When we leave our jobs to start our own business, it is often because we want more control over our time, who we work with and what we do. We relish the thought of being the final decision maker, and taking full responsibility for what works, and what doesn’t.
Our results are all our own effort
From the research I conducted last year among 300 Corporate Crossovers, they loved the freedom and flexibility that their own business gave them, and being in total control.
Many of them were happy with the new balance in their lives, and felt they had the time they wanted to pursue activities outside of work. But others didn’t. They felt their business consumed them, and that all boundaries were blurred between their work and personal time.
So what’s the secret formula to ensure you gain control over your life and work, and create the right mix of the two in your life?
Here are five essential steps to get started:
Step 1: Design Your Life!
Take some time out to think about the life you want to create when you run a business. Do you want to work three days a week, or maybe five days but from 10 – 3?
You have an opportunity to create the life you want, so think about what that could look like.
Step 2: Draw up Boundaries
What are your non-negotiables?
Will you work late into the evening but draw the line at working weekends? Will you commit to attending a gym class on Wednesday morning, that nothing will get in the way of?
Creating and sticking to boundaries like this will make you feel in control of your time.
Step 3: What are you aiming for?
At times we can feel like we are working really hard, but not getting anywhere. This is because we have forgotten what we are trying to achieve. Setting goals for the year will ensure you know what you are going after and that you are spending your time working towards them.
Step 4: Have a planning day
Stop. Pause, take a day out to plan your business for the next six months. What do you want to achieve, what are they key activities for you to do that? What’s worked, what hasn’t? Taking time out will give you a chance to reflect, review and prepare. All essential to feel in control!
Step 5: Remember what you have done
We are programmed to think more about what we haven’t achieved than what we had. This causes us to focus on what else needs to be done, what else is left to do. This makes us feel as if we are never on top. Take some time at the end of every day to capture what you have achieved – big and small. This will help you think about how much you are doing and progressing.