Getting Your Solopreneur Work-Life Balance Just Right

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So many of us dream of working alone. We’ve worked for the man, we’ve faced massive commutes and long hours. We’ve had jobs that leave little time for a social life, that mean that we have to work weekends and holidays, and our relationships and health have suffered for work. We imagine that working for ourselves will be completely different. 

We think that we’ll work when we want to, when it suits our lifestyles. And that we’ll always take time off work when something important, or fun comes up, that we want to do instead. We know that we’ll work shorter hours, take more time for ourselves, and get a lot more rest. That our stress levels will be low, our relationships will flourish, we’ll be healthy and happy, and that our previously elusive work-life balance will be perfect. 

This is rarely the case. Most solopreneurs find that they become workaholics. They can’t stop. They never take full-days off, they always put work first, telling themselves that it’s ok because they love what they do, and they can’t go ten minutes without checking work emails or updating social media plages. Many solopreneurs are terribly stressed out, and their work has spilled into their lives, leaving no balance at all. Here are some tips to help you to claw that balance back.

Stop Being Solo

Sometimes, the only way to get back a little time for ourselves is to accept that we can’t do it all alone and ask for help. This applies to most areas of life, not just businesses. But, that doesn’t mean that you have to hire staff to work side by side with you, which isn’t always possible if you work from home. You could outsource your IT Solutions, or hire a freelance VA to help with admin and social media. You can still feel like you work solo, without having to do all of the work. 

Make the Most of Flexibility

One of the reasons that you went solo was probably a search for more flexibility. You have it now if you want it. There’s no one making you work, but you. Remind yourself of this when you need to. 

Write Down Your Priorities

What are your priorities? Why did you start working alone? What did you most want from the arrangement? Did you want to spend more time with your family? Or spend time with friends? Would you like to exercise more? Or spend more time outside? It’s all too easy to forget our priorities in life when we’re so busy, so write yours down and leave them somewhere that you can see. 

Write Things Down

Writing things down has another benefit. Writing to-do lists can help you to manage your time more effectively, making it easier to stick to a schedule, clock off when your list is completed (don’t keep adding to it!), and take entire days off. 

Make Plans for Life

Sometimes we need firm plans in place to give ourselves permission to take time off work. Make plans with friends, and make bookings so that you are less likely to cancel.

Broaden Your Horizons and Build Your Career with One Perspective Change

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When we talk about things like work/life balance or work vs play, we immediately assume that the two things are opposed and competing. This is a huge problem, firstly, because it means that it’s pretty well accepted that you hate your job but stick to it because it funds your lifestyle and, secondly, because life doesn’t have to be like that at all. 

When you change your perspective and begin to think of work as a part of your life, and not an inconvenience you have to put up with, you give yourself a chance to push for something more compelling and more fun. If you’re not convinced here are two stats to change your mind: American spends 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime and yet, 87% of Americans have no passion for their jobs. 

Convinced now? Here’s what you should do.

Make Contacts Wherever You Go

If you want to improve your social life and your work life, building your contacts is essential. Now, how you do this is up to you but it’s a good idea to go to a mix of different sorts of events. Meeting friends of friends is a good way to broaden your social group but going to events for people with similar interests or networking events for more industry-specific stuff is a good idea too. 

Building your contacts is especially important if you want to move up the job ladder without sending a million applications out. Executive search often comes down to who you know and how much they rate you, and not who is lucky enough to see the ad online. 

Follow All Your Interests

Your career probably comes with a few prerequisite skills and if you are going down a particular niche pathway, you could be forgiven for focusing on building those skills and nothing else. But increasingly, life isn’t like that. Our jobs tend not to last our entire career and you could go through a wide range of roles and industries in your working life.

If you want to enrich your career and your life, a better approach is to follow your interests. Sure, flower-arranging or tinkering with an old motor might not have anything to do with your job in IT but both hobbies could lead you elsewhere. Plenty of people get into jobs by accidentally becoming an expert in a hobby or interest. You’ll only get there if you pursue your interests first.

Be Determined But Flexible When Setting Your Goals

Life goal setting is difficult because what you want to achieve isn’t often a concrete thing but a more complex idea. For example, everyone wants to be happy and that’s a worthwhile goal. But how on earth are you going to achieve ‘happy’? 

Having big, undefined goals is actually a good thing as long as you can identify achievable, smaller goals along the way. Setting smaller goals will help you see your progress but they can also be more flexible and change as new opportunities present themselves. 

There’s no one way to live your life but once you allow yourself to broaden your horizons, you’ll find that more good things come your way.

The Ultimate Guide To Achieving Work Life Balance Enlightenment

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For many, the idea of having enough free time to enjoy yourself outside of work while still achieving job satisfaction and an excellent wage is the stuff of dreams. However, this scenario is possible. You simply need to know how to go about it and be proactive. Things will never fall into your lap; you need to make them happen.

In the twenty first century, our lives have become busier than ever. Your boss may become unbearable with unrealistic targets to meet, leading you to work all hours under the sun. This can lead to burnout, mental health problems and a devastating impact on your quality of life. You have to consider what is most important to you. Can you put up with the lack of social life, never seeing family and a fraught relationship at home if it means that you earn a fortune? The chances are that you yearn to be comfortable with your financial situation, have your weekends free and to enjoy quality time with family and friends. Read on to find out how you can achieve work life balance enlightenment.

What Do You Love?

When you consider morphing your professional life from being a full time employee to a self employed individual, you need to follow a passion. There has to be something in your life that you adore that will keep you motivated when you set out to launch your own startup. This could be accounting, importing ball bearings, designing and selling custom made tee shirts, or baking vegan cakes for the masses.

When you have stumbled across the thing that kick starts your mojo, you need to run with it and work at establishing yourself within your chosen sector. This will be difficult because every niche is saturated with would be entrepreneurs. However, working for yourself gives you the drive to get on social media, publicize your brand, go to trade shows and put in the hours. While it may seem that you are working long hours, they are dictated by you. If you want to take a Monday off and work Sunday instead, you can. If you are a night owl and work better from 12 until 8, do it. Having the flexibility as an entrepreneur is something you rarely see as a full time employee.

Get The Basics Right

If you have chosen to produce your very own customized jewelry aimed at 18 to 24 year olds, make sure that you have a wholesale approach to selling as well as retail. Getting your items into shops that are household names will increase exposure of your brand. This allows you some breathing space when it comes to fulfilling end user orders.

Your work life balance will improve as you are no longer sitting at a desk lining the pockets of a fat cat. Instead, you are working to earn your own living. If you can, supply some wholesale sellers via Amazon, eBay and other online shops. Be careful with choosing your stockists wisely. Some will try and devalue your items by putting their own discounts on them. This can make your items look inferior to your competitors. To combat this, look into MAP enforcement, where you can set minimum prices for your products. Find out how you can enforce MAP pricing rules by clicking here. You can send out violation messages to stockists and even prevent them from selling your items again, if they don’t heed your warnings.

Take A Breather

While the first few months of setting up your new venture may be a little more stressful than you expected, the ability to take a step back and see what you have built will emerge. Soon, you will be able to have the odd pajama day at home. You can work from your home office rather than suffer through an arduous commute. You no longer have to miss your little one’s parents evenings because you have to work late to prepare for a presentation. Your time is your own to control.

While your salary may take a hit in the first instance, consider what it is that is really important to you. As long as you have enough money to live, you can then enjoy the free time that you have, the more quality family moments that you can enjoy as well as the feeling of not having as much pressure or stress bearing down on you from an employer. You are in charge now. Follow this guide and you will achieve the ultimate work life balance enlightenment.

Finding A Job With A Lifestyle

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It can often be the case that midway through a random day of our working efforts, we realize we hate our jobs. We look around and think… ‘why this?’ This feeling often occurs if we’ve fallen into a certain role, such as starting as a chef in order to pay the rent. The nature of cyclical job duties and a steady paycheck can leave people feeling comfortable even if they’re somewhere they’d rather not be. Over time, there can be a growing sense of personal unhappiness, because they know that it’s time to shake off the cobwebs and jump out to try and achieve their dreams. Sometimes, this can come later on in life, sometimes, it comes earlier.

Finding a job with a lifestyle can be a great idea as far as this is concerned. It might be that the drudgery of the same office, the same lifestyle, the same commute is getting you down, when what you truly desire is variety, a job that comes with an associated mode of living, and a future you can look forward to.

Let us consider how you might go about achieving something like that:

Teaching

It might seem like teaching simply requires you to turn up, to conduct your lesson plans, to go home and think about tomorrow, but in reality there’s more to it than that. You will often find yourself emotionally invested in the wellbeing of your students, particularly if you’re teaching those still in their childhood. You might help a child get through a case of bullying or prevent it from happening. You might be able to help a child finally start to read despite a difficult home situation and slight dyslexic symptoms. You have a real effect on the lives of children coming through the schooling system, and that can be a tremendously emotionally gratifying task. New teachers are needed all the time, so this is also a wise career to choose.

Long-Haul

Long-haul driving and transportation can be a brilliant career path, especially for those who enjoy seeing many places, who enjoy driving and also enjoy the lifestyle that provides. If you’re nomadic by nature, you can make truly good money driving and building the skills to earn higher and higher throughout your years of employment, making a name for yourself. Starting out with a good haul service is a good idea, and for that you might consider these CRST International reviews. You’d be surprised at the money you can make and the lifestyle you could adopt.

Travel

Travel writers, bloggers, those who review resorts and other vacation opportunities, and also cataloging the movements of tourists can often be a lifestyle that allows you to go from place to place with care and attention. Not only does this allow you to exercise your use of the written world, but you can come face to face with some of the most amazing places the world has to offer. To us, that sounds fantastic.

With this advice, you’re sure to find a job with a lifestyle efficiently and effectively.

Things Every New Entrepreneur Needs To Know

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There’s no doubt that it has become more and more tempting for more and more people to walk away from the more standard employment models and start their own businesses. This can often be a wonderful thing. After all, being able to get out from under your employer’s thumb and take control of your life by doing something you’re really passionate about is one of the best things you could possibly do with your career. That being said, there’s no doubt that it’s also going to be a serious challenge and if you’re not ready for that fact then you could end up in trouble. With that in mind, here are a few things that every new business owner needs to know if they really want to succeed.

What resources you need

There are so many things that you need in order to run any kind of business and the most common mistake that a lot of people make right at the start is that they don’t really pay attention to what those things are. Sure, you need an internet connection and a computer to set up pretty much any kind of business. But what kinds of social media sites are best for your business? Do you need software for creating invoices? Are you going to be printing a lot of stuff and if so how much is that costing you? A company like 123Inkjet Cartridges can help bring the costs of something like that down but you need to make the same considerations for every aspect of your business. Otherwise, you could end up losing a whole lot of money.    

Where the money is coming from

Speaking of money, there is no doubt that it is one of the most essential ingredients for any business. Even as owning your own business has become more and more accessible you still need to think about how you’re going to fund it before you start to turn a profit. From putting in your own money to taking out a business loan to crowdfunding your business, there are plenty of different ways to raise the money you need, you just need to be sure that you’re using the right ones.

How to keep your life balanced

Maintaining a decent work-life balance might not be the first thing that a lot of people think about when it comes to running any kind of business but the truth is that there are a lot of serious risks involved in letting your business take over too much of your life. Make sure that you know when to step away so that you don’t end up letting it take over a great deal of your life.

The reality is that running a business might be one of the most exciting and fulfilling things that you will ever do but it’s also something that is incredibly challenging and difficult. If you’re not willing to push yourself to keep going even when things get really challenging, you’re never going to be able to take your great idea and turn it into a truly successful business that allows you to earn a living doing something that you really care about.

Why Your Next Doctor Should Be A Robot

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If you’re an enthusiastic fitness addict, you’ve probably bought a fitness tracker to wear on your wrist, around your chest or as a pendant around your neck. Fitness trackers come in a variety of shapes and designs so that it’s fair to say that there’s one for everyone. Their advance functions can let you monitor your health in the smallest details, from the calories you burn through your daily run to the way you sleep, or your heartbeat during rest periods. As surprisingly as it might sound, fitness trackers are not just designed to help you make the most of your sports activities. They can play a major role in your lifestyle, encouraging you to make the right decisions. Additionally, they can even save your life, as it’s the case for many wearers who have contacted their doctors as a result of their health readings. Abnormal heartbeats are the first cause of worry, and, trusting the data from their wearable tech, many have been able to act before it was too late.

This sparks an interesting debate regarding the influence of technology in medicine, and more importantly, why people should learn to trust smart tech over individuals.

Click to see your doctor

First of all, it’s fair to say that the collective mind has slowly been moving towards a tech-friendly health environment. Indeed, more and more companies are offering telehealth as part of their job perks, ensuring their staff can have access to medical support at the click of a button. Mobile apps enable consultations on-the-go which, encouraged by data overlaps across the healthcare sector, can see a boom in the next few years. In the long term, the smartphone approach to healthcare can also reduce the need for face-to-face appointments for benign complaints, freeing up more time for doctors to focus on more complex health issues.

Don’t leave room for mistakes

People make mistakes. Fatigue, stress, and distraction can lead to costly errors in the healthcare sector. Every year, pharmacy mishaps kill almost 100,000 individuals, while causing significant harm to 1.3 million people. However, when lack of training isn’t the cause, it can be difficult to fix issues. Unfortunately, you can’t control stress factors or the way they affect your team. But there are already robotic alternatives such as the Arxium Pharmacy Automation solutions that can reduce the risk of human-made errors. Additionally, similar tech solutions can be activated at different process levels, from surgery operations to simple prescription refill.

You may not have a choice

Last, but not least, less and less young people want to become a doctor. Indeed, while saving lives is rewarding per se, too many individuals are worried about legal complications. In a lawsuit-hungry society, it’s no wonder that more and more doctors feel disillusioned. As a result, the healthcare shortage has already become apparent. Nobody wants to become a doctor. In the long term, you may not have any other choice than let a robot examine you. It’s impersonal and scary. But ultimately, the robot doesn’t worry about lawsuits, compliance rules, angry patients and tiredness.

It’s impossible to know what the doctors of tomorrow will be like. However, our natural penchant for technology implies that perhaps the traditional stethoscope could evolve into an artificial sensor attached to the mechanical arm of Robot Health 2.0. The question that is left to answer is: Are you ready for your appointment for Doctor Robot?

How Healthcare Continues To Improve

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We take a lot for granted in the modern world. Though it might not always appear to be the case, the world continues to improve in almost every sphere — we’re smarter and healthier than in times past, and there’s much less crime than at other points in the past. While it’s far from a perfect world, there’s much to celebrate! And especially in the world of healthcare. Below, we take a look at some ways that it continues to improve. In the world of health, the future is bright.

Hospital Experiences

Thank your lucky stars that you didn’t get sick in days gone by. You might have been able to find a doctor to treat you, but there would be little guarantee that it’d be an enjoyable experience. Indeed, quite the opposite. That’s all beginning to change now. Now, hospitals don’t just focus on the specific illness or condition of the patient — they work to ensure that their overall experience is positive. That means an improvement in the comfort of their stay, the quality of the food, and all-around service. That’s helped make hospitals less intimidating places, which has historically been the case.

More Focused Care

Another great stride has been made in the area of personalized care. In the past, the focus was more of a “one size fits all” variety, which was too limiting — people of different backgrounds, races, genders and so on have different needs. Unless those needs were in line with the most prevalent needs, then they were overlooked. Now, doctors are able to offer more detail, personalized care. This has to lead to new services being offered to communities that were historically overlooked. For example, Cynthia Telles and Kaiser Permanente are working on improving the unique mental health needs of the Hispanic/Latino community. This shift toward more focused care has made healthcare more accessible, and, generally, better for all.

Data Overlaps

There’s also the matter of data, which is now more readily and easily shared among different healthcare practitioners, which has made it easier to spot healthcare conditions more easily.

Integrated Technology

Of all the shifts that have taken place in the healthcare industry, it’s the integration of technology that has had the biggest impact, and which will likely be the defining trend moving forward. Improvements in this area have lead to faster and more accurate diagnosis’, better communications, and better treatment. In the future, it’s possible that AI will be implemented to spot health problems before they’ve materialized, and there’ll also be robots that assist in the surgery room. Human errors account for the vast majority of medical errors — and technology is beginning to reduce those numbers.

More Mobile

The hospital as the beginning and end of medical treatment is also beginning to change, too. Now, healthcare is more mobile. Doctors take trips to patients in their homes, patients can choose to stay in their house rather than as an in-patient, and there are even consultations online. This has been a great deal of control back in the hands of the patient.

3 Things That Could Curtail Your Career As An Entrepreneur

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So, you’ve decided that 2019 is going to be your year. This will be the year in which you shake off the shackles of employment and smash the glass ceiling that has restricted your ambitions for too long. This is the year in which you’re finally going to go into business for yourself. You’ve already started formulating your business plan, costing up your cash flow projections and carrying out some rudimentary market research. You’ve started making appointments with mentors and business angels and it’s looking increasingly like this germ of an idea you doodled in your margin on a particularly frustrating work day might just be a viable business endeavor.

This is an exciting time, but it’s also kind of scary. After all, you’ll be venturing into uncharted territory and the decisions you make in your first year of trading will have far-reaching and long-lasting repercussions for your nascent business and your personal life.

Watch out for these potential threats that could curtail your entrepreneurial career even before it’s begun…

Burnout

Long hours and a punishing schedule are to be expected for new entrepreneurs but even those in the early stages of running a business deserve at least a semblance of work life balance. Entrepreneurial burnout is a real problem and can have disastrous consequences both for your business and your personal life. Burnout can impair your judgment, make you less able to make even simple decisions and make you short tempered and emotionally volatile.

If you’re to avoid burning out it’s vital that you take sufficient time away from your business and find positive ways to manage your stress.

Trying to keep it all in house

When starting out you’ll likely have a clear idea for your operational parameters. You’ll want to do things your way as this will be at the core of what makes your brand and your business stand out from your competitors. And while this is certainly admirable, be wary of keeping everything in-house. Not only can it put unnecessary pressure on you and your employees it may not even be the most cost efficient way of operating.

Entrusting certain areas of your operation to outsourced service providers can save you time, effort and money without compromising what makes your business unique. Click here to read more if you’re curious about what outsourced service providers can do for you.

Borrowing more than you need

The last thing your business needs is for its cash flow to be inhibited by a millstone of debt. By all means borrow enough to allow you to do what you do as well as possible but be wary of excessive borrowing.

Your cash flow will be one of the most important deciding factors in whether or not your business stays afloat. It will determine your ability to pay your vendors and your employees on time or be able to afford the kinds of capital investments that will facilitate your growth.

The more you borrow, the more your monthly business loan repayments are likely to chip away at your profit margins and make your cash flow harder to manage.

One of the finest lines you’ll have to walk is investing sufficiently in your business while also keeping your overheads manageable.

Steer clear of these common threats, however, and business success is within your grasp!

Simple Steps To a Greater Work and Life Balance When You Work From Home

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Working for yourself and working from home can bring with it so many benefits. The flexibility of the work can be a big pull, because as long as the work gets done, it doesn’t matter where or when the work is getting done. But because you are never too far from your computer, it can be hard to switch off; there can always be the temptation to have a look at your phone to make a few calls or a look at your emails. Differentiating between home and work can be difficult, but it needs to be achieved if you are going to achieve a greater life balance as the year goes on.

Here are some of the ways that you can get a better work and life balance, but still be able to get the work done that you need to.

Have a Separate Space

When your working space is somewhere like the dining table, which is very much a part of the home and family life, it can make it hard to switch off as it makes it hard to think that you’re either at home or down to do some work. Which is why having a separate space is really important. The space could be a spare room, bedroom or office, so when you close the door, you know that work is over. You could even look into a company that does metal home kits to create something like a garage for you that could be converted into an office, as not everyone will have spare space indoors. The space will help you to get into work mode or get into home mode, which is something that does happen when you work in a regular office.

Schedule Time

Flexibility has been talked about as one of the benefits of working for yourself. But even so, being able to schedule your time is important. Decide what you are doing and when, and then stick to it. If you have an hour a day for emails, then that is all that you have; the rest can wait. If you get into the habit of going back to check your emails all of the time, then it doesn’t help you to achieve the balance that you are looking for, and you’ll keep wanting to check them. So plan your time, otherwise it will plan you.

Ban Tech

Technology is a modern blessing that makes being able to work from home possible. But having times where the whole family (or just you if that is the setup), bans tech for a couple of hours, can help you to have some screen-free quality time, whether it is playing a game, cooking a meal, reading a book, or being able to switch off for a nap. All can help you to achieve a greater work and life balance.

The key is to really plan your time if you want to be able to enjoy being at home and feel like you aren’t constantly working. Then comes the time that you have to stick at it. It takes time, but it can be really worth it.

Rebuild Your Life After a Serious Injury

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Nothing can compare to the experience of narrowly escaping death. Escaping an accident can completely change your life – from the way you perceive the world around you to the ambitions and goals you set yourself.

But while such drastic change can be incredibly positive in the long run and give you a chance to remake yourself as a better person, the process of rebuilding your life can be tricky to say the least. Even the most optimistic people will need some help and guidance along the way.

Take Legal Action

No-one wants to be litigious but after a life-changing accident, you must turn to the law to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. If nothing else, you will need to pay for your treatment and recovery as well as cover any lost earnings.

Finding the right lawyer to represent you is really important. In general, you should choose someone you trust who has a lot of experience dealing with cases that are similar to yours. For example, if your accident was caused by an 18-wheeler, a semi-trucking accident attorney is the most likely to understand your case and how best to present it in court.

Reassess Your Priorities

When life trips you up, it can be a good opportunity to reassess what you want, what your goals are and how your lifestyle could be improved. For many people, the recovery process isn’t just about learning to cope with the lasting effects of an injury; it is also about figuring out a new way of living that gives you a sense of fulfillment.

There are a few practical things you may need to consider such as retrofitting your home but you should also think more holistically. What would you like to achieve with your life and how can you do that now? Take things back to basics: consider how you want to feel and what you can do to achieve that. For example, if you have lived a stressful life so far, perhaps now the pursuit of calm would be most fulfilling.

Go Slowly and Take Your Time

Rebuilding your life won’t happen overnight. You need to take your time and allow your body and mind to heal. This is particularly tough for people who have a lot of drive and determination so try to be mindful of what is happening and teach yourself to relax.

Noticing the progress you make – even if it seems barely worth mentioning – is a really good way to feel like you are on track. The small things will quickly start to stack up so that when you look back on your week, month or even year, you will see how far you have come. Tell yourself the narrative of your recovery and congratulate yourself on your progress.

Rebuilding your life after a serious injury isn’t easy but it can be an opportunity for change and growth. Knowing that you are taking even small steps towards becoming the person you want to be will help you to feel more positive about the future.