Daydreams about waking up any time you want, avoiding rush hour traffic and never again punching the clock tend to blur the reality of self-employment. It’s absolutely true: working for yourself is fulfilling like nothing else, especially if you’re the type to feel confined by the formal structure of a typical workplace. But, self-employment is more than just a perk package.

There are no supervisors cataloging your tasks, no quarterly performance reviews, no commendations, no bonuses, no promotions: gone is every mechanism imposed by others to guide your efforts toward productivity. You aren’t confined, and you aren’t protected. Are you free? That depends on your next move. To stay on track independently, drive your career with personal willpower, and earn success working for yourself, consider these tips.

Know Your Goals

Is it all about the cash? Or did you quit your job to make a difference. Do you feel like you have a purpose, an endgame? You should. Be honest with yourself, and evaluate exactly what motivates you. Once you have some idea, try to translate that passion into a hypothetically ideal long-term outcome, and break down the short-term steps you’ll take today to achieve it.

Build to Scale

Scalability isn’t increasing sales, taking on employees, or moving into a larger space. Those are the results if it’s done right, but scalability really means building an unbeatable strategy for growth. Researching similar businesses will give you a feel for what could work, but it’s up to you to create efficient systems for marketing, sales, time management and more.

Develop Yourself

It’s too easy to let work consume you, and neglect your own development in the process. But if pushing to succeed leaves you weak, jaded and in poor health, the excess of overtime accomplishes nothing. Instead of overreaching, try to eat right, sleep deep and search for stimulation beyond your professional endeavors. Keeping growth constant across all areas of life will only benefit your business.

Use Tools

Every day around 2.5 billion people access Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. When an open line to the world at large fits conveniently into the palm, there’s no excuse not self-promote. Tools like WordPress, HootSuite and Docusign enable anyone to create websites, manage multiple social media accounts at once, and conduct business online.

Find the Right People

It’s simple: if you don’t want to be complacent, don’t immerse yourself in complacent people. Recognize those who don’t settle, and get to know them. Thrive off of each others’ thoughts and processes. Form a network with other entrepreneurs in your area, and the scope of available opportunity widens massively.

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