Starting your own business and becoming self-employed is a dream for many, but it’s not always easy to navigate the road to success. In this blog post, I will be sharing 7 keys to self-employment success that will help you work towards achieving your entrepreneurial goals. Whether you’re a business owner or self-employed professional, these small business strategies and tips will help you build a successful entrepreneurial career.
#1 Learn How to Structure Your Days
One of the reasons you became an entrepreneur was probably because you wanted more freedom and time to do whatever you wanted. However, implementing structure into your new workday can help you stay on task and give you the control you’ve always wanted.
Tips for Structuring Your Day in Self-Employment
Set Intentions the Day Before
Setting your intentions or goals the day before can help you get clear on what you want to accomplish throughout the day. As a result, you can manage your time more effectively and plan your day to increase productivity.
Create a Daily Schedule
Self-employment requires you to become more organized with your tasks. Creating a daily schedule takes all the guesswork out of your workday. Similar to a 9-5, you should have a daily schedule for getting all your tasks done. Creating a daily schedule to suit your needs can help you manage your time more effectively and reduce wasted time. Here are some tips for creating a daily schedule:
- Don’t overload your plate: Many self-employed people throw too much work on their plates because they overestimate how much time they have in a day.
- Don’t underload your plate: Just because you work for yourself now doesn’t mean you get to sit back and relax.
- Do a test run and adjust as needed: If you’re not sure how many tasks you should put in your schedule, add an amount you think is reasonable and adjust as needed.
- Schedule according to your needs and lifestyle: If you want to have an in-depth morning routine, try to schedule the majority of your tasks from lunch until the evening. The opposite is true for those who’d rather knock out their work in the morning and have an afternoon/evening routine.
Break Up Your Day Into Chunks
Breaking up your day into chunks can help you compartmentalize your tasks into separate chunks. This way, you can focus on one set of tasks at a time, allowing you to dedicate more focus and energy into them. As you move through each chunk of your day, you can work through separate tasks, reducing monotony and promoting efficiency.
Use Productivity Tools
Productivity tools can significantly reduce wasted time, allowing you to get more done in less time. Here are some common productivity tools I like to use:
- The Pomodoro Technique: This method involves breaking your workday into 25-minute intervals, with short breaks in between. This can help you stay focused and productive.
- The Eisenhower Matrix: This method involves categorizing tasks into four quadrants based on their urgency and importance. This can help you prioritize your tasks and focus on the most important ones.
- The 80/20 Rule (Pareto Principle): This principle states that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. By identifying and focusing on the most important 20% of your tasks, you can increase your productivity and achieve more in less time.
- The 60/60/30 Method: The 60/60/30 Method is where you work for sixty minutes, then take a ten minute break. Repeat this again, followed by thirty minutes of work and a ten minute break. This method allows you to grind hard for an hour and rewards you with a break afterward. As a result, you worked for 2.5 hours straight without distractions.
#2 Build Your Network
Networking is an essential part of any business, and as a self-employed individual, it can be even more important to build a strong network. Here are a few reasons why building a network is important for self-employment success:
- Building a network can help establish credibility and authority in your field
- It can provide access to new clients and business opportunities
- Create a supportive community for sharing ideas and resources
- A strong network can help to mitigate the potential risks and isolation that can come with self-employment
- Building a network can be done through attending industry events, joining professional organizations, and actively networking online and offline.
#3 Join a Community
At my online entrepreneurial education company, ENTRE Institute, my students have access to an online community and live events where they can learn from each other, support one another, and keep each other accountable throughout their entrepreneurial journeys.
I believe community is an essential aspect of self-employment success because starting your own business can be stressful and scary, especially when you’re alone.
However, joining a supportive community can help you work towards your goals and expand your network. Here are a few reasons why joining a community is important as a self-employed individual:
- Joining a community can provide connection, networking and collaboration opportunities for self-employed individuals.
- A community can provide access to resources, information, mentorship, and guidance to grow the business and improve skills.
- You may receive emotional support, motivation, accountability and industry trend updates.
- Communities may provide potential opportunities for finding new clients, learning from others’ experiences and avoiding mistakes.
#4 Develop Discipline
Self-employment can be a challenging task, and discipline is one of the most crucial elements of success. Without discipline, it can be difficult to stay focused on your goals, manage your time, and maintain productivity. Here are a few reasons why developing discipline is essential for self-employment success:
- Developing discipline is crucial for success and productivity as a self-employed individual.
- Without the structure and accountability of a traditional work environment, it can be easy to become distracted or procrastinate.
- Discipline can help to set clear goals, stay focused on tasks, and maintain a consistent work schedule.
- Discipline can also help to manage time effectively and prioritize important tasks.
- Without discipline, you may struggle to stay on top of your workload and meet deadlines.
- Developing discipline can increase efficiency, productivity, and increase chances of success in business ventures.
#5 Set Daily, Weekly, Monthly, and Yearly Goals
Setting daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals as a self-employed individual is crucial for staying on track and achieving success.
- Daily goals can help to keep you focused on your priorities and make sure that you’re making progress towards your larger goals.
- Weekly goals can help to ensure that you’re making consistent progress and keeping up with your to-do list.
- Monthly goals can help to track your progress, measure your performance and make adjustments as necessary.
- Yearly goals can help you to set a long-term vision and keep your focus on your ultimate objective.
Having clearly defined goals can help to create a sense of purpose and motivation, and also provide a sense of accomplishment when you reach them. It can also help you to identify areas where you may need to improve or make adjustments.
Additionally, setting goals can help to measure your progress and keep you accountable for your actions. Without goals, you may find yourself drifting aimlessly and not achieving what you want.
By setting daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals, you can ensure that you’re always moving forward and making progress towards your overall success as a self-employed individual.
#6 Track Your Progress and Adjust As Needed
Tracking your progress as a self-employed individual is important for several reasons:
- It allows you to measure your performance and identify areas where you may need to improve or make adjustments.
- It helps you to stay on track and ensure that you are making progress towards your goals.
- It can help to keep you motivated by providing a sense of accomplishment when you see the progress you have made.
- It can help to identify patterns or trends in your work and make data-driven decisions.
- It can also help you to stay accountable for your actions and progress.
There are many ways to track progress, such as using a calendar, keeping a journal, using a task manager, or using a project management tool. It is important to find a method that works for you and that you will be able to stick to.
Regularly tracking your progress will allow you to see the big picture and make sure you are on the right path to achieving your goals as a self-employed individual.
Additionally, tracking your progress can also help to identify patterns or trends in your work, which can inform your future planning and decision-making.
#7 Delegate and Automate If Needed
Self-employment can put a lot of pressure on you since you’re the sole owner and operator of your entire business. To free up more of your time, you can delegate and automate tasks that don’t require you.
Delegating and automating tasks as a self-employed individual is important for several reasons:
- It allows you to focus on the most important tasks that only you can do, such as generating new business or developing new products or services.
- It can help to increase your efficiency and productivity by freeing up your time to work on more important tasks.
- It can help to lower your stress and workload by reducing the amount of tasks you have to handle.
- It can help to reduce the risk of burnout by spreading the workload among multiple people or automating repetitive tasks.
- It can also help you to scale your business and handle more clients or projects by having more resources to rely on.
Delegating and automating tasks can be done in several ways, such as hiring employees, outsourcing to freelancers, or using automation tools. It is important to find the right balance and not to delegate or automate too much, as you still want to maintain control over your business and ensure quality standards are met.
Additionally, it is important to establish clear communication and guidelines for the tasks delegated or automated, and to monitor progress and results to ensure things are running smoothly. By delegating and automating tasks, you can free up your time and focus on the most important tasks that will boost your self-employment success.
Tips for Delegating and Automating Your Tasks
- Identify which tasks can be delegated or automated: Make a list of all the tasks you perform regularly and determine which can be delegated or automated. Prioritize the tasks that are time-consuming, repetitive, or not critical to your business.
- Hire the right people: When delegating tasks, make sure to hire people who are skilled and experienced in the tasks you need to delegate. This can include hiring employees, outsourcing to freelancers, or using virtual assistants.
- Set clear guidelines and communication: Establish clear guidelines and instructions for the tasks being delegated or automated, and ensure that there is clear communication between all parties involved.
- Monitor progress and results: Regularly check in on the progress of delegated or automated tasks and make adjustments as necessary. This will ensure that the tasks are being completed correctly and on time.
- Use automation tools: Automation tools can help to automate repetitive tasks and free up your time. Examples of automation tools include scheduling software, email marketing software, and accounting software.
- Don’t over-delegate: Be careful not to delegate or automate too much. You still want to maintain control over your business and ensure quality standards are met.
- Continuously evaluate: Continuously evaluate the tasks that you have delegated or automated, and make changes if necessary. This will help you to improve your process and make it more efficient over time.