What tips can ruin your life

10 tips on how to successfully ruin projects

Making your own work really difficult is easier than you thought.

Making your own work really difficult is easier than you thought. Lorenz Hölscher reveals how it works.

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Many self-employed struggle with the same problems in day-to-day business. But rather than solving these problems, they tend to be postponed or accepted as a "bad habit" with devoted sadness. It goes without saying that motivation and work suffer as a result. If you feel the same way, at least you are not alone: ​​Lorenz Hölscher also knows how to successfully make work and life difficult.

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Tip 1: You have no idea

Yes, it has to be mentioned once in a while: a little knowledge of the subject doesn't do any harm. Isn't that a matter of course? You don't even believe how fast you can get to a core business yet quickly some fringe work deal with which you lack specialist knowledge.

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  • Whoever develops the database can also set up the entire server at the same time.

  • Whoever layouts the flyer writes the text briefly because the customer has not yet delivered one.

  • Anyone who programs the website quickly creates a few missing graphics.

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Of course, customers will appreciate (but not always reward) that you can do this right away and that you don't have to call in another external person. The main danger is that such a side task starts small and ends big, so that you do it overwhelm and then no longer trust to admit this to the client.

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Tip 2: you don't log

It smells like nitpicking, writing down every hour worked on a project and getting paid if possible. But with what else do you want Earn your money? If you are so enthusiastic about getting better and better results, you can easily overshoot the mark.

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After all, you run a profitable company and not a hobby, therefore, there is no limit to what you can afford to do too much for too little money. However, you will only notice this if you also note how much work you put into the projects. If you only estimate it retrospectively, you are guaranteed to be significantly too low.

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At most, every evening you wonder why you are still sitting in the office and so tired, but the project is still not ready for sale. You should therefore regularly check how much effort you have put into this work section calculated and how far you are from it.

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Tip 3: They offer the egg-laying woolly milk sow

It's nice to have a wide range of products because there is something for everyone (customer). But above all, such a general store offers the risk of too little of everything to be able to. Every specialist easily beats you in each of your segments with better performance and the large general offer can be better offered by larger competitors.

Anyway, over the years you will discover that some work suits you better or that the market is asking you more often. It doesn't even have to go the way you originally planned. The strength of freelancers is precisely: react quickly to developments to be able to. With a (rather optically oriented) degree in architecture, I personally would not have thought that the (rather abstract mathematical) topic of databases would be so much fun for me and become a core business.

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Tip 4: you work alone

Self-employment does not necessarily mean loneliness. Even if many employees tend to sit in offices with other colleagues, the self-employed by no means have to everything to do differently. Nice Office communities reduce the cost of rent, kitchen equipment or even common reception.

You can team up with like-minded people on this, like it Law firms, medical practices or architectural offices often do. This makes sense because expensive devices can be used together, mutual exchange of experience helps or projects of a certain size can only be managed with several partners anyway.

If you are more concerned about the competition, this is it Cooperation with service providers practical that can help you. As a database specialist you always need network specialists, as a web programmer you need someone for graphics or as a layout artist you need a good copywriter. Nowadays a lot can be done by phone or email, but personal contact (especially in the early stages) is still unsurpassed.

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Tip 5: You don't care about money

The first (paid) bill makes you happy. You look in amazement at the new large number on your account, eat delicious food and firmly believe that everything will be fine now. It is easy to extrapolate which one incredible annual profit You now beckon until the expenses come.

You wouldn't be the first self-employed person to do the value added tax forgot and had to pay it to the tax office after a year. Or at some point over the Trade tax exemption was also successful and is now facing a hefty demand.

Sales and profit are all too likely to be confused because some of the Spending late consequences. Not only the taxes often overtake you afterwards, but also repair costs, health insurance contributions, pension contributions, insurance or rent increases. The best profit quickly shrinks.

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Tip 6: You don't say no

Newbies in particular believe that they do not yet have the position to be able to reject something. This affects less new projects, so mainly creeping changes in ongoing projects. After you originally offered a paper plane, there are so many adjustments made in the course of work that you should end up delivering a jumbo jet.

The problem is not only the increasing workload, but above all the change in the project. After all, you should Hold your head out for itthat all of this is technically possible. Now let me see how you fold your paper jumbo jet ...

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Sure, it's difficult to plan for illnesses, but that's not really the point. On the contrary, you can assume that at some point you will get sick just as much as everyone else. It's not about avoiding disease, it's about deal with their consequences.

If you are sick with the flu, can someone fill in for you? Sufficient your financial reserves even after a two-month loss of earnings after an accident? Do you even have accident, health or daily sickness allowance insurance? Do you pay into the pension fund and when does your disability insurance apply? Is your family covered by life insurance?

These are questions that you don't like to deal with at the beginning because it is difficult enough to be successful. Who wants to go around then potential failure To take care of? But that doesn't help, that is also part of it.

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Tip 8: They don't care about warnings

Invoices are unpleasant, reminders are even more unpleasant. So it makes sense to do the nice work first and put the unpleasant things aside. And if there is already one Stack for ugly letters there is more to it. This is how a disaster begins.

Once you start piling up unfinished business, you will no longer see the problems that come your way. If you do not put all your energies into resolving these issues soon, you will overrun. The technique of sitting out may work for Federal Chancellors, but in real life the behavior of an avalanche has problems: It starts as a snowflake and at some point thunders into the valley at deadly speed.

If you can't deal with the problems on your own, get yourself on time professional help such as tax consultants, specialists for unpleasant subtasks or a clean-up coach. Of course it costs money, but doing nothing could cost you your independence.

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Tip 9: You don't need a private life

A fisherman in a small Greek port sits in the sun. A tourist asked him why he wasn't buying a bigger boat with which he could catch more fish. "Why?" Asks the fisherman. "With the more earnings you could then hire people to work for you." - "And then?" - "Then you would earn so much that you yourself just take time off could. "-" But I'm already doing that! "says the fisherman.

Work can be fun, but is not an end in itself. When you work so much that your personal life is barely taking place, something is going wrong. A project may require so much effort for a few weeks that a temporary reduction in your quality of life is justifiable, but it cannot go well for months.

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Tip 10: You are resistant to change

Even if you are currently in a successful phase, it doesn't hurt to to hear other opinions and evaluate other people's experiences. This is even more true as soon as things don't go as desired. In this predicament in particular, however, many people like to stick their heads in the sand and carry on as before. Just no experiments!

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Make sure you have enough reserve to keep trying something new. Certain company cultures promote this almost as an official concept, for example 20% of the paid working time (see "More fun at work - this is how you motivate colleagues, employees and yourself") over apparently aimless projects ponder.

Of course, a lot of it will fail, at best without any particular financial losses, but a few will become test balloons completely surprising flights of fancy experience. Success does not only come from persistent work, but sometimes also from coincidences. You were in the right place at the right time with the right idea, even if you didn't even know it yourself.

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It's not that difficult to ruin your self-employed projects, but it is quite feasible to act better. A few basic tips, a cool head and the courage to change are essential tools.