The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Successful Solopreneur
I wish that I had read an article like this when I was about to quit my job. I didn’t realize that the mental and action sides both 100% coincide with one another and that I shouldn’t have just focused on researching what I needed for my business, but that I was also researching the mental side of things as well.
In fact, it would have been nice if there was a checklist that told me what to do before I quit, and then what to do after I quit. You know, the manual to creating your own path and all of that, lol!
Alas, each person’s list may be entirely different, but these are the things I felt I wish that I knew, because they all work together to make up the machine that is a business.
Before Quitting Your Job
Research Niches Favorite Tools
What tools are people in your niche currently using?
Which tools do they not use anymore?
Price the ones that you need and try to only pay for the ones that absolutely essential. You want to spend as little as possible on this adventure in the beginning.
Research All The Things
When you are learning how to navigate the new waters of this new venture, you’re likely immersing yourself in education – which is great!
You will side step a lot of errors this way. However, you want to keep an eye on repeating topics.
If there’s a bunch of blog posts about it, it’s likely that it’s a common problem or issue.
The ones that there aren’t too many posts on can be just as important, but if you can start to grasp the basics, you’ll be better off as you go along.
You can get stuck in this learning phase. I am one of those. I love to research and learn, so I will sit on something and learn and learn and learn – and sometimes even convince myself that I’m taking action.
Don’t let that be an excuse!
Take action on the things you’re learning, otherwise you’re soaking up knowledge and becoming an expert for no reason.
Identify Strengths and Weaknesses
What skills do you already have in the bag that don’t require you to get more training?
Write those down.
Focus on using those to the best of your ability right out of the gate.
You’re good at technology things? Great! Use it to your advantage to get a lot done quickly.
Make a list, and get it done.
You can also use a SWOT analysis to determine your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Head on over here to learn how to perform a SWOT analysis on your business.
Prepare to Outsource if Needed
Those weaknesses you just discovered – determine if you can hop on YouTube and learn just enough to get you by within a couple of hours. If not, you really should outsource it.
If you’re tight on funds this might not be possible, but coming from experience, it’s better to leave these things to the pros!
Example: web design, bookkeeping, graphic design, SEO, product sourcing.
Create Strategies and Systems
Use any tool possible with automation
Here’s a list of my favorites:
Find a way to automate a lot of the tasks you do.
Set recurring due dates so that you stay on top of things.
Write down all tasks that you come across that you know you will be doing in your business full time.
Some ideas are: bookkeeping, bulk emails, marketing, customer service, etc.
Set repeating tasks to email you when they’re due – make sure you use a system that is trustworthy to do this lest it break, and you forget to file your taxes or something.
As soon as possible, get your ducks in a row when it comes to your routine. Routine seems to be a big one among successful people – and I think it goes like this:
If you’re setting a routine, your training your mind to know what to expect at any given time, which eliminates some stress in your mind.
You’re eliminating the amount of decisions that your brain has to make because you already know what you should be doing.
Eliminate the decision-making fatigue, more brain-power to focus on the important things.
Goal Setting to Keep You on Track
Everyone says goals – and you may be sick of hearing the word, but they are a pretty much proven science (source).
The first step is to identify what you want to accomplish.
Then, break it down into substeps.
Then, break that down into substeps. If you get to the point of “get a pencil and write it down”, you’ve gone too far XD
But, you do want to make sure you have your very next actionable step available to you, so you can see exactly what you need to do next.
Measuring Metrics for Monitoring Progress
How will you know if you are progressing forwards or regressing backwards without metrics to know?
Even the most creative entrepreneurs need to know what metrics are important.
Every business owner (well, at least successful ones) will tell you that you must know your numbers. True dat.
Consider adding A/B testing to your metrics as well, so that you can measure which of your customers are jiving with which of your products/methods/email sequences/etc.
One thing I would recommend is not to pay attention to vanity metrics.
Vanity metrics are different based on what you’re currently focusing on in your business, but generally are things like Instagram likes and followers. Are you getting traffic from that source to your website or online store? If not, don’t focus on improving those, and instead focus on the things you can control.
The Mental Game
The mental game is going to be hard. I’m not going to lie – almost every successful person will tell you that you need to master your mind as well as your routine. All you have control of, is how you react to your thoughts. If you choose to let those thoughts drown you, you’ll go down without a fight. If you choose to ignore the negative thoughts, self-doubt, and fear, you’re halfway to success. This is half the battle. It’s a big one, and one that everyone has to master.
Fear comes in many shapes. It can come in the form of fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of change, or even, fear of success itself.
In Jack Canfields The Success Principles, he says “Feel the fear, and do it anyway”
He also says “Fear stands for “Fantasized Experiences Appearing to be Real”..
Ruth Southrup says “Do it scared”
Franklin D Roosevelt said “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”
Napoleon Hill said, “Fears are nothing more than a state of mind”
And how true these all are! Fear is ONLY in your head.
If you can figure out how to realize that fear is really just a feeling that your mind conjures up to scare you away from what it thinks is something scary that might kill us (remember flight-or-flight) then you can start to realize that it’s all made up.
It’s literally all in your imagination. And I don’t say that to be mean – fear is a major influence on how we take action as well. It can be used positively and constructively – but you have to train yourself on how to do that.
You may have some really excellent reasons for being scared, such as failing to make rent, but pair that with some logic, and also know that you won’t get anywhere if you let it paralyze you.
The hardest part is starting, and you will find that that’s also the scariest part.
Once you get going, usually you realize it’s not nearly as terrifying as you thought it was going to be, and you probably won’t be afraid of that same thing.
Your mind likely will find something else to fear, though, because that’s what our minds do!
It’s like a game, and it tries to play to protect you.
Push past it, knowing you are actually safe, in your home or work area, and the worst thing is likely not about to happen.
Nothing is going to eat you!
After you get past the fear, and you get going on your new venture, you’ll start to notice that motivation fades with time. In fact, I recently heard something that completely changed my outlook on motivation.
Mel Robbins: “Motivation is garbage. It is NEVER there when you need it.”
Think about it! When you have motivation, you can certainly jump on it and use it to your advantage.
However, when you’re struggling to get past the “I don’t feel like it” is when you know you need to push through and do it anyway. Mel Robbins actually uses a technique called the Rocket Launch and counts down from 5…4…3…2…1.. and at 1, she just DOES whatever it is. Doesn’t matter if you don’t feel like it – no one ever feels like getting up at 4 am, but they do it anyway.
As a solopreneur, maybe working at home or in a library, you’re bound to get a little lonely. The change from your previous life to this new life is going to be different, and as such, you need ot make sure you are taking care of yourself in the right ways.
Take breaks when you are really struggling
If you’re emotional and aren’t making rational decisions, don’t work. Use that time to recharge.
Read a book (not a productive business one, get your mind to soak up a great story and live somewhere else for a while)
Take a bath or shower
Take a nap – it can restart your day if you’re having a bad one
Take a long lunch
Take your dog for a walk, get outside
Use 15 minutes of your time to visit someplace fun on the internet like boredpanda.com or something – get something to make you laugh.
You finally have permission to go look at cute animal videos on the internet!
Yeah yeah yeah, you know this one already. It’s repeated so often that it’s drilled into your head.
I’ve personally proven to myself that when you work out, you feel so much better.
You get more cognitive thinking done, you get answers to problems your mind has been working on, emotionally you feel so much better, and so for those reasons alone I find it vitally important to get your booty moving! Especially for entrepreneurs.
Eating carbs gives you a direct train ride to Sleepytown. You feel groggy, foggy headed, and you just want a nap.
If you don’t believe me, try it!
I challenge you to eat low carb low sugar for one week every morning, and then go back to eating sugary pancakes the next week.
Come back and tell me what you think!
I guarantee that you will notice a difference.
Make sure to give yourself dedicated hours to working. If you’re like me, your best ideas come at midnight when you’re laying down to go to bed.
Sometimes I break my own rules and I work when I’m feeling motivated like that, and I get a lot done.
Other times, I write down my ideas to process them in the morning.
My mind doesn’t like to shut off, and so I must force it, and train it to come up with the good ideas in the morning when I sit down to write.
It’s a process I’m working on, but I can tell you it genuinely helps eliminate uncertainty and guessing for your mind if you schedule dedicated times to work.
Your brain will learn when to expect work time, and when it’s playtime.
learning & education
What part does your business need help with? Marketing? Sales? Accounting?
Always keep learning! As an entrepreneur, or, solopreneur as it were, you will always be keeping up with the latest information and trends. To make the most of this, educate yourself on the parts of your business you’re struggling with.
Not so good at marketing? Hire a social media manager!
Accounting numbers all look the same? Use a bookkeeper. They even have online bookkeeping now!
You can also use Virtual Assistants to eliminate some of these stresses.
Related: See my post on The Ultimate Guide to Hiring, Managing, and Firing Virtual Assistants
If you don’t have the funds to use at the moment for hiring someone, you can join Facebook groups and search online on how to do things. This is why educating yourself past your initial job description is so important.
I believe that every business owner should know the majority of their businesses tasks and how they are done.
Eventually when you do hire someone, you’ll be putting that into someone else’s hands, and you want to make sure that you can at least follow or monitor their progress.
In closing, I hope this helps you to prepare to be a solopreneur
We’ve covered how to create your secure foundation for your transition to a solopreneur.
It’s surely to be shaken at least once or twice on your journey, and you have control of a lot of these factors to eliminate some of those ups and downs.
You will eliminate a lot of stress that you can control if you can:
- See that your emotions don’t rule your business
- Giving yourself a schedule will help calm your mind
- Taking care of your body is a lot of the battle
- Realize that you’ve got this! With the internet plethora of knowledge, you can conquer anything!
Onto you now:
Who are you striving to be?
What are you struggling with?
What fears do you have?
What’s stopping you?
I really want to know – start the conversation!