If you are a freelancer juggling 3+ career paths while maintaining numerous streams of income, congratulations! YOU are a multi-preneur. But, giving your all to several pursuits can be exhausting. So, I've compiled a simple list of five techniques that will help you succeed at your endeavor(s) more quickly.
Before being the Founder/CEO of Drunk Yoga became my full-time gig, I, too, was an entrepreneur...nay, multi-preneur, and darn proud of it. Entrepreneurship/multi-preneurship are great ways to stay active and earn a living (or several). Still, the subsequent responsibility can often be overwhelming to time-manage. I’ve been an multi-preneur for years--building my "Eli Walker" brand through both of my companies--Divine Your Story and Drunk Yoga--while maintaining a career in acting in New York City, an at-home voiceover business, and a profession in teaching yoga...among other pursuits. I know how great it feels to be accomplished in a number of arenas, and to feel financially secure as a freelancer, knowing that I have checks coming in from several sources. However, being your own boss can have its pitfalls. I’ve had to learn how to be my own "Eli Walker" supervisor, secretary, accountant, strategist, marketing consultant...the list goes on. Through trial and error (...okay, lots of error), I have learned how to hold myself accountable for deadlines, set attainable goals to support my own growth, and most importantly, manage my time and energy wisely so that I can continue to pursue all of my passions without sacrificing my health and relationships.
Here’s a list of 5 tips I’ve learned from personal experience (and by experience I mean mistakes) about how to properly time-manage wisely in order to ensure success as an entrepreneur/multi-preneur:
1. Learn to Love "To-Do" Lists
Not big on making “to-do” lists? Well, you must learn to love them. Manually or electronically writing daily to-do lists, as well as weekly deadlines and monthly goals have helped me stay on top of my game in each of my professional pursuits. It has also helped me to prioritize tasks so I don’t save anything until the last minute. As a multi-preneur, procrastination leads to unnecessary stress that has a snowball effect, causing all areas of one's life to suffer. I write a list of monthly goals, including the amount of money I’d like to earn in each of my respective career endeavors, and post it on my refrigerator. Much like a vision board, seeing my goals each day has helped me bring them to fruition! Boomerang--have you heard of it? It’s an application you can download for Gmail that allows you to schedule when you’d like to send your emails. So, if you know you need to take some time to write an important email to a client, you can dedicate your after-hours to the task, and using Boomerang, schedule it to send during appropriate business hours.
2. Stay Active on Social Media
Stay active on social media. Perception is reality. I book work regularly for yoga, acting, nutrition consulting, and voice over from strategically posting about my work on social media. Check out the Instagram app called Later. It allows you to create your posts and then schedule them for when you’d like to post them. Then, it will alert you when it’s time to post, and all you have to do is open Instagram on your phone and click “paste.” This is a great time-management tool, because it limits your time on social media (we all know Instagram can be a time-sucker!), and allows you to spend ample time creating “likable” posts when you have the time to dedicate to it. You can also work on your social media posts on the go--which is a great way to make effective use of your time waiting in traffic, or on the subway. My best advice as it relates to social media use: develop an online “voice” that’s intelligent, positive and light-hearted, and post regularly. Avoid posting anything negative. Social media is an entrepreneur and multi-preneur’s best marketing tool. Advertise yourself as someone who is wildly popular and successful so that your followers view you as someone they’d want to work with. Feel free to check out my accounts: @eliwalkernyc , @divineyourstory and @dodrunkyoga for examples on to how to keep your personal account positive but also “promotional,” and your business account “on brand.”
3. Maintain Integrity
Bring integrity to your work. Always. No exceptions. If you allow yourself to become disorganized and anxious, it will show in your work with clients. Let your first priority be providing great customer service in everything you do. How do you anything is how you do everything. This means that it is your responsibility to make sure you have the time and energy to produce your best quality work for every project, no matter what. No job is too small to give it 100%. You never know what connections you’ll make as a result, and the new opportunities that could arise as a result in the future.
4. Communication is Key
Be an exceptional communicator. Take extra time to respond thoughtfully in your electronic correspondence, and likewise, respond promptly. This is an easy-to-manage way to make sure your clients know you’re on top of your game. A good practice as a freelancer is to respond immediately to every email and phone call you receive from a potential customer, even if it’s simply to say, “Thanks for the message! I’ve received this and I’ll respond with more details when I get back to my desk.” Radio silence makes busy clients feel ignored, and they’ll believe you are unreliable, making your chances of getting rehired by them for future business slim. Like any industry, success in multi-preneurship requires positive working relationships.
5. Don't Be a Workaholic!
Balance. Don’t be a workaholic! Self-care is key to success. You can only be as “able” as you are “stable.” Depriving yourself of sleep, fun, relaxation and nourishing food may give you the extra time you need to earn more dollars in the short term, but your health and happiness will suffer in the long run, and as a result, so will your business. Find joy in your work by having a rich, full life outside of your business endeavors. I mean, what’s the point of being your own boss if you can’t enjoy it? The best way to time manage home and work-life balance is to create healthy boundaries. If you work from home, be clear with yourself about when your work day will start and end. Change out of your pajamas and into your “work clothes” --dress for success (even if the only living being who will see you that day is your goldfish). Create a workspace that is separate from your recreation space, or your meditation space, etc. Also, decide when you’ll be finished with work; whether it’s after you finish a deadline, or at the same hour each day, and hold yourself accountable to that deal you’ve made with yourself. Then, develop an after-work ritual. Whether it’s going for a run, happy hour with friends, or just taking a nap. Healthy boundaries help you self-identify, and give you the foundation you need to rise to your highest potential!
If after reading this you realize that you've, in fact, been working too hard, and could use a little uplifting, check out one of my Drunk Yoga classes in New York City every Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday. Sign up HERE to unwind and have some "balanced" fun. I'd love to see you there!
...Need even more of an escape than yoga with wine? Sign up for my next Divine Your Story retreat to Bali, January 9-16th, 2019 at Jeda Villa for some cleansing introspection and an opportunity to rewrite your life story in a more joyful direction.