Being a solo entrepreneur is exciting, risky, brave, lonely, and just a lot of things. It seems like on social media, all we hear are the amazing parts of being your own boss, like you make your own hours, you can travel everywhere, you make so much money, you live this perfect life. We never hear the uphill battles these people endured to get to their “perfect” life. I’m here to share the real truth, the cons of being a solopreneur, and then how to overcome each con.
THE CONS OF BEING A SOLOPRENEUR
IT’S EASY TO PROCRASTINATE
Sometimes it will seem like you put the “pro” in procrastination. You run this ship, so it’s easy to slack on the not-so-fun parts or push back deadlines because you hold the reins.
How to Overcome Procrastination:
- Set iron-clad deadlines for yourself.
- Set goals and promise yourself you’re going to achieve them.
- Have a working to-do list that is hanging up or is constantly in your sight so you know what needs to get done.
- When you do complete the tasks, put a big fat check mark on your list.
- Reward yourself for being productive and getting your projects done on time.
EVERYONE THINKS YOU CAN DROP EVERYTHING AT ANY TIME
Being a solopreneur means you can work when you want. Yay! But that means your family and friends think you have all sorts of free time. We all know that is not the truth. Really, solopreneurs probably have less free time than regular 9 to 5-ers do because creating a business from the ground up takes up all of your time.
How do you set boundaries on your time?
- Make it known that just because your schedule is flexible, doesn’t mean that it’s open 24/7.
- Create boundaries for your loved ones so that they know you have precious time that needs to be spent building your empire and that they should respect that.
- Create a schedule for yourself and split it into work time, personal time, and social time. This will allow you to block out time for all of the important things in your life and keep you sane.
THERE’S NO SET PATH FOR SUCCESS
There’s not an exact road to take to be successful in your business. Everyone’s growth and success path is so different because everyone’s business and services are so different, so it’s extremely difficult to know where to begin, where to go, and what to do.
How do you keep moving forward without a guide?
- Trust your intuition. Your gut will tell you the right steps to take.
- Read other success stories, take notes, and then do what’s best for you.
- Visualize what success will look like and start backwards from there to figure out each step you need to take to get to that success or end goal.
- Move forward. Don’t get stuck in fear or excuses. Just keep moving and it will work out.
- Believe in yourself and your abilities.
YOU’RE THE CEO, CREATIVE DIRECTOR, FINANCIAL OFFICER, MARKETING MANAGER & EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN
You’re not always doing the fun parts. You have to do every task under the sun and still push through. It can get lonely, it can get stressful. You might feel like your head is going in a million different directions. Wearing all of the “hats” or roles can quickly burn you out.
How to Not Get Overwhelmed:
- Prioritize each role and rank what you will spend most of your time on.
- Spend a day automating as much as you can so that you don’t have to wear every hat every day.
- Delegate tasks. Get a financial advisor or accountant. Seek marketing help. If you can’t handle having your hands in everything, find people who can lighten your load, even if it’s just them mentoring you for a short time.
- Create a calendar of deadlines, tasks, and color code by each role so that you can stay on top of everything while having ample time to finish it all.
- When you have to wear the financial hat, only wear that hat. Then move on to marketing and only wear the marketing hat. Wearing all of the hats at once won’t be productive. It will only work against you.
YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT
Every day you’re learning and experiencing different things. You never know what is going to happen, and that could be the best thing or the worst thing. You could be making money one week and the next, there’s nothing.
How do you handle the erratics of this business?
- Visualize your best-case scenario and work towards that.
- Be open to anything.
- Plan for low points. Save money for when business isn’t bustling.
- If things aren’t working out, then create your own opportunities. Instead of waiting for people or brands to come to you, go to them and tell them what you can do for them.
- Pivot and change what you’re doing. Are there ways you can make money that you haven’t tried? Maybe your marketing approach could be different. Keep testing different ways to display your brand.
YOU’RE GOING TO MAKE MISTAKES
You’re going to mess up a lot. You’re not always going to have the right answer, so you’ll just have to make a choice. Sometimes, that choice might be wrong.
How do you overcome these mistakes?
- Give yourself some credit. The fact that you’re going for your dreams is a big deal. Just because you didn’t do something right doesn’t mean you aren’t killing it.
- Forgive yourself for your mess-ups. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Everyone messes up, so give yourself grace and compassion.
- Look at your mistakes differently. I use this mantra to keep it all in perspective: “There are no bad decisions because I learn from every choice.” Chalk it up to learning an amazing lesson.
- Move on. Don’t let your setback actually set you back. Get back up and keep moving. Prove those negative thoughts in your mind wrong. You are more than your mistakes.
This is your adventure. You can carve your dream out with your bare hands. It’s extremely scary, but also really exciting. Think of the possibilities before you! I hope my candor along with my tips will help you keep pushing towards your goals, while still being realistic about them.