My 2018 Resolutions

2017 was the most transformative of my (almost) 27 years of life. So I wanted to take some time to reflect on where I’ve been before I set resolutions for where I want to go.

Our son was born on March 17. I love holidays, so I’m not really surprised I had a St. Paddy’s Day baby. After he was born, I quickly realized that I was wrong about parenthood. I had spent my pregnancy terrified of the lack of sleep, the pain of recovery, the endless diapers.

 

But once he was here, none of that bothered me. It’s amazing how little sleep you can get and still function. Taking care of him came naturally to me. It was taking care of me that was hard to deal with.

 

It took a few months for me to start to feel a little bit more like myself again, but I had to spend the better part of 2017 re-learning who I was. We had to find a new normal as a family.

 

I expected having a baby to be all about the baby. What surprised me was just how much time I had to spend thinking about myself. I invested more in myself this past year than I ever have before because I realized that being the best parent possible required me to be in the best shape possible – physically, energetically, mentally. I had to be my best because he deserves me at my best.

 

That is what’s driving my resolutions this year. Whenever I start to falter, I think about my son and I get right back on track.

 

Read 12 personal development/finance/business/generally interesting books

The goal is one per month. It’s kind of a weird grouping to put together, but oh well. I’d like to read more ideally, but I’m starting with 12 so it’s a little more manageable. I know of 5 I want to read right now. If you’ve got any ideas, let me know so I can add them to the list! So far:
  1. Ray Dalio’s Principles 
  2. Tools of Titans
  3. The Automatic Millionaire
  4. The Lessons of History
  5. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

 

Attend another conference

I attended FinCon in Dallas this year. It was SO GOOD. I got two amazing clients out of it and learned a ton. But mostly, I’m so glad I went because I was afraid to go. I didn’t want to leave my 7-month-old baby, I was incredibly stressed out about flying and navigating downtown Dallas alone, I was worried about interacting with strangers, I had never been on a business trip before…the list went on and on.

 

But I decided to go anyway, and I think it was the best thing I’ve done for my business so far. Not only because I met more clients, but because it inspired me and forced me outside of my comfort zone.

 

Start Investing

I’m a financial writer, so I’m constantly writing about investing, saving, paying down debt, etc. But I haven’t put much of what I write about into practice. This year I am going to get more involved with investing and put some long-term plans into place.

 

Plan for the long-haul

Speaking of long-term plans, I’ve always been good at thinking/dreaming/panicking about the future, but not getting into specifics. I’ve started reading Ray Dalio’s book, and he is partially the inspiration for this goal.

 

He says that people focus too much on the minute-to-minute. When things are good, they expect they’ll stay that way. When they’re bad, they think their lives will be miserable forever. Thinking a little more long term has helped me make better business decisions, get over stupid little things that feel enormous in the moment, and just enjoy the moment more overall. Which brings me to…

 

Enjoy the moments

It sounds counterintuitive to bask in the present while considering the big picture, but I think the two work together. Considering the long term helps you avoid putting too much emphasis on challenging or crappy times, but embracing moments keeps you from passing right over the good ones because you’re worrying about something else.

 

Having a baby feels all about the moment, for better or for worse. When I was up with him for the eighth time in a night, wanting desperately to sleep, that moment went on forever (and there were lots of those moments.) Or when he learns something new, or calls me “mama,” or laughs, I cherish it because I know it’s fleeting.

 

I’m proud that I’ve been mostly effective at putting down work or distractions when I’m spending time with him, because I know he won’t be little forever.

 

He has taught me how to actually be present, a concept I never thought about before he came along. And it’s something I want to continue working on this year.

 

Have more fun

Having fun is a choice, and it’s one I don’t make nearly often enough. I am usually too consumed by my fears and anxieties to enjoy things, but I’ve been trying to find the funny, beautiful or indulgent side of things more often.

 

Or, if I’m sad, I look at this picture of my cat looking like a stuffed animal, and I smile:

 

 

That’s it for now! This is the first year in awhile we haven’t had some massive life event going on, so I’m excited to see how it unfolds.

 

What’s on your list?

My 15 Favorite Videos + Podcasts for Motivation

Motivation Podcasts and Videos

Happy Monday! Regardless of what your week looks like, chances are good you might not have welcomed the sound of your alarm this morning. So if you need some motivation, this one’s for you.

In this post, I talked about listening to inspirational YouTube videos to help keep me motivated when I was trying to launch my business. I was amazed at how different I felt after listening to something that put me in the mindset to achieve. Here are some of my favorite YouTube videos, playlists and podcasts that are keeping me motivated right now:

 SuperSoul Sessions

SuperSoul Sunday, if you haven’t heard of it before, is Oprah’s inspiration symposium. She invites some of the best speakers in the world to talk about finding health, wealth and happiness. I like to play some of the episodes if I’m cleaning, taking a walk or just need a boost. Here are some of my favorites:

Tony Robbins: Creating an Extraordinary Quality of Life

Gabrielle Bernstein: The Universe Has Your Back

Wes Moore: The Difference Between Your Job and Your Work

 

Yoga With Adriene

Adriene’s channel transformed yoga for me. I do her videos at least three times a week now, and there’s a video for everything. She’s got yoga for headaches, for depression, for a bad mood, to start your day gently, to start your day with power, etc. The best part is how she emphasizes the mind/body connection in every workout, so I always feel amazing physically and mentally after one of her videos.

These two playlists are my favorites:

Morning Yoga Routines

Vinyasa Series

The Skinny Confidential Him & Her Podcast

I’ve been a reader of the Skinny Confidential blog for awhile now, but the Him and Her Podcast is a recent favorite. They interview so many amazing people and focus primarily on wellness and business. Highly recommended. Here are some of my top recent podcasts they’ve done:

Be Well By Kelly (I LOVED this one, can’t wait to buy her book…all about a balanced approach to food and dieting)

-Jordan Younger: The Balanced Blonde

-Standing Out & How to Use Social Media to Build Your Personal Brand and Business

Weslie & Bronson Christensen on Parenting and Pushing Through the Struggle (Awesome to listen to after having a baby and trying to get back into a groove!)

YouTube Inspirational MashUps

This was one of my favorite tricks to use when I was just starting out in my business. In the beginning, I felt a lot of doubt in myself. Some days, I still do. I think it’s natural when you’re taking a risk and embarking on something new. On days when the doubt felt especially heavy, I wanted to do something to drown it out and boost my motivation.

So I would crank the volume on one of these motivational videos and do a workout. The combo of listening to something empowering while working out made me feel unstoppable. It was an awesome pick-me-up. Here are a few I’ve been listening to me lately:

Motivational Speech Mix

Wake Up

Another Motivational Wake Up

 

YouTube Personalities

There are a few YouTubers I return to again and again when I need the motivation to get out of a rut. Each of these women has tons of videos on mindset and making money, but Gabrielle Bernstein has a lot more videos in the spiritual/manifestation realm. Denise is all about manifesting in business, and Marie Forleo covers business smarts and becoming your best self. Check them out and get inspired!

-Gabrielle Bernstein

Denise Duffield-Thomas

Marie Forleo

 

So that’s my #MotivationMonday roundup! Did any of your favorites make the list? What do you watch/listen to to get motivated?

 

 

 

 

The 10 Tools that Helped Launch My Freelance Business – Finally!

freelance business tools

*The following post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission (at no cost to you!) for purchases made through these links.

When I launched my freelance business two years ago, I was totally overwhelmed by all the options out there. I didn’t know what would be worth the time and money, especially when I didn’t have any freelance income yet! But there are some tools that were essential to the success of my business, and some that have given me a boost recently. Here are my picks:

1.Horkey Handbook 30 Day Courses

Before I went to work for myself full time, I decided I want to be a freelance writer and a virtual assistant. I thought pursuing both would give me a good balance, both in tasks and income. And it has.

I wanted to get started as soon as possible, so I googled “Become a freelance writer in 6 months” and Gina Horkey’s site came up. I signed up for her 30 Days to Freelance Writing Success course and got the ball rolling. Let me tell you, it was EXACTLY what I needed! Most of what was holding me back was my own mindset, so having a concrete plan made everything feel way more manageable.

She also has the virtual assistant course, which is essential if you’re just starting out. It’s becoming more and more popular to hire virtual assistants now, and there is definitely a demand.

2. Get Rich, Lucky Bitch

About a year ago, I hit a plateau in my business. I felt stagnant and uninspired, and I wasn’t making what I wanted to make. I stumbled upon Get Rich, Lucky Bitch! right before our honeymoon, and it was an amazing vacation read. I read it every day on the beach and took some time to set goals and make plans on our plane ride back home. It really inspired me, and since then, all of Denise’s courses, videos and freebies have helped me whenever I felt stuck, nervous or worried about my business.

3. Tailwind

I was introduced to Tailwind by one of my virtual assistant clients. She needed help with Pinterest, and she’d heard of people using Tailwind to schedule their pins. You guys – If you have a blog, Tailwind is a MUST. I love to use it because I can take an hour or so each week, schedule all of my pins for the next several days, and not have to return to it. It’s a total set-it-and-forget-it tool.

This tool, plus joining group Pinterest boards, has really helped to gain followers and exposure for my pins.

4. Paid to Blog Jobs

This was the very first job board I ever used, and it’s one I still go back to today. Honestly, job boards can be a nightmare. I saw a lot of people fighting over $5 articles. It’s really not worth your time. But Paid to Blog jobs has a much better quality of job posts. Every job I landed through that board was good quality. It costs $30 per month, but in my opinion, it is so worth the cost to have a legitimate list of jobs updated daily.

5. Careful Cents

I’ve also been with Careful Cents from the beginning. I started out as part of the now defunct Client Matchmaking service (which I loved and miss!!), but there are still so many valuable resources here. Carrie offers a lot of great freebies, blog content and a Facebook group, plus coaching. Her newsletter always gives me the boost I need if I’m having an off day.

6. Buffer

I use Buffer for most of my social media clients, and I prefer it way more than Hootsuite. For whatever reason, Hootsuite seems cluttered and complicated compared to Buffer. It’s just a personal preference, but scheduling social media posts for the week always goes faster for me with Buffer. If you’re managing multiple accounts, I think it’s well worth the cost.

7. ConvertKit

This is a newer tool for me, because I’m getting my list and newsletter up and running. But basically, this is a user-friendly newsletter tool especially for bloggers. I haven’t been using it long enough to really speak to its effectiveness, but I am curious to see how it differs compared to Mailchimp. That’s the email marketing service I’m most familiar with, though I believe ConvertKit has some features that are better for bloggers.

8. SendOwl

SendOwl is ideal for making digital products. I’m working on my first one, and so far, this is the best service I’ve found. What I like most about it is that it handles the shopping cart on its own end, so it protects buyers’ information for me. With all the work that goes into creating digital products like courses or e-books, that convenience is important.

9. Google Keep

As a new mom, this app has saved my life. Seriously. It’s so simple, and that’s what makes it fantastic. I don’t have nearly as much headspace these days because I’m constantly keeping track of when my baby ate, napped, etc., and my head is still a little foggy from sleep deprivation.

Google Keep is basically Post-Its in app form. That’s it. I find I’m usually trying to do things one-handed now, so I love that this is on my phone and I can check it throughout the day. It has helped me keep my tasks in line when I’m feeling overwhelmed.

10. Podcasts

So I’m a little late to the game, but how did I not know how amazing podcasts are?! I don’t have much time to read right now, so podcasts are a great way to feel like I’m still feeding my brain. Here are my current top five:

  1. The Skinny Confidential – Spans everything from beauty to relationships to business tips, and they are hilarious!
  2. LadyGang – Super entertaining and funny, I found them from the Skinny Confidential.
  3. The Lucky Bitch – Denise is one of my fave business/mindset authors, and her podcast is equally inspiring.
  4. Tony Robbins Podcast – Always awesome if you need a serious pick-me-up.
  5. Smart Passive Income – A new favorite, great for you freelancers and entrepreneurs out there.

What are your favorite freelance tools? Did yours make the list? I’m always looking for new ways to work better and more efficiently, so recommendations are appreciated!

 

 

 

 

 

How my Baby is Saving my Business

Baby is saving my business*The following post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission (at no cost to you!) for purchases made through these links.

Before my sweet baby boy was born, I had a plan. I would work ahead on my blog posts, schedule out social media posts and have final meetings with my clients before my due date. The universe loves when you make careful plans, right? Turns out, baby boy was ready to come out three weeks early.

I was totally caught off guard. By the time we got home from the hospital, I felt like I was drowning. Many of the chores, extra work and preparations I planned to do were left unfinished. Plus, we had a brand new family member with a completely unpredictable schedule. In between all the chaos, I started to wonder how I would ever get back to work. When would I have the time or the brainpower to get it all done? Would my baby kill my business?

Whether you have a newborn or not, trying to run a business as a parent can be one heck of a balancing act. My babe is three months old now, and I am just starting to feel like I’ve got a little more of a handle on things. In fact, I can feel that the habits I’m implementing right now are putting me on track for my best year in business yet.

So if you have a baby, don’t panic. Here are five ways my baby may actually be saving my work:

1. Time Management

Oh my goodness, this is a HUGE one! I mistakenly thought that because newborns sleep a lot, I would have plenty of time to get my work done. Um, no. Not even close. Yes, they sleep a lot, but at least for my baby, that sleep was all over the place. Anyone else relate? He’d fall asleep where he wanted, when he wanted, and I had no clue how long it would last. This did not make for a conducive work environment.

I started to realize that I wasted so much time before he was born, which was a total luxury! I had all day to get through my work, so I’d work a little, run some errands, come back to work, cook dinner, etc. That is absolutely not the case now.

I had two options: Either drop every single ball I was juggling, or figure out a better way to manage my time. Basically, I had to become far more productive than I had been before he was born. As soon as he’s down for a nap, I tackle the highest priority items on my list and don’t stop working until he’s up again.

This has helped me take myself, my business and my pricing more seriously, too. My time is very limited now, so I can’t sell myself short. (This pricing workshop is helpful if you’re struggling with that.)

Tip: Keep a running list of what you need to get done. I found that he’d finally go down for his nap, and I’d panic because suddenly I had too many options. Do the dishes? Write an article? Call a client? Keeping a list helps me get right to work with a game plan in mind.

2. Delegation

Like a lot of other female business owners, I am terrible at delegation. I think there is this belief that we have to be everything to everyone, but that is ridiculous (not to mention impossible.) Once I had my baby, I realized I couldn’t keep up with everything I had been doing before. I could barely find time to brush my teeth in the morning. Something had to give. So I looked at what I absolutely had to do, and what others could do for me.

This meant hiring a nanny part-time throughout the week and getting a lot more help from my husband around the house. If anyone offers to come over and watch the baby or run an errand for us, I always say yes! Pre-baby me wouldn’t have accepted the help, but now I know that assistance comes in very handy.

Someone who really helped me change my thinking on this was Denise Duffield-Thomas. I’m not kidding, she has seriously changed my life, and my entire mindset around money and business. She talks extensively around getting help and delegating, and it helped me feel less guilty (because that mom guilt is rough.)

If you’re on the fence about hiring help and you work from home, look at the opportunity cost. I knew just a few hours a week of focused work would be essential to my business, so hiring a nanny was a no-brainer. I’m even looking into house cleaners because I still spend a lot of time cleaning, and my time is much more limited now. If it means I have more time to work (or even just have a spare minute to recharge,) it’s worth the cost, in my opinion.

Being able to delegate is a strength, not a weakness. If you try to do everything yourself, everything you’re doing is going to suffer.

3. Self Care

This topic is so important to me that I’m creating a full blog post dedicated to it. Taking care of yourself is 100% mandatory if you’re going to be a good mother, wife, business owner, friend, etc. I think that once we have babies, life gets so chaotic that the first thing to go is our self-care. In my head, I figured that taking care of the baby couldn’t be compromised, and my work had to get done, and the chores had to be finished, so what did that leave? It left no time for sleep, rest or myself.

Here’s the problem with that: You are the core of your life. How can you expect to take care of others when you have nothing left of yourself to give?

My breaking point came when I felt my anxiety getting very severe about six weeks postpartum, and I could feel depression creeping in as well. I knew then that if I didn’t take the time to take care of myself, I wouldn’t be able to function. At a moment of desperation, I implemented mandatory self-care habits that have made a world of difference. I started therapy. I go for runs in the morning with my dog and listen to podcasts. I let the laundry sit for a few days so I can get extra sleep. I write in my journal. Mostly, I had to lift the enormous pressure I had placed on myself so that I could function again.

I’m not going to lie, taking care of myself feels like one more thing I have to do. It can be hard to fit it in my schedule, but if I start to ignore myself, everything else suffers.

Being forced to make sure I’m taken care of has been a game-changer for my entire business mindset, as well. It has given me the freedom to make more time for things I love, so I can channel that back into my work.

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What advice do you have for work-from-home parents? What worked for you? Leave a comment below – I’d love to hear your tips!

 

 

Using Envy to Unleash Your Best Self

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Chances are, you’ve seen that quote floating around. It’s especially true in the era of constant sharing. Everyone is cultivating an online image for the world to see, and it’s hard to feel good when you’re comparing yourself to all of these “perfect” personas.

I get it. I scroll through Instagram and Facebook and wonder why I’m not on fabulous vacations or throwing launch parties for my book. I’m a new mom, and while my house (and head) seem to be constantly cluttered, other moms look like they’ve got it totally together. There is always someone skinnier, prettier or more successful. And it can make you feel pretty rotten about yourself.

But it doesn’t have to. In fact, jealousy can be one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal for transforming your life. Here’s how you can use that envy for good:

1.Get clear on what you want

For most people, it’s not achieving their goals that’s the problem. It’s that they have absolutely no idea what they want in the first place. Even if they do, it tends to be vague. A better job, more money, better relationship. If you don’t get really specific about your wants, it’s that much harder to get to them.

Sometimes it takes seeing someone else do it that makes you get focused.

Years ago, one of my best friends started working out. She was posting updates about all the workouts she was doing, and she looked phenomenal. It got to me. I started to resent her a little bit. But it didn’t have anything to do with her. I would think to myself, “Sure, she can do that. She has the time.”

But deep down, I was upset that I wasn’t working out as much as I could have been. Then I thought, “Why am I irritated with her? She’s not stopping me from working out. I am.” That was the push I needed to get off my butt and get active.

If you get that twinge of jealousy, figure out what it’s really telling you about what you want.

2. Change your Focus

When you are envious of what someone else has, you’re focusing on what you lack. They have something that you don’t, and it leaves you feeling like you’re less somehow.

But what you’re seeing on social media is only the tip of the iceberg. When you post something on social media, you go through a lot of work to make it seem effortless, right? You took 50 selfies before you found one you liked. You cropped that picture with your friend to make yourself look skinnier. You artfully arranged your coffee and pastry and pretended it was just a casual Sunday moment.

Everyone in your feed is doing the same thing. No one has a perfect life. No one. Every single person is battling something. You might envy one part of their life, but you wouldn’t necessarily want to trade your battles for theirs. Use that jealousy to realign your perspective.

3. What makes you enviable?

Sometimes you’re so wrapped up in other people’s cultivated realities that you forget to live in your own life. Try looking at your life from an outsider’s perspective. What makes you stand out? What do you have that others might be inspired by? (“Inspired by” is the positive spin on jealousy, right?)

Take a second for gratitude in your own life. If you’re feeling really overwhelmed by all the perfection in your feed, sometimes it means you need to get obsessed with what you’ve got, instead of what you don’t.

4. There’s plenty of joy to go around

This is the most important thing to remember about envy: There is not a limited amount of happiness in the world. Someone else’s happiness does not detract from your own.

So if you see someone who seems to be really living it up, decide that you can have that, too. There’s plenty to go around.

Jealousy can be useful and even beneficial, but don’t linger too long. You might be missing out on the wonderful in your own life.

How I Make Money From Home – My Road to Self-Employment

Make Money From Home

*The following post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission (at no cost to you!) for purchases made through these links.

Before I left my job to work for myself and make money from home, I dreamed about writing this post. I was obsessed with learning about how others had finally left their 9-5 job to pursue full-time self-employment.

I imagined what it would be like to sit down with my boss and announce that I was leaving. It was a terrifying, exhilarating thought, and a part of me didn’t think I would ever be able to do it. But as of next month, I have been self-employed for two years. So obviously, that day did come. And it can come for you too, if you want it to.

Here are the steps I took to finally make that leap:

1.Realization – You Can Make Money from Home!

I very, very vividly remember the day I decided I had to quit my job. I had always been a little unsatisfied with my work. Either I didn’t like the boss, or the work was boring, or I just felt like something better had to be out there. But after job hopping a handful of times in just a few years, I stopped blaming my jobs, or my bosses, and started blaming myself.

Yes, I worked for difficult people. Yes, I was dissatisfied. But at the end of the day, it was my own desire to do something more me that convinced me to leave. No job was going to be good enough until I tried working for myself, because that itch was always there.

It was the Monday after Easter. The job I had was fine. I wasn’t thrilled with it, but I didn’t hate it, either. I didn’t dread going in in the morning. But that Monday, something in me shifted. I desperately didn’t want to go in. And I spent the morning watching YouTube videos of others talking about how they left the 9-5 world behind to work for themselves.

Then, when I did go into work, I got in trouble for something. I can’t recall what it was, and I’m certain I was at fault, but I was tired. Like a lot of people, I was tired of having to answer to someone else. I hated having to ask for time off to go to the doctor, or for feeling guilty when I requested a day off. I didn’t feel like I was reaching my full potential.

I decided I had two choices. I could stay miserable and continue trying to make others responsible for my happiness, which is what a lot of people decide. Or I could take a risk. I could claim responsibility for the way I was feeling, and do something about it.

That day was the very beginning of April, and by June, I was working for myself. That initial spark was critical in successfully launching my business just a couple months later.

2. Face the Fear

As soon as I knew I wanted to make money from home, I knew that the biggest obstacle to my success would be my self-doubt. Plenty of other people were working for themselves, making good money as virtual assistants and writers, so why couldn’t I? I had the basic skills. People were paying me to write at my day job. So realistically, I could probably find people to pay me to write outside of that job.

That’s where the fear creeps in. It takes the form of, “What if I can’t land clients? Who am I to work for myself? What if I can’t make money from home? Those other successful freelancers are just lucky.” But what all of that is really saying is, “I’m not good enough.” But no one put that limit on me. I put it on myself.

What have you been telling yourself about starting your business? You need to quiet that voice, because often times YOU are the only thing standing in your way.

I found that I had to literally drown out the self-doubt.

I did it with motivational speeches, music and YouTube videos. Instead of the usual music I would play at work, I played those songs and videos on repeat. Whenever I felt the doubt creeping in, I’d turn it up louder.

Another tip: Play motivational speeches or videos when you work out. It makes it feel like every cell in your body and every single one of your senses is fighting to achieve your goal. It made me feel powerful.

And when a quiet voice inside you asks, “Why not me? If they could do it, why can’t I?” don’t immediately squash it. Turn it up. Say it out loud, even if you feel stupid. Better yet, answer it. Anytime I tried to seriously answer the “Why not me?” question, my answer always sounded ridiculous. Without a valid reason, I knew I needed to push forward. If fear is ever the only thing in my way, it usually means I need to move past it and take a chance. The same goes for you.

3. Get Practical

So much of being successful in any goal is your mindset. You have to believe you can get it done, because if you don’t, every bump in the road will paralyze you. Mindset work is imperative to success.

But you also need practical tools and exercises. What worked for me may not work for you, but why not give it a shot?

Get CLEAR about your goals. But know that your goals can change. Ever tried to drive somewhere when you only had a vague idea of its location? It takes much longer than it does when you have an actual address. The more precise you can get about what you want your career (or anything you’re after) to look like, the easier it will be to stay focused.Really feel this, too. Take some time to visualize what an ideal day would look like, who your dream client might be, etc.

Educate yourself. I took a couple courses and worked with a business coach when I got started. The course I took was Gina Horkey’s 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success, and it was a game changer. It gave me the push I needed to finally get started. But don’t get stuck at that step.

Some people will procrastinate at this step. They’ll buy every course, research every tip and contact every coach before taking action.You’re going to learn a lot from your own journey, so don’t waste time getting started. It’s not going to be perfect, so don’t try to make everything flawless before you dig in.

Carve out time. Oh man, this is a tough one. If you work a full-time job and are launching a side-hustle, you’re going to feel like you’re working all. the. time. And you are.I’m a new mom, and this is a serious struggle for me (tips on this coming soon!) You might only have time to work on your business first thing in the morning, before work. Or late at night, after the kids have gone to bed.

You’re probably going to deal with less sleep and less time for fun while you’re building a business. Schedule time to get your work done whenever you can, and show up to do it. Every day you hit snooze puts you one day further behind.

Give yourself a deadline. If you’ve been wanting to launch a blog, quit your job, publish a book, whatever you’ve been dreaming about…set a deadline. Make this firm, too. Don’t say “spring.” Say, “May 1st.” Don’t get too hung up on the date, though.

Sounds counterintuitive, right? Why would you set a firm deadline if it doesn’t mean anything?It’s because it will mean something to you. Deep down, you’ll see that date on the calendar, and it’ll be nagging you. You’ll feel an urgency to get things moving. And while most people move these deadlines (I moved mine six months up…that happens a lot!), just having one tends to get you focused.

 

Make the Leap

The day I quit my job, I spent the whole day sweating, panicking and rehearsing what I was going to say. I nearly chickened out, but my boss asked if I was okay. I almost said yes…but then I told him no, and that I needed to talk to him. He wished me luck, and said if it didn’t work out, I could come back. I spent the next few weeks wrapping up business there and preparing my own business on the side. Those were some of the scariest, most exciting weeks of my life.

I can’t explain the feeling of taking a real, tangible step toward the life of your dreams. It’s empowering and terrifying, and I think everyone should try it.

Have you ever quit a job to start your dream job? What was that day like for you?