6 Ways to Take the "Solo" Out of Solopreneur
Let's face it sometimes being an online entrepreneur has some pretty kick-ass perks.
There's working in sweatpants or cut-offs and reusing the same ones day after day thereby saving the amount of time you spend doing laundry. There's making your own hours and switching them up whenever it suits you. There's getting to Skype with fellow entrepreneurs from all over the planet (I swear this will never get old). And there's the win/lose situation of being steps away from your kitchen (as long as you remember to stop long enough to eat).
But it can also feel REALLY isolating.
Especially if you don't know anyone in your offline world, (aka real life) who's also running an online business. Someone you can commiserate with when your brilliantly designed Facebook Ad flops. Or celebrate with when your new lead magnet doubles your email list. Or brainstorm with when you need a backend workaround for hosting your very first online course you're not sure anyone will buy and you don't want to shell out the big bucks for a course platform yet. Bootstrapping at it's best, baby!
The thing is, most of your friends if they're really really good friends will nod and sympathise or congratulate you and then change the subject. Because they have no idea what you just said and frankly they don't want to invest the time or energy to figure it out.
That's okay. Most people aren't as passionate about their jobs as we are. Most don't enjoy talking about work, thinking about work and learning about work while they're not working.
Which can make you feel like a big giant freak of nature some days.
So here are my best tips for taking the "solo" out of solopreneurship and realising you're not a freak and you're not alone. (full disclosure: affiliate for the very last one big fans of all the rest)
1) Working from home is awesome (see above points). Most people dream about working from home. Bit if it's you and your 4 walls for hours on end and days at a time - yeesh. That does things to a person. It stifles your creativity and makes you grumpy and reticent for one thing.
Try working from your favourite coffee shop. There are unicorn coffee shops just about everywhere. I even have one in my tiny town. A unicorn coffee shop must have excellent coffee , lots of plugs and fast wifi.
2) Get a business bestie or an accountability partner whatever term you prefer. I met my business bestie through the 90 Day Year Program last January and we have a standing weekly Skype date where we discuss goals, wins, challenges & brainstorm solutions. I look forward to these calls every week and I know I've got to get my butt in gear to finish what I said I would by Monday.
And because I know you're dying to meet April, you can totally check out her site right here.
3) Find your tribe. Blech, gag, okay I loathe the word tribe (it brings up traumatic memories of get-to-know-you games in teacher's college). But it IS the best word for the job - so I use it begrudgingly as nothing else really fits.
I belong to 20 different business groups on Facebook and over 50 groups dedicated to books (the joys of self-publishing). Of those 20 business groups, I have my top 3 that are absolutely near and dear to my heart. That I get lost in reading all the posts and agonise over carefully worded responses to as many people as I can.
It's interesting to note 2 of my top 3 groups are also paid groups. Not sure if that speaks to quality or what... But finding a space where you know you can pop in a just be yourself? That's rare. Finding one where it's okay to let the mask slip a bit and say you're having a horrible day? Or something you created with love and sweat - flopped. Those spaces are rare and precious and worth taking the time to find.
There's no magic formula. Join 'em, try 'em out. See what feels like a good fit and get posting. I've found most of my clients and business friends through Facebook.
4) Take a course. I've taken countless courses and learned incredible things to help me level up my biz. And also made some pretty awesome friends along the way too. 2 birds, one stone as the saying goes. My stand-out favourites are:
Anything from Ash Ambirge at TMFP. It will be amazing. It will be memorable. It will be an awesome community of people. Guaranteed.
The 90 Day Year Program. I'm still in this one and it's so rich & deep & complex - I swear I've only scratched the surface. Plus there are some incredible people in that group. The material in this course is something I know I will continue to come back to again and again.
5) Get a coach. I know when you're starting out a business coach seems like an extravagant luxury. But if you want to feel understood, to feel less alone and to have someone to help push you forward - a coach is worth it. Mindset is everything in business (& life for that matter). I've had the privilege of writing copy for a number of awesome coaches all with a trail of happy connected people in their wake.
6) Read the book. Maybe this is just me being an absolute book nerd but I believe books have the capacity to help us feel more understood and less alone. It's comforting to know someone has travelled this path, been where you are and made it through. My favourite non-fiction is Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. It's the first book in forever that I immediately wanted to re-read as soon as I finished. Bonus points if you read your book in a place with other humans like the coffee shop, a park, or the beach.
Wherever you go and whatever you do find a way to connect with other entrepreneurs. To tap into their knowledge and make your journey as an online entrepreneur - less of a solo act.
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