Business Changes to Support Your Lifestyle

People decide to start up their own businesses for all kinds of reasons. For some people setting up a business is a lifelong ambition and finally getting the chance to do so is a real test of their abilities. For other people building a small business is much more about defining the terms around their working lives.

Though you might assume that all business people are willing to make lifestyle changes for their business, you should also consider things the other way around. What if you could change the way you do business so that you could improve your lifestyle?

In an age where our working lives are changing rapidly, anything feels possible. A new generation have entered the workplace and demanded more balance and now it is your turn to capitalize on their bold moves. Here’s how you can make some changes to your business to improve your lifestyle.

Fit Your Business Around a Career Change

There are many reasons for a career change from realizing that you will never reach your full potential where you are to suffering a life changing injury in an accident. Whatever your reasons are, you can certainly create a business that will give you the chance to do exactly what you want to do.

In the case of those who are starting on a new journey after an accident, you should focus on what will make you feel better soonest. So, let your lawyers take care of the legal stuff (Craig Swapp and Associates come recommended) and set your mind to whatever you have on the horizon. The beauty of setting up your own business is that you can take your time and set your hours, days and even weeks according to your preference. So if you need to take time away for treatment – carry on. You only have yourself to answer to now.

If you are starting your own business as you want to try something new, this is a good time to educate yourself. Though many courses will take up a lot of your time, there are plenty of business ideas or side hustles you can do on the side without too much trouble. Then, once you have completed your education and you are confident in what you are doing, you can put more time into the business. This is a great way to support your studies and vice versa.

Make More Time For Your Family

Though many people think of setting up a business as a huge undertaking, if you are sensible, you can let your business grow or shrink naturally to the size you want. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend long hours away from your family in order to achieve what you set out to do.

There are a few compromises you can make when you own your own business. For a start, you can choose a location as near as your spare room to run your operations from. This will give you a much smaller commute time and mean that you won’t be stuck in traffic until about 5 minutes before the kids go to bed. It also means that you can pop home/ into the kitchen to do other things while you are on a break.

Working from home is a brilliant way to make more time for your family but do be careful that you maintain the balance. It can be all too easy to merge work and play when you are at home and get your priorities muddled. Try to set out clear working hours for yourself and be determined about keeping them. It won’t always work, but it is worth a go!

Set Time Aside For the Things You Love

For many workers with limited holiday, there is only so much they can ever do. Though you might have the money you need to go travelling, you don’t have the time – or at least you can’t take it all at once. When you work for yourself, you get to make the rules and decide what works for you.

In reality jobs are mainly for making enough money to achieve the lifestyle you want. It makes no sense, then, that you would sacrifice the life you want in order to earn the money to get you the lifestyle you want. So really, you should think twice before you end up working long hours with no reward.

When you set up your own business, you can give yourself much more time to do the things you want and you can even decide to take a few weeks or months off at a time if you can afford to. In some trades like building, this is quite common as there is less building work going around when the days are short and cold.

To work out what you can afford to do, you will need to go through your finances and add up your baseline number. This tells you how much you need to earn just to survive on a day to day basis including things like food and phone bills. Then, you should add on how much it will cost you to pursue your other interests. For example, travel and hostel costs or activity prices.

Once you know what you need to earn to achieve your lifestyle, you will know how much you need to work and be able to manage your business around your goals. This way you can earn what you need and enjoy the things you love too. Plus, you will be much more able to plan your finances once you are more aware of what you really need.

Making your business work for your lifestyle is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and for your family. There is no reason that your working life should impose upon the things that will really make you feel happy and fulfilled. All you need to do is have the determination to say what you want and go and get it.

8 Simple Motivational Tips to Get Ahead in Business

When I started my first online business – self motivation was a bit of a problem. I hadn’t been someone who’d had problems meeting deadlines or getting work done in previous jobs when I was working for someone else – but with no clear deadlines in place for a lot of what I was going to do – it became harder. Self-motivation is one of the hardest things to master when it comes to setting up your own business – but if done right, it could help you take a step up to the next level.

If you’re looking to get motivated so you can make your business-life a success, hopefully these 8 simple tips will help you like they did me.

1. Do the hardest task first

A lot of people start small to build up momentum. While this can work, I found that I was often really just putting off the hardest, most important tasks. Do them first, then they won’t play on your mind for the rest of the week, and your other (easier) tasks should fall into place.

2. Find a dedicated workspace

It’s all very well working from home – but try not to work in front of the TV or in a room you use for loads of other things. That’s an in-built distraction factory you could do without. I actually started renting a little remote office-space in my local area. I didn’t use it all the time – but when I knew I needed to completely cut out distractions I’d work from there. It made it feel like I was going to work again, which I think gave me the will to act a bit more professionally and get more done.

3. Have a clear plan

Plans are important. If you know exactly what you’ve got to do that week – you’ll be able to stick to it much more easily. Don’t simply do tasks as and when they come – not only is it easier to forget things, it’s also easier to ignore important stuff.

Work through your plan in order, even if you don’t really feel like doing one of the tasks when you get to it. Doing it and not putting it off will actually make you feel better and increase confidence, making the next tasks even easier.

4. Take regular breaks

Working solid through the day isn’t a great idea. Give yourself a break to walk around and get a drink. Just make sure the break isn’t something like watching a bit of TV, where a few minutes could turn into a few hours of procrastination. Grabbing a bit of food and a drink is fine, but don’t use your breaks as an excuse to do something major that’s going to take more than 5-10 minutes. When you’ve built up a head of steam in your work, you don’t want to lose that because you’ve been doing something else for too long. But you also don’t want to burn-out through being too overworked.

5. Avoid distractions

This one kind of ties into a couple that we’ve already looked at – but distractions are bad news.

I used to take my laptop to the local coffee store and do some work there. While I thought the change of environment and extra caffeine was helping me – I was wrong. There was always something going on, something to look at, and something to interact with – and plenty of noise, too. Coffee shops might be fine when you’ve got a few light and easy tasks – but not if you’ve got serious work that needs doing. Leave them as a treat towards the end of the working week when you tie up some loose ends, rather than a regular thing.

If you’ve got a roommate – make sure they know when you’re working so they don’t disturb you. Switch the TV off, and avoid social media. If you use it for work, fine, but there’s a fine-line between productive social media marketing and an excuse to procrastinate. Don’t log-in to your personal accounts.

6. Hold yourself accountable

Tell people what you’re going to do so that they’ll hold you to it. Since you don’t have a boss – give yourself other people to make you accountable to.

7. Listen to music at the right time

You probably don’t want to be listening to music if you’ve got something important to think about. But if you’re on to your easier tasks and what to lighten the mood and give yourself a change of pace – some music could do the job. But don’t let the music become a distraction.

8. Meditate before you get started

5-10 minutes of light meditation at the beginning of the day really helped clear my mind from distractions and get me in a relaxed mood for working. I was no meditation expert – I just looked up a couple of newbie guides online – but it helped get my head in the right space for work and it’s something I continue to use regularly. Give it a try for a week or two, even if it’s not something you’d normally go in for.

 

About the author

These tips were by Keith Elton. Keith has years of experience in the business world and enjoys sharing his motivation tips with those new to the industry. He also recommends looking up some motivational quotes online if you’re looking for even more inspiration.

Seven Solutions to Common Problems Freelance Professionals Face

The problems that a freelance professional could face are seemingly limitless. From clients who just can’t pay on time to competing with better established firms that are able to undercut your rates, there’s ostensibly no end of problems that affect freelancers.

Businessman silhouette

So why do we do it, i.e. work freelance? For the freedom, for the work-life balance it (supposedly) provides us with and amongst other things, the opportunity to work on projects we enjoy.

Here are seven common problems that freelancers often face and (hopefully) seven viable solutions.

1. You can’t find enough clients to keep your head above water.

This is a common problem many freelancers face and not only when starting out.
There are a number of websites for freelancers to promote themselves and their services on, though don’t limit yourself to one or two, make the most of the abundance of these websites by promoting yourself on as many as you need to, and more importantly, as many as you can manage.

2. Your clients aren’t paying on time (or at all)

This is frustrating and often takes its toll on freelancers’ cash flow. One way to deal with this problem is to ask for a small up-front deposit though bear in mind that this could make your services unappealing to potential clients. This common problem can also be addressed with proper client communication that clearly outlines expected timescales, payment times, etc.

3. Your clients are in different time zones

This is one of the joys of working as a freelancer, i.e. connecting with clients the world over, but it can also be a source of frustration. In addition to proper client communication to the effect that you aren’t rising at 4am for a VoIP meeting, a mutual compromise regarding time zone management is in order. Some freelancers avoid incurring this problem altogether by limiting their clients to manageable time zones.

4. You have to work with different currencies

You can generally expect to have to work with different currencies if you have clients from all four corners of the globe. Currency fluctuations can really harm your bottom line so keep an eye out for currency fluctuations, or alternatively, work in a base currency, e.g. US dollars or the Euro.

5. You’re worried about taxation issues

Taxation is something that we all have to deal with and it’s important to keep your taxation responsibilities under control. Two of your best options here are to work with (for) an umbrella company like GiniWealth or get yourself a good accountant, one with ample experience working with freelancers.

6. You’re experiencing cash flow problems

As a freelancer you’ll generally find that you don’t have the same cash flow options that established businesses do like invoice discounting and factoring. Keeping your personal and business finances distinctly separate is an excellent way of dealing with this, for example paying yourself a small wage and then working out your business finances at convenient times of the year.

7. You find it difficult to enjoy a good work-life balance

A more attractive work-life balance is a prominent reason for freelancing so as to enjoy more time at home with the family, though things have a tendency to work out differently at times. Break up your day with exercise, lunches out, the occasional afternoon (or day) at a local co-working space and set a time to finish work. Many freelancers find that although they have to get up early on occasion it sure beats working into the night and missing out on dinner with the family. Working freelance should be rewarding – Keep it that way.

About the Author:
A London-based company, GiniWealth offers a range of employment solutions including tax efficiency, legal assistance, and tools that help contractors maximise their wealth and expertly plan their future.