limits

Creativity Thursday: 5 Lessons When Going Professional

Have a contract to keep both parties accountable
Have a contract to keep both parties accountable

 

 

 

After years of developing your craft, at some point you may decide to go professional, and earn money for your craft.  Whether you decide to monetize your hobby, go part time or make this a full time job, there are some hard lessons I’ve learned in my pursuit of going professional.

 

 

  1. Treat this as a business—the craft is great and your passion, but you have to remember to treat this like a business.  That
    Know Your Limits
    Know Your Limits

    includes keeping records, paying taxes and negotiating contracts.

  2. Have a contract—when getting started this may be a little scary.  I’ve made numerous verbal contracts with various businesses and often have been burned because they changed their minds, did not know their own budgets or had a change in their itinerary.  With a signed contract, the company realizes the sincerity of your efforts, and are less likely to take advantage of you.
  3. Take it slow—don’t overwhelm yourself with too much.  Start slow, gain the experience and training that is necessary.  The more experience you gain the more you will be able to charge, but appreciate those small breaks.
  4. Know Your Limits—know what you can and cannot do.  If you are asked to do something that’s not possible or will take longer than the time required, tell the company up front.  It’s better to be honest from the beginning, than to take on more than is humanly possible.  You have to know when to push yourself to meet a deadline and when to give yourself more time.
  5. Read Your Audience—Know your audience and be willing to change when something isn’t working.  As a musician, I often think that one song or activity will work with my clients.  I often discover in the middle of it that it is not going as well as I planned.  I make a mental note not to do that song or activity again and will even change my outline in the middle, if necessary and possible.

 

What lessons have you learned going professional?

exercise

Transitional Friday: Finding Balance as a Small Business Owner

Being a small business owner can be stressful and all time consuming.  The important thing is to find a balance between life and being a business owner.

What are some ways to do this?

Set specific hours to work on your business.  Let your friends and family know that you are working during this time.

Set aside specific time for your family.  Family is very important and these are relationships that you do not want to lose. pamper self

Set aside at least one hour a week for your hobby.  Whether you enjoy golfing, watching a movie or another hobby, set aside time each week to enjoy yourself and to do something you love where you don’t have to think about work.

Set aside at least one hour a week to pamper yourself.  Set aside time each week just for you.  Whether you just enjoy the peace and quiet or go for a massage or mani/pedi do something special for yourself.

Bible Study         Start each day with God.  I always feel better when I start my day by spending time with God.  This doesn’t have to be long, but even fifteen minutes each morning make a difference.  I like to read the word and spend time in prayer.                      exercise

Set aside time for exercise each day.  I feel better when I exercise and think clearer.  I love to walk and usually spend this time in prayer.  I promise the time will be worth it and well spent.  In order to give my all to business, I have to start by taking care of myself.  If you’ve read my weight loss journey you know this isn’t easy but I’m working on making the necessary changes.

Set aside time each week to give to others.  Even if it’s just an hour a week, I always feel better when I do something for others.  I also believe that your benevolence will come back to you.

How do you balance life and being a small business owner?

 

 

Tweetables:

Finding Balance as a Small Business Owner

Life Balance between running a business and living a rewarding life

work at home

Transitional Friday: Questions to Ask Before Becoming a Small Business Owner

Last week we discussed taking the plunge into being a small business owner.  We looked briefly at a few questions to ask yourself.

Let’s look at these questions in greater detail this week:     under investigation

  •            Are you ready for the responsibility? –are you ready for all of the work and responsibility to rest on your shoulders?, are you able to make the decisions that need to be made?, can you lead others underneath you?, is your family prepared for this change in income?, have you thought about insurance and how that will be covered?
  •             Are you ready to do the work?—are you ready to do to the work necessary to build your business?, do you have a marketing plan?, are you prepared to network?, can you explain in 30 seconds or less what you do?, is this already a proven part time business that you are taking fulltime?

 

  •             Are you ready for the challenge?—are you ready for the ups and downs that come with business?, do you have a financial cushion for slower months?, are you ready to work 50-60+ hours a week to build your business?

computer

  •             Do you have the emotional support necessary?—do you have family and friends that support this endeavor?, do they encourage you?, do you have a life coach that will guide, encourage and hold you accountable?, do you have a prayer team to pray for you?

 

  •             Do you have the financial support necessary?—does your spouse have a steady income?, do you have a financial cushion?, do you have at least a 3 month {preferably a year} of savings built up the way Dave Ramsey and Suzy Orman suggest?, is your spouse prepared to support the family while you build a business?, have you been profitable doing this on a part time basis?

 

  •             Do you have an area designated just for work?—do you have an office or area designated for work?, will you be working at home?, do you have set hours?, have you taken in distractions that might get in your way?, are you treating this as a job or a hobby?

 

  •             Do you have a business plan and a game plan?—do you have a business plan?, do you know the steps you need to take?, do you know where you want to go?, do you know how you’re going to get to where you want to go?, do you have a business mentor?                                 work at home

 

  •             Do you know what your focus is?—do you know what your focus is?, do you have one focus or many?, do you need to narrow down your focus?, do you know who your ideal client is?, can you explain your ideal client in 30 seconds or less?, can you explain your platform or product in 30 minutes or less?

 

What other questions did you ask yourself before becoming a small business owner?

 

 

Tweetables:

Questions to ask yourself before becoming a small business owner

Are you ready to be a small business owner?

growing a business

Taking the Plunge into Being a Small Business Owner

rain falling    “Into everyone’s life a little rain must fall,” is an old saying we’ve all heard before.

Sometimes, that rain reveals the weeds in our lives and other times it helps us to grow.

Taking the leap into being a full or part-time entrepreneur isn’t easy.  After all, who wants to leave behind the comfort of their job knowing how much they will bring home at the end of each week.

Other times, circumstances may take the option out of your hands.   When you lose a job, start a family or even move are all stressful in themselves, but even more so when there is no one and nowhere to fall back on.

If you’ve dreamed of being an entrepreneur, this transition can be a real challenge, to want to prove yourself.  The question to ask is, “am I ready?”

  •             Are you ready for the responsibility?               growing a business
  •             Are you ready to do the work?
  •             Are you ready for the challenge?
  •             Do you have the emotional support necessary?
  •             Do you have the financial support necessary?
  •             Do you have an area designated just for work?
  •             Do you have a business plan and a game plan?
  •             Do you know what your focus is?

 

All of these are questions that you need to ask yourself in deciding, ‘am I ready?’

So are you ready?  Next week we will explore each of these questions in greater detail.

 

Tweetables:

Transitioning from the work force to work at home

Am I ready to work at home

When is it time to work at home