There are few things as big a danger to a creative that's self-employed as... themselves.
Yep, you are your own worst enemy.
Make no mistake, it's great not having a manager. Or formal hours. Or a dress code. And let's not lie, it's a little fun to abuse those privileges whenever you have time.
But small business stops feeling like "freedom" when another 80-hour week wraps and you're still not ahead. Worse, you're out of ideas and you're starting to fray at the ends.
You can never catch your breath.
I'm only one person, you think. How could I possibly be smarter about my resources?
We notice that their advice tends to follow three basic themes: attitude, moderation, and value.
Given our own experience as small business owners, we'll add three more pieces of advice—one of each type.
You can win and do with a can-do attitude. But you can't and won't if your attitude is can't or don't. Pick a winning attitude; it's billions of years of evolution that got you here, so act like it.
Small business owners have many different roles ("hats"). But they have to share their resources fairly among those roles—and they have to make proper use of each tool at their disposal.
When in doubt, be smart and play to your available strengths. Self-management is often a game of psychological strategy.
Smart people can tell what matters from what doesn't.
Family, relationships, and quality of life all matter. But—as Mr. Morken points out in #6—carving out your cherished personal time can mean better focus at work.
Sharp values make decisions—and a decision is, quite literally, the choice to cut your less valuable options out.