One night each working week – that’s how I started writing. I was freelancing as a fashion assistant at the time and studying for my law degree but I made time for at least an hour of uninterrupted writing each day.
We all have so much going in our lives that it often feels difficult to find the time to pursue the projects we really love but as with anything, we all have choices. The hour you spend watching the latest episode of Homeland or scanning the web might be better spent putting into something you’re really passionate about.
It started for me out of frustration. I never wanted to go to law school. I was academic and my family had always been that way so the idea of going to study fashion or writing was never on the cards. I’d been freelancing for years and, while there was nothing I loved more than prepping shoots and being surrounded by incredible pieces all day, I’d grown tired of schlepping garment bags all day and was ready for a new challenge.
I remember reading something that advocated making that one-hour like an appointment with yourself to ensure you see it through and that’s what I did. Quickly, I stopped accepting invites to events or date nights that conflicted with that appointment and within a short period of time, I’d started writing for several titles both in the UK and beyond.
That was over six years ago and that appointment with myself every weekday evening gradually got me my last position as an editor at a national newspaper and also helped put me in the position to launch The Lifestyle Edit, the project I’ve been dreaming of launching for years now. Anyone can do it. That doesn’t mean it’s not going to be hard work but the moral of the story is that every hour counts.
To get you on the right track to start working on the project of your dreams, we’ve rounded up the top tips to get you started.
Outsource: If you’re in full time employment and earn enough to do so, outsourcing might be the best thing you can do to get your business idea off the ground. You need to start by firstly being honest with yourself about your skills and looking for others who plug the gaps. If someone can do a better job than you on a specific aspect of your business, use them and don’t be afraid to pay the most you can afford either. Making sure all aspects of your business are the best they can be will only attract more business, meaning you can recoup your investment faster.
Take every opportunity: If you hear of a competition, enter it. If you get invited to an event, go – you never know who you might meet – and don’t forget to go with business cards. It’s the perfect way to get your name out there.
Be realistic and consistent: Committing one night each weeknight like I did might be impractical in light of your work hours. Look at what days of the week you have a few hours to spend and create a schedule you can adhere to. The trick is to be realistic. There’s no point saying you’re going to down three hours a night and then give up over a week. You should be putting in enough hours to make some serious strides in your business but not so much that it feels overwhelming on top of your day job.
Have patience: You’re not going to have the business of your dreams overnight. The trick is to be consistent and steady. As Diane von Furstenberg famously said, it took her 30 years to become an overnight success so work steadily and the rest will follow.
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