There are many of us looking to start and run our own businesses while working a full-time job. This goal can be quite hectic and time consuming, but there are strategic steps you can take to maintain your sanity and balance as you work toward entrepreneurship.
Adra Young is an educator, writer, and radio host based in Detroit. With a couple books under her belt, she always had a love of the written word. This started through following her father’s footsteps in acting.
“My father is an actor and he encouraged me to take acing classes. After some experience, I was given an opportunity to teach acting and become a coach. When people needed material, I would write monologues,” she reminisces. Reflecting on her students and their worlds, Young realized that there weren’t a lot of monologues for young people. She decided to write a book. “I wrote my books based upon what I saw as a teacher. I used some of the real life experiences that I saw children experience and incorporated them into my monologues,” she continues.
Now she is a middle school teacher. She also uses her acting skills to entertain and engage her listeners on The Cooks and Books Show. This is Young’s weekly radio show that highlights authors and food based professionals and businesses. With the love of literature and the arts, the food connection is simple. “I am greedy,” she laughs. “I love food, and with all of the new restaurants and food entrepreneurs growing in Detroit and Michigan as a whole, it is great to meet people, both food professionals and writers, learn their stories, share their testimonies and support their businesses as a fellow entrepreneur,” she says.
With writing, teaching, and hosting a successful radio show, Young shares helpful steps for balancing employment and entrepreneurship.
1. Time management: This is so difficult at times, but you have to set time outside of your job to get things done. During the weekdays, schedule one to two hours per night to dedicate to your business. For those with families, try to carve out time on the weekends or early mornings in smaller time increments.
2. Prioritize: Make a list of things that you need to accomplish. The most important should go at the top of the list. Focus on what is important to all areas of your life, as well.
3. Consistency: This is essential: You must stay consistent with your business and your plan so you can see the growth.
4. Personal time: Find things that you enjoy and take some time out to relax and have fun.
5. Help others: Extend a hand and pull someone else up. Everyone is going to need help; no person is an island. Don’t be afraid to share and tell others how you got started and how to get going.
Yvelette Stines is an award-winning writer whose work has been published in Essence, Uptown, Heart and Soul, Jones, Hispanic Executive Quarterly, and Green Build + Design, just to name a few. Her book Vernon the Vegetable Man encourages children to choose healthy lifestyle habits. Stines’ blog Calming Corners motivates readers to live a calm and healthy lifestyle. You can find her calmly playing on social media @yvelettestines and @calmingcorners.