Dear Dr. Terri K: I work for an advertising company and I’m trying to start a business on the side. I can’t seem to stay on track with the work I really want to do. Do you have any suggestions? – LYNN
Lynn: First, congratulations for moving into the world of entrepreneurship! It’s a smart strategy to build your new business while you are still receiving income from a job, but it also can be a challenge on your time. Here are some basic pointers:
Be clear on your vision and motivation. The first step is to understand what you intend to do and why. Do you want to make more money? Are you following your passion? Do you want more independence? With a motivating WHY, the HOW becomes easier.
Do a lifestyle log. For one week, log your time. Note what you do and when – from the food you eat and exercising to working and watching TV. This will give you a sense of how you’re using your time. There is a sample in the 40 Days to Power Living book.
Make an appointment with yourself. Act on your lifestyle log by identifying pockets of downtime which can be repurposed for your personal worktime. It could start off as just one hour a week – substituting TV time for ME time.
Set clear goals. Make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T. – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-specific.
Make yourself accountable. Every week, check in to see how you’re doing. Every three months, take an inventory of what you have accomplished and where you need to refocus your attention. Eventually, as you build momentum for your own business, you will want to check in with yourself every day.
Celebrate milestones. Whenever you accomplish anything to move your business forward, pat yourself on the back. Be your own cheerleader. If possible, tap into a circle of support – it may be family members or others who are trying to start businesses. You can celebrate your milestones together.
View your employer as an investor. Sometimes when you start a business while still working for another company you begin to resent the job. To avoid this, view your employer as an investor in your new business. You are gaining resources and possibly skills which will support your personal goals. This perspective will help keep your energy up.
Today, start living a life that feels right. Keep your life vision in front of you. You can make it happen step-by-step. Start Power Living® today!
Contributed by Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy, Ph.D., MBA. Part of the Power Living® Empowerment Series.
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