The Key to Working for Yourself: Show up!

Remember how I said you cannot do this business alone?  Well, I’m about to contradict myself.

You have to do this business alone.

Wait!  What?  First I said you cannot do this alone, and now I’m saying you have to?  Well, they’re both true.  You have to do it alone… when you are not relying on your teammates, which is most of the time.  Most of the time, you are doing the behind-the-scenes work that sets you up to work with others.  If you don’t lay the ground work for your business, there is nothing for your team to help you with.

Your team will help you as much as they can, but they can’t do the work for you.  I’ve learned that you have to treat this like you would any job or business investment.  If you are used to having a job where you go to an office, clock in with a time card, and follow directions all day, you probably aren’t used to working alone.  If you’re used to that very regimented style, you can still be successful working from home, but you have to change your paradigm.  Nobody is going to micro-manage you all day long.  No one is going to give you a list of tasks to complete by a certain deadline.  You are working for yourself because you want to achieve something for you.  This sounds fabulous, right?  Well, it is… if you can hold yourself accountable.

If you can’t get yourself to show up at “work,” you won’t get anything done.

I always thought I would be pretty terrible at working from home.  And I was right.  While I’m a hard worker at work, and I have a strong desire to do well, I get easily distracted at home and tend to procrastinate.  That’s just the way I’m wired, and by the way, Facebook doesn’t help either.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t win that battle.  My company actually teaches us what activity is important to grow this business.  The tools are all there.  It’s up to me to learn them and show up everyday to do them.

So I just do it.  Even if I don’t feel like it that day.

  I mean, it isn’t exactly hard work.  It’s not like it’s a molar root canal or even an occlusal composite for that matter.  It doesn’t take me long either, but I just have to do the things that bring results.  That’s the difference between clocking in at a job and this: I get to decide how much time I want to invest per day or even per week.  But it’s important to remember that with any job, the amount of time I invest will reflect the amount of results I see.  In a way this is the easiest job in the world.  All I really have to do is talk to people.  I can do that.  And if for some reason, I really can’t get myself going one day, I reach out to someone on my team.  I stay connected which, in turn, helps me stay motivated.  On the other hand, if I can’t motivate myself to do anything, it will seem like the hardest job in the world.  I guess it’s all a matter of perspective.

What I need to do here really isn’t any different from a traditional business.

When I worked in the dental office, we had to let people know we were in business and form the relationships that would allow our patients to value what we had to offer.  Whether it was through advertising (which I’ve never done) or word-of-mouth referrals, we had to get the word out.  In my weight loss business, it’s no different.  I have to ask for referrals, show results, get to know people, and show them the value in what I offer.  And in this business, I have to do all the exact same things.

You can’t start this business and think you are going to get other people to do all the work for you.  It’s not that kind of job.  You must rely on yourself, take responsibility.  After all, that’s what makes us better people.  The CEO of our company says it better than I ever could.  He says, “the things that you have to do to become successful are done by yourself.  Draw from your desires and your dreams.  Even when nobody’s really watching.  This is when you’re going to find out who you are.”

I think I’m finding out who I am.


5 thoughts on “The Key to Working for Yourself: Show up!

  1. Congrats on stretching to get where and what you want. And on learning how to get yourself up for it. Such good knowledge to have.

  2. To have your own business you need discipline… Discipline to get up early, to get dressed, even if your office is a few feet away from your bedroom, and decide to have a lunch break, even some time to do some “water cooler” socializing and when to shut it down. There will ALWAYS be more work to be done… so you need to leave some for tomorrow. And not get frustrated because your To Do list is not fully crossed off. And also, allow yourself, once in a while to relax, be sick, take a long lunch with friends… You need to get out of that home office and see people in Real Life – not interact via emails, calls or skype.

    So in my experience… it’s a balance. A delicate balance that works for YOU. Because at the end of the day, that’s the main reason why you decided to work for yourself anyway. To do it YOUR WAY, not someone else’s, right???

    1. Love it! Balance is key! I always thought it would be so great to work from home, but there are definitely some challenges to it. It can even be harder than showing up at a job. Although I didn’t write about it in this post, I do sometimes have to cut myself off because I could keep finding more things to do if I let myself. It’s all so worth it, though, to work the way you want to and build your own dreams instead of someone else’s.

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