2013 Was My First Year as a Full-Time Entrepreneur: The Struggle is Real

Yes, I am a couple of weeks late posting this, but it was for good reason. 2013 ended with a bang, and 2014 started with a bang! As you see I have not posted much yet this year. I just returned from CES. Yes.. yet another trip, so I’m catching up (as usual). However, I did not want to miss out on reflecting on what a great year 2013 was for me. Last year was my first FULL year of being unemployed. I lost my job of over 15 years in January 2012, but I was on severance for a while, so that year does not count. :) I have not looked back. And I don’t mean unemployed as in sitting around on the couch doing nothing and wondering when I was going to get a job. I mean the good kind of unemployed! I did not have a 9-5 job at any point last year. Yes, I did take advantage of my unemployment benefits (why wouldn’t I?), but those ended early in the year. From that point on I was an OFFICIAL entrepreneur! I worked for me, myself, and I. I worked in my office, in my home, and very often in my pajamas. :)

Struggle

Let me tell you… the struggle is real!! There are many struggles that you go through as an entrepreneur, especially as a full-time blogger. There are many things to learn. Here are a few:

1.  Getting respect in your *job*: There are some that will NEVER embrace the fact that you get paid to *play on social media* all day, every day. You will hear “but you are just a blogger”. You will hear “you sit at home and do nothing all day.” You will hear “those of us that have real jobs…” You cannot let any of that get to you. I mean without people like us there would not be an internet! Trust me… when those people start to see the fruits of your labor they will come around. I just say, “you do realize that I am paying my bills somehow right?” You know what they say, once you have haters you have officially made it. LOL! I don’t think most of these people mean to be haters, they just need an understanding.

2. Managing your time: Working from home is hard. There are constant distractions. In addition to working, you have to manage the household. And this is even moreso when home because you are not away in an office. If your kids or spouse are home with you they WILL bother you. If you know that things around the house need to get done, your mind will be distracted worrying about it. When you work a 9-5 office job you are off in a cube farm and don’t have to worry about that type of thing. It takes a lot of hard work and mind tricks to separate the two. This is something that I am still working on. This is why having a dedicated home office helps. Also, working full-time for yourself probably means that you will work MORE than full-time!! Try not to get burned out.

3. Learning to value your own time: When first becoming a blogger we do a lot of things *just for fun*, but once you cross the threshold into blogging for your job you have to treat your time differently. This is even more true when you are in an one income household. You stop being able to say yes to everything and you think about how that will affect your bottom line. The bills have to be paid. And figuring out how to make sure that happens becomes your number one priority. You start to approach things differently. You learn to say no to things that may interfere with your stress level, your other opportunities, and your budget! You stop working for free. Of course there are exceptions to every rule. You have to find your happy medium.

4. You learn to cut ties/learn from your mistakes/You learn to say no: I have a problem. I love being helpful. Even when I don’t really have the time, I LOVE to help people. I have taken on a couple of projects over the years mostly to help those that I care about, or those that I see really need the help. Problem is… it turns out that I was more into it than them! It became a waste of time. Now, before I jump and say “Oh sure… I will help you with that” I think…. hard! I now try to help those that are clearly into it. Those that want to help themselves, and those whose goals at least semi-align with my own. Doing this means that you won’t feel like you are forcing others to accept your help. This works out better for everyone. Trust me!

5. You become a champion networker: I was never shy. However, when it came to business I sometimes had a problem networking, throwing out my elevator pitch, or counter pitching. Now, I have no choice. After a while it becomes a piece of cake. I can now easily chat up someone at a networking event, conference, the nail shop, grocery store, or via email about what I do. You just never know who could use your services, or where business might come from!

This post could probably go on forever. Each and every day I come up with a new scheme, idea, plan, or just a new way to better myself and my business. Now it can be a slow process. Nobody is perfect! I’m certainly not. I have many faults. We all do, even if we don’t admit it. :) We might have a tendency to become overwhelmed (me), we procrastinate (also me LOL!), or we have a liking for naps. LOL! No matter what it is, as long as you can admit it, figure out a way to overcome it, and then work towards that goal you should be all set!

Also always look to learn more! There are so many knowledgeable people around us. There are better, bigger bloggers, better business owners, awesome entrepreneurs. Listen to these people. Listen to their advice. Read their helpful posts. Network with more people like yourself. Soak it all up, and learn!

And now… off you go to take over the world! LOL. :)

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  • DomesticLifeStylist®

    Congratulations on taking the plunge. The challenges are so real. Right now, nap times, and after 8:30pm work well but I know that will change as the l”littles” grow older. Thanks for sharing.

  • Stacey Ferguson

    I love this post, Kris! You ain’t lied about a thang. IT.IS.SO.HARD. for each and every reason you mentioned. This month makes officially 2 years that I’m a full-time entrepreneur, and I’m till trying to figure it all out. The good news is that we’re not alone and all of our hard work will pay off ;) Congrats to you!

    • http://littletechgirl.com/ Kris Cain

      Thanks Stacey! You are certainly an inspiration, and one of the people that I constantly think about when I think about hard work paying off. :) And I’m really hoping to make it to Blogalicious this year! You know I’m here if you need me. :)

  • http://sophistishe.com/ Sheena Tatum

    Where have I been!? For some reason I thought you quit your job. Anywho, congrats on transitioning to blogging full-time! You’re a superstar so I know it was seamless.

    I hear bloggers reference #1 all of the time, but I’ve never had someone look down on my occupation as a blogger. I do often get the “I need to get on that computer and do what you’re doing.” “Hey, so and so is trying to make some extra money. Can you?” NO!!!! Story for another post. I’ve even gone as far as telling people that you need a degree and years of training in order to blog professionally so that the people who are in it for the wrong reasons would back off. Bending the truth juuust a tiny bit. Ditto to helping those whose goals align with yours. It’s more rewarding.

    Well, I’m off to take over the world!

    • http://littletechgirl.com/ Kris Cain

      LOL. Thanks Sheena! Yeah, that is another post. I know exactly what you mean! And that reminds or another one that I have been meaning to write ;)

  • http://www.moneywisemoms.com Gina Lincicum

    So proud of you! You eased into a bit with the unemployment rather than some who make the leap, but you’re making it work in your own way. You’re way too exciting to do just one job, anyway, so enjoy the many venues and here’s to your continued success in 2014.

    • http://kriscain.net LittleTechGirl

      Thanks Gina. Yeah, I did have unemployment for a while since I was laid off, but it was no picnic! It was not even enough to pay my full mortgage! So, even then I had to hustle. I was actually laid off in Jan 2012, so this month makes 2 years out of work.

      Kris

  • http://glassesandglitter.com Tori

    Great post! Amazing how you managed to a whole year, keep up the good work!

    • http://kriscain.net LittleTechGirl

      Thanks Tori! I’m working my tail off. LOL!

  • Andrina Goetz

    I think it takes a lot of guts to do this. I wish I could do it myself but I don’t have the talent. I am not much of a writer. I am happy with my 9 to 5 but sometimes, like today, I wish I could be at home with my daughter working in my pajamas. Congrats on a great year. I hope 2014 is even better.

    • http://kriscain.net LittleTechGirl

      Thanks so much Andrina! It IS extremely hard. Of course initially I didn’t do it on purpose since I lost my job, but I quickly embraced the idea and started hustling. Now, I don’t only blog though. I also do photography, web design, consulting, events, and speaking. It is a LOT of work!! Having a 9-5 that you love is great! There was a time when I did love my job, but that was not the case at the tail end. :)

      Good luck to you!

      Kris

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