People are often attracted to an entrepreneurial lifestyle thinking it is a way to have hours of free time and money rolling in while you sleep.
It is attractive to dream of being in charge of your own time and with the goal of rewarding yourself with a successful life filled with financial abundance with plenty of free time for soul fulfilling activities.
However, too often your business dissolves into a “workaholism” level 24/7 week. The average working Canadian works 40.2 hours each week, entrepreneurs often work twice that, enduring long hours late into the night every day of the week with no free time for friends, family or soul fulfilling activities. It becomes a life full of continuous stress and overwhelm.
The key problem is the lack of skills for good personal time management. In a corporate job you have guiding policies given to you, but as an entrepreneur it is you that must first determine the values you want to safeguard and the image you want to project for your brand.
I am talking about first developing a personal mission statement, made up by you as a set of personal guidelines that work in harmony for your business as well as your personal life. They should reflect your beliefs, your needs and desires, not following just what others want from you. They are key to protecting you from yourself, improving your personal time management and keeping you on track to reach your goals. These are boundaries you create so you do not get side tracked and that will allow you to relate to your customers really well and keep you sane at the same time!
For example, such policies can be:
- I will not work on Sundays.
- I will ensure that I stop working after 6:00pm and leave it behind mentally.
- I will have an hour each day when I am cell phone free.
- I answer email from others only after I have spent the first hour of the day working on my own business.
- I will not allow others’ crisis from lack of planning to become my problem.
- I will write out a project program for each new project and follow the target steps.
- I will make time each day for soul fulfilling activities.
As an entrepreneur your decisions impact your family and those working for you. So be sure to discuss your policies with them so everyone understands where you are coming from and ensure that you are all on the same page.
Your policies will enable you to say “no” to requests for your time, without feeling guilty when they do not align with your written policies.
To not take the time to establish your operating policies will lead to increased stress, diminished self-esteem, and take a lot of fun out of your life.
Policies are your secret to success and they put you in the driver seat of life. So safeguard and strengthen your confidence in your abilities by posting them somewhere where you will see your policies every day, to act as a reminder. So, if you want to make life easier for yourself and your business, do not waste time relying on hope and luck to get you to your desired goals – MAKE SOME POLICIES!