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 am recovering and coming off my first year as a full-time entrepreneur. Let me tell you… the struggle is real!!
I just returned from CES. Yes… yet another trip, so I'm playing catch-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. 🙂
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:
Getting Respect in Your Entrepreneurial *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.
Managing Your Time as an Entrepreneur
Working from home is hard. There are constant distractions. In addition to working, you have to manage the household. And this is even worse 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.
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 truer when you are in a one income household. You stop being able to say yes to everything and you think about how it 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.
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!
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, and 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. 🙂
I've encountered many struggles in my business life! See also: