Business Owner Education: Designing Your Business Around Your Life
As a business owner who LOVES what you do, it can be super hard to avoid letting your business run your life. With all the time, effort, energy, money, and passion you put into your biz, often you’ll get caught up in it all + lose yourself somewhere along the way. So today I want to encourage you to fight against this and give you some business owner education about how to design your biz around your life – not the other way around!!
How to Design Your Business Around Your Life
Creative entrepreneurs tend to overbook + overwork themselves, get burnt out, and overwhelm themselves with everything they do. So let’s get into my favorite 6 ways to ensure you’re designing your business around your life instead of your life around your biz!!
1. Remember why you work for yourself in the first place!
Why did you start your business in the first place?! Was it to take on jobs you don’t love? To spend 99% of your energy on your career? To be constantly exhausted, feeling burnt out, and not feeling fulfilled? Ummm I hope not!!
You started your business to be able to be in charge of your own job + life. To have freedom. So you could have more time with your family. To do what you love.
So STOP OVERBOOKING YOURSELF!!
STOP taking jobs you know you won’t love, just because you need the money. Of course, in the early phases of your biz, you do have to put in extra work and do a lot of different jobs. But starting off with this mindset instilled will change the game as you + your business grow in the long run.
Focus on booking clients/jobs that you know you’ll be super excited about, that won’t drain your energy, and will be worth the time + effort you put into it!
2. Know your numbers.
The next thing that’ll help you design your business around your life: knowing your numbers.
- What do you need to make in order to live your dream life?
- What are your financial goals?
- How much do you need to make monthly/annually to keep up with all of your business expenses?
- How long do you spend on each client/project/gig?
- What percentage of each payment will you keep? How much will go to taxes?
Being aware of your numbers is SO important as a business owner. Too many of us are blindly chasing success in our business and end up taking on way too many jobs. That just leaves us burned out and empty for the next great one that comes our way!
Knowing your numbers will help you know exactly how many sessions/weddings/projects you need per month/year. And news flash – it’s probs less than you thought! So stop with the scarcity mindset and focus on speaking to + booking those 25 wedding clients. . . those 40 family session clients. . . those 10 full-service branding clients. Whatever it may be: focus on those and realize that you don’t need the whole world to book you in order to be successful!!
3. Schedule, schedule, schedule.
It is SO important to schedule out everything you do so you don’t just end up blindly doing tasks that aren’t really helping you toward your goals.
For me, this looks like when I schedule a session, I also schedule in my editing time for that session onto my calendar!
In the past, I’d often overbook my week and then end up having ZERO time to catch up on alllll the editing, client communication, etc. – everything else that I had to do outside of the physical sessions/weddings themselves.
By scheduling every task into my Google Calendar, I’m able to plan ahead way better. And this way, when my week gets full of times blocked out for editing, even if I have a night free for a session – I know I won’t be able to deliver my clients the best experience because their photos will be late, since I decided to take on another session!
And when you do this, make sure to overestimate the time you think you’ll need for a task – if you’re anything like me, it always takes longer than you might think.
4. Protect your time!
Listen to me on this one: just because you’re technically free, doesn’t mean you’re available to be booked!!
Just because you have that day/weekend/afternoon free/available does not mean you need to be available for bookings. Schedule out your free time and be very, very intentional about it. Otherwise, you’ll get to the end of a month and realize you only took one day off, or no days at all. You’re going to be exhausted, burnt out, and have no energy to keep moving forward.
You NEED to protect your time as a business owner – it’s the most valuable thing you’ve got. Mark on your calendar the days you’ll be taking off, and don’t allow yourself to book anything those days. You’ve gotta stick to your schedule and set hard boundaries, otherwise you’re going to regret it later on!
5. Don’t be afraid to rest.
This goes along with that last one: you cannot be afraid to rest!! Having an afternoon free doesn’t mean you have to be productive with that afternoon. Don’t use up all your free time working to try and be “productive!!”
Productivity = getting rest and building up the energy you need in order to be MORE productive during your scheduled work hours. If you work during your free time, bam – there goes your energy that you needed for the next day/morning/afternoon/whatever. You need to be intentional about your rest time, whether that means literal rest/naps, watching TV, reading, exercising, going outside, etc. Time for YOU.
6. Set life goals first.
And finally, this is a big one: set your life goals first, THEN set your business goals around those life goals!!
If you set business goals and base your life off those, you’ll do nothing but work and work and try to reach those goals. Which is great, trying to reach goals, but then you’ll look back and realize you haven’t been living your actual *life.* The purpose of working for yourself, again, is to live out your DREAM life.
So set your life goals first. Dream big and decide where you want to go, what you want to grow to, where you want to be in your next season of life. Then, figure out what business goals you need to set in order to achieve those life goals. It will benefit you SO much in your biz + life and will make sure that you’re living out the life you want to be living, not just caught up in work all the time.
Now that you’ve got my top 6 business owner education tips about designing your business around your life, figure out how you’re going to be intentional about each one! You’ve got this!!
Want some more FREE business owner education, resources, & advice? Here are some of my recent faves that I know you’ll love!!
- My Top 10 Books & Podcasts for Entrepreneurs
- How to Infuse Your “Brand Pillars” Into Your Biz
- Photography Tips: Defining Your Ideal Client