Advice on managing my time while trying to start a new copywriting business?

by 9 replies
Here's my story. I'm trying to start a copywriting business while still looking for a full-time job.

The copywriting business is the thing I am most interested in. However, I find myself continually getting wrapped up in other things.

Making a solid effort at job searching takes a good amount of time and energy.

I keep getting wrapped up into other things and the copywriting always seems to go on the back burner.

I need advice on how to develop better time management skills would truly be appreciated.
#mind warriors #advice #business #copywriting #managing #start #time
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  • Profile picture of the author Salesgeek
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  • Profile picture of the author promike
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  • Profile picture of the author aborsuk2
    There are plenty of people that have courses on learning to keep focus. You can also do simple things as designate set portions of time every day to your copywriting. Such as 8:00pm-9:00pm every day, just an example. You should probably have more than just an hour to invest in making money with your business. Just remember the more you focus on it, the better your chance of making money.
  • Profile picture of the author Mikeman
    Hey man,

    There are a few things I would suggest you do:

    #1. Work on the most important task first

    There is an entire book out on this concept called "Eat that Frog" by Brian Tracy, which basically states to take the thing which is most important and which you are most likely to want to procrastinate on and do that first thing in the day.

    So for you, it would be working on your copywriting business.

    #2. Make use of to-do lists

    The next thing you're going to want to do is get in the habit of operating from to-do lists on a day in, day out basis. Developing this as a day in-day out habit is CRITICAL. Working from a list improves productivity by 25%(again, taken from "Eat that Frog").

    You'll want to "small chunk" your copywriting business down into manageable small tasks that you can check off 1 by 1. If you don't break up what seems like a massive undertaking into small 30min-60min job tasks, you will find yourself in overwhelm, feeling like there is too much work to do and then getting distracted by Youtube/Facebook etc...

    2 good resources to look into for this are "weekplan.net" and "Simpleology".

    #3. What you wear matters, dress up while you work

    You wouldn't think this would be a big deal, but I personally have found myself to be significantly more productive and less likely to get distracted if I dress up in some slacks and a dress shirt instead of just jeans and a t-shirt.

    Clothes are symbolic, when we wear dressier clothes, we tend to take on the characteristics associated with those garments. When we dress up, we prime ourselves to behave in a way which is consistent with that attire.

    Those 3 tips alone should be enough to get you moving in the right direction if you put them into practice each day....

    And of course it goes without saying to shut off all distractions while you work (Facebook/Youtube/Email/Phone).

    One other thing I'll throw in is to Google the "Pomodoro Technique". It basically involves you making use of a timer to work intently for 25 minutes uninterrupted, followed by a 5 minute break.

    After 4 Pomodoro sessions you can have a longer 30 minute break. This is one way you improve your productivity while still getting to enjoy a bit of a break in between your work sessions.

    Hope that helps..

    -Mike
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    Follow along day to day as I log my progress to a full-time online income: http://mikeiser.com

  • Profile picture of the author treka
    I know exactly how you feel. I try to run a marketing consultancy on the side while working full time as a software developer and also making sure I have enough time/energy for my family. I dont really have the answer but I do know that sometimes its ok to forget about your passion as your interest in it will help you get back to it when needed. It may be that you need to focus on finding a regular job for now to pay the bills and once your life has settled down go back to your copywriting. I know its probably not what you wanted to hear but sometimes sorting out the rest of your life can give you the energy you need to make breakthroughs in your business.

    A day job is just that. Your own business will always be where your heart is.

    Good luck!
  • Profile picture of the author neha9
    Some tips
    1. Test your ideas constantly
    and be hyper-critical about why you might be wrong many young entrepreneurs will
    prepare the requisite SWOT slide for investors, but don't really do the
    analysis. Validate your ideas with people who will really buy your
    product/service. If you can't get them to work with you early on, your idea is
    probably not that compelling or they don't get it.Either way, you have got
    your work cut out and it's better to know early on.

    2. Keep an eye on the market
    If you had a good idea, it is reasonable to assume someone else out there also thought
    of it as well. Ignoring the competition
    is a big mistake.

    3. Keep an eye on thefinances
    you will need more money than you think. Much has been written about
    this, but it can't be overemphasized. And be careful with equity. It's easy to
    give out equity early on to save cash, but if you are successful, this becomes
    extremely expensive later on.

    4. Hire the right people
    particularly,
    people who complement (not duplicate) your skills, and fit your culture.
    Don't be afraid to hire people who know more than you, as long there is a good
    cultural fit. Outsource to buy expertise
    you can't afford in-house, and to perform non-strategic business functions.

    5. Stay focused on value, not fluff
    ignore the urge to have a strategy for every facet of the business up
    front. Stay laser-focused on providing value for customers. Follow your
    business plan to make money. You will be a totally different organization once
    you have proven your ability to generate cash.

    6. Remember, there are many reasons
    why a product/service is successful. It may not be the most
    technologically-advanced product/service on the market; often it is the one that
    is marketed or sold most successfully. Therefore, it is important to know what
    you are particularly good at, and then truly excel at it.

    7. Encourage a collaborative
    environment. There is no monopoly on good ideas. That doesn’t mean that
    decision-making is democratic, but it does mean you encourage people to offer
    ideas. We give way too much credence to the odd startup with an eccentric
    entrepreneur who rules the company by strength of their personality. Also,
    credit people for their contributions.

    8. Don't be afraid to be
    different. Investors are conservative by nature and will probably want you to
    follow the path of comparable companies. If you have a good reason for doing certain things differently, make sure you can articulate your reasoning , and then go for it.

    9. Life does not have to end
    when you create a startup. I have worked in several startups where people stay
    late into the night, but they almost always waste a lot of time during the day.
    A culture of those who leave early are losers, is in my opinion, a poor work
    culture. People need to be passionate and diligent about their work, but you should
    encourage people to have a life as well. When people feel that they are
    respected, they work better and care more. It is not a zero-sum game, after
    all.

    10. Believe in yourselves
    if you are following some recipe that you found in some how-to book, you are
    probably on the wrong path. If you truly believe in what you are doing, and you
    have done your homework, you stand a much better chance of succeeding. There will be no shortages of nay-sayers
    along the way who will tell you why your idea has already been tried and
    failed.
  • Profile picture of the author gasser
    All good advice. I feel apart from the frustration of not finding the magic bullet, the biggest frustration is setting enough time aside to work on your online business while still working 40+ hours per week.
    Like most goals or dreams aim to have small success often, this can help you keep focus and momentum towards the big success.
  • Profile picture of the author wheelstb
    Wow! I would really appreciate the many detailed responses.

    It has been suggested that I focus on finding a job and when when things settle down go back to working on my business. Normally, I would agree with that approach. But my situation is a little more complicated.

    I graduated college some time ago. I have been looking for a full-time job for over five years. I use a power wheelchair. And although I am very capable of holding a full-time job and doing it successfully, my job search is been extremely difficult. I have been able to land internships, short part-time positions and things of that nature. But, I have not been able to land a solid full-time job yet.

    I have always been interested in entrepreneurship. However, my difficulty with the job search is one of the main drivers behind my goal to start a copywriting business.

    It is because of this predicament but I believe I should work on both goals simultaneously.

    @aborsuk2
    designating a certain time every day to work on my copywriting business is a great idea. Right now, I have a bunch of different goals I am chasing. I think I chase too many at once. Your advice will definitely help with that.

    @Mikeman
    putting the most important thing first is great advice. Sometimes I think I chase the easy things and put off the more challenging ones. And, you're right, typically, it is the more challenging tasks that matter the most. The technique you mentioned with the timer sounds very interesting. I will give that a try.

    @treka
    I'm glad to hear we are in the same boat. I wish I could comfortably focus on just finding a job. But, as I described above, I believe my copying project needs to move forward at the same time as my job search.

    @neha9
    those are some great ideas that will definitely be helpful once my business gets off the ground.

    @Grasser
    I agree it is critical to have daily successes and focus on small reoccurring successes. That's kind of the way I look at my daily to do list.

    I have two long lists of things I want to accomplish. One of the things I struggle with is breaking the goals from those lists down into manageable daily tasks and finishing those tasks without feeling like I am neglecting other important goals. Any advice on this issue?
    • Profile picture of the author aborsuk2
      Write a list of your goals, from most important to least important. Then next to each one write a date that you will complete them by and push toward it as hard as you can. It'll knock your goals out and you'll get more pumped every time you get one down.
  • Profile picture of the author Mikeman
    Wheelstb - Np bro...Regarding your last question:

    There is only so much work you can do each day. One thing a lot of people, myself included, struggle with is spreading themselves too thin, wanting to accomplish too many things and thus spreading your energy out and not making much or any significant progress on any one endeavor.

    So that may be something to consider asking yourself, "Am I spreading myself too thin?". You may need to put one or more goals aside for now so you can focus more intently on 1-2 chief aims.

    The other thing to do like I mentioned is to make use of a priority manager and rank the tasks you want to execute based on priority, highest to lowest...realize you're only human and you only have 24 hours in the day to execute the items on this task list and do what you can in that day to attack those items of highest priority.

    -Mike
    Signature

    Follow along day to day as I log my progress to a full-time online income: http://mikeiser.com

  • Profile picture of the author timexer
    Hey,

    Great pieces of advice here. I just wanted to add that in my case the most difficult thing in staying focused or accomplishing a difficult task is actually starting it! I tend to overthink whether I should do it now or maybe later and then something comes up and I lose the chance. I guess "just doing it", without thinking about it can help accomplish goals. Especially when you're tired and lacking energy.

    Good luck!

    Timothy

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