Over the last couple of years, side hustles have become very popular. More and more people are stepping out of the backseat of their weekly 9-5 and hopping into the driver seat of entrepreneurship. The forerunners in this trend, millennials, are learning to balance their career which the pays the bills and their side job which brings out their creativity and talents.
You may have realized you have a side job that provides financial freedom and allows you to be in control of production. Perhaps you're like me and have the desire to be your own boss. Whatever your reason is, as your building and developing your side job, consistency is one skill you want to have.
Why Consistency is Important
Being consistent is important when you begin your business. It’s crucial to give your business the proper foundation. In order to know the importance of consistency, you must first consider its elements-- focus, discipline and time.
Many entrepreneurs lack focus. I see entrepreneurs who have great businesses, yet before their business even starts to bring in revenue, they are jumping to the next idea or project. Why? you may ask. It could be because of their shortened attention span. Social media is the leading cause to the hindrance of our focus. It lessens our attention span and causes us to become easily distracted. Not to mention, it promotes the constant need of entertainment. When we get bored we tend to shift or move on to something else when it does not fulfill us.
For example, let's say you to sell jewelry. You have your business website, social media pages and gained two customers so far. However, now it’s the end of your second quarter, you’re already working on selling clothes and other accessories. You haven't even grown your social media following to substantial numbers nor have you made enough money to reinvest in your business. When starting out as an entrepreneur, don’t pile up your plate with more than you can manage, especially if you have you haven't given the proper attention to your initial goals and objectives.
Have you ever set time aside to work on your blog post, then five minutes into writing, you gravitate to your phone to check Facebook or Instagram? Before you know it, you’ve spent twenty minutes scrolling through your news feed and your attention is now on a video of this year’s Grammy performances. As an entrepreneur, we must feed our focus and starve our distractions. We starve our distractions by removing the things that easily distract us when we are trying to focus, like our phones, radio, ipads, tablets, tv, or even talkative friends. We feed our focus by creating an environment that heightens our productivity whether its a coffee shop, bedroom, den, library or wherever we can be the most productive.
“Discipline kicks in when motivation wears off”
Everyone is motivated to start something new at the beginning of the year, but how many actually follow through once that motivation wears off? How many businesses actually last until the end of the year? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 80% (four-fifths) of businesses with employees will survive their first year in business. I’m sure there are a host of reasons on why those businesses failed, but the underlying reason could be disciplined. When you become an entrepreneur, you are constantly faced with the choice of doing what you want to do versus what you should and need to do. For instance, I wanted to go out to eat after work today, but I knew I needed to write this blog post. If I did go out, I probably would have been too tired to write. Being self-disciplined means you have to constantly push yourself, even when you have days when you don’t feel motivated.
If you are balancing your 9-5 along with your side job, you must manage your time wisely. Whether you set aside three hours to write a blog post, one hour to respond to emails or two hours to study your website analytics, you must allocate the time. When you have a team, it is easier to assign roles and tasks. However, for those entrepreneurs who are running their business on their own, it’s imperative to create a routine or schedule.
Not only should you manage your time, but also allow time for your business to grow. So many new entrepreneurs expect instantaneous results. It so easy to believe that in a fast-paced society, you get fast results but that is not always the case. It takes time and patience to build a reputable, six-figure business.
"If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time." -- Steve Jobs
Set realistic goals for your business and assign objectives and tactics to those goals so that you don’t develop unrealistic expectations for yourself.
Best Way to Build Consistency
If you are not automating, you should! Automation is a vital tool in time management because when you automate through platforms like Buffer, Hoot-suite or Planoly, you’re freeing up the time to do other things in your business. Setting aside one hour every Sunday to automate posts for the week saves you stress and helps you run your business efficiently. Automation allows for consistent communication with your audience and drives traffic to your website, social media pages etc.
In conclusion, get into the habit of being consistent! Refocus on your goals, develop discipline, start managing your time effectively and get into automation.
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Was this blog post helpful? What strategies do you use to stay consistent in your business?