Time

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It's important for me to do something related to my business every single day. Whether it's quick research on a new trend or spending hours preparing for an upcoming event, I have to do something. I get the same 24 hours that everyone else receives. However, I have to be strategic and efficient with every moment. 

Since I currently have a full-time position in addition to my business, it can be tough making everything work. Today I want to share how that process has worked for me so far. It hasn't been easy! Balancing everything is challenging. I have to continuously remind myself of my short and long term goals to push through each day.

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As I began my journey to entrepreneurship, I had to think through my everyday life to figure out where I could make adjustments. Starting my event planning business was important to me. I had figure out how to make time for the thing I love most.

Initially, it was essential for me to spend as much time as possible completing my certification then finishing my business plan course. However, at the time, I had a full-time job working in a very demanding department. Oh, and did I mention my part-time job? I was also working at Gold's Gym on weekends and occasionally covering shifts during the week. 

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What's a girl to do?

I needed both jobs because Northern Virginia is ridiculously expensive.

My full-time gig in Human Resources provided a steady paycheck and benefits that are unmatched by most jobs. However, In that position, I worked well over 50 hours each week and the work was emotionally draining. Imagine regularly participating in everything from discipline to termination ALL THE TIME. 

The part-time gym position paid a decent hourly rate. I loved that job (because of the free membership I never used), but the responsibilities didn't allow for studying at work. I was a front desk associate. Shifts required that I assist with check-ins, account questions, member complaints, purchases, cancellations, and my favorite thing, making smoothies. It was non-stop!

Almost every weekend I worked my part-time job then went to my full-time job right after. I was exhausted all the time and my overall health and well-being were in the dumps! Regardless of the situation, I had to figure out a way to do what was necessary to start my business. It was important to keep the things I needed (money and benefits) and get rid of the things I didn't!

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After much thought, I decided to leave Gold's and return to a gym I worked at previously. The hourly rate was much lower, but I could study while working.  I also had the ability to choose when I wanted to work. This switch was a small sacrifice, but it was beneficial. I purposely worked early mornings during the weekend so that I would have time to read, finish assignments, and complete projects.

As for my full-time position, I made a pitch to move to a different department within our unit and adjust my responsibilities. It worked! I was thrilled. My new role offered flexibility and a 40-hour work week. Weird, I know, but remember, I was working over 50 hours previously.  

So far, I've only mentioned the changes to my jobs. There were a few other things that had to change during this time. 

  • Social Media - I spent way too much time on social media. I deleted the apps from my phone to make it difficult for me to access everything. 
  • TV - It makes me happy. I have a few specific shows that I never miss. However, during this time, I had to shut everything down. 
  • Money - Spending also makes me happy, but I knew there were startup costs I needed to save. I had to "pause" on a few of my favorite things. 

With all the time I put back into my life, I strictly focused on my certification and my business planning course. Who knew I could live without social media, TV, and wasting money for a while! All of the adjustments were difficult, but they definitely paid off!

Shortly after this time, I officially started my business. However, this forced me to "go back to the drawing board" to figure out additional adjustments. Running my business required different expectations. Although I was able to ease back into social media, TV, and eating out (YES!), I had to take a look at my availability. 

For example, most events and expos are held during the weekend. How would I continue working my gym job? I couldn't. And financially, did I really need the gym job anymore? No.

Also, most meetings with vendors, clients, and networking events happen during the week. How would I balance that with my full-time job? Luckily, my new role allows complete flexibility. So, depending on the needs of the day, I may go into work as early as 7 am so that I can leave early for a meeting. Or, I may start my day with a meeting and go into the office at a later time. Another bonus is the ability to leave for lunch and breaks. Again, weird, I know, but full lunch breaks weren't guaranteed in my previous job given my responsibilities. Now, I use my lunch and break times to make calls and respond to emails.

It's everything I need...for now!

Balancing everything is still challenging at times despite all my efforts. However, I don't mind the journey. I literally work just as many hours as I did initially. It's different though because I'm doing what I love. When you love your work, it's not work!

As my business continues to grow, I'll definitely have more adjustments to make. In the meantime, I will enjoy where I am and will make the most of it!

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Jessica Cain

J. Renee Services LLC, 6564 Loisdale Court, Springfield, VA, 22150