Being self-employed grants you tremendous freedom.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone for a 4-hour bike ride on a weekday morning. I’m taking a couple weeks off later this year to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro with some friends.  I can work whenever I want– IF I plan accordingly.

Outsiders looking in rarely see the other side– with freedom comes tremendous responsibility.   Nobody is paying me, and at the end of the day nobody is looking out for me except me.  I need to plan my life, and in that sense, I am always working.  Whereas others leave their jobs and are done, I eat, sleep, and breathe this stuff. Even if I’m watching a game, I’m usually on my laptop at the same time.   In terms of number of hours, I work longer than most of my peers.  The catch, of course, is that I rarely view what I’m doing as “work,” so for me it’s a net win.

In addition to planning your present life’s work, you also need to plan for a bigger operation than you currently have. It’s part of the old “act as if” personal development mentality.  When you “act as if” something already is a certain way, you carry yourself  with a confidence that tends to create a self-fulfilling situation.  When you build a system that can handle a dramatically increased workload, you are prepared.  You are ready and can outsource all of the logistics which are not part of your core competency when you need to.  You can outsource everything that doesn’t make you YOU.

Planning is a continual practice of looking backward and forward.  The often-overlooked part of planning is reflection.  Some people are so stuck in their ways that they never actually stop to see if what they’re doing is working.   You should be constantly tweaking your plans, updating your system, looking back on what has worked and what has not in order to build an even more successful future.

TAKEAWAY—Plan, reflect, and develop your system for success on a regular basis.  The more efficient your system, the better you are.

This excerpt was adapted from the book Life Choices: Pursuing Your Passion of which Jeff is a co-author.  Jeff Civillico is a Las-Vegas based headline entertainer who blends his perfected art of juggling with friendly audience interaction and insane amounts of energy.  With his “Comedy in Action” show, he has performed everywhere from Australia and New Zealand to The White House.  He is a favorite onboard Disney Cruise Line, and his credits on the Las Vegas Strip include V: The Ultimate Variety Show, Nathan Burton, and The Improv at Harrah’s.

In addition to his comedy show, Jeff also delivers a powerful keynote that illustrates the keys to “Branding Your Passion” to create the career, and lifestyle, of your dreams.  A 2005 honors graduate of Georgetown University, Jeff currently serves as President of the Georgetown Alumni Club of Las Vegas.  He is the Founder and President of Win-Win Entertainment, a non-profit that pairs performers willing to donate their time and talent with charities in need of entertainment.