In order to have a business, you are going to need to take on additional roles, beyond producing whatever service you’ve chosen. You need to be sure that each of these roles is fulfilled, and you can’t indulge in one role to the exclusion of another.

In addition to production, the second role you will have to take on is marketing. A large percentage of your time will be devoted to telling people what you do. When you start, virtually all of your time will be spent getting customers, however, over the months and years your reputation will spread and word will get out and you will be able to cut back. The exact percentage of time spent producing vs. marketing remains to be seen, but a good ballpark figure would be that you should expect to spend at least 50% of your time marketing until you reach the income level you desire.

The third role is the role of owner. You need to maintain a big-picture idea of where you want your business to go, and figure out how you want to get there. You are the final authority and decision maker in your business, and this means evaluating your options and adapting to circumstances. The marketplace can be difficult and you can have unexpected setbacks. The owner keeps its eye on the goal, takes what it needs from the situation, and moves on.

You can think of marketing and production as the “employee” roles and the owner as the “employer” role. These roles must be fulfilled, and you will have to transition between when necessary.

The final role, that you are probably already fulfilling and that should not be neglected, is the “taking care of yourself” role. You need to make sure that you get enough sleep, exercise, live healthy, and fulfill your commitments to your family, emotional/mental/spiritual health, organizations, and personal happiness. These commitments must be maintained in an organized fashion.

Your Template Schedule

The best way to make sure that all of your commitments are being met, and roles are being fulfilled, is to create a template schedule that you will follow every day. It takes time to switch between activities, so the best thing to do is to have set times during the day to complete each of those items.

Your template schedule needs to include everything you need to get done each day, blocked out in appointment times. Check out your template schedule each morning and see if there is anything that needs to be adjusted as you anticipate how your day will go. Then keep a record throughout the day of what happens and at what time. Each evening, before you go to bed, take a look at your schedule for the next day and adjust your template if needed.

In the beginning you are likely to find that there are adjustments made each day. Over time, as you settle into the optimal times for you to wake up, exercise, eat, prepare for work, market, produce, plan, and maintain your health, you will find that your template schedule accurately reflects the reality of your average day. Since you won’t have to spend any time thinking about your next activity you will be able to move between activities smoothly and efficiently.