It may seem strange to some that in my article headline I specifically described the entrepreneur as “female.” Well, for me, growing up I did not know or “see” any female entrepreneurs. I grew up in the hills and mountains of West Virginia where most of the work was defined as industrious labor and blue color work. Yet, the first male entrepreneur I knew was my father. My father started work under the apprenticeship of a Caucasian man when the color lines were still drawn. However, because of my father’s motivation (he rode a bike to work many years before he could afford a car) and his tenacious work ethic, he gradually became his own boss until he passed away 15 years ago when the business was passed onto my youngest brother. My father left a successful legacy.
I reflected on this recently while participating in an online training series with a well-known author, speaker, and entrepreneur. She made a statement that caught my attention in response to a caller’s question. One that I had also recently explored. “How do you maintain a thriving business, keep relevant and knowledgeable with all of the social media and marketing outlets as well as to keep informed with the knowledge base in your industry, while performing the day to day work of the business?” When I became a self-employed business woman I did not anticipate such a rapidly changing world. I watched my father work 7 days a week sun up to sun down without any vacations. That is the work ethic that was modeled for me. Of course, now we have so much more information at our fingertips and working those long days without any breaks is unhealthy and unproductive. While trying to discover a balance, I developed the following keys to successfully negotiate building a business while working in it (without compromising my health, productivity, and time). I choose to leave a different kind of legacy for my family.
How to Work on Your Business While You Work In it
1. Effective time management. Wake up the same time each day. Set aside the same amount of time each day to check emails, read your mail, and to go through all of the social media and marketing outlets. Prioritize which need more time and which ones can wait.
2. Assign each day of the week a task to be done. For example, perhaps Monday is your writing day if you blog part-time, or writing a chapter for your book; Tuesday may be your teaching/lecture preparation day; Wednesday might be a day for paperwork/billing, etc.
3. Build into your budget costs for conference and trainings. I would miss great learning opportunities because I did not factor the cost of traveling, training and materials into my budget.
4. Develop a Master Mind Group. I think is the best idea ever developed. We all benefit greatly from the ideas, expertise, thoughts, and support of others who are like-minded in goal achievement.
5. Eliminate the “I can’t” out of our vocabulary. As women we need to rid ourselves of the internal barriers that impede our growth and success.
6. Read, read, and read. Read about successful others and how they maintained balance in their lives. There really is not much new under the sun…it’s just that some of us never learned it in the first place!
Dr. Angela Roman Clack is CEO of Woman’s Empowerment Group International, LLC, an international coaching organization created to empower women to achieve their personal and professional goals in business and in their personal lives.
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