Be Your Own Boss — Effectively

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Five ways to become an accomplished self-starter

Congratulations! You’ve packed your things and handed in that resignation letter. Now you may be wondering: What’s next? Taking the plunge to become your own boss can be liberating, but with great freedom comes great responsibility (and bills).

Here are five challenges new bosses face, as well as how to tackle them head-on.

Setting intentions

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Intention setting is not just reserved for aspiring yogis and meditators — sometimes, taking a step back to evaluate your goals is needed for you to refocus your energies. Being your own boss is tiring, but with clear, definable goals, you won’t find yourself poring over your finances, trying to balance your accounts and wondering why you aren’t clinching any clients.

Tip: Set some time aside every six months or so to do a review of your business plans for the next half-year. It’s not always about the numbers, but in this case, you should set measurable and concrete goals, such as: landing 15 new clients in the next six months. This way, you’ll be able to track your company’s progress.

Jack-of-all-trades

Running a one-man show can be tough at the beginning — you end up wearing many different hats! Forget about having someone taking charge of accounting, someone else for handling clients, and another person for marketing. As a self-starter, you have to juggle the many roles involved in running your own business. It may get overwhelming, but once you get the hang of it, it’ll be rewarding.

Tip: Look for virtual assistance or productivity apps that help you keep track of designated tasks. To keep a digital record of your commercial finances, try out a dedicated accounting app like Wave.

Work-life imbalance

When you were at your old job, striking the right work-life balance was doable — you probably steered clear of work emails because weekends were sacred.

It’s a different story when you’re your own boss — it may be hard to draw the line between work and personal matters, especially when your personal matters also become work. Remind yourself to disconnect after work hours.

Tip: Implement working hours for yourself, and stick to it. You may not have a 9 to 5 job anymore, but that doesn’t mean you should always work off the clock. Don’t forget to enjoy being your own boss!

Distractions everywhere

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It’s possible to work endlessly as a new boss because your business will be your new baby, but sometimes, the opposite can happen too. It’s easy to get distracted, especially when you work from home — even mundane chores seem appealing when you’re in a work slump.

Tip: Try out different workspaces when you first start out, and settle on one that helps you be your most productive. To combat the slump, take frequent breaks to clear your mind. If you’re working on a budget, try establishing a pre-work routine to help you transition from relaxing on the couch to working at the dining table — sometimes all you need is a change of clothes to get in the right zone. Or try “commuting”: a quick walk around the block can help you get in the right frame of mind.

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