You finally did it, you’ve broken the chains of the COMPANY J.O.B., and you are now your Boss working on your terms. You’ve graduated from employee to business owner, you’re self-employed, ruler of your destiny. Now you have a different point of view especially when it comes to the responsibilities that come with owning a business:
* You are the manager * You are the marketer * You are the service provider/widget maker * You are the bookkeeper
And the list goes on. So many of us have suddenly found ourselves doing many different jobs to keep our new businesses running, some of which we enjoy and some we don’t care to do and find boring and time-consuming.
So how does a newly founded business owner working from home deal with all this? And most importantly how do you stay motivated and focused on the big picture? Here are seven things I do.
1. Remember the “Reason why”.
Take a look back and remember the reason you started marketing on the internet in the first place. What was it about the internet marketers life style that gave you that desire to become self-employed? It helps to go back to the beginning of the dream and remember your original goals. For me, it was financial freedom and independence, but also setting my schedule and having plenty of time to enjoy things like travel or doing whatever I wanted to do. I knew right away that internet marketing could give me that if I did it the right way. You have to choose a style of marketing (there are many ways to market) that fits what you want, and you will have success as an entrepreneur.
2. Set yourself a schedule with deadlines.
This keeps you from being overwhelmed with a bunch of things that need to be done and not knowing where to start. This is what I do… Start with a list of your daily tasks the things you have to do on a regular basis such as, Check and respond to e-mails, Write copy, Keep in touch with your followers on social pages, Make your next days schedule. These are examples of some of the daily tasks you do but take notice of the last one “Make your next days schedule.” This should be the last task we all do each day so that we are ready for the next day. But most importantly so that we can close up shop, leave the computer and not have to think about any of it while we are enjoying the time we spend NOT marketing. So, you have your list and now what? Well, what I do is give these tasks a certain amount of time each day, and I work in 1 Hour blocks. For instance;
- Check e-mail 15 min.
- Write and send e-mails 15 min.
- Keep in touch with social followers 30 min.
- Write copy 1 hour.
- Work on a larger scale project (perhaps your writing an e-book or building a new web site) 1 hour 30 min.
- Do keyword research 30 min.
- Plan out tomorrows schedule 15 min.
I have a list totaling 4 hours and 15 min which is all I want to work most days. When I sit down to work, I set the timer I have at my desk for 1 hour. In the first hour, I would tackle the first three things on my list.
When the timer goes off, I take a break for 10-20 minutes. Then I sit down and set the timer for 1 hour again, this time I work on the 4th task on my list. Then I’d take another break, getting up and away from the computer for a while. My next hour I would work on my larger project but only for an hour, then a break, When I return I spend the first half of this hour continuing my work on the larger project and the second half on the 6th task on my list. Then take a short break, maybe a glass of tea and then come back and finish my day writing out the next days schedule. If there was anything, I wasn’t able to complete in the time I gave it I would make it one of the first things to do on my next day’s list.
These three key things- the list, the timer and the breaks are what get it done for me. Use them all! They all work hand in hand to help you keep your focus and get the work done.
3. Make a few connections with others.
One of the hardest parts of being self-employed is the feeling of isolation and lack of support. When we need someone to bounce ideas off of or when we need help with a problem, we can’t step out to the “water cooler” and interface like we used to. It sure makes a big difference when you have someone to talk about things with, helping each other through things, and maybe sharing our successes. Sometimes all you need is someone telling you that “you can do it” or “that’s a great idea”. So I would recommend that you attempt to connect with some people in your niche or business so that you can support and motivate each other.
4. Keep your goals in sight.
Literally. I have a map of the Caribbean as background wallpaper on my computer. Every time I look at it, it stirs a rush of motivation for me! I want nothing more than to visit as many Caribbean islands as I can. But that’s my dream, what’s yours?
5. Take a nap.
As counter-intuitive as it may sound, taking a short half hour nap is one of the best ways to re-energize your body AND mind. So the next time you’re feeling like your dragging though things and not making progress, examine your goals look them over carefully and then take a power nap. As you rest, your subconscious will work on ways to bring those goals to reality. When you wake, you’ll be raring to go!
6. You deserve a Reward.
When you have a large project to tackle or a task you don’t particularly like to do or anything that overwhelms you, plan to give yourself a reward for when it’s completed. Or if it’s a large ongoing project maybe the reward would be for accomplishing a segment of the over all project. You could choose to reward yourself with something as simple as soda, popcorn and a movie at home. Or as exciting as a night out perhaps at a professional sporting event. Plan a reward that YOU want and will enjoy!
7. Give yourself a break.
Starting your own business is hard, and most likely you started while working a full-time job and have put in many hours. And now that you have quit your day job you’re probably still spending a huge amount of time working on your new business. In addition to the day to day tasks of running your business, you need to work on developing new product ideas, invoicing, setting up advertising, customer issues and many other “non-billable” tasks.
Remember, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Be sure you schedule days off, you’ve earned it, so don’t let yourself feel guilty. Above all use the 1-hour block system I talked about in tip #2 and took breaks each hour to stay fresh and maintain your focus and clarity. When I come to a break, I will at least take 10 minutes and get up away from the computer and do something else for a bit. Sometimes I will take up to an hour. I might get up and make a healthy snack or pour a refreshing beverage, and at least one break a day I will exercise or go for a walk to get my blood pumping. I find this very refreshing and often do my best work after getting some exercise… by the time I return to my office, things have fallen into place in my head.
No matter how long you’ve been self-employed or how much you enjoy working from home; whether your a Newbie or a Seasoned Pro, sooner or later we all have times when or motivation is low. While some of the above motivational strategies may seem conflicting at first look – giving yourself a deadline versus taking a break for example – they are all sound and proven methods to boost your motivational level and are key to the long-term success of any internet marketer.
About the Author:
My name is Julie Bradley. I’m a freelance writer. Deeply engaged in studying education topics. I have experience in writing works for famous media and educational blogs. I have my own blog on Studymoose.com. I also help students with writing essays and dissertations. I believe that the right choice of the topic is 90% success.