I have been busier than “A One legged man in an Ass Kicking Contest”. Many people believe that being an entrepreneur mean’s you get to sleep late and you make lots of money. Ha, silly huh? Well not so silly, but it sure isn’t realistic. I have been developing my small business now since October 2010 and I still have a long way to go. How far really depends on how great I want my business to be. If you want your business to be successful you have to put your all into it. So I am doing all of this and more yet I still have a family that I love to spend time with, and i must admit sometimes I bite off more than I can chew.
That means waking up at 6 am and going to sleep at 11 pm having worked on your business every hour in between. I love the work I do so I am constantly buried deep and working on many projects at once. As you build a small business, after you have a business name, EIN number, and a few customers, you need to continue to develop your business and at the same time, accommodate your customers. So how do you find that balance?
I am still finding a comfortable balance, but I do know that having a routine is the best way to do it. If you’re like any of the people I know you’re juggling a job or two, a couple of children, and dreams of putting them through college so they will have enough money to take care of you when you retire. If you’re like the select few I know you may even have some money saved and you’re dreaming of retiring on an Island in the Bahamas.
Think of your business as a rosebud that you have planted and as you water it and give it sunlight it grows. Well sure it’s great to show off the fruit of your labor; after all you kneeled down in the dirt and planted it with your hands in the hot sun as the sweat dripped into your eyes. In the winter you covered it and kept it warm and it has been around now for a season or two. The only problem is we shouldn’t spend all of our time planting and nurturing, being able to take time to smell the roses you’ve planted is important for all of us.
I wanted to break down time for entrepreneurs so you will know how I try to spend my time.
Number of working days in a year 260 days
Approximate number of holidays -14
Approximate number of vacation days -20
Approximate number of sick and personal days -5
Two days every 48 weeks for marketing, sales and -96
Remaining days available for you to bill clients 125 days
Of course as entrepreneurs we need to be realistic, I work on my vacation (even if my wife protest) and I work in the wee hours of the night, (she complains less about that because she is asleep). I also have sat at my computer and churned out work while suffering from maladies. So be realistic and if the above layout has too many numbers in it to make any since I will put it in simpler terms for you.
Business leaders need to be able to Manage Up and Manage Down when it comes to their business.
My Rule is 75/25 I spend 75% of my time “Managing Up” my business and 25% of my time “Managing Down” my Business.
Manage Up refers to all the things you need to do to take your business to the next level or up off the ground, and refers to the work you put Into your business.
Manage Down refers to all the things you need to do to keep your business grounded and refers to the work you do On your business.
We need to be aware of all the things we need to build our business. I will use the example of a house, when you build a house you start with the foundation and work your way up. As entrepreneurs we sometimes start building from the middle. It is possible that your business started with no business plan, no business name, and no clear direction or goals, just loyal followers, and maybe even decent sales.
Sure you think as an entrepreneur working from home means more time for the kid’s, quite coffee filled mornings, and working in your pajamas. I say to those who think they will be working in their robe “yeah Right”. I don’t work in my robe because I take what I do seriously. To succeed, you cannot view your small business as a hobby.
21st Century Entrepreneur’s need to be smart business people and carefully examine how they plan to spend their time. Look at your schedule and all the hours and days, you will be available to dedicate to your business. Then take those hours and Split them between your business life and your family life. That doesn’t mean I won’t give my business card to someone at a family picnic, it just means I won’t run to the car and pull out my samples.
I have an “Entrepreneurial Spirit” which simply means Business is a part of my DNA. You know people who love something so passionately that it’s like they have that thing pulsing through their veins. I am sure you have a diehard sports fan in your life someone who can remember when the Mets won the World Series in ’72. They could also tell you what’s wrong with the New York Yankees starting lineup, coach, manager, and owner. These types of folks have a knack for digesting and regurgitating certain types of information and at the same time they can apply the theories and strategies.
You don’t have to be a guru but you do need to do what you love so it’s less like work and more like fun. It’s a lot more fun learning about what you love and it’s a whole heck of a lot more fun to do what you love. If you love what you’re doing it will feel like people are paying you to have fun. Beware when you do what you love you will be swept away and the minutes will turn to hours.
Just remember that your family may not think its fun to watch you sit in front of a computer for 70 hours a week. I also need to mention asking your kids to take part in a direct mail campaign is not spending time with your family. Besides they never fold the letters right anyway.
I am asking my readers today:
What do you do think it takes to be an Entrepreneur the 21st century Version?
Learn more about how Stanton Adams Consulting, LLC. can help you figure out if you have what it takes to be a 21st Century Entrepreneur.
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