Even if you’re trying to run a business on your own, you can still succeed once you understand how to make the most effective use of your time.
Today is March 8, International Women’s Day – so Happy International Women’s Day to my fellow female solopreneurs!
For one of my clients, I work with a team of web developers in the Ukraine. I was happy to hear that International Women’s Day was a national holiday in the Ukraine: Wish it was a holiday in the U.S. also!
The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is “Balance for Better”. What does that mean to you as a working woman?
For me, the idea of Balance for Better is what drove me to Solopreneurship in the first place – balance to spend more time with my son, balance to make time in my day for the things that are important for my own mental health (reading, writing, long walks – when I often have my best work ideas, btw!): balance for a better me.
This USA Today article on this year’s International Women’s Day is a good read on the theme of #BalanceforBetter.
As a solopreneur, think about working with micro-influencers who can target communication to your niche. If you can find a win-win for both of you, then working with a micro-influencer can be more affordable and it can also be easier to get their attention than trying to engage a big-name celebrity.
In a recent Forbes article, small business owner David Kalt shows how you can do just that. David says “micro- and nano-influencers with smaller (but loyal) followings can drive better outcomes for small businesses working to connect with niche audiences. According to a study by influencer marketing agency HelloSociety, micro-influencers—which it defines as accounts with 30,000 or fewer followers—deliver 60% higher engagement rates and are 6.7 times more efficient per engagement than influencers with more followers.”
Read the rest of David’s article here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidkalt/2019/02/21/small-businesses-think-you-cant-work-with-influencers-think-again/#5a2cde46124d
As a solopreneur, freelancer or small-business owner, we often spend hours alone in our office. One advantage of having our pet with us during the day is we can always get a quick kiss or hug!
Happy New Year! I can’t believe it is already 2019. This quote (from Billy Graham, of all people) came up on my calendar today, and I thought it was quite appropriate for the frugal solopreneur journey.
The world does need changing, society needs changing, the nation needs changing, but we will never change it until we ourselves are changed. — Billy Graham
What does that quote mean to you? For me, it highlights that the way to change our hectic, consumption-driven lifestyle is to simply look inward and make those changes ourselves. For 2019, my goal is to walk more and walk everywhere, keep better track of purchases and expenses (if I have to write it down, I think twice about frivolous spending), and be more mindful in both my business and personal life.
As a solopreneur, you can start to feel that you have so many different hats to wear that it’s impossible to perform any function in your business particularly well. There are client deliverables to finish, customer orders to fulfill, inventory to organize, blogs to write, social media posts to get up, and on it goes…
With all the to-do’s fighting for your attention, your mind gets pulled one way then another… before you know hours have gone by and you haven’t gotten any of it done! Does this ever happen to you?
It happens to me too. What is the best way to get my mind back in focus? A walk in the woods…
So next time you’re feeling unfocused about your business, or have too many minutiae vying for your attention, give a 30-minute walk in nature a try. Works wonders for my mindset! What about you?
Some great tips for living a happier life, from Brenda Lee:
Start Living a Happier Life Now! 1.4kshares We all want to be more successful in life regardless of our age, how much money we earn, sex, marital status or whatever our occupation. Now, defining success can be different for everyone. 16 Proven ways to be more productive, happy and successful! 1. Commitment Required No matter what goals […]
My path to solopreneurship was driven by a combination of necessity and a desire for self-fulfillment. I’d had a successful career in tech marketing strategy, working at companies like Intel and Gartner Group. But I was becoming tired of the cubicle 9-5 being constantly surrounded by people (I’m a natural introvert), and as the mother of a young son I wanted to spend more time at home with him. But could I afford to do so?
The realization came when I sat down one day to see how much money I was really spending on working for someone else: commute costs into the city every day, coffee and lunch, professional clothing, school before/after care costs, babysitting costs, and all the extra expenses we tend to incur for the sake of convenience when there isn’t enough time to do it all: takeout food, housecleaning services, dog walkers, salon services, etc. Despite a six-figure salary, the percentage going to all these extra expenses was still astounding. Clearly, I couldn’t afford NOT to work from home.
That was five years ago.
I’d love to say it was easy, and I quickly reached the same income as my 9-5. In truth, it was a lot harder than I’d expected, but more satisfying than I’d anticipated as well. I think the biggest challenge was knowing where to focus my time and energy for the maximum results, and not getting distracted by the next new shiny thing. When you’re working for yourself, new ideas and opportunities come up all the time, and it’s tempting to go after them. But each new project takes more time to mature than you realize. Focus is the friend of the first-time solopreneur!
In my next posts, I’ll go into more detail on ways to develop focus and scale as a solopreneur, what worked for me, and what is still work in progress, so stay tuned!
What does it mean for a solopreneur to be frugal? Why is that a good thing?
Being frugal is about much more than just being careful how you spend your money. In fact, for me that’s not even the most important aspect of living a frugal life. Instead, it’s about how I spend my energy — and that might include not buying things that just accumulate as “stuff” that I have to manage, clean, store, or otherwise worry about.
Being frugal means spending all your resources — time, money, energy, space — wisely, so they bring the most value to your life and to your business. Personally, frugality is about reducing the stress in my life so I can focus on the things that are important and enjoy the moments that life brings. As a business owner, frugality allows me to be more independent and more in control of my own destiny, and that is something that I value.
Don’t equate being frugal with being cheap. It makes sense to spend money on quality if you are going to use the purchase for a long time. Or to invest time and energy in something that you love, or that you know will pay off for you or for a loved one in the future.
3 Frugal Tips for the Solopreneur
1. Where possible, bootstrap
If you can bootstrap your business, that is always better than taking investors’ money when you don’t have to. I talk to too many startup founders who see the most important first milestone as getting funded. Yes, there are some businesses (those that have large network effects, or giant competitors breathing down their necks) that have to grow as fast as possible – which usually means external funding. But the vast majority of ventures do not fall into that category. Why did you leave the corporate rat race just to essentially work for another boss? If you value autonomy, then bootstrapping is the way to go.
2. Focus on a single end goal with a single target segment
Your most important resource as a solopreneur is your time. Always be frugal with your time and energy!
You can be most effective when you have a crystal clear end goal in mind, with a detailed picture of your target prospect. Always be serving their needs.
3. Plan, execute, evaluate – always!
You can’t be frugal without a plan. You may not need a 50-page business plan, but if you don’t have a target and strategy in mind, then you have no way of measuring the value of your resource investment decisions.
Having said that, always remember that plans are not cast in stone. Have a plan… execute against that plan… evaluate what worked and what didn’t… then re-plan!