(UPDATED MARCH 10, 2019)
You may be one of the growing number of people who wants to walk out of your stifling office job and into the freedom of being self employed working online. Or you may already be living the dream but still need to make some tweaks to get it just right. Either way, there are many things you need to do in order to successfully live a life of working for yourself. Here are 10 ways to improve your life when you’re self employed working online.
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1. Respect Your Body Clock – Setting an early morning alarm to get started with our work days is normal, but that doesn’t mean that it is good or healthy. Interrupting our body’s natural sleep rhythm is actually pretty unhealthy. Improve your life while working for yourself by allowing your body to function on its natural sleep/wake cycle. Stop setting a morning alarm. Schedule meetings and appointments a little later in the day so you can wake up naturally and still get all of your work done. You’ll be able to function better, you’ll feel better and overall be healthier.
2. Increase your income with a website – We all know every business should have a website. if you’re just starting out and most of your work comes via word of mouth, though, you may think your small business is an exception and doesn’t need one. This is incorrect. Every small business, even every very small business, needs a website. The sooner you launch yours, the better. Creating a website does not need to be a difficult and expensive task. Yahoo Small Business offers a very easy and quick way to build a really nice, professional website, and their pricing is quite inexpensive. The sooner you create a website for your small business, the quicker it will grow and you will earn some serious income.
3. Work wherever you want – One of the many great things about being self employed online is the ability to work anywhere you want. Most people who work for themselves online work out of their home offices. Home can be a wonderful place, but as a self-employed person it’s not necessary to work at home 100% of the time. If you want to get out of the house from time to time, you don’t have to wait until you’re finished with your work. You can take it to a library, coffee shop, or even a park or a beach. Or you can go even further than your neighborhood by boarding a plane and traveling somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit. When you’re working online, you not only don’t have to stay in your home office, you don’t even need to stay in your home country. And unlike most people, you’ll not just be spending money while you’re traveling, you’ll be earning money too.
4. Turn your Mondays into Sundays – So many people dread Mondays. As a self-employed person, there is no reason you have to feel this way anymore. Instead of jumping from your weekend into your workweek first thing Monday morning, ease into it instead. Begin working a little later in the day on Monday, if you can. Work on easier, more enjoyable tasks, then wind up slowly to the more important things you need to accomplish. Even better, if your line of work allows, take off the entire day off Monday, and enjoy yourself while others are working away. You can catch up later in the week, when you feel more like working.
5. Take good care of your finances – No matter how much money you’re making you don’t want it to slip away, so keep careful track of it. If you have a small business, the better you handle your money the greater the chance you be able to succeed. QuickBooks is a popular bookkeeping software that is specifically geared towards small- and medium-sized businesses and will help you with invoicing, saving receipts and tracking transactions. It does cost a bit of money itself, but it’s better to spend a little than risk losing anything.
6. Schedule work around life – Let your life dictate your work, not the other way around. Arrange your work schedule so you won’t miss any more important things, like your kids’ school plays, sporting events, and anniversaries with your significant other. Run errands and go places when traffic and crowds are low so you’ll stop wasting time sitting in your car and standing in lines. All of this can make help you make life move along more efficiently and enjoyably.
7. Get a top-notch accountant or accounting software – When you’re self employed there is no employer to deduct money from your pay for taxes, so you have to do this yourself. And you’ll have to keep track of your business expenses. You will definitely need either a good accountant or good tax software. If you go the accountant route, ask around, google around, and talk with a few different accounting professionals to make sure you choose the right one. Or if you can handle calculating your taxes yourself without an accountant, be sure to use top-notch tax software, like TurboTax.
8. Network and promote via social media – You may not know how to network and promote and you may not be interested in social media, but if you want to succeed in your small business, you’re going to need get interested in these things. Find people to network with via MeetUp.com and Facebook. Start accounts for your small business on at least one major social media platform – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – and post something relevant to your business a minimum of once a day. The more and the better you network and promote, the more likely your business can succeed.
9. Improve your health – While most people say they don’t have time to exercise, because you are now self-employed online and can set your own schedule, you do have time! Even half an hour a day just a few days a week is way better than nothing at all. Spend time walking or jogging on a beach, listening to music while on an elliptical at the gym, or stretching and meditating in a yoga studio – wherever you’ll be able to engage in a type of exercise you like. No more excuses now! Exercise is super healthy for your mind as well as your body.
10. Think Positive – Successes and struggles can go hand in hand. Working for yourself can be awesome and a dream come true. But it also can be stressful and difficult, especially when you’re just starting out and you need to really work on building your small business in order to get the money coming in. Stay positive. Positive thinking isn’t just something that can make you feel good. It also affects what you say and the image you convey of yourself. Thoughts often become realities, so be positive about the possibilities for your business, and you can make success a reality.
Cover Photo by: Tanner van Dera