Many people dream of working for themselves, being their own boss, and having the freedom to only take on clients and projects they love. 

What they don’t realise, though, is that there is a huge difference between building a business and being self-employed. 

Business owners scale their income while self-employed people trade dollars for hours. Moreover, business owners also leverage the skills and talents of others. Self-employed people, on the other hand, rely only on their own skills.

Discouraged yet? Don’t be. Every business owner started out as self-employed. Just don’t stay there. These tips will help you build a sustainable business instead of just another job.

Don’t Try to Do It All Yourself

Building a sustainable business requires that you leverage the talents and time of others. 

While it might seem cost-effective to simply do everything yourself—especially in the start-up phase when you likely have more time than money—it’s a path to burnout and stress. 

Instead, separate your tasks into those that you love and are especially suited for (such as marketing) and those you dislike and aren’t good at. Then make a solid plan to get those that you aren’t good at off your list of things to do. 

If you feel like you can’t afford to outsource it all right now, start with what you tend to procrastinate the most on, even if it’s just a few hours each month. 

Don’t Allow Yourself to Work All the Time

The trouble with working at home is that you live where you work. That means that there’s no clear line between your work day and your home life. 

Since there’s always work to do, it’s easy to find yourself working every available moment—often to the detriment of your family relationships. 

You can help avoid this by:

  • Setting and maintaining clear work hours
  • Having an office with a door you can close when you’re done
  • Scheduling time for family and other activities
  • Taking time for yourself

Holidays and Downtime Are Important

Don’t create a business that requires you to be “in the office” every day. In the beginning, you may need to be available more, but you should definitely be planning for the day when you can be “off the grid” for extended periods of time. 

  • If possible have trusted contractors who can handle things when you’re not available
  • Leverage automation tools such as autoresponders and auto-webinar systems, planning tools scheduling tools
  • Create repeatable systems so you don’t always have to start from scratch

While you might not be able to hit the road with no internet access for weeks at a time, at the very least you should be able to reduce your workload to a daily check-in. 

Sound impossible? It’s not. With some forethought and planning, you can create a the systems you need—to successfully run your business without becoming overwhelmed and overworked.

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