National Boss’s Day this year is October 16, 2019 and has traditionally been a day for employees to thank their bosses for being good, kind, and fair throughout the year. But as an entrepreneur, you have an exciting opportunity to be your own boss!
Being an entrepreneur sounds like a dream. You can come in to work late, there’s no more asking for time off, and you become the decision maker. Yes, this might be “living the dream” — but there are new obstacles that will arise.
Our very own Julie Ball of Sparkle Hustle Grow would like to share her story about how she started her business, what keeps her motivated, and how you can take the next steps to become your own boss.
The first step on your journey will be taking the plunge: no more steady paychecks and long hours where you must stay focused. Once you’ve done this, you’ve removed the hardest part, the fear of the unknown. Next, you have to find motivation to keep going, which (as we all know) can be hard on your own. Julie recommends three pillars for maintaining productivity even when it’s hard:
- Staying motivated
- Develop good habits while eliminating the bad
- Set goals and hold yourself accountable
Here’s how she does each one — and how you can implement these tips into your own life and workflow.
How to Stay Motivated Once You Start Your Company
Keeping motivated, especially when there is nobody else around, can be tricky. There’s no one to set your deadlines, since you don’t have coworkers sending reminders anymore and you are on your own. That is why it’s important to find ways to keep yourself going.
Julie says, “Some mornings I wake up ready to move mountains. Some mornings, not so much. In either case, it’s up to me to get motivated. I don’t have a boss to give me a Monday morning pep talk… well, because I am my own boss.”
So here are a few ways the she stays motivated:
- Exercise: “Even when I don’t want to do it, a bit of movement first thing in the morning helps me out. It makes my body feel less achy (from sitting at my computer), gives me a pump of adrenaline, and going to the gym for me, well, is a bit of social time since I work from home.”
- Personal development: “While you are at the gym or driving, crank up some upbeat music, or listen to a podcast or an audiobook to help you get the right mindset for the day! Some favorites include the audiobook of You are a Badass by Jen Sincero and the RISE Podcast by Rachel Hollis.”
- Surround yourself with inspiration: “For me, this looks like a beautiful working environment filled with bright colors, pictures, and inspirational quotes. Put a little happy in your hustle with office supplies and decor that brings you joy, like a motivational desk calendar. (Pictured is the Inspirational Perpetual Desk Easel by Bloom Planners, a favorite of mine!)”
Create a List of Your Good and Bad Habits
The next step in being a functional entrepreneur is learning which of your habits add to your business and your life. What is negatively impacting your productivity and happiness? Keep in mind, as well, what is more of a want vs. a need.
“We are what we repeatedly do,” Julie says. “So stop for a minute and write down your existing habits – things you do regularly from dusk to dawn. Good and bad.”
How Julie Does It, In Her Own Words
Ask yourself these questions to discover bad habits:
- “Are you happy with these habits and do they lead to a better life?
- Is there room for improvement [such as higher productivity or overall satisfaction] in your daily routine, or can your habits be changed to add value?
- Are there some bad habits you need to get in check?
Pro tip: If you don’t actively track your habits, you might not realize some of the bad habits you bear the weight of, so this can be a real eye-opener.– Julie Ball
“Now grab that pen and paper again and write down some of the good habits you WANT to adopt. Questions to ask yourself to discover your good habits include:
- For health, how about drinking more water?
- For gratitude, how about keeping a gratitude journal?
- For your brain, how about reading at least 10 minutes a day?
- Think about what good habits will help you be a better boss and write them down.
“Now circle 1-3 new good habits that you want to pursue and schedule them in your calendar. That’s right. Time-block these tasks as an appointment so they are non-negotiable, and set a reminder so you don’t forget.
“I’ve read that it takes 66 days to form a habit… how long it takes to form a particular habit doesn’t really matter that much to me. All that matters is that you start at Day One with a commitment to succeed.”
Pro Tip: Use a habit tracker so you can see and celebrate your results. We love the Way of Life Habit Tracker app but if you prefer pen and paper, try something like this sticky note habit tracker from a past Sparkle Hustle Grow box.– Julie Ball
How to Begin Setting Your Goals as an Entrepreneur
Goal-setting sounds easier than it is. While it takes discipline, goal-setting starts with really thinking about what you can do to lead to your end goal, compared to what has short-term value.
“As your own boss,” Julie says, “it’s important to set goals for yourself and your business. You can’t sit on a ‘Build it and they will come’ mentality. It just doesn’t work that way. You have to set goals and make a plan to achieve them.”
Here are some helpful tips for goal-setting that work for Julie:
- “Identify one big goal per quarter and break it down into actionable steps. First, break it into monthly goals, then weekly, then daily (if necessary). These smaller actionable steps help you put one foot in front of the other in moving towards that goal, minimizing overwhelm.”
- “Tell people your goal. Maybe you share it on social media, or maybe you just share it with your business bestie. Either way, when you ‘go public’ with your goal, there is a new level of accountability associated with it. Ask someone to check in with you every week or two to see how you are doing. You might need a cheerleader or a little tough love to keep the forward progression.”
- “Celebrate your wins, big and small! At different milestones in your goal, assign rewards for getting there. Of course, you should celebrate the big goal when you hit it, but small rewards along the way can keep you motivated and on track.”
“Becoming your own boss is a game-changer,” Julie says. “But thriving at it is another story. Use the tips above to help you be the best version of yourself and improve your boss skills. Then give yourself a big high-five on National Boss’s Day for being the Best Boss Ever!”
About Julie Ball
Julie Ball is the Founder + Chief Sparkler of Sparkle Hustle Grow, a monthly subscription box and online community for female entrepreneurs. Julie leads thousands of women through personal development and business training in a way that’s fun and supportive. She is an author, speaker, community builder, and subscription box coach featured in Forbes, Business Insider, POPSUGAR, Hello Sunshine, and US Weekly.