TIME TO THRIVE BLOG
How to survive and thrive as an entrepreneur
With no colleagues around or boss telling us what to do, being self-employed can feel lonely at times, and it can be hard to stay motivated. But it doesn’t have to be that way!
Today I will share my own experience of thriving as an entrepreneur and give you some helpful ideas to be happier and more productive in your own business.
Co-working with a business buddy
When I arrived at Coconat, a ‘workation’ space just outside Berlin, my friend was already there. She met me at the entrance, her whole face smiling, and I knew we had a couple of fun, productive days ahead of us.
Kim is my business buddy. But not only that, we also bake Christmas cookies together and take our kids to amusement parks. We became friends during the lockdown when life as an entrepreneur, wife and mother was more challenging than normal.
In Zoom calls we gave one another feedback and held each other accountable. And our businesses survived the lockdown. But beyond that, we both expanded in ways we didn’t think possible in such uncertain times.
It was my third time at Coconat. A few years ago I went to write my thesis, and in the midst of the pandemic I went to brainstorm ideas on how to rebrand my business. This time I just needed some proper get-shit-done kinds of days. You know all that business and life admin which you never have time to do!?
I hear a lot of my entrepreneurial friends and clients complain that being self-employed can be lonely, and that it’s hard to get things done when no boss is waiting for an assignment to be handed in.
It’s easy to get distracted with social media when nobody is watching. (What irony, I just googled a word and got sucked into LinkedIn!) Working from home also adds the challenge of mixing up work and household duties (let’s just put on the laundry now so I have that done…)
Tips to help you survive and thrive as an entrepreneur
I have noticed that what helps me the most to stay focused and have fun as an entrepreneur is to get out of the house! I need to be in the practice for my regular in-person clients, and in a quiet place for the clients I meet online, but all the admin, creative brainstorming and writing – I can do those things from anywhere!
Here’s a shortlist of tips that have helped me survive and thrive as an entrepreneur:
- Find a business buddy. The person doesn’t need to be doing what you are doing, the only criteria is to find someone who also is self-employed and has more or less the same size business as you.
- Block out time for future planning. Get together with your business buddy and share your business vision for the coming year. Map out important steps together that you can hold each other accountable for. (I recommend doing this twice a year. I do it in June and December.)
- Become a member of an online network to get business support. Find a suitable membership depending on which stage of business you’re in. This is a place where you can ask all the relevant questions related to your business.
- Join or create a mastermind. Find a group of like-minded entrepreneurs to meet with monthly. Bring your current business challenges, and get invaluable ideas from your business peers on how to resolve them. Mine meets online, as my peer group is based in the UK.
- Prioritise your mental health. Make sure to always block time in your calendar for self-care. If you don’t care for yourself, you can’t show up for your clients and your business will suffer. On my list of non-negotiables is going on a retreat once a year. The year before the pandemic started, I created my own retreat in Thailand.
- Set boundaries! With no strict time schedule to follow, it’s easy to work in the evenings and on weekends. It will quickly burn you out if you’re not careful.
- Stop comparing yourself with other entrepreneurs! It’s easy to look at what others are doing and lose track of your own progress. The only thing that matters is where you were half a year ago and where you are now.
- Get help before you need it. This was advice I got from my business mentor that helped me pivot my business during the lockdown. I hired my first virtual assistant, designer and SEO manager before I really needed them. Now they are an important part of my business development.
- Have fun! We didn’t leave the corporate world to work even harder and have more stress! We left to create a healthier work environment and have a bit more fun, didn’t we?! So make sure that you enjoy being your own boss, and celebrate your progress along the way!
Your next step
What is the first step you could take today to make sure your entrepreneurial life will be less lonely and more fun?
This shortlist is something I needed when I first started as an entrepreneur. I didn’t have any business buddies back then and had no idea how to find a business mentor or any kind of community.
Part of my bigger vision is to inspire as many people as possible to let go of the notion that we need to figure things out alone – from dealing with emotional baggage to starting and maintaining a business.
Doing things alone doesn’t make you stronger or more powerful!
Doing things alone just makes you feel isolated and exhausted.
I have learned that sharing my ups and downs in life with friends and business buddies, makes me feel more connected, energised and fulfilled. And as a result – my business is thriving!
If you’re looking for a simple way to boost your energy right now, download my free guided journal TIME TO THRIVE here.
Hello, I’m Katarina Stoltz, a life coach and psychotherapist helping international professionals prioritise their well-being so they can achieve fulfillment without burning out.
Welcome to the 'Time To Thrive' blog, where I share real-life stories and offer valuable and practical tips for how to prevent burnout, expand your self awareness and start living your vision.
I don’t offer ‘quick fix’ solutions, but my tips are straightforward and easy to follow. You’re in the right place if you’re looking for some thought-provoking articles and honest life stories.
I’m happy you’re here!