At first, I felt euphoric.
It was 2012. I had ditched the 9-5 and I was my own boss. I no longer had to ask permission to leave work early and I could pick the kids up from school whenever I wanted.
But it didn’t take long for things to change.
Sometimes I wasn’t putting the hours in when I should be. Other times I found myself pulling all-nighters and getting grumpy from the lack of sleep.
Something needed to change.
Pretty quickly, I realized that I needed to be more disciplined.
Here are 3 tips that taught me to become a more efficient business owner:
Tip 1: Set yourself a routine and stick to it
Most businesses have a normal working day, so why should I be any different?
It doesn’t have to be from 9am to 5pm. In fact, your working hours should be framed around your business needs.
Do most of your clients work odd hours?
Do you have the school run to negotiate?
Ultimately, when it comes to planning my schedule, I’m a big fan of starting at the end.
Work out how much money you need (or would like) to make each month and estimate how much work is required to hit that goal.
Then map out your week, along with any hobbies or responsibilities.
Tip 2: Develop a positive mindset
It’s easy to doubt yourself when you’re going it on your own. Equally, with all the positivity posts on the internet, there’s a danger that you can bury your head in the sand.
I started my business over 5 years ago. I’d like to think that I’m good at executing most marketing strategies, but any success that I’ve had has always coincided when I’m in a good mental place.
My business performs better when I have a balanced view of what’s going on.
Tip 3: Ignore all the success stories out there
When you’re an entrepreneur going it alone, it’s really easier to see how well someone else is doing and become distracted.
Facebook ads and email newsletters are ripe for putting these sorts of things in front of you.
When you hear how much revenue a certain start-up is generating, or how many clients a particular freelancer has, it can be demoralizing.
You might begin to compare how you’re doing, which is really unhelpful. Unhealthy, even.
The point is, you won’t ever know the truth about what’s really going on behind closed doors. And, really, what does it matter? So long as you’re not on the breadline and your business is growing, all is good.
It’s vital that you remain happy and healthy when you’re running a business, because it can be stressful.
Employees have to earn a living, but they can leave their jobs at the door when their shift ends. Entrepreneurs can’t do that. And if you’re not careful, your new venture could become a burden.
It might sound like a cliché…
… but it’s true: remember why you stepped out on your own in the first place.
For me, it was to be in control of my own destiny a little more and to around my family.
When business gets tough, I work on my mindset and things like that. But at the end of the day, the reason I created my company never changes.
About the Author: Matt Press is an experienced copywriter who has written words for some of the UK’s biggest brands, such as Sky, Three and Vodafone. He’s now on a mission to simplify SEO for businesses in London.