Working through the work

Illustration of a person navigating through a maze of tasks and challenges

Working Through the Work

Explaining DOT regulations is akin to unraveling an iceberg’s hidden depths.

Being a young entrepreneur means clocking in serious hours—I’m talking serious. But I’ve been at it for a while and have picked up a few tricks to dial back the workload. “Hustle” is the buzzword du jour in entrepreneurship circles. “Grind until you reach the top.” “Persist with the hustle, and success is inevitable.” While I endorse pushing through those early stages, it’s not the hustle alone that propels a company forward. It’s integrity and ethics that truly foster success.

Understand your network of support.

Every one of us has a support network, whether it’s our partner, parents, significant other, children, friends, pets—you name it. Lean on them when needed. They’ll be the ones to point out when you’re burning the candle at both ends and need to ease up. Pay attention to the signals they’re sending and heed their advice.

Numbers don’t tell the whole story.

I’ve always been fascinated by numbers. They have a way of making things tangible. For instance, envisioning 1000 clients at $100 per month resulting in a $100,000 monthly income is exhilarating. But I’ve learned not to get too caught up in complex calculations. Laugh out loud; I didn’t sign up for that! Instead, I’ve shifted my focus. Now, I prioritize my happiness and the well-being of my team over chasing numbers.

Prioritize early productivity.

Managing time is a constant challenge for business owners and entrepreneurs alike. Utilize a calendar app that everyone in your household can access. If finding time for yourself is a struggle, schedule it in. Eventually, it’ll become second nature, and you won’t need to pencil it in anymore. Date nights are vital for maintaining peak performance. Whether it’s a night out with your partner or solo time with a book or binge-worthy TV series, like my personal favorites, “MASH” or “That ’70s Show,” make sure to carve out that time for yourself.

Delegate tasks you dislike.

If you’re hesitating, thinking, “Why pay someone when I can handle it myself?” Let me assure you: outsourcing tasks you dislike will liberate your time and energy. Moreover, by entrusting these tasks to others, you’re supporting fellow business owners in growing their ventures. Don’t be afraid to relinquish control of certain responsibilities. Once you do, you’ll find your creativity flowing more freely.

Rise and Shine: Early to Bed, Early to Rise

We all have our own internal clocks, but personally, I relish the early hours. It’s a time when I can slip into my home office, tackle an hour of work, and have some quiet time before the household stirs. Welcoming my kids in the morning and possibly whipping up breakfast for them before school is a joy. I’ve noticed that my most brilliant ideas often strike about 15 minutes after waking up. Not to rush into setting the alarm an hour earlier tomorrow; that could leave you feeling drained all day. Instead, try gradually waking up 15 minutes earlier each week until you reach your desired wake-up time.

Nourish your body.

While I’m not a health fanatic, I strongly believe in the power of good nutrition to fuel our endeavors, especially during tough times. When our bodies struggle to digest what we eat, precious energy is diverted away from our projects. Too often, I catch myself grabbing a subpar lunch in town, reminiscent of Remy from Ratatouille when his dad says, “Food is fuel; be selective about what you put in the tank, or you won’t have any fuel.” I’m the opposite. Sure, a beat-up old car can chug along on low-quality gas, but I strive to operate like a finely-tuned Ferrari, which means I prioritize premium fuel to keep me running at my best.

Prioritize spiritual time.
It may sound unconventional, but trust me, dedicating just 15 minutes to devotional activities each day can open up your schedule in unexpected ways. How does adding more to your plate create more free time? Well, as they say, God works in mysterious ways. I’ve found that spending this time reading the Bible and praying makes my days significantly less stressful. When I neglect this practice, I tend to run myself ragged. Carve out time every day for the One who created us.

Now, I’m far from having everything figured out, and I know I’ll continue to stumble along the way. But here’s the thing: if you never fail, you’ll never learn. And if you fail but don’t learn from it, it’s time to hit pause because you’re destined to repeat those mistakes.

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