Businesses are like plants. You have to feed them, tend to them, and water them if you want them to grow.
I started One Big Happy Life while working a job that I hated, a job that had me traveling all the time when all I wanted was to be home more with my family. Our youngest, Reeves, was 9 months old at the time, and we’d tried for three long years to conceive him. Being on the road tending to work that no longer fed my soul was the last place I wanted to be.
Do you ever have those moments where you pause long enough to push “zoom out” on the current frame of your life? The picture gets clearer and fuller as you move farther back, and you start to see what is no longer serving the full frame. When I zoomed out, I realized how much I wanted more time with my family and a job that allowed for that kind of flexibility. I wanted interesting work that I enjoyed and would give me more time to enjoy life. And I didn’t think this was too much to ask.
So I decided to plant an idea and tend to it fiercely. I spent 2.5 years building a business on the side of my day job so that I could confidently quit that job and still maintain my six-figure income.
Maybe you’re like me, you have an idea, a dream to build a life with more freedom in your schedule, but you can’t figure out how to water that dream while working all day and parenting all night and also trying to find time to sleep and and and …
This feels like a good time for a deep breath (did you take one!?). I’ve learned SO MUCH from my path to being an entrepreneur, and I love that one of the great perks of running my own business is getting to empower others to do the same. I want to share some of my pro-tips for you to consider as you put yourself – and your dreams – out there.
Time Block When You’re Going To Work
Block off time! When have you ever found yourself on the couch (pre-quarantine times) with time just sitting in your lap? There will never be a perfect time where the stars align; if you don't’ block out the time on your calendar and then treat that time like you would a meeting with your boss, it’s not going to happen! You have to show up consistently to get that momentum going. A starting point to shoot for could be 5-10 hours a week. That could look something like this when broken down in a week. Talk to your significant other and your kids and let them know that time is your time.
Stop Obsessing Over Unimportant Decisions
Don’t let the small stuff get in the way of moving the needle forward. Obsessing over website fonts and colors doesn’t land you anything but a headache. Also, you want to use this time purposefully, so try to avoid things like scrolling Instagram in the name of “research.” We all know how quickly “research” becomes scrolling.
Google is Not the Answer
Stop googling how to do everything and invest in a business mentor. So many people avoid this investment because it feels risky and they’re convinced they can teach themselves. But trying to use google to build a business is like trying to build anything from Ikea without instructions.
If I could go back and start all over, this is where I would do things differently. This is the exact reason why I created my business coaching program, Ascend Incubator where I coach you through the process of creating a profitable business from scratch. I’ve been where you are and it’s a brave and daunting place to be! I help you stay focused on exactly where and how you should be using your time.
Batch Work is Your Best Friend
Batch work as much as possible. I still batch create my content even though I run my business full time because it’s by far the most efficient way to use my time creating. I’ll often shoot 3 videos the same day (saves me from having to glam up every day). Check out these strategic examples for batching your work time.
Create a Work Space That Inspires Flow
Create an environment that makes it easy for you to get your work done. Building a business from scratch is deeply creative work. Painters have their studios, builders have their shop, we all have different needs to facilitate creative flow. Find a space that inspires you to show up! Once you have the “where,” consider the “how.” Make sure you have the tools you need to do the work on your business efficiently, things like paying for better internet speed and getting quality equipment. Don’t be afraid to invest here. Look at these investments as buying back your time so you can use that bought time creating an asset that could be worth hundreds, thousands, or millions over the course of your lifetime!
You can grow a successful business on the side of your 9-5! If you keep watering and nurturing that dream, even the tiniest amount of care will keep it growing. If you’re looking for more tools and mentorship as you start your business, I’d love for you to apply to my Ascend Incubator program here. Stop wondering if you’re taking the right steps and let me help keep you focused on the action items that will actually grow your business faster so you can leave that 9-5, already.
Thank you for providing these tips and sharing your story. Attempting to become a content creator or starting your own business is difficult to navigate with a full-time job and these tips are certainly a great start.