Time Sucks — Live Lessons of a Entrepreneur
Everyone that I know has always wanted to start their own business. Some for financial reasons, others for self gratification, some for ego, others to monetize their passion.
Regardless of the reason, without the passion and the ability to ask for help when you need it, the business will either never get off the ground or fail miserably. No one is an island and no one knows all — despite what one presidential nominee keeps stating. The word “I” does not belong in your vocabulary.
It takes a village to start any successful endeavor, the ability to source, acquire, utilize and manage needed skill sets is a full time job in many cases. This means that time management skills are critical. As an entrepreneur, you will be working 18 hour days to fulfill and drive your passion for a successful enterprise.
Allocating your time with demands of family, friends, social networks while starting a business needs to become a focal point. The one thing you must learn and instill in your head is time a is the most critical asset you have; time cannot be replaced and financial wealth cannot buy time.
Time is the most valuable asset you have. Time management starts with you. Take your day and break it up into critical action steps that you must accomplish that day, write down your list and rank them accordingly. My preference is a critical (marked with a star), if time permits and nice to do. Your goal is to manage the list and accomplish the task at hands. Things will happen throughout the day that will attempt to take you off your goal, so be sure to build in buffer periods to take advantage of unforeseen events.
Email and social media are both a blessing and a curse. They both have the ability to become great time sucks that lower your overall productivity, so allocate 10–15 minutes several times a day for these activities. With the goal of no more than and one hour in total for both.
Sourcing help with key aspects to grow your business is critical. Determine the priority of what skills sets you need. Then look for sources that have experienced and quality people who are vetted. I’ve had the experience of having to deal with disasters from people who brought the needed background on paper, only to find out that either they were burned out or their background and skills were significant over embellishments. Do not make this mistake, its costly and painful. Although most startups will go through this, its part of growing a successful business.
One of the first skills that you need to develop or hire is marketing. No business will ever be successful without marketing.
Marketing is letting the world know that you exist. If you are looking to establish a national brand, then you need to plan on spending an inordinate amount of capital and time to cultivate a customer base. This process needs to start long before you launch a product into the marketplace. If you wait until product launch you are to late and have missed critical opportunities. Marketing can costs millions or you can approach this process thinking outside the box. Take the road that allows you to grow the fastest while retaining what makes your business unique.
Successful startups find creative ways to leverage their strong points and present themselves in unique ways.
Startups can be a lot of fun, challenging and very rewarding on many fronts. The ability to manage your time is critical for success. Take the time in advance of launching to set weekly and monthly goals then develop a workable time management plan to meet these goals. This will help set you on your way to success.
Any questions, please leave a comment and I’m more than happy to help if I can. You can connect with me on Twitter https://twitter.com/CarolForden