The pros and cons of solopreneurs never really strike you hard when you’re dreaming of becoming a solopreneur. The pros always sound like a bed of roses, and the cons sound like too much fuss about nothing. Stark reality strikes just after you have got into solopreneurship. You realize the truth that, as a solopreneur, your business can only be as successful as you allow it to be. You can either make it all work by making yourself work. Or you can make it all wither away by letting yourself wither away.
But wait … don’t back off. Before your face shrinks and your shoulders hunch in despondency, please also realize that since it’s all up to you, you have the power to make both the pros and cons really become huge positives for you. There are no negatives in the solopreneur world, unless you let them be. Solopreneur Business Success stories are aplenty, but it’s your own call at every turn that can change your trajectory from going southwards to veering upwards. There are no negatives if you learn to convert negatives into positives. So read on to see how to turn all the pros and cons of solopreneurs in your favor.
2 big pros of solopreneurs to boost into assets
How to maximize on the advantage of the flexibility of your work hours
Solopreneurs have the advantage of flexibility in work hours, but unless you harness this into your business and wealth creation system as an asset, you will be wasting this advantage. Here are three ways you can build value into the work flexibility you have.
- Get to know you own body clock well and learn to flow with your own bio rhythms. You can’t go against them. You could be a morning person, a later afternoon busybee, or a night owl. Everyone has a different ebb and flow to their energy levels, and especially their types of energy at different times. The more you watch and know yourself well, the more easy it will be to slot the right activities for the right times of day when your natural energy supports you and the work feels like a breeze. Work that feels easy fetches more money easily.
- There are excellent productivity tools to help you keep your schedules without burnout. My favorite is the Pomodoro timer. (It’s just a tomato shaped kitchen timer that many authors have made fashionable to use). The Pomodoro Technique lets you set working hours of 25 minutes with “cut off” intervals of 5 minutes in between … so you force yourself to a short break between productive sessions. Unless you start using the Pomodoro, you won’t quite appreciate how a periodic break can add to your work speed in action times. Try it. It has definitely augmented my own productivity and income.
- Just because you work for yourself and the hours are flexible, don’t get all perfectionist and castigate yourself for “slip ups”. There will be days when no matter what you do, the mind is eager but the body is unwilling. You have to be your own boss, but be a compassionate boss, not a taskmaster. Solopreneurs have the advantage of flexibility in work hours, but unless you harness this into your business and wealth creation system as an asset, you will be wasting this advantage. Here are three ways you can build value into the work flexibility you have.
How to maximize on the great creative freedom you have as a solopreneur
Solopreneurs have a great deal of creative freedom – but to get the most of out creativity, and to make it a perennial asset, you have to give it room to grow constantly in your life.
- Place a high value on originality, creativity and innovativeness. You can’t sustain mediocrity day after day. A lot of people believe creativity is a thing of choice rather than a necessity in day to day work. But the truth is that if you have days when you don’t get that high that comes from producing something new and original, your work hours will begin to pall and your self-confidence will start dipping. Originality is most often seen as a competitive edge, but seldom as an enthusiasm-booster for the creator. Use creativity to keep your work satisfying to you before anyone else. Creativity also needs to be constantly used so that you develop “creative muscles”. You can’t turn on the tap in sudden bursts and hope to have creativity streaming from your mind. Creativity fades away with disuse. Keep it churning to keep money pouring in.
- Give yourself ideating time that is different from evaluation time. The parts of your brain needed for both activities is different. It is a human tendency that whenever you are ideating or brainstorming, you stop every now and again to judge the quality of your ideas. This is very detrimental to real creativity, because the capacity for ideation and the capacity for evaluation operate different parts of our brain. Evaluation stops creativity in its tracks. Don’t mix the two. First ideate without judgement. Let everything in your head, every little idea, stream out. Then set it all away for a short space of time.
- Take it all up a while later to do the evaluation and pick the best idea. Give your brain time to change gears. Your brain is in fact, the fountainhead of your business wealth. Learn to use it correctly to get the most out of it.
- Use brainstorming techniques suited to solopreneurs. It is fruitless to try out techniques that work for group-brainstorms. One of the best solo brainstorming techniques is mind-mapping. You can use a mind mapping tool like FreeMind. The idea of mind-mapping is to sequentially unfold the different sub-topics under a main topic like a tree with branches. You do this graphically (which works better for the mind to feel flowing). Below is a picture of a mind map. See how easy the brainstorming process feels when its sketched instead of listed in text? And how does all this augment business? Well, the more the ideas can multiply, the more the money can, right?
Image courtesy: NeglectedPotential.com
2 big cons of solopreneurs to convert into boons
How to maximize on the “aloneness” to make it count as quality productive time
Solopreneurs often complain about that “lonely feeling” that creeps into life when they start working on their own, as opposed to being in a job with loads of co-workers. But there are ways to let the “alone times” become very valuable.
- A lot of solopreneurs secretly admit that they most miss the office politics when they quit conventional jobs. Don’t let this addiction continue. Although most of us decry office politics, you’d be surprised how many of us are actually hooked to these “official rumbles” like we are to watching TV serials. Even if we aren’t participants in office politics, there seems secret joy in being spectators. When we work on our own, we miss the “water-cooler gossip”. If this is the case, and you’ve had to quit a job with very interesting “distractions”, give yourself time and space to learn to work without that pull. Don’t assume that the transition to being on your own will be smooth and easy. Any transition in life takes time. So give yourself that luxury of time – and soon you’ll see results from losing those sharp ears and focusing on sharper earnings.
- Join associations or networks that require you to leave the house. Get out and about and beat “cabin fever”. It is very important that you punctuate your periods of working indoors with your laptop or tablet, and get some fresh air, fresh company and a change of scene. The brain functions at its best, apparently, when its activities are changed from one mode to another, giving it a lot of variety. Most online solopreneurs often forget that being offline periodically is needed for online success, even if online networking is available. Treat your offline jaunts also as time to make more contacts and more money.
- Think of “alone time” as “quality time”, and not as “isolation”, “introversion” or “self-centeredness”. You can make use of aloneness better if you don’t label it negatively. If you think of the kinds of quality work you can produce when you are alone and undistracted, your perception of your “aloneness” will change into “productivity”. It’s all in the way you look at yourself. Words like “aloneness” or “loneliness” stem from a reference to a past job, perhaps, where you expected to be alongside co-workers. If you use such words to describe yourself, it shows you may still be in a hangover of the job-mentality. To get out of that rut, give your self a list of tasks to complete – and make it about how much more productive you can be, and how much more you can get done. Change the focus from self-preoccupation and your own emotional state, to successful task-goals and task-completions. Outward-centric behavior helps earn better.
How to maximize on your “off-days” to still maintain business momentum
What happens to a solopreneur when he (or she) falls sick or wants to take time off. The online business, and especially content marketing, requires “feeding” every day. So how do you then manage to make off-days as productive of income as the rest?
So what are your thoughts on this topic? Do share!
This post is incomplete without your input. The community of content-marketer solopreneurs would feel galvanized to hear from you … so do share your thoughts on this topic with us, in the comments field below this post.
Other articles in our series “Solopreneur Business Success”:
- Best Books For Solopreneurs: 10 Titles To Change Your Trajectory!
- Who Is A Solopreneur? And Who Is A Solopreneur Not?
- In The Next 60 Seconds, Learn Why Solopreneurship Is Getting Real Hot!
- 3 Self-Motivation Goals To Multiply Your Solopreneur Advantages!
- Is The Solopreneur Life Truly Right For You? How Do You Know?