Yes! Becoming your own boss makes you feel B-O-S-S all through your veins...it's like you're drinking excitement juice. Running in your mind are all of the fantastic and wonderful things you are going to do--now that you are your own boss and no longer have to punch that 9to5 time clock. 

I can readily admit that when I first flirted with the idea of leaving my 9to5 and becoming my own boss -- a full-time business owner, I was not thinking like a real nor realistic business owner. I was thinking more along the lines of cutting the ole ball and chain -- the boss, out of my life. I fantasized about being able to work my own hours, take long lunch meetings and not have to constantly watch the clock for fear that I would go over my allotted lunch period, I was focused on not having to get up at o'dark thirty anymore and yes, never again having to fight the slow moving tracking to work and the "rush" but going no where fast traffic home. Never once did marketing, connections, sales funnels, leadership, vendors, outsourcing, target markets or marketing mix enter my mind (just to name a few of the elements that is business ownership). Oh, you noticed I didn't mention social media...well, when I started my business, social media was still tucked away in jr. high, right along with one of it's most famous contributors, Mark Zuckerberg! 

Like many entrepreneurs, I started my business full of excitement and like many, I was in for a real rude awakening! I got that awakening and it almost came at cost that was much too high for me to pay. 

About one year into my business, I hit a wall. I was cruising on bummed out, headed fast to burn out. My business reality had jumped all over me. My one client who was writing big checks was starting to look like a past client...she dropped the bombshell on me that she was contemplating relocating to another state. She had been so good to my business that I didn't bother to (really) look for more clients. I had no plan, no goals, no strategies and definitely no action plan. All I had standing between me and being business bummed out was the fact that overrode everything...GOING BACK TO A 9TO5 WAS NOT AN OPTION. 

With going back to work for someone else completely off the table, I knew that while I enjoyed the time in fantasyland, it was time to hit reality row, shake off the madness and get to work on figuring out how to push my business out of Bummerville! 

I created a plan! Having a plan is a big piece of ensuring that you are working in your business methodically, but a plan is only as good as the business owner's ability to follow that plan. What else can you do to keep your business from becoming a bummer? 
Here are five tips that may help you avoid the "My business is a bummer" trap: 

1. Stay Focused: Staying focused on your business, your plan, your goals will help keep you out of the "My business is a bummer" zone. It's easy to lose sight of what you're doing when you have so much access into what everyone else is doing. Do not fall into that trap of believing that what others are doing, you should be doing as well. Everyone starts and grows to their level at different paces, so trying to do what you see others doing in their businesses is a sure fire way to cause you confusion, frustration and can make you feel like your business is a bummer. 

2. Set Realistic and Relatable Goals: Setting goals ties into being focused. Make sure you are setting goals that make sense to your skill set, your connections and your business. Set goals for why you are using social media, participating in vendor events and attending networking events. Set goals so that the marketing and advertising activities you participate in make sense to your overall business development goals. Business owners should not be doing "just anything" day to day in their business. All things that land on your "things to do" list should be activities that are helping you achieve your overall goals, helping you move and up level your business. 

3. Get Comfortable With Saying, "No, No Thank You...I Can Not!": Yep, you guessed it, this ties into focus and your goals. You cannot be everything for everyone and be everything you need to be to yourself and to your business. Saying YES when you really mean NO is not only exhausting, but stressful. It's okay to say NO. It's okay not to stretch yourself so thin that your business ends up on the losing end of your time and energy.
4. Don't Try To Do Everything Yourself: There is value in outsourcing! As a business owner one of the luxuries we have is choosing what we will do and what we will not do. But, business owners must be wise enough to know what they cannot do. If you know your strong suit is not communication, it may be a great idea to hire an assistant with excellent verbal and written skills to help you hook the right words together for your business correspondence, email, social media and website content. Also, a great assistant can act as a buffer between you, your customers and your vendors. Do not allow the cost of outsourcing tasks to scare you -- focus on the value that outsourcing brings. Outsourcing can free you up from worrying about the day to day (admin) tasks, giving you much more time to keep business coming to the business. Just remember, stay within your true budget and take your time to locate those who can do what you do not want to do or what you should not do.

5. Take Time Off: Don't get it twisted, you are an entrepreneur, not a machine. You need to give your brain, eyes and body a rest so that you can be at your best day to day. I know you have heard the rhetoric swirling around social media, "Entrepreneurs don't sleep!" -- well, if you have the sense I believe you do, you know that is not to be taken literally! Sure, entrepreneurs must put in longer hours, especially during the early startup stage, but one thing you need to do is to rest. Entrepreneurs have to be alert and sharp. One way to ensure you rest is to set business hours, both for your public and for you. No business means no business. During your off or down time, allow calls go to voicemail, stay away from email and whatever you do, do not log onto social media. Nothing in the world is going to happen during your down time that is going make or break your business. 

______________________________________  In the Pinc _______________________________________