Sometimes as a small business owner it’s easy to forget that there is a very important person that needs to be taken care of so your business can thrive…
1. Set realistic goals for yourself and your business
Money/revenue is important, but it isn’t the only goal. Being a solopreneur allows you to live—and work—on your own terms, so be sure to define what those are. Write them down and post them where you can see them on a daily basis. This will help you stay aligned with the reason you became a solopreneur in the first place.
2. Choose your clients carefully
When you are just starting out as a solopreneur or when your business is struggling, it can be tempting to accept whatever work or client comes your way. At the end of the day, it’s best to work only with clients who genuinely value your work and pay you not just for your time, but also for what you uniquely bring to the table. Those are the clients that will leave you the most fulfilled and provide you with abundant energy.
3. Stop multitasking
It may seem counterintuitive, but you’ll do your best work when you give it your full attention. Block out unnecessary distractions. Try setting a timer and focusing on one task or project during that time. You’ll be surprised how much more you can accomplish. Focused efforts equal less stress and more efficiency.
4. Separate home and work life
Because many solopreneurs work from home, too often the distractions of home life can encroach upon work and cause conflict. If possible, dedicate a room as your home office. If that’s still not enough, look for a co-working space where you’ll not only have the separation of work and office, you’ll also have camaraderie and resources in a shared business environment. Setting strong, clear boundaries around your time and habits helps minimize stress and the feeling like you’re never done. Set a regular schedule that takes into account your business development needs, the work on tap, and your personal needs—like time to take care of yourself and socialize.
5. Find support
Many solopreneurs are driven by the desire to be independent above all else: no boss telling you what to do, no corporate overlord dishing out dress codes. But it can also be somewhat isolating at times. Finding a sense of community, support, and even professional advice can help grease the wheels when you feel stuck or alone. Look for a local or regional professional organization for your niche. There are many wonderful Facebook groups that are extremely supportive, active and love to help one another with their business development questions. Or for laser focus, hire a coach to help you develop your weaknesses and maximize your strengths. Making sure you invest some time in finding a community of kindred spirits and like minds will insure that you stay motivated and energy filled.
6. Make self-care a priority
Because many solopreneurs tend to be doers and over-achievers, creating that elusive work-life balance is critical. But all work and no exercise, lunch, water, socializing, play, etc, sets us up for stress related illness and injury. Just like they say during air travel… It’s best to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others—including clients. The quality of your work (and life) will improve when you’re well rested, nourished, and nurtured.
7. Take some of the hats off
Wearing all the hats all the time is exhausting and not sustainable. Play your strengths, outsource the things that aren’t, and in between, relax a little. All hustle and no joy isn’t why you became an entrepreneur.
November 5, 2018