12 September, 2017

3 things to think about when working for yourself

Are you about to take that long awaited leap and start to work for yourself? This could be one of the best decision you’ve made in your life and we’re right here alongside to support you. It might be so you can spend more time with your kids, or so you can pursue your ultimate dream (we’d love to know what that is by the way). It might be so you can live nearer the people who are important to you, or maybe you’d just like a break from whatever you’ve been doing for the last 20 years. Whatever the reason, we hope you go for it.

Now here are 2 important things to keep an eye on as you go into the exciting world of running your own business.

Being the Boss

The great thing about working for yourself is that you are the boss! You might even be feeling a little elated about the freedom that this can give you. You make the decisions, you decide when you work, you decide who your clients are. You can even choose to fire the terrible ones and decide how much to charge for your product or service. But don’t forget, with this kind of freedom also comes responsibility.

It’s not just that you don’t have someone tell you what to do any more, now you need to decide what needs doing. In fact in the early stages you probably need to decide everything that’s got to be done. Things are going to happen based on what you decide and finding others to do some of this for you.

So here are 5 quick tips to start thinking about when it comes to delegation (we’ll cover these in much more detail with a separate post on delegation soon):

  1. Don’t delegate what you can eliminate – If it isn’t essential does it need doing at all?
  2. Delegate the things you don’t want to delegate – Don’t get caught up in personal attachment to particular tasks, let someone else get on with it unless only you can do it.
  3. Delegate, don’t abdicate – You’re still the person at the top, so anyone you give a task to should still report back to you.
  4. Delegate the objective, not the procedure – Make sure you give a clear outline of the desired results, but don’t determine the way they do it (be a macro manager not a micromanager).
  5. Don’t always delegate to the most capable people – You’ll build a stronger team when you spread your needs across the whole team.

Staying Motivated

Secondly, staying motivated will help you keep moving your business forward. Here are 4 things you can do to help your motivation.

Set your end goals

There’s a saying by Stephen Covey, “Begin with the end in mind”, which basically means start by being clear on what your end goal is. It might be to support your family, or live a “remote working” lifestyle, or you might be the next Elon Musk ready to change the planet! Whatever your goal is, however big or small, this is where you’re likely to get your motivation from. So in amongst all your hard work, don’t lose sight of why you’re doing this. And even if it is “just to make sure the bills get paid”, this is a worthy goal in itself.

Track your progress

There’s nothing like seeing your own progress to keep you motivated. So set some simple performance or progress indicators and check in on them weekly. We’ll also let you know when our article on setting KPI’s and OKR’s is available so you can dig deeper into what’s needed for tracking your progress.

Reward yourself

When you reach your goals sometimes it’s a good idea to reward yourself. If you really enjoy the thing you do, the doing and accomplishment might be a “reward” in itself but we also all respond really well to additional rewards. Why not consider what reward you would feel a great deal of pleasure from. Just make sure it fits the accomplishment, and don’t go out and buy a new car because you managed to find 3 new leads this week!

Give yourself a break

This can be relevant both mentally and physically. We do need to treat our physical selves well, our bodies are the machines we use to put all our ideas into action and at some point they need rest and rejuvenation. But we also need to be in a good mental state to perform optimally, so don’t be hard on yourself if things don’t go according to plan. Learn from your mistakes and remember to see your progress as an experiment. Check out our up coming blog on problem solving for more thoughts on this.

So which bit of advice do you need most? Let us know in the comments and if you have any questions we’d love to hear from you!

About The Hoxton Mix

Want to save money when looking for an office? Check out our cheap virtual office at the Hoxton Mix. And if you’ve already grown to the point of being able to bring on support staff, it’s worth considering our virtual receptionist service so you only pay for what you use, rather than a full time salary.

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