Entrepreneurial Mindset: Investing Your “Free” Time

Entrepreneurial Mindset: Investing Your “Free” Time

Hey, hey everyone, we’re talking about Entrepreneurial Mindset for the month of May. For this week, we’re talking about the different roles that you play as an entrepreneur. And how those different roles end up on your calendar. I know so often, so many people ask me, “You know, I started my own business, and I just don’t know what I should be doing. Every day I wake up. I have this great ownership of my time. I don’t know what to do with it. How should I be spending my time?” [If you don’t have “free” time lying around, learn how to declutter your calendar first!]

Of course, as an entrepreneur, you know you’re not spending time anymore.

 

Your entrepreneurial mindset needs to shift to thinking about how you are investing your time.

That means you need to be really intentional about what you’re doing with the hours that you have in any given day. As you already know, time is a finite resource. Once it’s gone, we can’t get it back. Our energy is a renewable source. Think about how you are investing your time. How are you leveraging the time you have available each day, to really get what you want out of your business?

Now, I have three main categories that I like to think of, when I think of entrepreneur activity. We’re gonna walk through those different types of activities, and also how you can create and craft your ideal week, so that you are investing your time in the right things.

Mindset Shift #1: Service Delivery

The first shift in your entrepreneurial mindset is regarding your service delivery. If you’re an entrepreneur, there’s probably something that you do really well, or a product or service that you provide like no one else. That is what you’re known for. That is what people buy: that product, that service, that delivery, that you bring.

A good part of your week, is gonna be in the delivery of that product or service. Now, when you’re first starting out, that’s probably gonna be a good majority of your time, if you’re a business of one. As time goes on, gradually you’ll start to hire more people, who can also participate in delivery. And then that gives you more and more opportunity to step into the two main other areas of activity for entrepreneurship, which we’re gonna get into right now.

 

Quick example here:

Entrepreneurial Mindset: Investing Your "Free" Time. Let's talk about shifting your Entrepreneurial Mindset from not knowing what to do with your free time, to "investing" it in your activities instead. By Marie Deveaux, Finance CoachI’m an executive business coach. My delivery is workshops, facilitating workshops, and one-on-one coaching with individuals, executives, or group coaching in some type of format. Now, yes, as a solopreneur, I’m the only one who’s able to do those things on behalf of my business right now. As I grow, I can add additional practitioners, who can also participate in delivery. It’s one of the two things that’s on my task of daily activity as an entrepreneur that I’m able to delegate.

 

Mindset Shift #2: Administrative Tasks

The second thing that I’m able to delegate in terms of what I do day-to-day, are some of the administrative tasks. These tend to be the things that most entrepreneurs, especially solopreneurs, don’t think about when they go into business. These are the things like keeping the books, running Facebook ads, handling marketing, working on your website development, following up with leads, sending out proposals. It’s all of the nitty gritty paperwork of running your business.

In my business as an executive coach, what that looks like is the onboarding paperwork of every client. The off boarding paperwork, when someone’s ready to move on, that’s also the follow up emails that go out. It’s also the writing of proposals, it’s also all of the bookkeeping, managing my profit and loss statement, it’s understanding marketing. You are also keeping tabs on some of my social media channels, which is part of marketing, right? This includes going to the networking events. All of those things take up time, in the space of my daily activity.

Now, an entrepreneurial mindset shift here is that a lot of these administrative tasks can easily be delegated out as you grow.

 

Some examples:

This is where you could supplement with a virtual assistant or hiring another contractor, whose subject matter expertise is in any one of these areas. You can hire a marketing consultant, you can hire a bookkeeper. Or you can hire someone who’s a jack of all trades, who’s going to help you execute your content strategy, or manage your social media accounts. A lot of these administrative tasks, can be outsourced to other people, which frees you up to do A, more service delivery, or B, the final trio in our entrepreneur task list, which is vision.

 

Mindset Shift #3: Casting your Vision

Entrepreneurial Mindset: Investing Your "Free" Time. Let's talk about shifting your Entrepreneurial Mindset from not knowing what to do with your free time, to "investing" it in your activities instead. By Marie Deveaux, Finance CoachNow, this is probably the most important role of the entrepreneur. I had an amazing conversation with another coach colleague of mine, and we were talking about how powerful it is, to live in the entrepreneur space, to be constantly tapped into Source, and in a state of innovation day-to-day, moment-to-moment, to stay in that space of creativity and creation. That means the role of a visionary, to come up with new ideas, new ways of serving your audience, new ways of bringing your gifts into the world, that haven’t yet been explored by anyone else. Solving problems in ways that no one else has thought of.

That’s all happening in the visionary space. For many entrepreneurs, we get really bogged down in our service delivery, because that’s probably the thing you’re really good at. And then, the admin, because that’s usually the stuff you don’t like and makes you feel overwhelmed.

Here’s where the entrepreneurial mindset shift comes in – we wanna spend the majority of our time, especially as we grow, in the visionary space.

An example of where I invest my time

Now, what does this look like in a week? I’ll just give you the example of my weekly activities, so you get an idea.

My Service Delivery:

I primarily provide service only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. If it’s a workshop, that’s gonna be a full day activity. If it’s coaching hours, then I try to limit my coaching hours to no more than three clients or three to four hours, of active coaching delivery in a day. That’s only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

The rest of the time on those days, if it’s not packed with a workshop, I’m gonna use that top end for some admin activity, usually checking email, following up on proposals, and then the bottom end is usually gonna be email to clients following up providing notes, resources, checking in with how they’re doing on some of their assignments, week-to-week. Now, that takes care of the majority of my week. That’s the service delivery right there in the middle section of my week.

My Admin Days:

Entrepreneurial Mindset: Investing Your "Free" Time. Let's talk about shifting your Entrepreneurial Mindset from not knowing what to do with your free time, to "investing" it in your activities instead. By Marie Deveaux, Finance CoachMondays, I use strictly as an admin day. This is when I set up all of my marketing material. This is usually when I add some additional updates to my website. It’s also when I follow up on any collaborations or joint venture partnerships that I have going on with other contractors, whether they be in my area of expertise, other coaches and workshop facilitators, or when I would schedule those meetings with my bookkeeper, or my marketing consultant, or the woman who handles my social media accounts. That’s Monday. I tend to call Mondays, Monday marketing days. Now, that’s gonna be the majority of Mondays – is taking meetings. That’s usually when a lot of my networking tends to happen as well. Coffee dates, all that good stuff.

And then of course, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday I have heavy service delivery with admin, book ending top and bottom of the day.

And then Fridays.  Friday, F is for finance. I call ’em Finance Fridays. That’s when I review my books. Now, luckily for me, I’m at a point where I’ve outsourced a lot of the admin tasks around finance. My bookkeeper does a lot of the management for me, but on Fridays I can check in, see what she’s doing, ask any questions I need to ask, and make sure I’m handing in invoices and receipts and doing some of that additional filing stuff.

If you’re interested in my ideal entrepreneur schedule, check it out here!

My Visioning:

Already you see that we’ve structured our week, according to those first two areas. The service delivery and the admin tasks. You might be asking, “Hey Marie. Where is the visioning happening?” Of course, visioning is what’s kind of eked in between all of the other activities. Often times you’ll see my desk is filled with different colored post-its and notes, where a lot of the visioning happens. And then, Fridays, that’s a good time for me to go through all of those notes, and archive or create a new place, where creation gets to happen from some of the spring-boarding ideas.

The visioning part also tends to happen in large three month batches. Every three months,  or every 13 weeks or so, I do a quarterly plan. This is where I can review what’s happened both financially as well as marketing and service delivery-wise for my business, and then project what I want to happen according to the annual plan that I’ve set for the year.

 

Can you see areas in your own business where your entrepreneurial mindset needs to shift into investing your time?

If you haven’t done your Annual Plan yet…

I’m gonna recommend you jump into She Runs It. There is an amazing video in our video resources, all about how to set up goals for your annual plan, both along marketing, service delivery and financial lines. This is what you’re moving towards every quarter that you do a review in your business. That’s where a lot of the visioning happens.

Yes, we are constantly writing down ideas, finding out ways to archive them, and baking that into some of your admin tasks, the archiving and collecting ideas week-to-week, but quarterly (at least quarterly) you should be doing some time where you set aside a day and work on your quarterly plan, both reviewing what happened previous quarter, and setting up goals that you’re moving towards. This is where you see those week-to-week schedules that you blocked out, with marketing Monday, Finance Fridays, and service delivery everywhere in between.

All right. That’s my quick take on what you should be doing day-to-day, and how you can shift your entrepreneurial mindset to block out your schedule effectively. I will drop some additional resources for those of you who are interested. There was an amazing infographic that I had on IGa few months ago, that really digs into this idea. If you’re interested, you can go ahead and snap that up. Of course, if you have additional questions about how to structure your time and invest your time as an entrepreneur, drop those comments down below!

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