I’m a small business owner, a contractor, a writer, a wife, a daughter and a mom, among many other things. To say that I wear many hats is to say that summers in Arizona are hot. It’s not even summer here and I’m sweating, and yes, I wear more than a few hats. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to work from home, manage your own team, direct your own course and, well, be your own boss. Being a small successful social media strategists and business leader instills efficiency, quickness, and multitasking super-powers. It also can shorten your patience and thicken your skin. Thinking about getting into the business of being self-employed? Here’s what you’ll need in your toolbox…
Resolve and an Insatiable Drive – As you are the creator of your own destiny, it is up to you to stand back up every time you get knocked down, and you will get knocked down. But these are the moments when you take a breath, take a break, and come back with a vengeance. These are the moments when you qualify your mistakes, learn from them, and become better. Every failure must be like kerosene on a bonfire, fueling the flames to greater heights.
Humble and Unpretentious – You will need to understand where your priorities lie before you even began traveling down this road. Are you doing this for the money? The fame? The challenge? The power to be your own boss? The freedom? Or are you doing this so that you can drop your kids off in the morning and pick them up in the afternoons? Are you doing this so that you won’t miss any more soccer games or dance rehearsals? Write down your priorities, the genuine reasons why you are starting your own business or looking to self-employment. These reasons must be with you at all times – through good times and bad. You are married to these reasons – they will keep you humble.
When a client asks to hold a meeting on a Sunday morning, you have failed to maintain your integrity. The client knows you’ll say yes, and so you’ve moved beyond your humble beginnings into a grey area of no return. Stick to those humble beginnings if they were set for specific reasons. If you started this business for the money, arrange that Sunday meeting.
Efficiency and Multitasking – Being a small business owner can turn you into a multi-tasking powerhouse. I currently run, practically on an hourly basis, multiple Facebook Business Pages for clients in multiple industries with daily posts, engagement, custom contests, and highly successful marketing strategies. However, this can all be accomplished, and more, all before lunch if done efficiently enough. Being self-employed means that you don’t have to work a 40-hour week. In fact, if you can turn 6 hours a day into focused, efficient and insanely productive hours, you can literally cut that old 40-hour workweek in half.
Remaining productive during your ‘work day,’ no matter how many hours that might be, is the ultimate goal. No more surfing the Internet, browsing Twitter or playing Facebook games to pass the time when you’re self-employed. Every single second that you’re at work counts, which means that you literally can work less hours and get more done.
On and Off Switch – Every small business owner absolutely must have an on and off switch, a moment in time where they can literally check out of work and let it all go. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs, leading business men and women, and small business owners know how to ‘check out’ when it’s necessary.
According to research from Bolt Insurance, almost half of small business owners believe that the stress of running their business has damaged their health, says Inc.com.
Working from home can make it tough to ‘check out’ and ‘unplug,’ but it is a necessary and perhaps even life-saving – definitely business saving – aspect of self-employment. Being absurdly productive, quick and efficient can also make it difficult to slow down during those ‘unplugged’ hours.
You want results, and you want them immediately. It’s both a benefit and downfall of being a productive small business owner. But in the ‘real world’ when your ‘unplugged,’ things do not move that quickly. The school bus will be late, or the restaurant will quote you the wrong wait time, or your son’s swing will be a little off, and you need to be ok with that. When you’re officially ‘checked out’ you must learn to breathe, relax, slow down, and go with the flow. Nearly the exact opposite of how you function during your ‘checked in’ hours.
Being a successful small business owner can be the greatest accomplishment of your life, giving you that freedom you’ve always dreamt of. It can also be stressful, detrimental to your health and difficult on your family and friendships. The path in which you choose depends upon how you utilize the tools mentioned above.
About the Author: Kandice Linwright is the owner of Linwright Design, LLC, the social media director for Quaintise, and is currently forming The Gilbert SEO Studio where local small business owners can find free marketing advice. With a degree in journalism and many years of content development under her belt, Kandice has grown ties with some of the most influential social media experts in the business. For more information, to see client testimonials, or learn a bit more about Kandice, visit http://www.LinwrightDesign.com or http://www.Quaintise.com.