How to Stay Inspired and On Track When You Can't Commit Full Time Yet | Small Biz Advice
A while ago on instagram I asked people what questions they had in regards to running a business. And while it may take me a while (years) to get through the list, I’m excited to answer another one today!
It seems like almost everyone these days is either an entrepreneur, or working on their “side hustle”. And I think that is pretty cool. Back in 2012 when I quit my “real” job, entrepreneurship, at least in my age group and industry, was not as popular, accepted, or supported as it is now. To see how much it’s grown and the opportunity it gives to so many talented people out there is exciting to see.
The hard part about trying to go out on your own? Knowing when it’s time… and until then, staying inspired to keep going. That is the question I’m going to talk about today
My biggest tip? Prioritizing what time you DO have away from your 9-5.
So let’s break that down into small ways you can utilize that time.
Know when you are productive. Look at the time you have that you can dedicate to your business. What hours out of those do you feel the most productive or inspired? Make sure that you block those hours off in your calendar. For me, when I was working a full-time job and starting A Fabulous Fete, I knew I was the most inspired and clear headed in the morning. I would rather wake up at 5am to work for a bit, then come home and have to focus on blog posts or hand lettering jobs. So that is exactly what I did. Of course things always run over into hours that you may not be at your best, but if you can schedule in your most important tasks for those productive/inspiring hours, you will be guaranteed a good outcome.
Make use of your lunch break. Whatever you have… even if it’s just a half hour. Draft your instagram posts for the day, write product descriptions for your website, write a few emails reaching out to potential partners, etc. There are actually a lot of things you can do in less than an hour if you plan your time accordingly. I would go sit at Starbucks and work on my business some days and it made me feel like all of my work wasn’t piling up at the end of the day.
See if you can work a modified schedule. This wasn’t the case for me, but I know that it has been for some, so it’s worth a shot! Ask if you can work from home one day a week, take a half day once a week, or split your hours into a 4 day work week. Knowing that you have that time set aside on a schedule can really help you prioritize your tasks, and it will likely help you perform better in your full-time job. This obviously isn’t the case at all companies but might be helpful to some.
4. Schedule your time wisely. Chances are you are working weekends (well, aren’t we all… even when you have 8 hours a day, 5 days a week;). But that can go south REAL quick if you don’t have a plan. So make it clear (to your family, your partner, your friends, everyone) that you have set aside certain hours to complete a project. And when you’ve put in your time, shut down your computer and continue on enjoying your weekend. When we don’t schedule, and just say “I have to finish X”, the work can go on and on and leave you burnt out.
5. Find other creatives you can talk to about working part time on your biz. Having people to talk to that you can relate to is huge! Chatting with those in similar situations can help you problem solve or even open your eyes to new opportunities. Plus, if you just need to vent, they’ll get it. Knowing that you are in the same position as others trying to grow is encouraging. So keep your eyes open for others around you that you can connect with.
6. Know when to say no and when to take a break. I remember back when I had my 9-5 cubicle job I said yes to EVERYTHING. I thought that if I did, that big break would come along and I would be able to leave. The only thing I got was tired, cranky, and really sad. I would agree to make these insane projects for editorial shoots (for ZERO dollars) that literally took me an entire weekend, and then they never even got used (insert knife emoji here). I would also take on rush orders that I really couldn’t accommodate with my schedule. I wouldn’t stand up for myself with pushy clients and I’d take on extra work without the pay or extended timeline. It DID NOT have to be that way. So set boundaries and be strict about them. It will be hard at first but it will keep you sane.
It’s definitely not easy. But it is 100% worth it when you get there. So just remember to keep these guidelines in mind when you map out your week ahead. I hope these help you utilize your time efficiently and keep you on track to grow your own business!