1. Manage Your Time Effectively.
With the world as your oyster, the tremendous amount of flexibility you have can be daunting at times. The key is to develop a schedule. Schedule in all those things you want or need to do: self care, client meetings, work time, business development time. Whatever it is you want to include in your life, add it to your calendar. Often I schedule self care time and tell clients I have meetings (they don’t need to know). The most important asset you have is yourself. Taking care of yourself will make your business more successful.
2. Seek Out Professional Networking Groups.
The agony of finding a good business networking group is s-l-o-w and time consuming. It took me a few years of searching to find one that fit my needs. I sat through many dead end coffee groups and Chamber meetings until I stumbled across my beloved Women In Networking Group. I’v been a member for 9 years now, and it has been a huge gift to my life and my business. I’ve developed incredible friendships, learned great business practices and found invaluable resources that have benefitted me both personally and professionally. A quality business networking group is a powerful resource for any business trying to grow. It connects you to to other professionals on a routine basis and creates an environment of comradery in a sometimes difficult business climate. Being part of a supportive professional group helps you see things in a different light and can help you out of many difficult situations.
3. Realize Your Weak Spots.
Success relies on knowing your strengths and your weaknesses. In the areas where you’re weak or need some extra help, don’t fight it, just go with it. Use it as an opportunity to break out of your bubble and find some resources. Once you identify your key areas of needed resources or support, you’re halfway there. Then when the need does arise you will have some options, you’t won’t feel the need to freak out and lose your work time, you’ll have it handled and be able to keep the business running smoothly. Whether it’s child care, accounting or legal advice, a little planning goes a very long way.
4. Don’t Be Afraid Of Change.
Otherwise known as, “You’re the captain of your own ship”. This is one of my favorite sayings of all time and comes from my kid’s preschool teacher. It’s as effective for preschoolers as it is for adults. One of the best things about working for yourself is your ability to figure out pretty quickly what’s working and what isn’t. If something isn’t working, instead of trying to pretend it is, just change it. Concede, move on, try a different approach. Ask someone else their opinion if you’re stuck. But the bottom line is that there’s absolutely NO reason to get stuck. You have the power and ability to make changes – whether big or small – for your business. So just do it!
5. Give Yourself Permission.
The saying goes, “Life isn’t about how many hours you work, it’s how you spend your time”. Or something like that. The absolute best part of being a solopreneur is being able to take time off when you want it or need it. Go for a walk, go to the beach, take a trip, go to your kids play, visit a sick friend, take your dog for a walk. It’s all the little things in life that add up to being happy. I believe the happiest workers are those that have space in their life to do these little things that add up to big meaning. Studies have also shown that we are more productive if we don’t work all the time. So get out there, breathe some fresh air, unplug for a while and come back to work ready to make things happen. I guarantee it works.