Ask Liz over 11 years ago by Liz Adams

Ask Liz: On Staying Motivated


I’m starting a new series that will pop in here and there to answer some of the questions I get from my readers. I don’t always have the time or opportunity to reply to every comment, email, and/or tweet – so I thought this would be a good way to address these questions with the rest of you. What do you think?
One of the first questions that sparked my interest in this new “Ask Liz” series, was how do you stay motivated being a small business owner/self employed? Great question. This was something that was very hard to adjust to when I left my job. How was I going to clock 8 hours a day? How will I separate my personal life and work life? Who is going to help me manage my time? Being self employed is, at times, kinda lonely. In the beginning, you don’t have many people helping you map your way through the steps of running a business. So, the first thing I suggest is make friends that are doing the same thing. I was fortunate enough to meet Alex, who has honestly become one of my very best friends, and now sharing an office space is a dream {for my career, my sanity, and my day-to-day}. Additionally, Alex and I would chat once a month with Victoria, Mackenzie, Tamra, Shannon, and Erika, where we would rattle off questions to each other, try to navigate through blogging, discussed ways to be better, and helped each other feel like we were not alone in our one-woman businesses. It was good for the soul.
Secondly, realize that time management is what works for you. In the beginning, I pushed myself to sit at my desk from 7:30am until 5pm. By 11, I would find myself feeling very discouraged because I didn’t know how I was going to fill the rest of my day with – I blogged, I tried to get clients, I blogged, I commented on other blogs, I tweeted….now what? Poor Liz, such a lost soul. I realized that okay, if I am super productive from 7:30-11, maybe I could go work out, grab an afternoon latte, sit at my desk again at 1:30, work until 5, eat dinner, and work again from 8-11. Bingo. If I am going to work hard during these hours and let myself have a couple of breaks throughout the day – well that is what is going to work best for me. So please, don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Each day is different, for the first two months I think I had two clients {thanks Mom!}. Slowly, everything picks up speed and some days your work has to roll over onto the next day, which seems annoying but in the grand scheme of things feels like a good sign. 
Set small goals and make a rolling to-do list. This is where my iCloud calendar saves the day. I am all about the to-do list. I have a mountain of notepads on my desk and every morning I write out a to-do list. If something doesn’t get completed, then it rolls over to the next day {obviously, keep your priorities straight!} and this ensures that everything is accounted for. My to-do list comes everywhere with me, that way I don’t miss a beat. My iCloud calendar highlights the major aspects of my day – my client meetings, the editorial calendar for my blog, lunch/dinner meetings, etc. Everything has a reminder so nothing falls short. Crossing off items on my to-do list always feels like a small victory, don’t you think? I like small victories.
Be inspired, and surround yourself with pretty things. Oh my gosh, yes. After working at a tiny desk that was basically on top of my bed for a year, I can’t tell you the importance of allowing yourself to be inspired. Working on your own is sometimes daunting, and dark, and sometimes you feel trapped, and sometimes you want to throw in the towel. But, when you allow yourself to be involved in a world that offers so much inspiration {I’m talking to you blog world}, or cover a cork board in fashion spreads, vibrant interiors, graphic design genius, textures and colors, or pin!, or listen to music that makes you feel excited about what you’re doing. That is when the magic happens, and you set yourself apart from everyone else. We all have our own recipe for getting inspired – so find yours, it makes a world of difference. 
So what do you think of this series? Want to see more? Email me with your questions!