When you do what you love, it's not work
My first career was in IT systems development and sales/marketing.
My second was as a mom up to her eyeballs in diaper duty, chauffeuring kids hither thither and yon, and cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry 24/7/365.
Third time's definitely the charm, as my career in voice over and film/TV speaks directly to my passions for communications and performance. I truly love what I do.
But (there's always a "but") ... there's still a lot that I have to do besides enjoying time behind the mic or in front of the camera. It's the less glamorous side of running a business: accounting, marketing, systems maintenance, etc. All necessary, not particularly fun.
Redefine drudge work to be the foundation on which your business rises. And shines.
No, drudge work isn't fun, but it's necessary.
Having spent a number of years in the corporate world, I know that there's a lot of administrative detail attached to just about any type of work. Your choice is simple: just dig through it while it's manageable and use it to your advantage or get buried under it.
Fortunately, I'm the the Uber-organized type, the sort who firmly believes in "everything in its place and a place for everything." I like order and clean, neat work areas so that I can clearly see what's what and what needs doing when. Early on, I learned the best way to keep things organized is to plow through the work as it pops up, keeping current as best I can to avoid massive backlogs of details screaming for attention. It doesn't always work out that way, but I certainly would rather not have to deal with late night deadlines if I can help it. Or have to sacrifice personal time on weekends or - heaven forbid! - during a vacation for paperwork. Making time for last minute voice over or film/TV jobs? Sure! Bring it on. That's fun! But to do so for paperwork ... eh, let's not go there, if at all possible. Better to eat away at the chores as I go.
It's like the old joke: how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
The future's so bright, you gotta wear shades
So what's the bright side of drudge work? Part of it is the pleasure of just keeping up, knowing that the IRS isn't going to catch you way behind in your tax payments. It's checking your pipeline and seeing if full of upcoming projects. It's peace of mind, knowing that important client emails are not being missed, because you're checking your inbox - and spam folder! - on a regular basis.
The other part is keeping a sharp eye on where you're going: a brighter future. It can be hard to see anything beyond your nose if you've let yourself be walled in by mounting tasks that you haven't taken the time to work through. Instead of being imprisoned by undone tasks, seize control. Master them by just getting those tasks done. Turn them into your building bricks, the foundation of your business. And build your business on top of them.
The bright side of drudge work is that it'll get you closer to your brilliant future. The stronger your foundation and the taller your business rises, the farther you can see the right opportunities for you and your clients. People will see you, too, as you become more visible in a competitive industry. Just remember to periodically check for leaks. Is your marketing plan still working for you? How about your financial support tools? Make adjustments as needed. Then step back to admire your work.
And grab your sunglasses, because the taller you rise, the closer to the sunshine you are, with fewer obstructions in your way.
The bright side of drudge work is that it'll get you closer to your brilliant future.
A happy result can make it all worthwhile
When you're first building your business, this process is all about "investing in your future" without seeing an immediate return. You don't just hang out your shingle advertising that you're open for business without knowing what you'll be selling, how much it costs to make, and how you'll make a profit. Or where you'll find your customers. You have to do a lot of leg work before you properly even get started.
Later, as you progress and your business grows, it's just considered smart business management. You know the details of what's working, what's not, and most importantly, WHY. You're showing your customers and prospects that you're not only talented, you know how to run your business. Clients like dealing with creative people who have their heads on straight. They know they'll likely receive a quality product accompanied by excellent customer service. It's really the best of both worlds. And when your clients are happy ... you're happy. It kinda makes the whole record-keeping all worthwhile.
Laura's Quick Tips
Just do it. Get the support work out of the way so you can go play at what you do best - providing your customers with the top-quality products and services they need to solve their problems.
Doing a little bit of administrative work every day adds up to staying current overall.
Keep the long game in mind. You're working towards a successful goal!
Redefine the meaning of work. When you consider all those unwanted support tasks a burden, that's what they'll feel like. And they'll drag you down. If you think of them as the means to free you to do what you truly enjoy doing in your business - well, then they become the foundational support that helps your business succeed. And how fun is that?!