One of the biggest challenges solo entrepreneurs face is working on their own business. At first, they are so focused on acquiring clients and then their attention shifts to fulfilling the work for that client. What ends up happening is a vicious cycle of feast and famine.
How do you break that cycle?
This is where it can get tricky. I can share some things that helped for me and a partner of mine. That doesn’t mean this is the only way to make this work. Everyone has to find a solution that works for them.
- Identify your mindset. I know, I know, for some of you, your eyes just rolled back in your head! That used to be me, too. Please hear me out. As an entrepreneur who worked in corporate America for 30+ years, patterns of thinking were created without me knowing it. I discovered that thinking (I didn’t even know I was thinking) was like a faulty circuit breaker. Every time I took action it failed miserably. In Corporate America you do your job and you get paid regardless of whether your work moved the needle for the company or not. That’s not the case in the world of entrepreneurship. When you take action and it doesn’t produce the results you want, it can erode your belief in yourself. Can you see why mindset is so important? You must understand how your mindset is helping or hindering you. And then be willing to change it.
- Value Yourself. When you focus your time and energy on helping others you place value on others. That’s a good thing. If you don’t focus your time and energy on your business, you don’t value yourself enough. Yikes! This one hit me hard when I first heard it because it was true! If everyone comes before you, what value do you place on yourself? I was coming out of a dysfunctional relationship and here I was still dysfunctional with my own business! If you can see yourself as you read this, I want to offer you this encouragement – now you know and now you can choose to change it.
- Get Accountability. One of my clients, who is more like my partner, and I are holding each other accountable each week to focus on our businesses. We schedule a weekly call to review what we’ve done since the last call and set aside time to “do the work” during the call in 20-minute chunks of time. What is “the work”? That’s up to you. It could be creating content, shooting videos, writing articles, commenting on social media, writing emails, planning events, developing programs, etc. It works. And it feels great to do what I know I need to do.
- Time Block. I run three companies. People ask me how I can keep everything straight and not let things slip through the cracks. Ha! I’d love to say that never happens, but I’m human. However, to help with that I use a color code time block on my calendar. I use Blue for marketing, Pink for beauty business, and Green for real estate investing. At any point during the day or week, I can see with a quick glance how I’m using my time and whether each business is being focused on. You might not be running multiple businesses, but I bet you have just as many things going on between family, work, hobbies, side projects, etc. Pick a color for each area and start time blocking with the colors on your calendar. It will be eye-opening for you. Then you get to decide how much time you want to be intentional about for each area.
- Get Some Help. I’m tempted to write about how hiring a virtual assistant has changed the game for me. That wouldn’t be true. I haven’t hired a VA yet. While I’ve heard many business owners say the fastest way to grow your business is to outsource everything except what you’re excellent at doing, I have not embraced it yet. Why? It could be my mindset. It could be my wanting to understand every aspect of the business thoroughly before I hand it off to others. I don’t feel I could confidently train someone if I hadn’t done it myself. So, take this item with a grain of salt. See where it lands for you. If it makes sense for you, go for it. I intend to get there at some point myself!
As always, if you need help with any of these things, give me a call. I’d be delighted to help you get the focus your business deserves.