Thriving in Entrepreneurship – Quick Tips in Creating a “life hack plan”

This is always the question, right? How can we thrive in this journey of entrepreneurship rather than just feel like we are surviving day after day? I find that we live in this over glorified hustle culture that can get us in trouble if we stay in that too long. BURN OUT. Yes, I said it. You will burn out, very quickly. I believe there are seasons where you have to move a bit quicker and have a little bit more on your plate that stretches you, but again, these are seasons. Please do not make excuses and keep having repetitive seasons because that will not last and frankly, your body is not meant to handle that much for long durations.

So, entrepreneurs and my friends, how do we thrive? How do we try to find a healthy “balance” for the season we are in?

I will be honest with you – this year is one of my hardest and I was not exactly ready for all that it was going to entail. I mean, I knew what I had ahead of me, but the workload that came with it, I underestimated it a little bit. I also did not set clear enough expectations for myself or a schedule/routine that would help me succeed during these coming months.

So, here are my quick tips:

  • Know your priorities
  • Know when to say NO
  • Know who to turn to for accountability
  • Know yourself and honor your limits

Know you are human and not a superhuman After, several mini breakdowns in the beginning of the year and me working through self-doubt of how I was going to pull this off – I decided to pick myself up, gather my people and create a plan that would allow for me to be productive, balanced, meet deadlines and still be a loving
person to be around.

Remember, that if you are going throughout the day with a solid plan but are not a loving person to be around and you still seem stressed all the time then you might want to reevaluate your plan. Review it and start prioritizing correctly.

So, let me be vulnerable. I will only say this once because I do NOT like telling everyone what is on my plate. I do not like the attention or the weird praise people seem to give me. These are things I chose to be a part of, develop or start and I have an oddly high capacity to make things happen (the way God wired me). By no means should you look at this list and compare yourself to me. We are two very beautifully different people, so go into this taking away the practicality of the exercise. If you feel you can not do that, then close your browser right away.

What I want from this exercise is for you to see what I have going on and how I broke it up in my “life hack plan schedule”

So, here is what I have in this season. I have listed it from TOP PRIORITY to least, but all still equally important to me.

  • My relationship with God and making time to be present with him (meditating in his word daily)
  • My family: Being a wife, mother and present for my family and their needs
  • Imani Collective: Leading Imani Collective to excellence that is glorifying to God and stewarding our resources well
  • Completing my last year of my Doctor of Education program: (if you are curious: my research focus is on sustainable development among social enterprises in sub-saharan Africa with an emphasis specifically on social sustainability)

a. January – May: My last few months of coursework
b. March: Collecting research for my dissertation
c. April – August: Disseminating data and writing my dissertation
d. December: Defending my thesis

  • Stanford Seed Fellowship – Imani Collective is in an intensive fellowship with Stanford University to help grow and scale our business and programs to continue creating sustainable solutions
  • Sukwa Saddle Blankets – Building this company to be sustainable, which will feed back into the success of Imani Collective.
  • The Moxie Podcast and Dream Development/Coaching courses.

There are a few other things that are not on this list, but you get the picture. I have quite a lot of things going on in my life.

So, how did I begin to even organize this? I had to look at each one of these activities and quantify it. I needed to figure out the actual time each one of these took to be successful or to match what I consider being “fully present”. I also had to be very aware to not overlap activities. For example, when I am with my family. I am WITH my family. There is no work, school, etc. I put my phone down, computer away and put all my mental energy into building blocks and coloring.

On the other hand, I needed to create a schedule that had flex time for meetings or other variables. There are a few days more rigid than others, but if an emergency happens on one of my “rigid” days then I have the peace of mind that I have a flex day coming up and can overflow my time there.

There is going to be seasons where you do not have to be so regimented, but if you are in a season like mine. You have to be organized and planned as well as a bit flexible. It takes a lot of discipline and a lot of support. Surround yourself with people who believe in what you are doing almost as much as you do then they can keep you accountable and help you be successful.

Here is what one of my days looks like to give you an idea:

Now, I want to go back to my first points:

  • Know your priorities
  • Know when to say NO
  • Know who to turn to for accountability
  • Know yourself and honor your limits
  • Know you are human and not a superhuman

 

You have to know you and just be true to you.
My friend, you do you.

And in it all, be proud of who you are, where you are going and stop comparing yourself. Sit down, organize a bit, create your own life hack plan and remember, you got this.

From your biggest fan – you got this friend,

 

4 Mistakes to Avoid as an Entrepreneur

Being an “entrepreneur” is an exciting journey, but also one of the hardest. As we enter this journey for the first time or are seasoned veterans – I find there are a couple of mistakes we always tend to make. Here are some 4 that I have identified in my journey and hope I can save you from some of the lost time, contemplation and pain points.

1. Being afraid to fail
I find that this is one of the biggest mistakes of any entrepreneur is being too timid in the journey. This is a hard road and you have to be willing to take some risks to make any progress. This might mean you fail in the process, but the experience and learning that takes place in those moments are precious. They become a part of your story, your DNA and make you, you. Do not be afraid to fail. Dream big and decide where you want to leap.

2. Underestimating the journey ahead of you
I believe coming into this journey we believe that “instant success” should be granted to us. We see the potential and do not understand why others around us are not moving as quickly as we are. Along with the success not coming as easy as we intended, we also underestimated the journey as a whole. The entrepreneurial life is not the easy road to walk down and most of us that step into this path, I believe, underestimate the journey that we had ahead of us. If that is you, keep persevering, but now, adjust your expectations and be ready for what is still coming ahead of you.

3. Trying to do it alone
This one gets me every time. We are all independent and keep to ourselves and push through when it gets hard, but forget to call on anyone to help us in our moment of need. This is a community and we need to start becoming more of one. Reach out! Do not try to do this alone. If you are just starting – seek a mentor, especially someone who is a couple of years ahead of you and can walk you through some pain points. You can still be strong and courageous in your journey, but know it does not make you any better to try to do it by yourself. Find your tribe. Together, we are only better.

 4. Going after the money instead of the freedom
Truth. Do not do this. If you started this journey because you just were looking at the dollar signs then you are in the wrong space. This journey is about passion pursuit. As an entrepreneur – you are going to be spending a lot of time living, breathing, sleeping, dreaming about this idea and company you are working on. If you do not love what you are working on and talking about every day then this is a big problem. The money mind will not get you through the hard moments – the passion mind will. You need to have a rooted why in your story and why you began. Then once you have that, you can push through the hard and find the freedom at the end of the tunnel you are striving for.

Keep up the amazing work out there, entrepreneurs and keep your head high. Know you are not in this alone – we got each other and more importantly, find that passion pursuit that gets you excited in the morning. That is truly what being an entrepreneur is about. Doing what you love and loving what you do.

From one entrepreneur to another – shine bright today and seek joy,