5 Tips to Keeping Your Cool When You're The Boss
Transitioning to solo entrepreneurship from working a full time salaried position forced me to learn (and unlearn) new work habits. As a small business owner, every day brings a new set of decisions to be made, questions to answer, solutions to find. Being the boss means that I am the frontline and often I do not have the luxury of back up. Time is my biggest asset and getting lost in the weeds is not an option if I plan on staying up on communications. Here are my 5 tips to keeping your cool when you are the boss.
Listen to Your Intuition
Have you ever made a decision based on what your inner voice told you? That voice is your intuition. Listening to my intuition has been invaluable in making difficult decisions. What to do: Take a few quiet moments, close your eyes, take some deep breaths and ask yourself the question you are struggling to answer. You will feel or "hear" your inner voice telling you what it thinks. The answer will feel right to you. Maybe you will not be able to explain why, but you just know.
Journaling has been the single most important activity in my life that has the ability to transform my mood, emotions and feelings. Every morning I will write a list of three things I like about myself, three things I am grateful for and three positive things I did recently. These things can be simple, recently on a list of things I like about myself I wrote "my manicure". Another time, when talking about a positive thing I did, I told the story of holding the door for someone who was very thankful for the help. Do not think too hard about these answers, they should come easy to you. Starting your day on a positive note will keep you centered when the day gets hectic.
5 Sun Salutations a Day
Physical exercise is always a good idea. Time is our biggest asset and it can be difficult to find time to go to the gym when you are already juggling so many priorities. I find that doing 5 sun salutations helps to keep my body and mind strong. It takes about 10 minutes and allows for you to make that mind-body connection before you have to deal with emails. If you have never done a sun salutation or know what that is, I would recommend checking out a local Yoga studio for a beginner class.
Managing Your Time
When I first started out on my own I met with everyone who asked for a meeting. It proved to be a good thing because I was able to raise the profile of my business. However, as my workload grew I found that meetings took away my most valuable asset - time. I now have an intake system in order to screen the meetings. If the person does not have a clear idea of what we are meeting about I can handle that up front rather than taking the time to meet with someone who may be unprepared or just has a simple question. On both of my websites I have put an intake form, everyone requesting a meeting with me must fill it out and answer these questions: 1) Purpose of Meeting 2) Outcome of Meeting 3) Process - How do they want to do what they are proposing to you. Priority meetings go to people who are paying clients and potential investors and funders. All people who contact me for a meeting are entitled to a 30 minute free phone consultation as well. You can see Cafe Con Leche's intake form by clicking here.
Just Do It
Doing anything is better than doing nothing. Whether it is a project you are procrastinating on, a life goal you are trying to accomplish or just cleaning your house - just start somewhere, anywhere, and go from there. Whatever you do, it will motivate you to do more.
Being your own boss is a great adventure. There are endless tips on how to be successful at opening your own business. The most important ones start with making sure you are in the right mindset, have the correct coping skills and a strong support system. Follow my blog and I will be sharing my own tips on building your own empire.