There are so many moving parts to deal with as a solopreneur. Every aspect of your business is your direct responsibility. Yes, it’s overwhelming and you might experience days when all seems out of control either because you’re running at a break-neck pace or because your business has hit a lull. In either situation, letting the uncertainty get to your psyche and throw you from a positive trajectory will only make matters worse.
Remember: As a solo-business owner, you have more within your control than there is beyond your control.
It’s easy to lose sight of that when your hand is inches from pressing the panic button, so here’s a list to remind you of just how much power you have over your business destiny.
As a solopreneur you control…
- Who you choose to work with - While you might be less particular if you’re just starting out as a solopreneur, the decision to work with someone or not work with someone rests with you. Not feeling the love and think a prospect might not make a good client? You can say “No” to the opportunity.
- Which projects you accept or reject - Likewise, you can decline to work on projects that either won’t pay you enough, that fall outside of the specialties you want to focus on, or that you otherwise don’t have an interest in taking on.
- How much you charge for your work - I realize your competitors’ fees, your clients’ budgets, and other factors affect how successfully you can sell at your price points, BUT ultimately you can charge whatever you want.
- How much work you take on at any given time - If your workload from clients has put you “at capacity,” you can (provided you don’t have anything contractually in place that states to the contrary) decline additional projects that will absolutely bury you. Or you can accept them, but schedule them for a later time.
- When you start working in the a.m. and when you close up shop for the night - When you work and how long you work is your call – and some of that may depend on the previous bullet point. Consider setting a schedule. I learned quickly as a freelancer how much structure impacts productivity. Note that a schedule doesn’t have to be 8 to 5. It can be 6:30 to 10 and 1 to 4…or noon to 8…or whatever works for you. Will you need to stray from it occasionally? Of course. But set a standard to maintain some overall consistency.
- How much sleep you get - What does this have to do with running your business? A LOT! And you’re the boss for getting your weary @#% to bed at a reasonable hour so you’re alert and refreshed for the next work day. In my experience, I’m more creative, appreciate people more, and get more done if I’m well rested. Isn’t that the case with everyone?
- What you eat - You have control over what you eat each and every day. If you fuel up with junk, don’t eat your veggies, and hydrate with diet soda rather than H2O, you won’t be up to your potential.
- How much you exercise - Your business needs your brain. Your brain needs oxygen. Exercise helps direct more oxygen to your brain. As with everything else I’ve mentioned so far, the initiative to exercise or not rests with you.
- Which networking groups you join – You’re in the driver’s seat when choosing your professional affiliations. With no shortage of groups, be particular and spend your time and money on those that will enable you to connect with the most professionals who could either be potential clients or who are in complementary lines of business and might be a good source of referrals.
You really do have a lot within your realm of control as a solopreneur. That means you have a lot of responsibility as well. You’re accountable for EVERYTHING that you do and don’t do. So exert your control – and make choices – wisely!
Your turn? What can you add to the list that might help other solo-pros take stock of what’s within their control?
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