When I started up my business, I looked around at the people who were successful and thought “How did they do that”? It seemed elusive. It felt unreachable. What were the secrets? Was there a road map to success that I needed to buy online somewhere? Who had this magical success dust? I wanted it!
I’m very into research, some might call it procrastination but I find that the more I can educate myself, the better chance I have of growing my business. Gathering information and then implementing it into my daily work life has made a huge difference for me. It helped me design a plan toward success.
Just putting an “Open for Business” sign up – whether virtual or brick and mortar – isn’t enough. Here are 10 tips for success as a Solopreneur:
1. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel! Educate yourself and learn from others. Taking online classes from experts in your field or in social media, marketing, and other areas of business. Spending money on your own business development will save you big money in the long term.
2. Find your “why”. Simon Sinek talks about this at his Ted Talk. Finding your “why” puts you at an advantage because you are connecting your business with your heart which fuels your passion for success even more than just knowing what products or services you offer. Once you make the connection of why you do what you do, you will feel a shift within you. It moves you away from sales and feeling desperate for the money, to being open to finding your tribe or the people aligned with the same beliefs you have.
3. Don’t believe yourself! I cannot emphasize this enough. Your mind is powerful. It wants to fill your head up with all sorts of reasons why you will fail. These beliefs can keep you from taking any actions forward because you feel a lot of fear. Confusion is another trap your mind loves to spin you around in. Just remember, you are not your mind. They are just thoughts. Don’t put too much faith into what your thoughts are saying to you. Especially the self-defeating ones. Check in with someone who knows better so they can remind you that these thoughts are really not worth your time. Move on from your thoughts and get into your heart connection. Your gut instinct and your heart connection will know better what is best for you. Learn to trust those parts of you that cannot speak with words, but know the best route to follow.
4. Create a beautiful workspace for yourself. Even if it’s just a nook at the top of the stairs. Treat it with respect and love. Make it a place you love being in. Bring a favorite scented candle or a plant or photos of your loved ones. This small step can shift your energy while you are at work by yourself for hours during the day.
5. Dream the biggest dreams. Write out your big dreams for the year, and what success would mean to you in the long term. Is it a giant twitter following? A book deal? A 7 figure income? Being the keynote speaker at conferences around the world? Write them all down. Especially the ones you are too embarrassed to tell anyone else. From this list comes and action list. Without the big dreams list you don’t really have anywhere to start from. You can work backwards from there and reverse engineer your year this way. It keeps you from wasting time and creates more focus.
6. Visualize it already done. How does it feel to have all of it already done? What does it look like. What are all the details. When I started my photography business I visualized people smiling at me and handing me money very happily and I was walking very confidently towards them with a smile on my face and an ease about the entire process. My clients were lovely, authentic people that I connected with. They trusted me. I loved them. Going to work was so much fun. It all manifested because I dreamed it, visualized it, felt it in my body and took action towards it. Own that feeling of it already happening in your entire being. Be and act successful now.
7. Action Buddy. Team up with someone who is in a similar business as you and check in with them daily through e-mail with the top 3-5 tasks you need to accomplish every day of the week. Having this in place will help you be accountable and productive if you have a hard time staying on task.
8. Delegate! Hire experts that can do their job and support you in doing what you do best. I cannot tell you how valuable this is. Without a bookkeeper? I’m screwed. Without a housekeeper? My house is screwed. Putting these experts in place can allow you the time to dedicate to your craft. Don’t underestimate the power of this one tip.
9. Give yourself Permission to have hobbies, friends, family and “me” time. Nothing can sabotage a solopreneur more than not setting work hours and play hours and “me” hours. Schedule them in and follow through. This will re-fill your cup and inspire you in ways you didn’t expect. If you are only focused on your career, it will not be a life worth living. Sitting in your office alone all day without outside interaction, or time away from your projects is just as unhealthy as overeating or drinking too much. Your mind, body and spirit need permission to be just as inspired and successful as your work brings you.
10. Do what you love. Don’t just pick something you are good at. Don’t pick something because everyone else tells you it’s what you should do. Pick the thing you love to do. Just because you are a great wedding photographer doesn’t mean you should do it if it makes you feel a lot of resentment. Creating a business around the things you can’t stop talking about all day long can create even more abundance and happiness. If you are passionate about what you do others will be drawn to you.