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10 Things Every Solopreneur Should Know To Be Successful

10 Things Every Solopreneur Should Know To Be Successful

When you are in the business of being in business for yourself, it can definitely get lonely at the top. As a solopreneur, you often have to set your own deadlines, motivate yourself, and light the fire under your own seat to get things done. How you measure success is subjective. Is it important to you to make a certain amount of money? To have time off to travel? To be able to balance homelife and work? To get yourself out there in the world and have an influence on people?

No matter how you define success, these 10 things are what make solopreneurs successful:

1. They know that money isn’t the main focus

When money is the focus, the big picture becomes lost. You are in business to provide a service, or to do something you love or feel passionate about. The money is what results from this. When solopreneurs make it solely about money, the passion gets lost.

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2. They get that being true to their brand is more important than selling out

Affiliating with companies that are not aligned with your values, will make your customers distrust you, and make them think you are selling them out, rather than creating relationships with them. Stay true to your brand. Focus your resources on expanding your message rather than diluting it with other people’s messages.

3. They know the value of their time

Successfull solopreneurs know that time is important. They are not afraid to charge what they are worth, and to say “no,” if something will take more time than it will be worth.

4. They are not afraid to try new things

Keeping on top of latest trends is important. Clinging to a software program, or a way of operating that is outdated keeps you behind. Forge ahead. Many programs offer things like free 14 or 30 day trials so you can test things out with no risk.

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5. They are consistent, no matter what

If a successful solopreneur says they are going to send out a weekly blog, they send out a weekly blog. They also keep their branding consistent on all platforms, by using the same colors, fonts, etc. to be easily identified.

6. They surround themselves with people who are smarter than them

They don’t think that they are so smart that they cannot learn anything. A know-it-all has no room to grow. Just when we think we know something, a new study comes out to debunk the previous theory. Challenge your brain by having conversations with people who are more versed and educated than you in areas that you know less about.

7. They know the power of collaboration

Cross-promotion, and partnering with others can expand your reach, and increase your credibility. Don’t try to stay all by yourself but be open for collaborations which will bring you forward.

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8. They make mistakes, and they keep going

Mistakes happen. Obsessing over them does not make them go away. When you make a mistake, take the time to clean it up, or rectify it as much as possible. Then, move on. Don’t let it stop you from taking action.

9. They remember to have fun along the way

All work and no play … well, you know how the saying goes. Staying focused and being productive is great, but if it is turning into too much “hard work,” it may be time to revisit your business. You should be enjoying your efforts along the way. If you are not, you can become burned out, and the type of business you are in may not be a good fit for you.

10. They celebrate their small victories, as a means of encouraging their big successes

When your eye is focused on a big goal, it can be easy to overstep the small victories that lead to success. Pat yourself on the back when you make that difficult phone call. One of my favorite examples has always been when brick and mortar business owners frame their first dollar bill they made from their business. Frame your own version of a dollar bill by celebrating your first twitter follower, your 100th email subscriber, and so on.

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Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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Bridget Baker

Web Presence Sherpa

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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