When I tell people that I have a full-time corporate job AND running a multi-6-figure online business I get a lot of confused looks and lots of questions.
Why are you still doing both? Why not quit your corporate job? I’ve heard it all.
I get it, for a lot of entrepreneurs and side hustlers their 9-5 is at the top of their to-do list. But, my corporate job makes me a better entrepreneur and vice versa.
I wish I could say that balancing the two is easy, but learning how to manage them can be a real challenge some days. What I’ve learned is balancing a 9-5 and your business, motherhood, and an online business, or whatever else you are juggling, is not a matter of pushing through it or working longer and harder, it’s about making intentional choices every day and preparation.
Every entrepreneur and business is different but here are a few things that have helped me balance my full-time job and online business.
Set yearly goals and quarterly goals
The one thing that can totally derail your ability to juggle responsibilities is being pulled in too many directions. When you lack clarity and vision, it’s difficult to know where to spend your energy. Every quarter set 3 goals and ONLY 3. Any more than that and every day dozens of things will be battling for your attention. When everything is a priority, nothing is.
When we narrow down our goals we can give each of them adequate attention and are more likely to actually achieve them. Doing this also works wonders for managing anxiety!
Be present wherever you are
You only have so much attention, multitasking NEVER works. If you are working your 9-5 turn off notifications for your biz and vice versa. If you are on a call with a client make sure you are 100% focused on them, not on emails coming through from your boss or an endless stream of Instagram notifications.
Keep bringing yourself back to the now. Do your best to give your all to the task at hand and put your blinders on to everything else.
Outsourcing way before you’re ready
You cannot do it all. Anyone who tells you they are doing it solo is either a) lying to you or b) not doing it all well. The scariest part of entrepreneurship is hiring. If you’ve been doing it all on your own, giving up some control can be difficult. But, when you reframe it as not giving up control but getting time back it’s a game-changer. One problem I see a lot and have experienced myself is that people outsource months after they should. (Tip: hire before you’re actually in dire need as it signals to your mind that you’re ready for scale and also it takes 2-3 months for people to ramp! Remember your first day at a new job?!)
Take a step back and look at every item you need to do for your business, then look at the hours in a day. How do you want to spend that time? What lights you up? What drains you? You can’t scale on your own, figure out what you love doing and what’s your zone of genius and outsource the rest.
Understand you need to spend money to make money
The scarcity money mindset is the downfall of so many entrepreneurs. It’s scary to invest your hard-earned money, but it’s necessary. You gotta spend money to make money as cliché as that sounds.
This doesn’t mean throwing money into dozens of courses or frivolous things, it just means being willing to spend money on things that will elevate your business and make your life better. You deserve to invest in yourself and your business. (and sometimes, this starts with breaking even for a period! No profit first person will tell you this, but it’s OK to go all in some instances and trusting that your skills will scale and the return will come back two-fold)
This is the hardest one. When you are passionate or have limited time you want to go go go and do it all, all the time. However, when you’re overwhelmed and exhausted it kills your creativity, you are thrown into reactive fight and flight mode all the time. Stress won’t allow you to be fully you, and building a business requires ALL OF YOU! As a non-negotiable take at least one day off to frolic, read something that makes you smile, or brunch with friends. Prioritize small things like going to bed early, breathing deeply for 10 minutes a day, or laughing more will actually help you scale.
Systemize + automate everything
Create things once, and never again. If it can’t scale, don’t do it. At LinkedIn, we were always made to think – how can I scale this 10X?! Think about your biggest “time sucks” is prepping food causing you stress and taking too much time? What about your emails and client onboarding process? Automate it all. Get your food delivered, schedule email sequences, set automatic invoice reminders, etc
It’s impossible to distill the challenges of entrepreneurship into a few bullets, but I hope that these can help you manage the juggle and make your day just a little bit easier.
This is a guest article written by Brand Consultant and Business Coach for Women, Cara Barone. You can connect with Cara on Instagram or her website. For more female entrepreneur stories and inspiration, please visit them here.