Monday, May 18, 2009

My Year of Hopefulness - Fear #5 of Entrepreneurship

“I don't have enough time.”

Running a business, particularly as a side venture in addition to a day job, is time-consuming no question. There will be trade-offs. I’ve found that a good deal of organization and keeping initial goals small helps to temper this fear of not having enough time. Starting a business can be an overwhelming project, though breaking it down into small bite-sized action items makes the idea less daunting.

Here are some ideas to make the time management portion of your new business more manageable:

1.) Develop an action plan, a task list, and a timeline to stay on track with small goals

2.) Celebrate achievements small and large, especially at the very early stage of starting a business - developing the first draft of your business plan, meeting a contact that has the potential to be a partner, deciding on the name of your company, etc., launching your website. Every accomplishments is worth at least a little celebration.

3.) Get some help – could be an intern, a family member, a friend, or a potential business partner to give a few hours of their time. Sharing the load can take some of the pressure off.

4.) Fun organization tools abound at places like Target, Container Store, and Staples. Use them to keep you motivated in your quest for organization.

5.) Set a realistic time frame. There’s a lot of pressure in the world to move as fast as possible all the time. Running a business is a long-term commitment and slow, managed growth wins the race.

6.) Remember that the time will pass any way, regardless of how you spend it so why not invest in an idea that you have and see if you can make a go of it? The worst that can happen is that you’ll still have your day job, you will learn a lot about yourself and what you want out of your life, and you can always switch gears and work on a different idea if the first one doesn’t work out.

When I was in college, I was feeling overwhelmed by some paper or exam. One of my roommates gave me a very small two inch picture frame. To this day, it still sits on my desk to remind me that all I have to do at this very moment is enough work to fill that two inch frame. And once I finish with that first small task, I can move on to another. That two inch frame doesn’t reduce the amount of work I have – it just gives me a perspective that’s a little bit easier to deal with.

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