and in turn so is continuing to take risks. A business can rocket in growth or declining in a second, and so continuing to innovate, test and learn and take risks is really important. When it comes to being your own boss it can feel safer to keep doing the same proven thing over and over again, but the risk is you don’t keep up with the market.
Starting a business in the first place is a major risk to take, but continuing to run a business and sustain a successful business requires constant risk taking! As your own boss, don’t be afraid to push yourself to try new things.
Be sure to constantly monitor your business, work out what is working and importantly work out what’s not.And don’t be afraid to change things if they stop working.
Do you run your blog full time or have your own business & have any more advice for ebing your own boss? I’d love to know if you found these tips helpful?