Whether you’re already working on building your own personal platform or you’re just dreaming about leaving the 9-to-5 and venturing out with your own business, every good solopreneur should know a few pertinent things.
- Stop Waiting
If you have a great business idea, simply get started. “All the gatekeepers are gone except the hardest one, which is you,” Jon Acuff, New York Times bestselling author and motivational speaker said in an Entrepreneur interview. “There is no one stopping you.”
Remember that, and make the most out of your idea as quickly as you can.
- Organize Your Processes
Organization is a huge chunk of a successful solopreneurial journey. Write your business plan, then move to organizing the structure of your business, which includes invoicing, digital marketing, recruiting, financial analysis, cash flow, and other essential functions.
Use technology to accomplish these goals. You’ll want a great invoice maker like Billdu, a useful social media tool like Buffer, an accounting platform such as QuickBooks, and an organizational app like Evernote.
Once you get your processes under control, you’ll be ready to handle whatever comes your way.
- Choose a Passion
Motivation for solopreneurs can be a challenge because you typically lack a team of people depending on you and motivating you. So you have to choose something you’re passionate about. Your enthusiasm, drive, and belief in your company and product will attract customers and empower your operation.
- Handle Business Finances
Financial struggles play a major role in business failures, which underscores the need to incorporate solid structure in your financial goals. Find adequate funding, get your accounts in order, monitor spending carefully, and design a plan for constant cash flow to keep your business growing.
- Fix Work-Life Balance
When you work from home and are the sole motivator behind your business, a decent work-life balance can feel unattainable. However, it’s vital to establish some kind of separation in you desire stronger mental stability and hope to avoid burnout in your business.
Alex Chaidaroglou, CEO of Altosight LTD, and Sid Bharath of Thinkific stated in a Forbes interview: “We are doing a disservice to our clients, team and product if we burn out….We don’t realize that the more we work, the higher the chances of us running out of creative ideas and burning out.”
This doesn’t mean you can’t take personal calls while you’re trying to work or that you mustn’t ever check your work email before bed, but you should be able to take a vacation or go out with friends without bringing your work with you. Schedule this kind of quality time, and treat it as just as important as a work commitment.
- Work on Branding
Strong branding is a vital step for solopreneurs. It must be visual, shareable, true to your style, and consistent. Your brand is the first thing most customers will see, and in this ad-saturated world, only brands that stand out for good reasons will stick in potential customers’ minds.
- Use Technology
Technology has an incredible ability to perform for us if we let it. Your voicemail can take calls, your email can respond automatically, your invoice maker can handle billing, your social media app can post to your profiles; the possibilities with technology are endless, and if you invest in it, you’ll enjoy incredible results.
- Hold Yourself Accountable
It’s hard to get things done when you’re the only one who holds yourself accountable. Set up checks and balances to complete work to a satisfactory level. You might come up with some kind of reward or penalty system to help you meet your deadlines and deliver ultimate service to your clients.
- Get Help Sometimes
“There seems to be a stereotype that solos are introverts; based on my experience with solopreneurs, I don’t think there are more introverts in solopreneurship than in the general population,” says Keltto in a SmallBizTrends interview.
Whether or not you’re an introvert, you don’t have to do the solopreneur thing completely on your own. You can get help from mentors and vendors, or even enter a partnership somewhere down the road. Don’t hold so tightly to your solopreneur label that you can’t stretch your wings a little.
- Roll with the Opportunities
You get to make all the decisions in your business, so when a new opportunity comes, roll with it. Don’t hem and haw about whether or not it will work.
If you make a mistake, that’s something to learn and grow from, but your ability to jump on opportunities immediately can really set your business apart. Use it to your advantage.
- Find Productive Workspaces
People who run their own business from home will probably tell you it’s not easy to get your work done in that space, especially if you live with other people. Often, you need to find productive spaces outside of your home – such as a coffee shop, library nook, or co-working space.
You must get the work done, and if your home office doesn’t allow you to separate your work from home life successfully, go somewhere else to take care of it.
Your solo career is a time to explore your passion and maybe find ultimate personal success. As you do so, hold to parameters that will keep you steady and focused. That will yield both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards to last a lifetime.