Solopreneur smarts about how you manage the performance factors you encounter – money, time, effort, productivity, overwhelm, and risk. All this has to find balance with the rest of your personal and family life; otherwise, being in business and performing well would be of no happiness. Many solopreneurs seem to juggle all these things in their lives very well – perhaps not at the beginning of their businesses. Still, as they get along, they create workflows and patterns that get established and comfortable, The itch to do everything that strikes your mind falls away. In its place comes a knowledge of your limitations and how to pace and manage yourself. We’ve packed many tips for you here from those who are handling themselves with fair aplomb.
- VIDEO: Gary Veynerchuk shares with viewers his “take on “The Solopreneur’s Top Priority” (Must watch: 2:04 minutes)
- Our solopreneur dilemmas of learning to manage ourselves
- 5 smarts to help improve solopreneur performance
Some top roundups of smarts on topics of solopreneur performance
- Solopreneur Money Management Tips: Solohacks RoundUp
- Solopreneur Productivity Strategems: Solohacks RoundUp
- Solopreneur Business Model Nuances: Solohacks Roundup
- Solopreneur Overwhelm Streamlining: Solohacks RoundUp
- Solopreneur Risk Management Tips: Solohacks RoundUp
VIDEO: Gary Veynerchuk shares with viewers his “take on “The Solopreneur’s Top Priority” (Must watch: 2:04 minutes)
When Gary Vaynerchuk talks, you listen. In this video he tells us what he thinks is a solopreneur’s top priority: it’s SALES. It’s all sales that create CASH, which is the oxygen of business. Without cash, businesses would die. With cash, you can take whatever next steps you need to perform to grow your business. So if you can’t learn how to sell, you have no business at all, really.
Our solopreneur dilemmas of learning to manage ourselves
The transition from being in a job and managing others to becoming a solopreneur has one significant pain – a dilemma, really – that every few people discuss. But in a great article on Medium.com by Elizabeth Shassere, titled “A Solopreneur’s Strategy For Improving Performance“, the author explains this dilemma beautifully:
“Being a relatively new entrepreneur, I am a bit desperate to get to that feeling of confidence I had when I was the leader of a big department responsible for a lot of people. I want to feel as capable of creating a sustainable and ever-growing business as I did building a strong and united team.
What I have found, however, is that I am much less effective at leading and managing myself than I am leading and managing others.
My biggest challenge as the founder and CEO of a new company without a big team to rely on is knowing which actions will take my business forward and which ones are a waste of energy and time.
That combination of desperation and not knowing often results in poor discipline: manifesting in futile time-and-energy-wasting activity. I find myself more frequently than I would like to admit doing the proverbial running around in circles.
This usually happens for two reasons: 1) when it seems as though I can see the long road I need to travel and it feels like it all needs to be done at once, or, 2) I have no clue what I need to be doing so I spend hours flailing about doing meaningless tasks and getting nowhere.
Since I am almost always in one of those two states, I perpetually find myself in the throes of that frantic, often useless, action.
I realised that if I had seen a former team of mine in a similar state, I would have first chastised myself for dropping the ball as the leader, then I would have stepped up to stop the madness. I needed to step up and lead myself out of this mess. What I needed was a solid strategy for slowing down, determining right action, and executing that action well.
Elizabeth is right, isn’t she? Most solopreneurs, including me, work a lot with intuition when trying to decide between priorities and performance factors. But as Elizabeth says, you can’t hear intuition till you’ve slowed down a lot, and cut the needless busyness out of your life. Intuition whispers when the mind and the action comes to a stillness.
5 smarts to help improve solopreneur performance
We have presented below some useful articles on time management, money management, productivity, management, overwhelm management, and risk management. Besides all this, there are some five general smarts that you can follow to optimize your performance in business overall:
- Don’t fear the worst-case scenario – embrace it: Many solopreneurs tend to look only at the rosy side of the business and don’t always care to glance at the worst-case scenario and plan for it. Fear is the cause. But if you can imagine the worst-case, you can be better prepared for it with a Plan B. Think about it. Would you rather flounder in the face of unexpected setbacks, or would you prefer the security of knowing the setbacks can’t deter you? Which is less fearful?
- Learn more skills to reduce your reliance on outsourcing: The more you can do yourself, the more money you make in a solopreneur business. The math is that simple. So it’s always worth it to keep adding to your skillsets all the time. Learn more about coding, photo retouching, image editing, voice and video recording, WordPress management, finance, and automation. There’s always more to learn. Besides, new topics keep your mind refreshed.
- If there s one thing crucial to marketing, it’s networking: I cannot stress this enough, but as the wise people say, “Count your wealth not by money but by contacts.” You cannot have too many contacts in the online world. Online business survives on contacts made, and making contacts is easy thanks to social media. Don’t be choosy because from the number of contacts comes quality. And once you get contacts, keep the networking on full blast. Make it two-way.
- Always give preference to progress over perfection: Perfectionism beyond reasonable limits is a mental disease. It’s the first step towards OCD and other such ailments. You have to learn to live with 80% perfection and forgive the rest. Otherwise, you’ll get stuck where you are, dotting the “i’s” and crossing the “t’s” till the cows come home. Of course, you can improve anything and everything, but you have to know where enough is enough and where perfectionism cannot be allowed to halt progress.
- Commit to the ongoing iterative improvement of all business aspects: You can tweak every process or workflow in your business for better efficiency. You have to create a separate time to review your processes to see if slight modifications can save you time, money, and effort. Trim the flab in your systems till you have a well-oiled business machine, streamlined and most cost-efficient. Schedule review periods only once a quarter because if you do it more frequently, your life will become a slave to perfecting the systems, rather than watching what the systems deliver for you.
SOME TOP ROUNDUPS OF SMARTS ON TOPICS OF SOLOPRENEUR PERFORMANCE
Solopreneur money management includes many aspects â how much to plow into business, how to manage money through business cycles, how much to save for the rainy day, and how to cover yourself with insurance protection (which you wonât get as you did in a 9-5 job).
Money is a tricky issue for solopreneurs because one thing youâll never see is steady income. There will be ups and downs and unless you shore up enough during the good times, you wonât be able to handle the low times. Poor financial management also leads to many of the stresses and burnout that solopreneurs face.
It pays to learn some good tips from those who have learned the art of savvy money management by going through its testing times. [Read More]
Solopreneur productivity has no common yardstick. Everyone has a different way of understanding productivity. The most simple definition of productivity is: âGetting things done â despite the distractionsâ.
The very act of setting an achievement benchmark and then beating the odds to complete the set tasks is âproductivityâ. Without the hurdles to overcome, anybody can be reasonably productive.
Itâs when the going gets tough that the tough get going. If you take it as a game to play with life, productivity can be exhilarating with its challenges and rewards. [Read More]
Solopreneur business models abound â because every solopreneur, in a way, is their business model. Even if two solopreneurs are selling the same services, youâll notice that they have tweaked their business models to suit their personalities, talents, and areas of forte.
Not everyone is comfortable creating their products and services and marketing them the same way. A business model is about a way to make money with your area of expertise. Structuring your business to do that, given your comfort in your style, is the challenge.
Weâve put together many opinions here on solopreneur business models for you to gain your perspective. [Read More]
Solopreneur overwhelm is extremely common and not always because solopreneurs genuinely have a heavy workload as single business owners. The overwhelming feelings come from just seeing the long list of tasks you have to get through than the tasks themselves.
Itâs the big picture of the whole dayâs to-do list thatâs the killer. Instead, if you were to look at tasks one at a time without worrying about the other tasks in the queue, youâd be okay â more or less.
Overwhelm begins in mind as psychological anxiety, which then translates into body stress. Just discard the task list and do only the one thing that begets money for your business. Focus small, achieve big. And read these other valuable opinions of this roundup too! [Read More]
Solopreneur risk management is a vast subject. You have to factor in financial risks, business risks, market risks, and your health risks to do justice to it.
Solopreneurs donât have the luxury of insurance cover of various kinds that 9-5 jobs give. They often donât even have a cushion of money set aside to tide over a bad run of time. If solopreneurs need to mitigate risks in business, it all falls on their shoulders.
But with some essential planning and proactive measures, itâs possible to anticipate and avoid most risks. Read peopleâs opinions on this roundup to understand how they view risk management and cover themselves for contingencies. [Read More]
So What Are Your Thoughts? Do Share!
This post is incomplete without your input. The community of 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.
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