The gig economy is in the news a lot these days, but what exactly is it? Working in the gig economy can be anything from starting your own side business out of your home or working freelance careers either on the side or full-time. Wherever you find yourself, start with the knowledge that your success will be built on the energy and planning you put into it. It may be a side gig, but treat it like a real business in order to see results.
People get into the gig economy for different reasons. Some simply want to make a little extra money on the side, others are following a passion, while others choose to go freelance so they have more flexibility than working a 9-5. If you aren’t sure where you fall or what your goal is start by thinking about what you hope to get out of this business. Doing this will guide you in finding the right fit and in setting both short and long-term goals.
In a study conducted by Harvard Business Review, the majority of gig workers surveyed said that finding a greater purpose in what they do is a big part of what drives them. Purpose is what separates the idea of working simply to make a living from engaging in work that gives someone greater connection to themselves and the wider world.
Even when you find the ideal business to suit your purpose, making that business successful doesn’t happen on hopes and dreams alone. When working for yourself, you need to be just as organized and committed to work time as you would if you had a boss, if not more so. Setting up a designated at-home workspace is essential. The trick is to keep the distractions of home from interfering with your work. Creating an organized workspace that is separate from your daily life not only sets you up for being more productive, but it also signals to your mind that you’re “going to work” when you go there.
Keeping your workspace organized is a key part of setting your business up for success too. If you aren’t intentional about setting up an organizational system for documents, papers can easily take over your life. Many people who get into the gig economy also like being mobile, which means your laptop and other digital tools need to be just as organized as your physical space. Digital tools including apps for entrepreneurs can help make that easier, so you can keep a homebase, but are also able to take your work on the go.
The freedom of being your own boss is both a blessing and a curse. No one is breathing down your neck telling you what to do, but that also means you’re solely responsible for keeping yourself on task. Setting a work routine is one of the best strategies you can use. If this is something you jump into doing full-time, set office hours that are along the same lines as what you would put in at a regular job. Be sure to build in breaks too, so you don’t get burned out.
Whenever you struggle to stay focused on what needs to be done, remember your purpose and how that drives you. If you still need motivation, Forbes suggests incentivizing yourself. Tie incentives to your goals, so that when you reach one milestone, you give yourself a small reward along with a bigger reward for those major milestones.
Running your own side business takes a mix of creativity and structure. Creating the structure you would find in an office sets the foundation, while your gig may throw you curveballs from time to time, when you have to get a little creative to find the solution. Just like anything else in life, what you get out of your side business will match what you put into it, so make sure to balance purpose with intention to meet your goals.
By: Lucy from Gigmine.co