Let’s talk about being an entrepreneur and what this can mean for us and also what to expect for those starting to realize this is part of their makeup and how our lives can turn super adventurous and also face us with new challenges.
Wearing multiple hats, trying to learn new things like marketing and accounting, we really tend to load ourselves up to be able to cover it all.
And for some of us this can work for some time. When our business is starting out and things are yet to take off, trying to manage all tasks ourselves can work well.
But what about when the business side gets busy, then what?
If this happens, it’s time to start looking at outsourcing. So, when we think about outsourcing in our business, we need to identify the tasks that we are NOT doing and the tasks that we HATE doing.
These can be one in the same! Being super honest about this is key.
If you think you can manage your business finances, you could be wrong, or you could be kidding yourself into thinking “you got this” when in actual fact you don’t.
One part that resonates with me, is control. I find it really difficult to let go of tasks, even when I know someone else might do it better and they could even turn things around completely and transform my business life.
Something I have find helpful in the outsourcing process is actually thinking of it as help and also using the word transitioning and distributing to another small business owner.
Using someone else in small business can help us embrace the new norm, and it can help us feel like we are now partnering with someone on this task, not actually giving it up or losing control.
Lets think about social media as an example. If I was to outsource my social media and marketing, which I am actually right now considering, I need to find someone else working in the space, having this as their baby, their business, and actually working with them on this part of my business.
The reason I worked out that using others in small business will work well, and this is not of course 100% fool proof recipe, but I know me and how I treat my clients and I like to work in partnership with my clients, so working with another small business owner gives me a sense of that same warm fuzzy feeling I give my clients.
Not just a business name, not just a set of numbers, but real humans with real lives and real consequences for working with them, both positive and negative. So lets go back for a second…
This article is about being an entrepreneur and what our lives look like, so you might be thinking, this chick is whacked, she is talking about outsourcing to other entrepreneurs, and you are correct.
You see, as an entrepreneur we are prepared to embrace those like us.
Determined, focused and results driven.
So why would you not want to work with yourself!
But the best part is, they are not you, I could imagine working with another me, OMG that would be a disaster,
it would be like having a twin sibling, although that would be amazing, I’m not sure I could handle another me if I’m honest.
So the other new you, the outsourced you is as close to another you that you will get. But what a bonus, they have skills you don’t, they bring new skills to the table and they are happy to share this with you. They actually want you to succeed and likewise, you want them to also. So, really how cool is this relationship prospect.
Another aspect of being an entrepreneur is our work/life balance. This can be an interesting topic and also relates back to the outsourcing funny enough.
If you don’t have time for the life aspect, well seriously, you need to consider the outsourcing part.
And this is where I tell you mine is horrific, full confession, I’m terrible. And since COVID-19, there was about a week or 2 window where I was found in a family zone of the house and yes I did engage in a game or 2 of Monopoly, but then my inner-preneur took over again and I have pretty much been in my home office ever since.
For me its like a magnet, I just can’t stay away, I have constant light bulb moments, they don’t stop and I have to keep moving forward on all these ideas, chasing my shining things.
But we are not here to talk about me…so let get back to work/life balance
You really do need a good mix.
You need to relax, you need to have family time and you need to be able to switch off from it all. Without a good balance you risk serious burn-out and when this happens, wow, its like quick sand, and trying to get out of it can actually make or break us completely.
So what are some ways to achieve the right mix that we speak of?
You need to schedule your down time, just like you do you work time, it really is just that simple.
If it’s not on your calendar or diary or smart phone, what ever system you are using, if its not there, it won’t happen.
For those that work in an appointment type business, block those downtime days out.
For those that work on a computer, turn it off.
If you work outdoors, stay inside.
Planning the opposite of your normal business grind is all it takes.
Its not easy, being so involved in your business makes it super hard to switch off.
Keeping a pen & paper with you is ok, sending yourself an email reminder is ok, but beyond this, you are working.
If you’re at the computer at 10pm at night or Sunday morning after breakfast, its called working, stop it, what are you doing, remember the burn out, we know you’re tough, we know you think its just a couple of hours, we get it, we all get it.
And I am not one to judge, not at all, but I can tell you, you need time for you too!
If you love what you do, step away, step away now.
Ok, maybe not now, depends what day you’re reading this of course, but you get the idea.
So what other challenges do we have an entrepreneurs, OMG, I know a good one, when our family or friends don’t understand you – Huge
So common and for those that have been there or are there now, how frustrating is it.
Sometimes we can forgive, and other times they just drive us mental. Many ask you time and time again, what is it you do again? You’ve had the conversations over and over at family gatherings.
If you operate a small business that has odd working hours schedule, its not 9-5 like your friends, you might have a market you take your goods to every Saturday morning (ok, not now during COVID) and you’re friends wanted to hit that new bar Friday night, aka, be out until 3am, and they don’t understand why you don’t want to come out with them.
As entrepreneurs we need to stick to our tribes, our other like-minded people, the ones that do understand, the ones that hold no grudges when you don’t reply to their DM for a day or 2.
Finding these people is awesome and eventually, they become more of our real friends than our life friends.
Building online relationships has never been such an ok thing to do. Remember its still a thing to be cautious of people on the internet, we have all heard the catfish and horrible stories of teenagers getting into terrible trouble.
But when you’re an entrepreneur, it becomes easier to filter and it becomes easier to engage with other business owners and share you wins and losses. Not to mention great social media tools for blocking anyone that annoys you and being able to ignore many scam marketing ploys.
Another interesting aspect of being an entrepreneur is our thinking. Most of our mind time is spent dreaming, creating and doing.
This often means we are positive minded people and we share common ground with others who are positive and even if they are not in business. Following celebs that bring us more motivation and also engaging in more media options for this, video, audio and social media platforms It opens a whole rabbit warren of options and directions to take us through our journey and help us stay motivated and stay focused with our business goals.
Most entrepreneurs have key people they follow, someone that speak to them directly and has a similar mental approach that resonates with them.
Another challenge faced by entrepreneurs is when their idea doesn’t work. This can be is a real kick in the butt and sometimes no matter how hard we try the idea doesn’t take off.
Some of us can handle this and take it in our stride, knowing that we gave it our all. Others seem to take it personally and consider it a massive failure.
Being able to see past the negative and hold onto the learning experience is key. Channeling the experience into another adventure and being able to bounce through these sad times and strive for something else is required.
Depending on the financial commitment made into the venture that hasn’t gained legs, this could place us in a holding pattern of recovery.
If we are faced with a financial down time, this is our time to shine for the next idea. We can start taking stock and new idea spit balling which means the research begins. A new business plan, and new set of facts and figures, doing our SWAT analysis and preparing for when we can commence.
Others also use this as an opportunity to regroup, take a break, start a new hobby or spend some time with those family or friends they ditched during the last venture. And many do a combination of both.
Diving into other entrepreneurs stories. There is so much content available online these days, we live in the prime time for everything, we are the luckiest generation and I’m not talking Gen x, Gen Y, I just mean overall civilization today.
Look at the internet, can you imagine how ACTUALLY huge it is – Think for one second
You can google everything, I mean everything – How awesome if this world we live in, we have so much information at our fingertips.
Many of us can spend 0 dollars on education, We can spend a lot of time on YouTube, google everything they get stuck on.
Then comes the filter exercise, sadly with so much information available, finding the write answer can present its own challenge. But this is half the adventure, this is what we do best the strive to work it out yourself, why not wear another hat, add it to your already exploding collection.
But seriously, we are super lucky, we really can’t complain in regards of information available, its just nuts when you think about it.
Some business owners don’t have time to google, this is true. You can pay someone else to google for you, places like Airtasker, pop up an add, pay some dollars to someone else to google and send you a range of google options, even that’s crazy.
Entrepreneurs even live on Airtasker, picking up those little tasks from the comfort of their home.
So where does an entrepreneur start…
This is one of those endless questions, how long is a piece of string. It comes from within, some are purely driven my a passion, many are focused on the dollars, for some it is all about the freedom and others have no idea and just keep throwing stuff at the wall until something sticks.
Many of us have working jobs, waiting for our time to make a move, escape the treadmill. And sadly, many who think they are or could be an entrepreneur never make it.
Life as an entrepreneur is tough. It can be an emotional roller coaster with wins and defeats and being able to stay true to ourselves and maintain a balanced life can make things even more interesting.
One thing that never fades is the internal passion, its like there is a fire within us to keep plugging away and the dedication of an entrepreneur is remarkable.
I actually read recently that Entrepreneurship is a current trend, but I actually believe its greater than that, you either have it or you don’t and if its not in your genetics, it can’t be forced.
We have all heard of hiring someone for them as a person over their skill set, we all know skills can be taught.
But I’m not sure being an entrepreneur can be!