Congratulations! You’ve put in the work and now you’re a full-time small business owner… you work for yourself.
You built a great website; figured out pricing, printed business cards and employed some simple advertising programs. Now you can kick your heels up, sit back and wait for orders to come in. You can picture it now — rolling in money!
The scenario I described isn’t generally what happens when you go into business for yourself.
Becoming an entrepreneur requires self-discipline. You are now in charge of everything: your schedule, marketing, customer acquisition, work conditions, and the list goes on. This new-found freedom can lead to a severe lack of productivity if you’re not prepared for the road ahead.
Here are four ways to maximize productivity and income, while you reap the benefits of being newly self-employed.
1. Keep a routine.
Routine is your friend. Trust me.
If you develop a routine, you are more likely to complete projects in a timely manner. If you lease an office, keep regular hours. Make it known that you are available to answer questions during that time. If not, you can potentially lose business due to unavailability.
If you’ve setup a home-based office, create a room or area that is specifically for work. Treat this as an exclusive office space.
2. View time as money.
Since you don’t have anyone to answer to, it can be harder to find the motivation you’ll need to be productive. If this is the case, give yourself a real consequence for not getting work done. Luckily, if you’re just starting out — motivation is not hard to find.
No work, no money. No income, you don’t eat. You get the idea.
When you’re tempted to relax, view that distraction as one less meal. If you equate your time to actual dollars, you’ll soon see the motivation come from unlikely places. If you are a consultant that is paid per hour, the motivation is pretty simple. If you are paid per project, estimate the hours it will take, share your estimate with the client and stick to it.
When you value your time, like you value money, you’ll find motivation everywhere.