I’ve heard this question posed to other people on forums and social media many times over the last 5 years since I’ve been working from home but never really felt like it applied to me. After all, I took my work very seriously, spent hours in front of the computer and participated in my networking groups almost every day. How could this be a hobby?
Just remember that life is fluid and things change over time and today I find myself looking at my business and realizing that I’m not working as efficiently as I could be and this, of course, leads to not making as much money as I should be. I still don’t consider being a Virtual Assistant a ‘hobby’ but I’m taking certain steps to revive my enthusiasm and grow the business.
- Set consistent business hours. Blocking off hours of time to focus strictly on business has been key for me to regain focus. I move the phone out of the office, I close down all social media programs and I keep a bare minimum of windows open on my computer. I have also set a minimum goal of how many hours to work each day and that has also helped keep the focus.
- Make a to-do list. I really can’t afford to have one more piece of paper on my desk but having a basic outline of active projects easily visible inspires me to work faster so I can cross things off. Inevitably, my to-do list carries over to the next day but trying to keep all these details sorted in my head just doesn’t work for me.
- Do monthly bookkeeping. This task here is my undoing. I know that I have a certain amount of money coming in and I make a point to never overspend but I just don’t have a bookkeeping system in place. If you have any solutions to this, please leave a comment below!
One of my ‘ah ha’ moments came when I was watching “Restaurant Impossible” on Food Network. Robert Irvine ALWAYS asks these failing restaurant owners questions about their monthly income and food expenses and they can’t answer him. To which he usually asks, “So why are you in this business?”
The same is true with any online business. We have to know how much is coming in and how much is going out. Wouldn’t it be nice to know if your business has grown over last year? This is information that big companies and corporations have at their fingertips because they have accounting departments and keep careful records. Even if you can’t hire an accountant, you should have records easily accessible.
So who’s with me on setting up a better record-keeping system? Leave your suggestion in the comments section below because, seriously, I need ideas and help!