The Part of Being a Business Owner People Don’t Talk About
Eula M. Guest
As many of you are ready to face the next fiscal year or, entrepreneurs are using this time to do the unsexy part of running a business. Being in magazines, newspapers, getting dress for galas, being on panels, flying to business conferences, video-taping commercials, doing photo shoots and interviewing famous people is all the sexy part of running a business. Having people walk up to you recognizing you can be very exciting, but what most people don’t see is the unsexy stuff.
While most of you are sleeping at 2:00 am in the morning, entrepreneurs are busy working on answering RFP (request for proposals), RFB (request for bids), and RFQ (request for quotes), writing proposals, answering request for quotes, recertifying their business with the City and State of New York. When people see you they don’t see the journey the hard work, the sacrifices, the disappointments, the project that you did so much pre-work on fall through. People don’t see the struggle, the slow period, and the loneliness of being an entrepreneur, when you are not sure which direction to go, when you don’t have a board or mentor to bounce ideas off of. When your family and friends can’t understand why you left that “Good Job with Benefits” yes it can be very lonely and only another business owner and an entrepreneur can understand why you are doing what you do. Yes, this is the unsexy part of running your business and if you ask another entrepreneur if they would do it all again? Most would say yes and even enjoy the unsexy stuff.
Tips to enjoy and improve parts of running your business that are not as much fun:
- Schedule a monthly clerical day – Planning is half the battle so if you schedule it you know that is the time you have to put into filing, accounts payable/receivable, billing etc.
- Turn off/Tune Out – Turn off those mobile devices that can be just as distracting as the telephone calls. Voice mail is there for a purpose when scheduling those administrative days, turn off your devices so you can get that work done. Don’t use your mobile devices as an excuse to not get that work done.
- Don’t answer e-mails – When you know that you have paper work to do, don’t go answering e-mails. Set a time aside for only doing e-mails. E-mails are just like Lays potato chips you just can’t answer one.
- Family/Friends have to respect your time – As a mother, wife, grandparent & volunteer, there is nothing worst when I set aside a clerical day and everyone in my family decides that’s the day to call or worst when my husband/partner in the business can’t find the mayonnaises calling me asking for things that if he opens his eyes he will find.
- It is ok to tell family/friends you will call them back – I tell my family/friends all the time that unless you are on fire don’t call me between 10:00 am – 6:00 pm and if you are on fire then your first call should be the fire department. We all love our family and friends but they could be time robbers and distractions from getting things done.
- Last but not least SOCIAL MEDIA! – How many times when promoting an event, putting information on my page, a person wants to chat. Either don’t answer or cut the conversation very short. Let them know you are in the middle of doing work and you can’t speak. Some understand and then there is that occasional person that goes on and on. Don’t answer after you made it clear that you are working. For me social media is how I make my money for my clients. I don’t have time to chat. I am usually posting and getting off. Schedule to answer questions, send out birthday wishes etc.