What Did You Expect?
We all have expectations. No matter how hard we try not to, we can't help but to desire a particular outcome of a situation or want certain behavior from those we love. It's human nature.
I think it's okay to set a standard or communicate what you want and need but you also have to prepare yourself for disappointment if things don't go the way you expect. This is a critical tidbit if you are an entrepreneur. Because when things don't go as expected the first inclination is to throw in the towel. You start to rethink everything and question whether or not you even have what it takes to succeed. To avoid the negative self talk and feelings of inadequacy, I would suggest immediately letting go of the following expectations:
1. Family/friend support- Sad but true. Often those closest to us are the last to support us. They don't understand your business or your vision or they don't see it as something "real". Don't waste time trying to explain or convince them. There is an audience/consumer for your products/services and it's not your family or friends. Target your audience, build a community and engage with people who value what you have to offer.
2. You will make money- This is also a tough pill to swallow but the truth is you might not make money right away. Some entrepreneurs say it took them years to make a profit. So you have to determine whether or not you have what takes to stay the course- patience, passion and a back up financial plan! Don't assume just because you're good at something or because other people are making money doing something that it will work for you. Everyone's experience is different.
3. It will be fun- When you initially start a business around your passion it is all rainbows and unicorns. But once it truly becomes a business- taxes, deadlines, complaints, no sales, etc. It's not always fun. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing like getting paid for something you love however you've got to take the good with the bad. There won't always be positive outcomes. You will sometimes need a Plan B, C and D.
The Entrepreneur Parent
Parenting is a tough job. It's even tougher when you're an entrepreneur working from home.
Kids rely heavily on their parents. Depending on their ages you have to feed them, dress them, bathe them, take them to soccer practice or help them with their homework. All of this requires a very precious commodity for entrepreneurs: time.
It can seem as if you don't have enough time to dedicate to your business and if you spend more time on work than with your kids then you feel guilty. So you try to juggle both and end up with a string of sleepless nights, which affects not only your health but your creativity and productivity as well.
I've been there and sometimes still struggle with making it all work. But there are some sure fire things you can do to help things run a little smoother:
1. Schedule everything. I'm serious. I know spontaneity is fun and cool and the spice of life or whatever. . .but if you don't adhere to some form of time management you will fail miserably. You should schedule answering emails or phone calls early in the AM while your kids are sleep or at school. When the kids are awake schedule an activity with them from X time to Y time, and then get back to work during their nap. If you have a strict project or client deadline, you may have to put on a movie (gasp!) or call over a relative to babysit for a few hours.
2. Quit at quitting time. If you schedule everything you should be able to set a realistic time to stop working. If you were working outside of the home there would be a set time to turn off the computer and leave the building. Apply the same thought process when working from home. Log off and close the office door or put the laptop on the closet shelf out of view.
3. Examine your priorities. You are more than likely working from home because you crave work life balance. You want to be able to spend more time with your family. So do it. Don't spend all your time working and miss out on those special moments with your family because you can't ever get that time back.
Before You Quit Your Day Job
I did a Periscope broadcast last week and decided to repost it here on the blog. In this broadcast I discuss quitting your job to become a stay at home parent, entrepreneur or freelancer. I will cover things you need to DO and things you need to KNOW before you quit your day job!
Take a look and let me know your thoughts in the comments:
I love life hacks! Anything that can help make things easier or lighten the load is a win as far as I'm concerned. Here a few of my own random life tips/hacks:
1. Clean your house before you leave for a trip! Trust me there is no better feeling than coming home to a clean house. It might also motivate you to unpack sooner rather than later since everything will be so nice and tidy.
2. Pack a plastic trash bag for dirty clothes or use the plastic laundry bag provided by the hotel (they are normally clipped to a hanger in the hotel closet.) This way when you get home you can just empty the bag into the washer not to mention it keeps your other clothes fresh.
When you give your kids chores, set the oven timer or the timer on your phone and make it a challenge. Give them ten minutes to get their toys picked up and see if they can "beat the buzzer". If this doesn't motivate your kids then threaten to take away video game or TV time if the mess isn't up in ten minutes. Either way they'll get moving!
If you're able to get out and go for a walk, head exactly one mile in the opposite direction of your house or car (if you drive to a park or walking trail) you'll have to get back to where you started, so you automatically put in 2 miles round trip. Straight paths or walking trails work better for me than a track because after the second lap, I'm usually headed to the car. I feel the same way about treadmills, it's just too easy to stop when you've had enough or get bored.
When I'm working on something that I know I can get done in a certain time frame, I set timer on my phone to keep me on track. There is something about knowing time is literally ticking that gets me to focus and not wander off on the Internet or social media.
I mentioned our road trip in my last post but I didn't mention that my husband and I took turns driving and during my turn at the wheel I focused not only on the road but had plenty of time to ponder the question: What's Next?
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