What have been your greatest business lessons so far?
When I wanted to start a business I knew absolutely jack-all about business. My whole acting career meant I had a manager to organise everything for me. He negotiated all my contracts, my work schedule, organised my appointments, everything! I didn’t have any of these basic skills.
As an entrepreneur, you’ve got be willing to up-skill. I forced myself to learn and understand the back end of my website even though every part of my body squirms and resists anything remotely tech-based. Learning is all part of the entrepreneurial gig.
So start before you’re ready and learn on the job. You will never have enough knowledge, time or money so just start before you’re ready and figure it out as you go. I’m a perfectionist by nature so I was guilty of stalling every project or idea by spending all my time thinking about it rather than just doing it! You’ve got to take inspired action or your idea will be shelved in your brain and never come to fruition. I have learnt to get out of my head and start moving and shaking to make things happen, even if I don’t know all the answers yet.
What do you think the key to successful self-employment is?
For me making friends with other self-employed peeps has been key. It’s great to create a network of accountability partners where you can check in with each other’s work progress and have a good old venting session about the challenges of being self employed.
And of course, it’s paramount to create a daily working routine. I work from home and, I’ll be honest, it’s a struggle. I can easily meander my way through the day getting distracted with ridiculous things like raiding the pantry for snacks. So giving yourself set working hours helps. I’m most productive in the mornings so I have to capitalise on my window of focus. I switch my phone to airplane mode between 8-11 and try to plough through as much work as I can. Then I reward myself with some sort of treat!
I also manage my time by creating a weekly schedule every Sunday. It’s a bit like a puzzle. I start with the corners and edges (ie. any appointment and deadlines) then I fill in the remaining pockets of time with everything else. It’s a messy calendar but I kinda like it that way. Every day is different.