10 Things I Learned About Being an Entrepreneur: Part II

Remember last week when I shared the first part of this post? I received so many messages, emails and comments about this post and I am so happy to know that so many of you found it helpful. Here is the second half of 10 Things I Learned About Being an Entrepreneur. It’s quite lengthy, so if you’re on a break, sit back and enjoy or you can always bookmark this page and come back later 🙂

Must be Self-Motivated
Ever hear the term when you’re searching for a job and they request a self motivated employee? What exactly does that mean? Being self-motivated means that every day you wake up and you have a desire to go to work with a rock star, go getter attitude. It means you have such great energy, you won’t need a push to get your work done. But let’s be real. Everyone needs a push. Wether you are working a 9 to 5 or working for yourself.

Being self motivated for yourself means you don’t  get those “cheerleaders” as I like to call them (managers, incentives;etc). You have to pull within yourself every single day and motivate and inspire yourself. You might be thinking “well, I’m a positive person. I am always in a happy mood that shouldn’t be hard for me.” But you’re wrong about that. You could be the happiest person on earth and still not understand how difficult some days as an entrepreneur can truly be. As I discussed in the previous post there is a lonely road sometimes. And then there’s that lack of support that you might be getting from certain people in your life. So, the ability to motivate yourself every day to do great things to make moves with your business can be a huge challenge.

My advice on this is to create a small vision board. A vision board consists of your goals- the bigger picture- where you see yourself. Then create an accomplishment board. On this board, I want you to put together pictures, awards, positive comments, big paychecks; etc. Any accomplishments you have made throughout your time as an entrepreneur. These can be collages you make on your computer- you don’t need to go nuts cutting and pasting- leave that to people who have time for scrap booking. Print them out and keep them in your desk drawer for example. When you feel disappointed, uninspired or down- pull these out and look at them. These are your reminders that you have a bigger plan and that you are on your way there. Your accomplishments show that you have the ability to achieve great things and your vision shows that you have dreams and you plan to make them happen! Tell me that does not inspire you.

(read below for tips on how to motivate yourself more…)

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Work from Home = Work in Pj’s! 

One of the things I hear quite often from people is “oh you work from home? It must be awesome to work in pjs!” Um, NO. Working in pjs is a terrible idea. If you are doing that right now- STOP. Do you know the term “Dress for Success”? It is not just a term, it is the truth. When I am in pjs, I want to lounge around and go back to bed. I have the luck of being a mom and having to get up in the morning, get dressed and take my daughter to school. Now, if I were not a parent who had to do this, I don’t think I would be up earlier than noon. I will admit I had a few pj work from home days and after doing that to myself I swore never again. I felt lethargic, unmotivated and with the desire to crawl back into my bed.

Whenever I feel unmotivated, I put on some lipstick and heels- that’s what makes me feel empowered. As silly as it may sound, this is what works for me. It’s the same reason you will never see me at a meeting in flats. Think of a super hero. What does a super hero do before they take on the world? Why, change into their costume! And that’s the same thing, my friend. You must get ready to tackle your day and cross off that checklist.

Another way to find motivation is through mediating or praying. Each morning when you wake up- stretch, breathe, have some water or tea meditate. I often begin with a grateful heart. For example:

“Thank you for my blessings. I am grateful for all that I have. My family, my health, my home. Please continue to bless my home, family and business.”

Whatever religion you may be, I’m sure you get what I mean. Next, I put on some music. Music gives me energy and helps me work. I also have post its on my desk from my daughter with sweet little messages she writes me every time she sits at my desk. I haven’t really told her how nice it is to find her little surprises but they do lift my spirits. On warmer days, I take a coffee/tea break and sit on the back porch. That’s always a nice mental break,too.

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Recognizing Red Flags

After some time in business, you develop a gift of recognizing red flags. What do I mean? Here’s an example…

I get a phone call from a person interested in my services. This person is a male. I think nothing of it and schedule a meeting with him. He says he has a big client and is offering good pay and would like to further discuss. Sounds great, right? WRONG.  The day of the meeting arrives. The man is staring me up and down (I am dressed business casual, nothing crazy) and even asks me to lower my glasses so he could see my eyes. He then begins to compliment me and ask me personal questions. In that moment I realized this man and his meeting were complete BS. He was an unprofessional perverted man and nothing more. I excused myself and left. The man continued to message me through social media until I finally blocked him.

Other examples would be people calling saying they have an opportunity for you to get “exposure” from working with them or trying to get over on you for freebies. My point? Until you develop this gift of recognizing red flags, be very careful with people. As a female using social media , your image is out there for everyone to see. Always show professionalism and put your foot down so that people, especially men know to respect you.

I now screen my phone calls very carefully before scheduling meetings. I look the person up, I check their links, I check for any reviews. If I still feel skeptical, I ask for references or referred to someone else.

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If it isn’t Scheduled, it’s Pretty Much in the Air

I’m not sureIf that’s exactly how it was worded, but I remember reading this saying before. It makes complete sense. In order to be successful, one must be consistent. And in order to be consistent, you must be on a good schedule. I can be a messy person. In the past, I’d take all of these projects on, have all these ideas, and keep crazy mental notes. I’m sure you realize how draining this can be. Imagine having a planner that you can’t find anywhere but you remember recording things in. Think of your days as a school kid. You were given a class schedule and mom kept a calendar by the fridge with your daily activities written on it. Life was easier to keep track of wasn’t it? Or in the corporate world- how everyone gets a list of tasks to complete, a lunch break or meetings at set times. You must do the same with your business.

Life can get very messy if you don’t keep track. I will admit keeping a schedule has not been easy for me but it’s something I am working on. For 2015, I started out with a lovely planner by Kate Spade. I thought the fun pretty planner would motivate me to maintain a good schedule and stay on track. I started out really well but then I would put the planner aside and forget to look at it. So on top of this, I had to begin to record my schedule into my iPhone as well as my planner. And since this wasn’t enough, I also set alarms. It sounds like a lot but believe me it’s what works for me. Everyone has a different system. Whether it’s sticky notes, an iPad, your phone, a desk planner- really anything that can help you stay schedule is a good thing.

Balanced Body, Mind, Spirit = Health, Sane Business Woman

Most entrepreneurs can agree on one thing: there are too little hours in a day. We sleep little, think lots and stress tons. The fun part of my job is going out, networking, meeting with clients and creating. The very boring part is sitting at home editing, doing paperwork, taking phone calls, even answering e-mails. But someone has to do it. And if you’re just starting out, that someone is most likely you most of the time.

I am a workaholic. I can work all day non stop without even eating or looking outside. I used to do this a lot that is until I began getting ill from it. No eating=stomach issues, mood swings, poor nutrition. Little physical activity=weakened muscles, less energy, vitamin deficiency. I can go on and on. I learned my lessons thankfully and I can now tell you the importance of breaks, eating, drinking lots of water, and getting at least 15 minutes of daily exercise is crucial to be a better business woman. Your body needs all of these things and not only that, but you will feel so much better.

So, next time your girlfriend asks you to join her for her afternoon stroll, don’t turn her down. Instead, turn the computer off and disconnect from work. Your e-mails will still be there when you get back,  your phone calls can be returned, and if there’s an emergency- someone will contact you on your cell phone.

I hope you guys enjoyed this two part series of posts. There are so many other things I can share with you about entrepreneurship and I promise- I will share more with you soon! If you have any questions or comments, please post them below. I love hearing from you!

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