Running a business with a full time job ain't no joke. It's chaotic, stressful, exhausting and often times leaves you with the feeling that there's never enough time in the day to finish everything you need to do.
We know there are a lot of you out there who are in their full time job just dreaming of the day you get to walk out of your 9-5 and say SEE YA NEVER! But while you're biding your time and building your side hustle into a full blown, fulltime income - you've gotta come up with strategies to really keep it all together! Not to mention still be able to have a personal life. Because that's really what we're working towards right? Personal freedom?
When it comes to keeping things together it's ultimately about creating effective systems and staying uber organized.
Here's what we do when we are ultra busy with life, work and running a successful busines.
We automate as much as we can. We've gotten to a point now where we have a lot of things on autopilot. It helps us to set it and forget it so we're not bogged down by administrative tasks that tend to take a lot of manual work. Additionally, automating allows us to free our headspace rather than worrying about a list of 10 million things to do.
So what do we use to automate?
Zapier is a godsend - we use zaps to send us alerts, to complete specific tasks when other things are done and to automate certain processes that we would typically do manually. You can set up zaps for free and upgrade for more if you need them.
We also use Dubsado as our Client Portal, another huge time saver and eliminates a bunch of back and forth between clients. It automates our entire onboarding process for new clients - from getting contracts signed, sending proposals, invoices and managing all email communications for that particular client in once centralized location - it also connects to Quickbooks and Paypal so we can easily collect and manage payments!
Automating our email marketing. We use Active Campaign for our email marketing system and it's a blessing. It lets us create robust email campaigns and automations, move subscribers to appropriate lists and helps us manage our membership site. It really is one of the best email marketing platforms you can get (we're anxiously awaiting integration into Dubsado). We're able to get amazing insights into our campaigns, easily re-use templates and send out campaigns to specific groups. Now we don't automate our content - it would be amazing if we could! But because we use some beautifuly designed templates (if you're getting our emails you know they look gorg) it's really easy to insert new content and maintain consistency.
Because we're often hosting events or trying to cram in time into our schedule with our friends and family, one of the most important ways we keep our shit together is by actually sitting down together and working on a regular cadance.
We have a shared calendar that we both regularly update so we always know who's available when to sit down and get to business. We try to schedule at least one day a week to work on things either together or with our Intern. We work REALLY well when we're in the same physical space. It's easier than texting or even zooming. Because we can spread out and see what we're working on side by side. It makes a huge difference for us, working together - we can use our collective minds to finish things so much faster and deliver finished products without having to go back and forth on who likes what. We work it out, on the spot, in person. But also, when we're setting dedicated time together, we also give ourselves a sense of accountability - we have to finish these things before we leave or before we meet so we can review.
If you don't have a business partner (or an intern) and are finding that your schedule is controling you instead of you controling it, try setting a set schedule. Also have a really good understanding of your work habits - do you tend to get home from work and have zero energy to work on your business? Then don't work at night, make up for everything on the weekend! Or do you know you work better out of the house than at home? Get you booty to a coffee shop and spend an hour or two working after work. When you know what your work habits are and you stick to a set schedule - you will start seeing your productivity go up. You'll get more done in less time and you'll still be able to enjoy the little free time you have.
Another thing we do to make sure that we're handling it all without loosing our minds is to actually ask for help. It seems like a minor, and easy thing to do, but asking for help can honestly be one of the most challenging things you can do. Especially when it comes to something you're proud of or working hard at.
We aske each other help ALL the time, and we're vulnerable about it. If one of us is feeling really overwhelmed by the work that we have to do - we speak up and we try to come up with solutions together to alleviate the workload. We also ask our intern for a LOT of help.
But what do you do when it's just you? And you don't have an intern?
Someone, some where can help you with something. Maybe it's your spouse helping you around the house so those tasks are taken off your plate, or maybe it's finding a business BFF to help you stay accountable.
We highly encourage you to seek out help. And not just asking for advice - because that will put you in a straight up sense of overwhelm. But actually seek out people in your network who'd be willing to sit down with you to go over some of the things you're struggling with. Hire a business coach (we're REALLY great at making sure you're staying on task and coming up with new solutions to solve big problems in your business).
But the general idea is to not be afraid to ask for help. It doesn't make you weak, it doesn't discount your expertise, in fact, it makes you look smarter and more efficient when you have help to get you through the work. Because you're able to focus on the customer and the work that generates you money.
So ask for help, find people who will keep you accountable and don't be afraid to ask for help - because it will get you so far ahead when you have a little help.
Here's the thing, you don't to have it all together. There are weeks where we're a complete mess. We don't even know what is up or down because our minds are everywhere. But we take the time, together to get centered, refocused and we pull it together.
So if you're feeling like the chaos is getting the best of you - take a step back and give yourself a break. Figure out what it is that's really holding you back and seek help!
If you're interested in learning more about how we can help you thrive, just check out our Digital MasterHive Program!