Ask any entrepreneur and you will know that they would love to focus entirely on their business, startup or idea. However, in reality, some of us became entrepreneurs at times when circumstances around us such as having a family, the pressure from parents to complete our studies or the need to repay debts, do not allow working on the business or idea full time.
Part time entrepreneurs juggle between studying, working part or full time, and running their startup or business. They have the same 24-hour days like any other entrepreneurs and their competitors. Tasks may get delayed, the business may progress slowly as compared to competitors and the entrepreneur might burn him or herself out.
Struggling part time entrepreneurs, grab a pen now! Let’s go down the list of things that will increase your productivity and the chances of your business becoming successful.
- 1 Stop Making Excuses
- 2 Focus
- 3 Allocate Dedicated Time Slots for Your Business
- 4 Have a To-Do List and Stick to It
- 5 Set SMART Goals
- 6 Track Your Time and Progress
- 7 Spend Time with Like-Minded People
- 8 Make Sacrifices
- 9 Identify and Setup the Best Workspace for Yourself
- 10 Hire a Virtual Assistant
- 11 Celebrate Milestones and Successes
- 12 Solicit Continuous Motivation
- 13 Leveraging Technology
- 14 Practice Continuous Learning
- 15 Plan Your Exit
- 16 Are You a Part Time Entrepreneur? Share Your Tips with Us!
Stop Making Excuses
You need to execute and do more faster running a part time business. You are already at a disadvantage compared to those who are crushing it full time. Stop giving lame excuses for not getting things done. Let’s be honest. Most of the time, things are not done simply because you are too lazy.
Stop giving excuses. Most of the time, things are not done simply because you are too lazy. – Click to Tweet!
The focus that we are talking about here is more than just trying to focus as much as you can when you are working on your business. Yes, doing things such as getting yourself a pair of comfortable earphones and working in a room or space where there is little distractions will help. However, you need to also focus when it comes to the implementation of ideas and strategies.
The brain of entrepreneurs constantly generate new ideas and most of the time, we want to give these ideas a try. What you can do is to write them down in a notepad labelled as “Idea Dump” and continue with what you already have in your to-do list or roadmap. Only revisit these ideas again when you have time. Trust me, during the revisit, most of the ideas will sound stupid or simply don’t make sense.
Allocate Dedicated Time Slots for Your Business
Plan your week ahead. Assign a number of hours everyday for your business. This will remind yourself to come back and work on business-related tasks rather than delving too deep in your job or studies. Dedicated time slots will also allow you to focus better.
Have a To-Do List and Stick to It
If you have a to-do list and items on the list are constantly checked off, it may mean that you are progressing forward. Moreover, the motivation of getting things done is much stronger with the urge to check off as many important items from the list.
Set SMART Goals
The following are characteristics of a SMART goal:
- S – Specific
- M – Measurable
- A – Attainable
- R – Relevant
- T – Timely
Having a set of SMART goals does more than just moving your business and projects towards the right direction. It also helps many part time entrepreneurs to stay motivated and keep the idle time caused by procrastination low.
SMART goals keep part time entrepreneurs motivated and reduce idle time caused by procrastination. – Click to Tweet!
Track Your Time and Progress
There are many tools like RescueTime that allow you to track time and what you have been doing. Apart from that, you can take an hour daily to reflect on what you did and how effective the completed tasks can move your business forward. Both of these will make sure that you only spend time on crucial tasks.
Spend Time with Like-Minded People
Fellow part time entrepreneurs or those who have been in the same situation as yourself know what you are going through. Talk to them. They might share their expertise, experience, time management tips or work-life balance ideas that you may have never thought of. Of course, they play a crucial role too when you need that extra push.
To increase the amount of time we have, we need to skip or cut short any unnecessary lunch breaks, social outings and entertainment sessions. Some may have to consider sacrificing the urge to purchase a brand new car, tech gadgets or other fashionable items so that the money can be reinvested into the business. Almost every successful entrepreneur sacrificed entertainment, social outings and even quality time with family in some cases, before becoming successful.
“Nothing worthwhile is gained without sacrifice.” – Martin Luther King – Click to Tweet!
Identify and Setup the Best Workspace for Yourself
Just like allocating specific time slots, you need to have a dedicated workspace that is customized to bring out your best creativity and productivity levels. For many entrepreneurs, myself included, having a simple and clutter-free desk setup allows us to focus better and get things done. When I work, I will mute all the notifications from my smartphone and have the screen faced downwards to avoid distractions. You need to identify the types of setup that suit you best.
Hire a Virtual Assistant
Have a look at your to-do list. Do you have mundane tasks that can be completed and checked off by somebody else? If you can afford it, you need to outsource these tasks immediately to a virtual assistant. Having repetitive tasks completed by somebody else will give you more time to complete tasks that actually grow and move your business forward.
7 Reasons You Should Hire a Virtual Assistant by Michael Hyatt and What 40 Successful Entrepreneurs Can Teach You About Hiring a Virtual Assistant by Owen McGab Enaohwo are two great guides that you can start reading if you are planning to hire a virtual assistant for your part time venture or business.
Celebrate Milestones and Successes
After all the hard work to accomplish the goals you have set, you need to feel good about it to keep you going. Bring your spouse out for a movie, spend a day with your children or even celebrate significant milestones with your customers or employees.
Solicit Continuous Motivation
Motivation is highly important for an entrepreneur and it is even more so for a part time entrepreneur or business owner. You need to find ways to motivate yourself so that you can stay on course. Setting up a vision board, speaking to mentors and frequently interact with somebody who cares a lot about you are some of the ways to gain the extra boost that every entrepreneur needs.
Modern technology allows part time entrepreneurs to stay in the loop of everything that is happening to their business. With smartphones and tablets, we can now even work on simple tasks on-the-go whenever we have time. The usage of project management tools such as Podio (my favorite!) allows you to manage and track the work of virtual assistants or freelancers effortlessly.
On the productivity side of things, cloud-based applications such as Evernote, Dropbox and Google Drive, thanks to their ability to synchronize across our computers and mobile devices, have allowed our to-do lists, notes, documents and many media items to be available whenever we need them.
Practice Continuous Learning
It doesn’t matter if you are trying to learn more about a particular aspect of business or to read up on the experience and learnings of other entrepreneurs because these will definitely help you in the long run. Through learning, things can be done faster and with lesser mistakes. Sometimes, opening yourself up to new knowledge and experience gives you unique and interesting business perspectives.
The following are three books that I would absolutely recommend to every part time entrepreneur:
- The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
- Do More Faster by Brad Feld and David Cohen
- Reality Check by Guy Kawasaki
Plan Your Exit
This should be the ultimate goal for all part time entrepreneurs. When are you going to dedicate all of your time into your venture? When will be the date that you finally decide to resign from your full time job?
Depending on risk appetite and obligations, this will vary from one another. Some will consider quitting if their business is able to pay them what they are currently getting off the paychecks while some may decide to quit their job earlier to focus on the business by cutting down some daily expenses.
Nevertheless, having an ultimate goal like this will motivate you to work harder in order to make your business a success.
Whether you are currently a part time entrepreneur or used to be one, we want to hear from you. Do you have any tips to share with those of us who are currently struggling? How do you feel when you finally decided to quit your job and become a full time entrepreneur? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.