Working solo is the norm for a lot of young entrepreneurs, few of us can afford hiring extra headcount before the business really starts to take off. This requires tremendous amount of self-discipline. Imagine when you have to set your own deadlines, with absolutely no supervision but yourself; waking up at whatever odd time; taking a coffee break anytime anywhere. At first this might sound like a great life, but soon you will realize it can easily get out of control. I have gone through days when I don’t get out of bed till 9am, spend 2 hours cooking and eating lunch, and 3 hours at night watching Netflix. It is Not going to work.
Starting your own business means you only work harder than when you had a full-time job, not the other way around. Why? Because you are starting something from nothing – if it is so much easier and financially lucrative, everyone else would have done it by now right? This is the time when you have to apply strict and non-negotiable discipline to yourself, you are the business, if you are being slack it means the whole business is going nowhere.
Set your routine. morning alarm at 6, finish your morning routine/breakfast in an hour, and make sure you are sitting in front of your computer by no later than 8:30 am – the normal start time for an office job;
Lunch break and coffee breaks. Again, stick to your schedule as if you are being employed. I’d suggest take no more than 2 breaks before lunch, try to walk around for 10-15 mins during your break, it helps to improve your well being from avoiding sitting down for too long, it also clears your mind. Take a lunch break at around midday and get back to work precisely after an hour.
Don’t just work from home. While I have to admit working from home has all it’s benefits, you are also exposed to various distractions. TV remote is next door in the lounge, your phone and Facebook is right next to your mouse, the balcony is sunny and you crave for a drink, it is not an ideal venue for people who are easily distracted, like myself. Go to a library, when surrounding yourself with books and computer screens, trust me your motivation to work come back straight away. It also has a huge plus comparing going to a café to work – you are not allowed to talk on the phone. It really cuts out all the disturbing noises.
Break up your daily tasks and set a time limit on how much you are spending on each of them. If you need to finish writing a blog on that day, make sure you only allow yourself no more than one hour with this task. When external deadlines are practically non-existent, it is imperative to issue yourself deadlines to each task and finish them like when you have a proper job. If not an one hour writing task can be dragged on for hours or even days. This not only significantly slows your work pace it also prevents you from doing it again – if you spend 3 days writing up a post, the next time you are going to dread at doing it again. But if you always manage writing a post in an hour, the more you practice the easier you feel at doing it.
Next Monday we are going to talk about how to pick a business idea if you are inspired to do your own thing.