How to Design Your Business to Support Your Lifestyle - GoAskLee: Thoughts & Advice from Industry Expert
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How to Design Your Business to Support Your Lifestyle

How to Design Your Business to Support Your Lifestyle

Technological advances have provided the businesses and the workforce many employment options. Current trends such as outsourcing and telecommuting can provide the foundation of a flexible work schedule where you work around your life schedule instead of living around your work schedule.

The reasons are many for choosing to design a work around your life schedule. So, where do you start?

What is Your Why?

First, you need to clearly decide why you are doing this? Why are you designing work around your life? Is the reason because you are a new mother and you want to be available for your family? Are you caring for a sick family member and a traditional 9 to 5 job just doesn’t work for you. Whatever the reason, WRITE IT DOWN! Post it on your bathroom mirror. Internalize your WHY. Remembering why you are making this lifestyle change will help motivate you and is the foundation of the decisions you make in this process.

Prioritize Your Choices

To help you with this process, on a sheet of paper, write down these areas of your life with space to write beneath each one:

  • Family
  • Career
  • Finances
  • Friends
  • Spiritual Growth
  • Health
  • Learning and Education

Under each category, list what is important to you that fit in with that category. For example, “being available for my kids” goes under Family and “being able to pay all of my bills” goes under Finances. Now that you have your list, prioritize them against each other. This is your priority list.

Now take out another sheet of paper and create a 1-week appointment calendar and begin to schedule your priorities. For example, under Spiritual Growth, you may have “Meditate”. Write down on the schedule the day or days of the week and the time you plan to mediate. Do this for as many of the priorities you can. You now have an idea of the block of time you have available for your business.

Create a Budget

Now take a look at your finances. Many banks where you have your personal checking account allow you to download your transactions. Download the last 3 months of bank transactions and review them. Group them by month and type transactions like “Utilities”, “Food”, “Entertaining”, etc. Review this list. Are there any areas where you can take control? If you were to quit your existing job, are there any expenses that would go away? Are there any other expenses that aren’t necessary? Do you have to move? Do you quit your job? Do you rent a spare bedroom? Come up with a final monthly budget.

What Don’t You Want in Your Job?

Design Your Work Schedule

Now that you have your priority list and the time you have available for your business, it’s time to take a look at your current job situation. Do you have a job? Do you have an offer letter in your hand and you’re not sure you want to accept it? Are you currently employed but it conflicts with a recent life event. Ask yourself the following questions regarding the business you are designing:

  • What work schedule do you want or can you work based on your situation? Use the schedule you just created to help you with this. Do you want to work in the evenings or weekends?
  • How would you like to get paid? Be realistic. We all like hourly or salary income, but if the job you are designing requires you to start your own business, then your income will be commissioned-based. If you are not comfortable with this, then just add this requirement to the job you are designing. You can also take courses on how to sell to improve your skill level.
  • Other than the income, how important is your current job to you (if you are currently employed)?

 

The following questions apply to your current job and proposed job or business. So ask these questions twice: first for your current job (if you have one) and second for your proposed job or business.

  • What is your current income? Does your current job pay you just enough to squeak by each month and you don’t see that changing any time in the future? Or do you have a well-paying job, but you have to sacrifice a lot (look at your priority list) in order to keep it?
  • How much does your current (or proposed) job cost you? How much do you pay for your commute in time and money? How much are your dry cleaning bills if your job requires you to wear professional clothing? Do you have to join professional clubs or maintain magazine subscriptions?
  • How does your current job affect your lifestyle? Do you like your job? Does the schedule interfere with your WHY or a higher priority item?

 

Design Your Business

Now that you completed the exercise above, decide if you are going to look for a traditional job or two (remember your WHY), or start a home business of your own. If you decided to look for a traditional job, use the results of the above exercise to guide you.

If you decided to start your own business, you have many options.