I have run my business for 5 years now and over that time I have worked out a whole stack of solopreneur survival hacks and I’m bringing them all together to share with you today.
Solopreneur survival hacks – boy oh boy do we need them! If you want to hear me chatting about all 5 of these tips, watch my video. Otherwise keep reading the blog, below.
If you are anything like me when you launched you transitioned abruptly from a buzzing office environment to a solitary back bedroom office, with no one to talk to except the dogs and cats! You probably also left behind a job where everyone around you understood what you do and now you find yourself talking to your husband who although totally supportive really doesn’t have a clue what you are doing.
Suddenly you can feel overwhelmed by the task ahead of you, isolated and out of touch with anyone doing anything similar, detached from the real world and quite simply lonely.
Over the last 5 years I have experienced all of these emotions and more. There have been ups and downs, highs and lows, tears and laughter. My journey certainly hasn’t been smooth; it’s been full of mistakes, a few good decisions and plenty of flukes. My entrepreneurial adventure through trial and error has taught me loads and I now have some great solopreneur survival hacks that keep me sane, in contact with the world and moving my business constantly forward towards my dreams and goals.
I hope you like them. Let me know in the comments which hack you like most.
Solopreneur Survival Hack 1 – SEEK OUT YOUR TRIBE
No matter how lonely or isolated you feel there are thousands of like-minded people out there doing what you do and feeling like you feel. Seek them out. Join online communities like mine. You will be surprised how happy people are to chat and share. Whether you have a question, whether you are looking for recommendations or just want to say how good or bad a day you are having these fabulous communities are there waiting for you. As well as mine I would recommend you join Formula Botanica’s Skincare Mastermind and Female Founders In Beauty.
Solopreneur Survival Hack 2 – PLAN YOUR WORK
Every minute of your time is precious. You may be doing your beauty business as a side hustle; you may be balancing your business around your families needs. I suspect many of you will be doing both! You need to know when you sit down to work exactly what needs doing. You have got to make every precious moment count. You simply can’t afford to sit staring at your computer screen achieving zilch. You also need to protect your personal and family time. It’s easy to let your own business take over and eat into the time you need to keep yourself sane and your family happy. So, you need to plan. Sit down every Sunday afternoon or first thing Monday morning and using a whiteboard, a diary or planner allocate time for every task you need to complete; meetings, blog writing, social media content creation, scheduling and formulating. And don’t forget to block out time for your social commitments too; dog walking, yoga, a run, aerobics, picking the kids up from school, dropping your husband at work. Map your week, keep control and guard your work and personal time.
Solopreneur Survival Hack 3 – Create an environment you love
Having a room or an area that is your sacrosanct work space is so important. This is something I have been working on recently. For 5 years I have worked in a space that was OK. It did the job, but it didn’t motivate me, it didn’t inspire me, it didn’t make me smile every morning when I walked in. Did you see my office transformation story on Instagram? If you didn’t pop over to Instagram and check it out, I saved it to my highlights.
If you are going to work from home you need a space that facilitates creativity, you need a space that’s yours, you need to be able to create mood boards, have whiteboards on the walls, study. You also need an environment that suits what you are planning to do. If you want to formulate you need a lab, if your marketing strategy is all about video you need a beautiful backdrop to record in front of, if you want to take loads of product photos you need some kit and a photo area.
You are going to spend a lot of time in your office. Hell, you are going to create, nurture and grow one of the biggest skincare brands in the world in your office. So, whether you have a space in a room or a room of your own make it special!
Solopreneur Survival Hack 4 – Surround yourself with Biz Buddies
Remember back at the beginning of the blog we talked about how isolating running your own business can be. The feeling that no-one really understands what you are doing, the horror of having no one to bounce ideas off. Well, you can do something about that by getting out there and meeting other solopreneurs and building your own awesome network of biz buddies. You can find them at networking events, training courses and industry conferences. Try and meet people locally so you can get out at least once a month and meet for support and brainstorming chats. If you have long distance biz buddies then set up Messenger and What’s App Groups so you can keep in touch and arrange regular meets on Skype or Zoom. You don’t have to do this entrepreneurial thing on your own there are loads of others out there on the same journey. Go out and find them!
Solopreneur Survival Hack 5 – Have a reason to stop work at the end of the day
Just like me you are totally passionate about your business. You are consumed by your vision and mission. There is always something else you want to do. This is an incredible solopreneur quality and it’s one of the things that will ensure your success, but, it does come with a downside. You find it really difficult to stop. You’re working day could start at 8am and just keep going late into the night. Time can slip away and all of sudden you realise you haven’t eaten for hours and its dark! (You can see I talk from experience here!) You can only get away with this level of work for so long before you crash and burn. It’s much better to manage your workload consistently over regular hours. The trick is to have a reason to stop work in the evening. When you worked in the ‘real world’ you were forced to stop work by your businesses closing hours and you then had your commute to wind down and switch into home mood. Although you probably moaned about your hideous commute (I know I did) it did serve a purpose. So, you need to recreate that commute as a solopreneur. Whether you have to pick children up, or you go to a yoga class, or take a run or walk, or cook dinner. Make sure in your week plan you schedule an end of day task every day.
Solopreneur Survival Hack 6 – Have a default disaster activity
There are going to be times when you sit down to do something and the mojo is gone, you’re in a funk and no matter how hard you try nothing is getting done and you are just becoming more and more frustrated. Your time is super precious so don’t waste time stewing, have a default disaster activity. It could be reading, gardening, ironing, cleaning, going for a run, calling a friend. Take a break do your activity and I guarantee when you return to work half an hour later you will be back in the zone and able to rock the rest of your day.
Solopreneur Survival Hack 7 – Screensaver
I’m a big fan of mantras and inspirational quotes. I love to keep the best ones in my journal and the ones that give me a sucker punch of business mojo I turn into screensavers. I think of them like the juice shots you buy from Pret. Small, concentrated and get right to spot that needs sorting. I change them throughout the year depending on what’s happening and how I need inspiring. If you look below I have shared my current screensaver. Feel free to download it for yourself. I would also love to hear your favourite inspo quotes. Please share them in the comments below.
Solopreneur Survival Hack 8 – Fragrance
My final hack is to fill your work space with essential oils that reflect the mood you are in. I use peppermint to energise and focus me in the morning; I use Bergamot to uplift me when I have the mid-afternoon slump. I use Frankincense when I need to feel warm, safe and creative and at the end of the day you can’t beat Rose to soothe and relax. One thing I have learnt over the last 5 years is it’s these little details that really make the difference to your solopreneurial day.
Please let me know in the comments below which hack you like the best and share your own survival tips and inspirational quotes. You may also like to read my blog all about how important events are when it comes to surviving the solopreneurial journey.
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