Dave Thackeray helps small businesses to get the competitive advantage through exceptional communications. He coaches and creates communications and focuses on driving passion through personality-ridden, relationship-building online strategies.
It’s been a year since I started up in business. It’s been deeply delightful and disastrously dissatisfactory. Not at the same time, but the rollercoaster of emotions has been replete with so many undulations, and twists and turns that frankly I’m oftentimes left without air to breathe. I don’t think you’d see this ride on a fairground any time soon.
Only now am I clear on my path to progress. Irrespective of whether I’ve spent 12 months largely in a state of flux, I completely acknowledge with any learning comes a positive outcome.
So here it is! My seven tips on becoming an amazing solopreneurship. Some hail from my pathological and enduring state of stupidity, others have been garnered from books and given me some of my greatest moments.
Incidentally, scroll past the video and into the meat of this post and you’ll find a bonus prize. It’s because I like you, and in all honesty, your sister really is hot news.
- Value yourself. Also think about your target salary and work backwards.So you want $50k or Â£30k a year? How many hours do you want to work for that? What about pension contributions, tax, national insurance. Count it all out – and get some advice from some business support organisation like Business Link here in the UK.
- Chunk things out. It might be irresistible to just go hell for leather and churn stuff out but it’ll be even more incredible if you spend some time every morning planning out your day with breaks. Plan to do less than you think you can. And build in time for learning. You need to learn something EVERY day. An hour with your nose in a book will make your work rock – and you’ll feel totally illuminated – like a big light bulb!
- Set micro tasks. Don’t go for the big enchilada straight away. Plan out a route to get there with numerous stops and milestones to show your progress. Get a copy of OpenProj and map it out that way, showing the people and resources you need to make it to the finish line. Start small, and reward yourself fabulously for each micro task along the way that you complete.
- Don’t do everything. You’re not a robot. You’re the incredible you. Focus on your strengths, and make them even stronger. That’s why people work best in a team.
- Don’t take everything on. So you want to be rich? Riches aren’t about amassing more work than you can handle – they’re about happiness. My biggest flaw was taking every job I could get my hands on. It doesn’t work that way. Believe me, you’ll cause yourself and your clients misery, because you’ll be way too stretched and the work won’t reflect your true ability.
- Know your passion. The most important thing as a solo-eurgh-preneur is to work on making your dreams a reality. Why did you leave your job if what you’re doing isn’t what you want? Every moment spent doing something you hate is a moment of your life wasted. And there are millions of better ways to spend your time than being miserable. Plus find your compelling destiny and you’ll be rewarded in every way. People will pay you for your passion – not just if you’re a hooker!
- Find a team. Network til you find people you admire and want to work with. Show them an absorbing reason why they should spend time with you – and then work out a mutual advantage you can work on for collective success. Build an incredible network around you you can count on and rely on – and they, too, can count on and rely on you.
BONUS! Find ONE process that works for you. Refine it to hell and make it save you oodles of time. Great post on problogger recently about how to streamline your blogs. Get over to davethackeray.com and I’ll share with you the link.
And a quick *newsflash* since you are such an honorable reader. Yes, you there, in the pink cummerbund and blue eyeliner. Funksville, I say! BONUS 2! is this: Always ask. Ask, ask, ask. The solopreneur that asks, is mightier than the sword. Don’t be confused – find an answer. So many of us feel intimidated by the prospect of being seen as unknowing, and therefore plough on without support. Well damn them. They’re the ones missing out. You, dearest, will be seen as transparent, incredible and packed with integrity when you ask questions of others that otherwise would have been left unsaid. Whenever I attend conferences I always pipe up from the back with a really simple question. Invariably everyone else grunts their accord – and I think wishes they’d asked that question, too. Do not be afraid of stating the obvious: to many, it would not be obvious at all.
If you get all these elements integrated into your workaday management pattern, you’re all set.
And an NB: I mentioned how loathsome I believe the word ‘solopreneur’ to be. I really do. Noone achieves anything single-handedly yet here we are as singlets all waiting like a bear in a trap for a way out. To be truly amazing – sustainably amazing, and satisfactorily competent for the future – you need a team. To talk to; to bounce ideas off. The only thing you get from being a one-person-show is frustration and dented confidence. To be a solopreneur with a rock-solid troupe of other reliable, creative and indefatigable business owners behind you – well, that’s pure gold.
I wish you maximum success as a ‘solopreneur’.
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