When the juggle is the journey

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In the last six years I have worked my butt off to build a business for myself.  I have written business plans, branded myself and developed websites a total of 5 times. Do you know what? I am not there yet. In fact, I still work in my professional-level day job. In this time I've learnt a thing or two about the juggle of having a day job and building the business of my dreams; the slow way. 


Time is more precious than diamonds

I work a day job, I am a single mumma to 2 kids, I maintain our household and I am building a business. I also don't remember the last time I went to the movies. To master my time I need to be on top of things. I have a fetish for Asana and have implemented Basecamp into my team at work. Time is precious and you need to be intentional about how you use it. For example if you ask me about the new season of Game of Thrones I will look at you blankly. I don't watch TV, instead I do photo projects, learn about content marketing and do homework with my kids. Not that my way is the best way, it's just that we all have so many things to do in a day, we need to prioritse. To reach my dreams I need to use the time I have smartly. I schedule, create to-do lists and have no life. 

Make friends with the 'Tickler' 

In the same vein, I am conscious of the never ending list of things that need to get done and my ability to forget stuff. Getting shit done relies on having a task system. Your brain is not a 'remembering' tool it’s thinking and creating tool. You need to put all the things that you are trying to remember into some sort of tracking process that you trust. Leave your brain free to do what it's good at. I love the Bullet Journal approach and I also use elements of the Get Stuff Done system. 

Getting it wrong doesn't mean you're a loser.  

I am not a fool; I have a Masters degree, I am motivated and I have some talent. Despite this I have made some pretty big stuff ups. I have also almost let these failures convince me that I am not smart; talented or cut out for this shit. That doesn't help anyone. Creating a business is hard work. Knowing what do next, at exactly the right time, is impossible. I have learned to cut myself some slack. You should too. 

Because this is a side-gig doesn't mean you should be half-arsed. 

I don't just take photos because I want a little bit of cash on the side. I want to build a sustainable business so I can do the school run and pay the mortgage. I want this thing to be the real deal. That means a decent web-presence, well-considered branding, professional customer service and a product that's the best I can offer. Take the time and research, learn, find good value vendors that you love. I want a long-term business and clients that respect me, so I need to give my business the respect it deserves. 


It's up to you to do the work. 

One of my favourite Maya Angelou quotes is "Nothing will work, unless you do". Whether it is in my day job or in the business, if I don't do what I need to do, things fall over.  Can I delegate or outsource? Of course! But even that doesn't happen unless I make the decision and make it happen. I yearn to work for myself, to be the one responsible. That means (you guessed it) I need to be responsible now and do the work. 


Your work life balance doesn't have to be the same as someone else's 

I am still uncertain what balance is. I have read a shit tonne of articles and listened to podcasts to find out. There is a lot of conversation about work life balance as an entrepreneur, but so little about when your hustle is on the side of a day job and family. I can't shut down the computer when it's dinnertime. I put the kids to bed and get started. I actually believe that balance is the wrong word. It implies that there are equal parts that even each other out. I see my life more as a pie chart; a whole range of slices that are all different. The size of the slices changes, sometimes way out of proportion and other times more evenly. Either way, it's always to same size pie; and man, I love my pie. 


To hear more ramblings about my journey in business, you can also check out an interview I did with Sam Nordberg 

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