#SolopreneurStruggles Solved: Real Stories, Real Solutions (Part 1)
As entrepreneurs, we know that working for and by ourselves can be like a dream come true. It allows for the flexibility we crave to grow your business as you’d always imagined. But solopreneurship does create a unique set of struggles that other forms of entrepreneurs don’t always have to face (or at least have to take on alone).
I’ve been speaking with and working with solopreneurs to discuss some of their biggest pet-peeves, struggles and challenges as solopreneurs. Are you facing the same difficulties running your solo business?
1. Sierra Rasmussen, The Boss Babe Body Coach.
Sierraceo Inc. supports women in tuning into the intuitive wisdom of their body and harness that power to help them excel in every area of their life. As a result of her coaching, women are finally able to create the quality relationships they crave, a body they love, and are living a life in line with their purpose.
SIERRA’S PROBLEM: “I’m at the beginning of my journey & something I still work to improve daily is keeping a abundant mindset to avoid making decisions from scarcity as well as showing up consistently (also a mindset thing as well as big life events that have taken me out of the game).”
While taking her incredible Best Month Ever Program, Jaclyn Mellone introduced me to two wonderful tools for just this problem!
The ThinkUp App allows you to record yourself saying your affirmations and listen to them on-the-go. What I found incredibly useful, is that they offer suggestions. Which really helped get me started.
A Trello board dedicated to the things that inspire you and your business. Jaclyn calls this the Feelin’ Fierce board - here’s a peak at mine!
These tools have helped keep me positive and focused on the end game, which for me is a remote career to support a two-country-residence life.
That said, sometimes you want something physical that you can keep in your bag or place all around the house so you can’t avoid the positivity. A tool, I’ve been dying to try, but haven’t yet purchased are Abundant Affirmations Cards. These beautiful cards are so multi-functional and users rave about them! They are always all over my Instagram feed.
The international shipping means I keep putting it off, but I’m trying to convince my best friend to bring them with her to our meetup in Spain next month (fingers crossed). Either way I’ll be getting them soon!
2. Michelle Connolly of Learning Mole.
Learning Mole makes learning fun for kids with practical, interactive videos and lessons that are published each week.
MICHELLE’S PROBLEM: “I have just taken on staff and I find it hard to delegate, but it’s so important! For me it’s not about giving up control but I like to be involved in all our projects as they are interesting but I have to take a step back sometimes and do the boring stuff :)”
ELLIE’S SOLUTION: One of the best ways to delegate, but still be involved is to use a project management tool. This can help to set tasks for others, keep track of what’s been done and what still needs to be accomplished. Best of all, you can assign things to yourself and then reassign the task(s) if someone else needs to takeover. Best part, is most of these tools integrate with other essential team tools such as Google tools & Slack.
If you need something a little more robust, Asana is the way to go. It’s clean design makes it easy to manage several projects at once and still have just one to-do list!
3. Alison Matthews of VirtualAli
Alison offers a very high level of service and brings the same benefits as any full-time member of staff: loyalty, confidentiality, commitment and a genuine interest in your business. When not in her office, you will find her out cycling highways and byways!
ALISON’S PROBLEMS: “I think my biggest frustrations are isolation and finding it very hard to switch off!”
Isolation - I totally understand this, being a VA is mostly being face-to-face with nobody but your trusty computer during your workday. To help alleviate this, try:
calling your business besties, family, or good friends over your lunch hour.
setting aside at least one day a week where you work outside the home. office to shake up your environment and spend some time with other humans in a coworking space or coffee shop!
spend time in your community. Join a club, team sport or gym class in your area and actually go. Volunteer with organisations near to where you live and make friends while making a difference.
Switching off - To be honest, this is one of my biggest challenges as well! As a VA you are taking on the to-do lists of several people and always need to be on the ball - making sure nothing gets dropped. However, when I’m doing well with switching off, I’m using a 3-step approach.
Write out a task list for your next day of work - this helps me to feel like I can rest and not be thinking of it until I get back to the tasks.
Sign out, turn it off, and/or mute notifications!
My clients’ businesses are not run solely during standard business hours and I get emails, slack notifications, Trello/Asana updates, etc. So turning these off is really important to to adding to the ever-running mental to-do list.
Do something to relax and get your mind off it. My favourite way is to take a bath while watching Netflix! But for you it may be reading a book, going for an after work walk to break up your day, making your favourite type of tea.
Essentially my advice here is to bookend your day. Start and end your day the same way, each and every day like you would in a more traditional job. This will allow you to create some mental space away from your work so you can come back refreshed!
Want to be involved in this series and have your #SolopreneurStruggles solved? Just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your biggest frustrations in being a solopreneur or small business owner.
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