For the first part of Create Your Dope Biz series, we’re starting off with what should be in every freelancer’s or entrepreneur’s business: self-care plan.
There were some ups + downs when I first started (and restarted) and I didn’t know what to do with myself. And with only a background in winging it, I was thisclosetothrowinginthetowel.
Once I took a step back to figure out the whats, whys, and hows, things started to fall in place (mentally, physically, and all that good stuff). So, here are some tips to help you when self-doubt or overwhelm sneaks up on ya.
You’ll now have a plan so you can keep running your biz, creating your best work for your clients, and have your health + wellness in order.
handle anxiety + stress
perfectionism ruins lives
celebrate wins + avoid comparisons
Time to Work and Play*
take breaks and days off
mix, mingle, work at a co-working space
avoid multi-tasking + long hours at the desk
Get Your Mind Right
There will be some “I’m not good enough” or “I’m not ready” moments in the beginning and it can be Toxic to Your Business. Repeat one of these 50 positive affirmations and don’t let bad thoughts ruin your mojo, yo.
I worked hard for this. I don’t have to be the best. I am enough. Since I’m here, then it is no accident. I walk away knowing that I need to keep doing what got me in that room, and I need to keep doing it well.
– Luvvie of Awesomely Luvvie
Learn How to Keep Work Stress, and Burnout at Bay from Square Up. And, how to cope with stress and anxiety from Sam Woolfe. Learn How to Take Care of a Burned Out Designer from Kevin Whipps of Creative Market.
Do a brain dump in the morning or at night and let it all out. I write everything down at night since ALL of my ideas want to come out right when I’m trying to go to sleep.
Good Enough > Perfect
Dedicated to my fellow (or semi-recovering) perfectionists: done is better than perfect. By the time you perfect your craft, the next big thing is happening. So just launch/do it/start already!
Wake Up Excited
How do you become a morning person? Create a self-care routine:
I think the number one reason we have trouble getting out of bed in the morning is that we don’t have anything to look forward to.
– Catherine of Blissful Mind
Celebrate Your Wins
All of them. Whether big or small, write them down in your Passion Planner or add little notes to your gratitude jar. Then in the future, go back and read your notes to keep you motivated. And treat your losses as lessons learned and keep it moving, boo.
Being confident also inspires confidence from others, which matters whether you’re looking for a business partner, client, or romantic relationship. How are you supposed to get others to believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself?
No need to look at OPP – other people’s profits. Be patient + mind your *own* biz. Remember why YOU started + YOUR definition of success.
The “6-figure suck-in” really refers to the super annoying trend to publish income reports that are misleading, to title your courses and resources in a way that implies an unrealistic promise, and the wave of people caught feeling like they NEED to make 6-figures or NEED to reach a certain income amount in a certain time or else they’re failures.
– Regina of byRegina.com
More reading: Learn the 6 Emotions That Plague Highly Sensitive People Trying to Grow a Business and read 50 Thoughts That Can Motivate You to Do Anything from Entrepreneur. Read 23 Tips for Creating the Life You Want from Jessica of Pig and Dac.
Take Time to Work and Play
Instead of working long hours sitting and staring at the screen all day, set a schedule to work a certain amount of hours. I set mine from 10-4pm so I don’t disrespect my neck, wrists, and eyes for the love of code, Facebook, or Pinterest. (Don’t Judge.)
One Task at a Time
Have time blocks to focus on one and only one task. Choose between 30 to 90 minutes to do that one thing. Try the Pomodoro Technique. And then..
Take a Break
Take a bathroom break from all that water you should be drinking. Take lunch breaks at a table.. away from your desk. Here are some healthy recipes to keep you going. Try one of these 50 Ways to Take a Break.
Yes, you’re gonna have to put pants on for this, but if you ever get bored with your workspace, hit up the library or Panera Bread (why? mac and cheese + free wi-fi). Try a co-working space like We Work (see pic below) or find another co-working spot near you.
Take a day or two off and do something fun. Learn a new language on Duolingo. Take up knitting. Woodworking. Cha-cha sliding. Netflix, plum wine, and chilling. You deserve it.
Move Your Body
Easy on The Eyes
For your eyes, download F.lux Software for free to help you sleep better at night: “It makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day.”
But first, consult with your doctor before you do try these. Please + Thanks.
Greatist has plenty of exercises you can do at home or at the gym. (After you consult with your doctor, of course.) My favorites are Bodyweight Exercises and Home Kickboxing Workouts.
Relax Yourself, Girl
Please settle down, sleep early, and wake up refreshed with one of these sleeping apps. I use the SleepCycle app for Android Tip: put it on Airplane mode to avoid late night strolls on Facebook. Read Levo’s 101 Cheap Ways to Relax.
This is a personal tip but after spending 2 days under hosptial arrest, I now know iron deficiency anemia and a lot of coffee do NOT mix. So drink more water and less coffee, pretty please??
More reading: Find out the Common Health Problems of Freelance Designers and How to Deal With Them.
Feel Good Inside
Benefits of meditation: reduces stress, feelings of anxiety, depression, anxiety, and increases energy. Before you go into work mode, just 5 minutes in the morning can brighten up your day. Use apps like Stop, Breathe, Think or Headspace to help you concentrate.
Listen to Some Tunes
Stay focused and productive with apps like Noisli. Listen to the best podcasts for new coders or 9 podcasts for lady bosses. Try some instrumental tunes on Pandora or Spotify. Try some Binaural Beats to help you meditate or ChillHop Music to focus.
Become a SCORE Volunteer. Share your expertise with fellow business owners and make their dreams come true. Learn How to Focus on Work When Unstable Politics gets you down by helping non-profit organizations from programs like Hatch, Taproot, and Catch a Fire.
Create time for your friends and family:
Know the value of your loved ones, always create time to spend quality time with them. Not everything is about working. You should recharge yourself and refresh your mind from time to time and spending time with friends and family is perfect for that. Thus, do something other than working and call your loved ones.
– Ceren Cubukcu
Don’t Do it Alone
Last, but not least: Get answers to your 5011 questions from people who’ve been there and done that. Join Facebook groups or Twitter chats to mix and mingle with other bloggers and business owners. And share your struggle stories and small + major wins to inspire others. Please believe there are plenty of people around the globe that want to hear that they’re not alone.
Want to share your tips with fellow freelancers and entrepreneurs? Share your story below. If you found this post helpful, make sure you click to tweet and share with your folks or save this pin to your boards. And while you’re over there, follow my Pinterest board for more self-care tips.
This post is Part 1 of 5 for Create Your Dope Biz series. Next post will be on how to create a business/action plan, find your niche and clients, pricing your products and services. Plus, learn basic tax and legal tips. Read about How to Turn Your Idea Into an Online Business.