It seems like everyone that I know runs their own business. This is true even if they have a full-time job. Why? Because most of us do not want to live paycheck to paycheck. And if our 9-5 jobs are not paying us enough, we want more! Or we NEED more. Also, it is a known that fact that people are creative. We all have hobbies that we enjoy doing and we figure out how to make money from them. Or, we have skills that we are good at, or that we learn on our job, so we take on side jobs for some additional income. It can be an awesome feeling to own your own business. But are you overwhelming yourself or spreading yourself too thin? I feel that I am sometimes. I no longer work a 9-5 job, so that means that I work even harder to make an income stick.
How Many Jobs Do You Have?
If you were to make a list of all that you do, and break it up into jobs, how many do you have? How many different things do you do that bring in money? For me the list is:
- Web Designer
- Social Media Trainer
- Social Media Consultant
- Social Event Planner
- Computer Technician
So that is 7 jobs. Seven. That is a lot. One could argue that the #4 and #5 could be combined, but they are really different things. And I am a one woman shop. Some may be in the lucky position to be able to outsource some of their work, but I am not in a position to do that… yet. I am working on it! Although I will admit that in some cases I love being a one woman shop. It would take time to *train* someone else to do some of the things that I do. And it would take time to collaborate and get reports, etc. so that I always know what is going on. Hopefully one day I will get to the point where I feel organized enough, comfortable enough, and where income is coming in enough to get some help. Actually, my girls are 10 and smart as can be. I am going to start getting them to help me do a few things. They are already interested in technology, and they are good at it, so I think we might have something there. 🙂
The Struggle to Get It All Done
I admit that I constantly struggle with finding balance in all that I do. I think other entrepreneurs can attest to that fact that once you work full-time from home you work longer hours than you ever have before. It is not always possible to turn off work at 5pm. You find time to work between being a mom, housekeeper, cook, and more. You don't have a set salary for putting in 40 hours a week. You do not always know how much you are making hourly. Pay may come from several different sources. Some places may pay immediately. Some places may have a 30-60 day wait before you get paid. So you are constantly working to make sure that some type of steady flow of money is always coming in. It can be a lot. It is important not to wear yourself out. You need to take breaks. You need to sleep! Otherwise you and your family will suffer. It is not uncommon to work on weekends, or each night after the kids are in bed. But… sometimes you just have to let loose. You need to spend time with your family. You need to play with your kids. And you need to blow off some steam, exercise, clean, or whatever. You will know when you are burned out. I have been going through it lately. This past weekend I could not focus on writing or much else that required me to think. I spent most of the weekend doing yard work, running errands, and for the most part… avoiding social media. Every now and then we need to clear our minds by doing something completely unrelated to our business.
Tips on Finding Balance
Finding a balance from day to day can be hard. However, here are a few tips. And no… I do not always take my own advice. It is a work in progress.
- Wake up before the kids – Take a few minutes to yourself and shower, have coffee, and quickly look over emails that arrived overnight.
- Work while the kids are in school – After you drop the kids off, get home and get to work. Pretend that you are punching a clock. Hit your desk at 9am and work until it's time to pick up the kids, breaking for lunch (or a nap) of course!
- Take an after school break – While the kids are home and awake, take a break from work. This is your time to make dinner, help with homework, give baths, and tuck the kids in. Also, get uniforms and anything else ready for the next day.
- Relax – Yes, you probably have more work to do, but after doing all of your mom/dad duties, take a break. Sit still for 30 minutes – 1 hour. Zone out by watching TV. Do not touch your computer or phone.
- Finish a task – You may have left some things unfinished when it was time to jet out to pick the kids up from school. Use this time to finish one important task or deadline object.
- Make a list – Make a list of things to do for the next day
- Sleep! – We are all tempted and sometimes we cannot help but stay up late to catch up or finish something important, but we must sleep. Without sleep you are not any good to anyone. Your brain needs rest!
So tell me, how many different jobs do you have as an entrepreneur that bring money into your household? And how do you find balance?