It’s been a little over three months since I started Creative Geek Lifestyle in my journey to becoming my own boss. Even in this short span of time, I feel like I am learning so many new and exciting things that motivate me to push forward into the unknown. I find myself bending to the winds, so to speak, adjusting as I learn new information (which is something I wasn’t very good at). The best part? I’m excited to get up in the morning. I can hardly articulate why that is such a huge milestone to me, but I’ll do my best.
Quitting my 9-5 job has easily been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. There was even catharsis in just giving my two-weeks notice: a weight lifted off my shoulders that very day because for the first time in my adult working life, I saw a light at the end of the tunnel. I was no longer chained to a desk, or to a job I didn’t enjoy. I could breathe again.
Taking that leap wasn’t easy. I was terrified that I would fail, that I wouldn’t make enough money to support myself, or that I was taking too large a risk. But I was one thing for certain: I was determined.
I harnessed that determination and dove headfirst into the world of being an entrepreneur, seeking happiness doing the things I loved (and making money doing it). I never expected the journey to be such a beautiful one, full cliche intended. The goals, the successes and even the failures are my fuel now, and I thought I’d take a moment to share some of my revelations with you so that you can see how achievable this same happiness and enjoyment can be for you.
Revelation one – you gotta get creative
It’s no coincidence that CGL uses the word “creative” so often in its branding. Creativity comes from many things, forcing you to dig deep for solutions to the problems in front of you – even problems you’ve never met before. At the beginning of this whole venture, I made a point of writing down every single hobby and interest that I enjoyed doing. That list became my turning point and the focus of not only this blog, but also my journey to be a happier, financially independent person. Coupled with my Passion Planner, these were my tools and weapons to harnessing my future.
Related Content: Passion Planning: Find It, Follow It, Love It
From that list I got creative with the ways that I could make money doing these things that I enjoyed so much. Writing, art, animals… all of these played a part in shaping my money-making endeavors (blogging, art commissions and dog walking).
Don’t be stingy when spit-balling your ideas; you never know which one could be your main source of income as your own boss!
revelation two: time management is your greatest tool
I’m still in the early stages of my life as my own CEO, but regardless one of the most important lessons I’ve learned is to manage my time wisely. There are only so many hours in the day, and when you’re hustling hard with several side hustles like me, every minute counts. Not only do I block out my daily and weekly schedule via a mobile calendar (with time allotted to blogging, walks, ubering and art), I also make use of my “pauses”.
Related Content: 4 Successful Side Hustles For New Entrepreneurs
Time management is one of my most important tools as a new entrepreneur. So, I sharpen my goals… https://t.co/X80F4pizQw
— CreativeGeekLife (@geeklife101) September 27, 2017
These pauses can take place while I’m waiting for my next Uber ride, between dog walking appointments, etc. I carry a notebook and pen in my purse just for these moments, where I can jot down thoughts or goals I have for any of my endeavors. Or, if I have a large enough gap between walking dogs, I’ll hop in my car and give Uber rides for an hour or two just to fill the time.
Being my own boss means hustling every minute, but there’s a thrill that comes with that and if you manage your schedule and your time carefully, you’ll keep the stress at bay!
revelation three: be flexible
Some of your endeavors at making money as your own boss will be lucrative and prosperous! But, don’t expect every single one of your ideas to take root and make you money right from the start (or at all, in some cases). This shouldn’t deter you from hustling hard and moving forward into the unknown to try your hand at new things. On the contrary: if something isn’t working, take a good look at why and be sure to apply the lessons learned to your other projects and hustles.
Some good questions to ask yourself about why a hustle isn’t effective:
- Is there too much overhead? (Initial cost vs return on investment)
- Are you not dedicating enough time?
- Likewise, are you dedicating too much to one and not others?
- Are you targeting the correct audience?
- Do you need to re-brand it?
Be flexible and move with the motion of your hustles, and don’t be afraid to make changes or learn from your mistakes. Heck, Madonna re-invented and re-branded herself a half-dozen times over the past 30 years, and there’s no reason why you can’t be that flexible and open to change too!
revelation four: start small, think big
I made the mistake of thinking too small when I first started my journey to becoming my own boss. My very first list of ideas on how to see a financial return on the hobbies I enjoyed was painfully short and, likewise, short-sighted. I wasn’t considering the bigger picture, and the exercises in my Passion Planner helped me realize that I needed to think bigger and farther into the future in order to set my goals.
It’s perfectly okay to start small: get your ideas off the ground, get the ball rolling and do your research. But don’t forget to think big! Where do you see your endeavor(s) in 1 year? 3 years? 5 years? At what phase do you want to be seeing a realistic and significant return on investment with them, and more importantly: how are you going to get there? Write it all down and be as detailed as possible.
Don’t limit your thinking to the immediate “here and now” but keep your eyes set on the horizons, because that is where the big successes will be.
revelation five: be unique as yourself
As fast-paced and innovative as the world is today, more than likely you are going to have stiff competition in whatever field you are looking to be successful in as an entrepreneur. Speaking from firsthand experience, this can be very daunting… to the point where you might feel discouraged before (or right after) you start.
Don’t let competition scare you away from what you enjoy. It’s totally possible to make money doing what you enjoy in a competitive genre or field. It doesn’t matter if there are a thousand other people trying to do the same thing: what matters is that you try to be unique as yourself, because there’s only one of YOU.
Be creative and put your own special flare on it. Your ideas and your experiences are as individual as a fingerprint, because no one else can experience it the same way you have. Use that to your advantage, and don’t get discouraged in the face of opposition or competition.
Related Content: 3 Important Reasons Why Struggling Is Okay
These revelations resonate with me, and I certainly hope that by putting them together in this post they can help you with achieving your goals and dreams. Even if you have already found the career path that works for you, these lessons can still ring true! Be sure to share your current endeavors in the comments, because I would love to read about them.