What is it like as an entrepreneur? How have you found ways to keep your life organized?
Behind the scenes
I know I feel like each and every day I am running around like crazy. Taking my daughter to school, client work, networking, videos, errands, letting the dog out, house chores, you name it! I have been an entrepreneur for 10 years now, WOW time flies! It can be hard to balance work and life, some nights you are working late, some mornings you are up early, trying to fit everything in in one day! To be honest with you I have really been an entrepreneur at heart since I was 5 years old. I would travel back to Michigan each Summer and started helping my grandma and grandpa in their H&R Block office in Oscoda, MI. I helped make coffee, answer phones, once I learned how to read they had me filing paperwork, getting forms, speaking with the customers and from that moment I knew I wanted to own my very own business. The joy of having my own clients, my own desk, my own business name it was so exciting to me! Once I set out on my own in 2007 I have been like the energizer bunny who just keeps going and going! I really don’t know how to STOP! I love working, I love having a busy schedule and learning new things. I feel that to be a successful entrepreneur you need to keep yourself busy with the right things, set your goals, be organized and set boundaries.
Who’s with me as a female entrepreneur we wear many different hats during the day. I can be on a conference call while changing laundry or letting the dog out. We have to organize the family schedules, work schedules, and fun schedules. People have NO clue what goes on behind the scenes of your day to day life!
I have always been organized in life, ask my mom! I love things neat, clean and organized. I have realized over this past year, life is NOT always like that. We have been going through a remodel of our house and it has been a bit challenging. We have contractors in and out all day, trying to organize their schedules is like trying to find a taxi in New York!
I try really hard to remain ORGANIZED, but sometimes I feel like I am just overwhelmed. I am shifting my schedules and my day around to find time to write blogs, make videos, and take calls. It’s easy for calls because they CAN’T see my office or lack of space for an office. When I do my videos I NEED a nice clean background, that can be hard to find right now. So, what I guess I am trying to get at it, it’s ok to be disorganized once in awhile. It has shown me the importance of setting that foundation early on in my career of being able to adapt to different situations and know what I need to get my work done each day. You just have to be a little creative some days.
A few tools I found to keep my family and business organized:
Google Calendar – Everything I do is on my calendar! I can invite my husband to family functions or my business partner Caitlin to team calls. I can color code each of my calendars, from networking, personal, writing, videos, etc. It keeps me on my toes. I love when things are color coordinated, so this is perfect!
Google Drive and Google Pictures – these allow me to share documents with my family and business life. I can have different folders for personal and business. I have my daily task sheet on Google Sheets for everything I need to get done each day, our client information, social media posts and more. I am able to share documents or folders with the people I want. The thing I like the most is I can access the items from any device I own! It makes my life SO much easier.
It is important to find these systems to put in place to help you stay on track. As an entrepreneur we can get lost in creating our own schedules so staying organized and setting boundaries is key!
Putting systems in place and being able to delegate
One thing we have earned over the past 10 years is we can’t do EVERYTHING! In order for our company to grow we needed to find people to help with daily tasks, maybe twitter followers, Facebook Likes, Content writing, etc. We wrote down one day things we LOVE to do for our clients and things we know we need to do, but not in love with it. We then reached out to the local colleges and found interns to help! We have been able to put systems in place for each client on what needs to be done and when. how much time it should take and when the project should be complete. We were then able to implement these systems with our interns and now contractors. By putting these systems in place it allows us to be able to create a schedule for what we want to get done and the flexibility for our team to work when they can.
Don’t get me wrong this did NOT happen overnight, it took us awhile to find the right people and what the right tasks were for them, we have had about 7 people work for us and some didn’t work out, some went their own ways but still keep in touch and for our interns they all ended up getting awesome jobs, thanks to us!
It’s like that motto, “You have to spend money to make money” well in a way it is true. If you try to manage everything in your business you will limit yourself. Start making lists of the things you love to do in your business and the things that you don’t love. Maybe like your books, calls, networking, social media, etc. Then start looking for other businesses that offer those services. Ask friends or even post to Upwork.
It is scary taking the first step to delegating something, trust me coming from a control freak, nothing is the way you do it! HAHA Once you find the right person or company it takes a BIG weight off your shoulders that is one less thing you have to worry about and you know it is getting done.