Strategy, innovation, and motivation: each of these will be crucial aspects when building a business all on your own. When you want to live a fulfilled life with control over your career, finding the balance between it all can be difficult. It’s no surprise that solopreneurs often wonder if the journey is really worth it when spirits get low and there is not always someone to lean on.
If you choose to work solo, there are ways to effectively decrease stress and self-doubt in your mind and instead build a strong foundation for your business. Whenever you need a boost of motivation, it can be just as easy as reaching out to a fellow business friend, treating your body well, or rewarding yourself after hitting a goal. Whatever it may be, read on to learn how you can stay motivated and successful as a solopreneur and you’ll be able to handle any setbacks you come across.
1. Seek Like-Minded Support
Working independently requires focus and self-discipline. However, it’s only natural to feel isolated and hit a mental block from time to time. Anyone who is self-employed should constantly seek connections with other professionals to gain an external support system. Not only does this help you realize there are others out there experiencing similar struggles as you, but it also helps you stay accountable and inspired by learning new skills. Having like-minded people around you offers a huge benefit to your overall potential. It provides a space for working through roadblocks, collaborating, and even outsourcing some extra help to gain success in both your brands.
On the other hand, some will opt for an experienced mentor or coach who can give expert advice, networking opportunities, and help you overcome challenges. The best ways to find other solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, and professionals can be through a simple connection on LinkedIn, online groups, and at your local Small Business Development Center.
2. Prioritize Physical Health
Being your own boss follows with countless responsibilities in a day. These could be groundbreaking to your business or seen as simple maintenance on a day-to-day. No matter what it might call for, don’t allow your obligations to take priority over your wellbeing. Many solopreneurs and entrepreneurs will often work longer hours than necessary, and forget about essential things such as nourishing your body throughout the day. Feeling physically fatigued can be a huge factor in being unmotivated, which is why it’s crucial to always care for yourself and stay healthy. If you don’t practice self-care working in a challenging business, you could face serious physical and even mental health challenges.
Solopreneurs may live busy lifestyles in and out of the job, but there are some healthy practices that start right at their workstations. Take note of your posture, eating habits, and activity levels. Are you consistently sitting up straight? If not, look into a wearable posture corrector to work better muscle memory in a correct position to release physical strain. Do you indulge in mostly caffeine or sugars when you eat or drink? Consider changing your diet to more fruits and fibers while staying hydrated with water. If you commonly notice eye fatigue from staring at a digital screen all day, use the 20-20-20 rule. This means for every 20 minutes you spend looking at a screen, you should look at something 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds. The whole point is to reduce the amount of blue light affecting your eyes for long periods of time. You can take extra precautions by wearing glasses that protect from blue light that allow long hours of work without the worry of feeling a headache afterward. Even better, they look just like ordinary modern glasses so you can still wear them during Zoom calls. Your body will thank you for treating it well and help you keep your drive to run your business.
3. Celebrate Success
Most people fail to realize that as a solopreneur, you are your own personal cheerleader. Aside from clients’ good feedback, no one else sees what goes on behind the scenes in a workday. When it comes to motivating yourself in your business, it’s important to celebrate often, even for the small wins you experience. Plus, as humans, it’s natural to crave wins and dread losses.
Show yourself how often you are successful and you’ll do a great job at being your own motivator. Create a list that you check off as you reach milestones to stay enthusiastic. Then, reward yourself with a special activity such as dining out or going to a movie. You deserve it after your dedication to your dream lifestyle. Plus, it helps you recognize the destination will be worth it as you reflect on what you’ve accomplished thus far. It’s always a good idea to reflect on some of the things you are most proud of in your business.
4. Monitor Your Workload
When you work for yourself and everything is determined on your next move, it’s still necessary to set boundaries – even when business isn’t going so great. If you don’t pay close attention, being a solopreneur can quickly become an overwhelming 24/7 job. Sooner or later, this leads to feeling burnout which severely decreases effective productivity. You may not work a day job with set hours where you can shut off after five in the evening, but you should still treat solopreneurship in a similar manner. Keep track of your work hours in a time management app to ensure that you won’t work too much or too little. You’ll know that you’re putting in just the right amount of work for steady success while living a healthy lifestyle.
With some work-life balance, you’ll be able to still make time for friends, family, and hobbies, which are all rejuvenating and energizing in themselves. If you find yourself drowning in the amount of work you have, it may be smart to simplify your workload to increase focus. Especially if you’re working at home, paying extra attention to your work without fighting the temptation of distractions is crucial for creating that momentum.
5. Take Constant Breaks
A little self-care goes a long way, and taking breaks throughout the day is a great way to start. Workdays can feel especially long when you have endless tasks on your agenda. Instead of trying your best to tackle all your tasks as fast as possible, be patient with yourself. Whenever you’re feeling uninspired, give your brain a rest allowing you to connect with your inner self and passions. Step away from your workspace for even just fifteen minutes to relax, do something you enjoy, reduce negative thoughts, and convert it into positive energy.
Whether it be going for a quick walk outside for fresh air, finding peace in meditation, reading an inspirational book, or drawing, you’ll find these can spark some creativity and activate your brain. Some prefer to use this time to run an errand, this way you’ll know you have fewer to-dos after working days. You can also use this time to stay physically active with exercises right at your desk. Productivity is known to rise dramatically when employees get moving. Try some desk pushups, tricep dips, and simple stretches to get you going again.
6. Advance with Achievable Goals
Remember: growing a business is a marathon, not a sprint. The better you feel about the progress you’ve made, the more effort you’ll put in without feeling discouraged. While you grow as a solopreneur, create both personal and professional goals you see as attainable. Completing these goals will help you stay on track and boost your confidence, especially when it comes to discovering new business strategies.
Personal goals are great short-term wins that can keep you consistently motivated, such as getting one more extra task done in a day. Professional goals can be more long-term as your business grows seeing as progress can often be misunderstood over time. One of the best ways to know your tasks align with your company’s mission is to create a business plan. Review your goals at the start of each day, know what decisions it takes to advance, and choose which projects to prioritize. Don’t forget to accept failures along the way, because you’ll always be learning and advancing no matter the outcome.
7. Focus on Your Own Path
Every other solopreneur who may be in the same career boat as you will still be at a different level of experience. Regardless of if they’re younger than you and more ahead, or have a smaller following yet more monetary success – don’t let others influence you and your missions. Be patient with yourself, and focus on what fulfills you on your journey, not anyone else’s. Your unique “why” and the reason you became a solopreneur is most important to live running your dream business.
Trust the Process
There are constantly going to be ups and downs living the ever-changing life of a solopreneur. The key is to always be resilient and trust you are headed in the right direction and stay motivated. You may get lost along the way, but it’s never too late to rediscover your passions. As you work towards achieving your goals make sure to connect with other professionals, make time for self-care, take note of your workload, and celebrate even the smallest wins. You’ll never find a low moment if you build a solid strategy.