Ever fantasized about leaving the 9-to-5 behind and being your own boss? You don't have to brush your hair, you can hold conference calls in bed, and you can take off for a getaway at a moment's notice — what's not to love? But it's not all sweatpants and endless vacation days. Managing your own time and being accountable for your own business — both its successes and failures — is incredibly tough and requires a strong sense of self-motivation and discipline.
We recently had the opportunity to speak with someone who knows all about being her own boss. As someone who's been building her own business under the Avon company for six years, representative Ivanna Diaz is quite familiar with having a go-getter attitude. Ivanna started with Avon while she was in college, as it was a role that gave her freedom and flexibility in her schedule while still allowing her to take charge of her own career at her own pace. Being a representative for the leading global beauty company means that Ivanna works to sell products, grow a team to lead and mentor, and organize events and activities. Now, Ivanna leads a team of 80 and has plenty of knowledge to share about how to succeed when you're the one in charge. "As millennials, we have the capacity to be our own bosses and to determine our own futures rather than working for someone else," she shared.
So, if you're feeling inspired to strike out on your own, keep reading for her six-ingredient recipe for success.
1. Invest in an office space if you can
While we all love a work-from-home day every now and then, Ivanna noted how investing in a physical office was one of the smartest things she's done for herself. Not only does creating an office space away from your living space allow for more separation between your work life and home life, but it can also help to provide more structure to your day. "It really helps me to stay in the mindset that I'm working. Otherwise, at home, there are a lot of distractions," she said. Plus, this way, she has the space to invite team members and customers to the office. If an office isn't feasible for your lifestyle or budget, Ivanna suggested creating a home office to designate strictly to business.
2. Create an environment you can thrive in
Along the same lines as investing in an office space, working to make that space a beautiful, organized, and inviting environment can help to enhance your mood and boost productivity. "I feel that having things that are aesthetically pleasing to look at, like artwork or magazine clip outs, is very important, especially with your mood," Ivanna said. "Also, natural light."
3. Clearly display your goals
Decorating the walls with artwork isn't the only thing that helps Ivanna thrive. "Write down what your goals are and have them displayed. If you don't know what your goals are, then you're never going to see any results. Plus, this way you can go back to them when you're not feeling it or feeling discouraged during those times when business is rough." And don't forget about your achievements as well — showcasing your proudest moments serves as a reminder that success is possible, for both yourself and others. "I like to share those moments to encourage my team when they walk in to my office — when people see that you're successful, they want to be successful, too."
4. Scheduling is everything
Working for yourself can provide a lot of freedom and flexibility with your schedule, and while that's generally a good thing, it can also be a negative, especially, as Ivanna noted, if you're a procrastinator. Creating a schedule for yourself will provide more structure to your day and make you accountable for tasks that need to get done. "I map out all the important things I want to accomplish throughout the week and even in the month," Ivanna shared. "I even schedule in incentives for myself. When I get this much done, then I can reward myself by doing that."
5. Take time to Netflix and chill — literally
Knowing when to take a break is different from actually taking one. When you're feeling unmotivated or burnt out, stepping away for a little breathing room is vital for keeping sane. "I'll take a break and watch Netflix. I'll watch a few episodes of Friends and then get back to work," Ivanna said. "I definitely stress taking breaks when you're not feeling it. If you force yourself to work when you're not in the right mindset, then you're not going to be working well."
6. Be personable
At the end of the day, no matter how much effort you put into building an inspiring environment or creating a schedule that works for you, the most important thing you need in order to succeed as your own boss is to be personable. As much as your business is your own, true success often includes the efforts of people other than yourself. It's important to put yourself out there and expand your network, Ivanna stressed. "If you want to grow, you can't be afraid to talk to people. You really have to have the confidence to connect with others."
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