Solopreneur tips abound across the Internet. The problem is of plenty – and often, of contrary advice. I’ve tried my best to pull together some of the best gems of solopreneur tips, tactics, and tricks and put them under different heads … so you, the reader, get a cross-section of valuable opinions on a host of solopreneur-related topics. Solopreneurs are a group who have their own unique issues and queries. As the lone hands in their businesses, they have challenges and rewards in equal measure. We thought it would be very useful to solopreneurs to hear more angles, more ideas, and more voices on topics they think about the most.
- VIDEO: Ryan Glover shares with viewers his “5 Tips for Staying Productive as a Solopreneur” (Must watch: 36:33 minutes)
- How can solopreneurs know the useful tips from the useless ones
- How to apply new tips for your business judiciously
Some top roundups of tips on topics of solopreneur interest
- Solopreneur Mistakes To Learn From: Solohacks RoundUp
- Solopreneur Choices Over 9-5 Jobs: Solohacks RoundUp
- Solopreneur Motivation Sustaining Tips: Solohacks RoundUp
- Solopreneur Branding And Its Nuances: Solohacks RoundUp
- Solopreneur Time Management Tricks: Solohacks RoundUp
VIDEO: Ryan Glover shares with viewers his “5 Tips for Staying Productive as a Solopreneur” (Must watch: 36:33 minutes)
Ryan Glover comes across as a very clear thinker and a person who has the concepts of “prioritization and organization” down pat. In this video, he talks about 5 smart ways you can improve your process as a solopreneur to reduce stress and stay organized. The important word here is “process”. Ryan stresses that with the right processes and systems in place, it’s whole lot easier getting many things done – as a solpreneur needs to and wants to.
How can solopreneurs know the useful tips from the useless ones
Solopreneurs often ask me how to spot valuable tips from the useless ones so that I don’t get swayed by every piece of advice that sounds good. There are a few rules I set myself that may be great for you to follow too:
- Judge the current state of the market trends before adopting tips that sound good: The Internet is full of articles that date back from ancient times. Articles, for instance, may sometimes get refreshed by their authors to make them up-to-date, but more often than not, they are published and forgotten. Many tips we solopreneurs get, from all that we read, may not be relevant today in the current technological and market spaces online. SEO is a classic case in point. Rules and tips change every month almost. So beware of the outdated suggestions you may pick. Pick evergreen ideas that have eternal value.
- Assess your differentiation and uniqueness and screen ideas you get for “fit”: Not every tip you read about will “fit” in with your niche, your products, your brand, or your target audiences. For example, if you are a psychological consultant, those best tips about “passive income” may not work. The very nature of your work involves, probably, an hands-on and one-to-one connection with your few but well-paying clients. You may write ebooks or run courses that can be “passive income” earners. Still, as long as consulting services are your primary earning source, your services’ automation or productization will not be that useful. Your clients will much prefer your interaction, wouldn’t they?
- Have a “jots book” to take ideas down to re-consider at leisure â never apply tips immediately: An excellent idea I got as a tip (about tips) is always to have a “jots book” handy (or what you can call a “tips warehouse”). Put down interesting tips you get in one place and not on various bits of paper. Don’t be tempted to act on recommendations when they are red hot. Give them some time to cool. Then every weekend, go through your tips warehouse to cull a few you could experiment with. This delayed use of the tips you get will make many of them seem like fluffy ideas on second reading. You can try action on the worthwhile ones â but even then, go for controlled experimentation.
- Look at the source of ideas and search for more tips on the same topic from great marketers: Sometimes, you’ll find many articles regurgitating the same tips. Take an article, for instance, on “Money Management for Solopreneurs,” and you’ll find many of them going over the same 7 or 10 points. In such cases, it’s good to take the idea that the tip offers and re-search the exact thoughts in Google. See if a real domain expert in the field has mentioned the same idea in his articles and what he has to say. Take the view from those who know about the subject.
- Break the essential tips you get into smaller ones and see if those smaller ones are more useful: Not all suggestions are helpful in their described form. For example, I once heard a tip about “how to use the Pomodoro kitchen timer to improve my solopreneur productivity”. It seemed very useful at first, for that was the first time I heard about the Pomodoro concept. But when I broke the idea down, I saw that the concept asks us to give breaks between working sessions. The really valuable part was the advice on how best to use these breaks to replenish energy. It suggested that the breaks should involve some physical movement of the body because physical energy usage replenishes mental energy usage – and vice versa. So that tiny tip (breaks management) hidden inside the big tip (using Pomodoro timers) has to this day been more valuable to me.
How to apply new tips for your business judiciously
Never apply too many of the tips you get simultaneously. Try using them one by one to see the actual improvement n your life. This method works extraordinarily well. The truth of this lies in a book by Leo Babauta called “Zen Habits” where he shows how he transformed his life, one habit at a time.
There is deep psychology involved in the Leo Babuta approach. Here’s why he thinks we should change ideas, tips, or habits one at a time. Drastic changes rarely fit into our lives and are much less likely to become habits. Leo is a great evangelist for the idea that unless we convert the tips we get to change our lives into habits, a fleeting use of a tip is no good. If it’s a worthwhile idea, it must serve us for a long time, and we much get better every day because we use the tip.
Let’s take an example that would better convey Leo’s straightforward approach. Let’s say you’ve read again and again the tip that all online businesses should blog every day because that is the ONLY way to get your business needle moving. But you always have difficulty actioning the idea. You may blog for a few days and then flake. And then pick it up for a few days and then flake again. The problem is that the tip or idea has not become a habit. Unless it becomes a “habit”, it will be an eternally unfulfilled goal. With this example in mind, let’s see what Leo Babauta suggests:
- Please write it down as a goal somewhere where you can see it every day: Identify all the things (big and small) that the tip or idea of “blogging every day” may change in your life. See all the benefits of that habit that can happen to transform your life and business, and earnings. See the whole picture of how a daily routine can ripple across your life to make spectacular enduring and evolving changes.
- Start with small steps â preferably one small step towards incorporating the idea or tip in your life: Choose the single, smallest element of habit change you’d like to make in the direction of the tip you want to apply. Start with something so small you can’t say “no”. For example, set your goal to do just one tiny blog post paragraph at a fixed time every day: no more or no less.
- Overcome your initial inertia to do even that tiny daily idiotically simple task: Humans are humans. We will try to sabotage ourselves by declaring it’s such a small task we can do it any time (aka, never). So, consciously connect the habit to a trigger. For example, you can say to yourself: “I’ll have a cup of coffee first thing every morning and then immediately write that one paragraph of one blog post”. When you see that coffee cup each morning, your brain-gears will automatically associate that cup of coffee with the following action of writing that blog paragraph. The brain will crank into a writing-ready state of mind, even as you down that last bit of coffee in the cup.
- Make that daily sequence of actions a habit â that is, “coffee plus blog paragraph”: What is a habit? It is a repetitive step done every day, so eventually, you have to apply no brain. It’ll become as mindless as brushing your teeth first thing every morning every day. You don’t labor your brain to consider the pros and cons, the energy or lack of it, to brush your teeth, do you? Get the actions you make to become habits that get automated without requiring brain analysis. Stick to that habit till it becomes a part of your life until it becomes the new normal for you. Then move on to another great tip you can convert into a habit.
SOME TOP ROUNDUPS OF TIPS ON TOPICS OF SOLOPRENEUR INTEREST
Solopreneur mistakes can be small (and repairable) or large (and disastrous). Many solopreneurs mention branding as one of their areas where they have made big mistakes. Some others mention finance-mismanagemet that led them down, or lack of understanding of customers that did.
Some reasons why solopreneurs made mistakes can be downright funny too. But we cannot laught at them, for life in business is fraught with ups-and-downs. As Richard Branson says, he looks at business as successes or âlearning opportunities(he never calls them setbacks).
May be the biggest mistake-prrofing you can do to your business as a solopreneur is to follow Richard Bransonâs example and embrace mistakes as inevitable but valuable growing pains. [Read More]
Solopreneur choices are natural when people get fed up with the struggle of their 9-5 jobs. Sometimes, itâs the uncertainty of keeping the 9-5 job that makes people turn to side gigs and then to full-time solopreneurship.
Sometimes, itâs the miserable working environments, and the corporate rat-race that make you want to quit for the freedom to enjoy work-life rather than dread it.
Itâs interesting to know why and how other people made the shift to solopreneurship and ditched their 9-5 jobs with the courage to face the new dawn on their own. Here are some fascinating stories and thoughts. [Read More]
Solopreneur motivation is easy to talk about, but really hard to maintain in real life. Many causes can easily bring it down.
Lack of time and energy to do everything you think you should is one demotivator. Another is the delay that is inevitable in seeing results. A third is the frustration of not being able to spend to get help when you need it most. A fourth could be not getting the kind of customers you really want.
Since solopreneurs have no one else to turn to, pulling up their flagging motivation is also their responsibility. Thatâs a tough ask, for sure â¦ but hear these tips from others whoâve found their own ways to boost enthusiasm. [Read More]
Solopreneur branding is a very delicate task. First, you have to decide whether itâs more powerful to use your name as a brand name. Alternatively, you have to decide on an external brand name.
Either way, your branding, with all its elements of image, tone, values, and promises has to become a bundle resonant with the thoughts and emotions of your target customers. You also canât afford to chop and change your branding, so it has to be a well-thought-through exercise.
But if you get it right and it begins building a dominant and differentiated position in your market, youâve done a remarkable job that none out of ten solopreneurs donât get right. Here are some opinions below to further tune your branding. [Read More]
Solopreneur time management is a whole different subject than just plain time management. When, as a solopreneur, you wear all the hats in your business, the problem becomes one of brilliant time apportionment.
You cannot say that you have time only for Activities A.B, and C, but not for X, Y, and Z. If Activities X, Y, and Z were not necessary, you wouldnât be wearing those hats, would you?
Juggling the same 24 hours that everyone gets in a day to spread across diverse business activities and achieve work-life balance demands time mastery. We think it will help you if you go through some great ideas from other solopreneurs whoâve been there. [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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