Every entrepreneur starts somewhere. For many, it’s a garage or home office where the initial magic happened. With the gig economy of today, there are now millions of burgeoning entrepreneurs learning to work for themselves and cultivate a client list. However, we all also make the mistakes typical of those new to self-management. Old hats in the industry are both inspired by young entrepreneurs getting started and more than a little compelled to offer some advice.
Take it from the pros who have been contracting, franchising, and self-managing for years, we have a few mistakes you can learn from. For younger entrepreneurs getting started today, here are a few pointers that will help you overcome many of the usual early career hurdles:
You Can Do Everything Twice as Fast
You really can. It feels like going twice as fast would break the laws of conservation of mass and energy, but it won’t. You can fold laundry faster, enter data faster, skim your emails faster, and then fit twice as much stuff into your day every time you manage to accelerate. It just takes practice. The best way to get faster is to start timing yourself and racing. You can beat your times by intentionally learning to do everything with more precision and speed.
Tired? Exercise and Drink Water
That 2PM feeling and that 2AM sluggishness can be defeated with good hydration and pumping circulation. There’s a reason the “executive lifestyle” involves a lot of office exercise and fruit smoothies. If you want your body to deliver the endless energy you need as an entrepreneur, you’re going to need water and exercise. That’s just how it works.
The better you treat your body, the more energy you can generate to meet your goals.
Specify Your Revision Allowance
Don’t let clients run you around about revisions or edits. Many early freelancers, contractors, and entrepreneurs don’t know how to put the breaks on clients asking for too much, but old hats have seen it all.
When you take a job, specify how many edits you provide, and that’s it. Defend your valuable time from clients who never ever stop asking for changes after your hours are spent.
Give Up, Then Get Right Back In
Sometimes, you will want to give up. You may want to scream at the world or fall to the floor in a heap of despair. Do that. It’s cool. Have a tantrum or a cry. The catharsis is good for you, and it really can bleed off some stress. Take the lid off the pot.
Then pick yourself up and get back to it. You can absolutely just brush yourself off and do the next needful thing. Processing the emotions of frustration and weariness are all part of the game.
Don’t Waste Your Time on Bad Clients or Vendors
Finally, know when to drop a client. Not all work is good work, and some clients are not worth your time. Sometimes the money is worth putting up with an unpleasant person, and sometimes it’s not. Clients who have unrealistic expectations, who don’t negotiate, or who nickel-and-dime your invoices don’t need space on your schedule. Your time and your skills are valuable. Work for and with people that treat you that way.
If you are just starting down the Entrepreneurial path, take these words of advice as seeds of experience from those who have walked the path of self-direction before. The market is changing, but clients and the right way to value your time are eternal. If you treat yourself with respect, challenge yourself to constantly grow stronger and don’t let others disrespect your time, you are sure to thrive. Reach out for more entrepreneur tips and resources.