First Month Being a Solopreneur

Woah it’s been already one month since I started my Lifestyle Business endeavour as a Solopreneur, and as this is not only a place of special tactics and hacks I’ll also share what’s going on behind the scenes of running a business like this.

So many things are new, still so many old patterns reoccur when you work on your own, alone at home. Although I’m still in the transition and trying to find what works bet for me, here is what I’ve learned so far.

Schedule and Plan

If you don’t plan your days, you’ll waste time surfing around websites, reading articles, doing this and that but never doing what you actually should do.

This can cost you a lot of time, and at the end you don’t no why the day has already passed again, so I plan my weak ahead and also look back at what I achieved over the last week. If you want to know more about how I conduct my weekly review, just leave a comment and I’ll write more on this subject!

What did I think how many hours that day will have?

Having too many daily tasks can become overwhelming quite easily. If you find yourself with a todo list of 10 items each day, chances are high you will be frustrated if you don’t check each of them at the end of the day. And what’s even worse, you will be less focused on important tasks as you still have “so many things to do”.

Therefore, I switched to having 3 major goals each day which are most important to me. I’ll also have more low priority tasks scheduled, but if I can successfully cross off these tasks I can already call it a day (which not means to immediately stop if it’s only noon).

Have 3 Goals Each Day

So why only 3 goals?

Focusing on what’s important means delivering quality and bringing out your best work. Whatever these 3 are, they will get my full focus while I work on them so I know if done them in the best possible way.

3 is a good number because it feels doable each day. Still 3 also means having done a few things, so it’s both motivating and feels pleasant if done.

I can guarantee that if you solve 3 important tasks for your business each day (or each “business” day) you will make decent progress every week.

So every evening I look about my before plotted week and what I planned for the next day and give 3 of these tasks the highest priority. For me this means moving the tasks up in Todoist which is what I use for all my planning.

Stick to Your Plan

After you have set yourself some goals for the next day, you can start full replenished after some good sleep and tackle off your most important tasks.

But of course life comes in between sometimes, you have other appointments or just sleep long and day the passes by. You start to read some article about SEO and immediately think you could tweak this & that, and more time passes by.

Don’t do that.

I found myself doing stuff I had never planned before just because I thought they were quick wins, but the truth is these mundane tasks distract you from your actual work.

Try to stick with your plan and cross of your important and planned tasks first before diving into some shiny other stuff. What worked for me is just scheduling these tasks for the next free slot or adding them as an optional task to my list.

By doing this I’m sure I will (at some point) work on these tasks, but because I planned other stuff I know what’s important and these rushes of ideas are most of the times not that important at all.

This can feel hard because you have to stop while you perhaps already started something cool, which brings us to the next learning.

Be Hard to Yourself

Although we want the freedom of a lifestyle business, this doesn’t mean there’s no work to do. Especially in the beginning there is a lot you can and should do. Many times you really need to be hard to yourself.

I tried to get up early in the morning before my fiance so I can meditate and already finish one of my 3 major tasks before she is even awake. Of course getting up 1–2 hours earlier is not that easy, but you have to be strict with yourself if you want to achieve your goals.

As you are in the transition phase of becoming (or already being) your own boss, you sometimes really need to be hard to yourself to enjoy the fruits of your work later. In the end you will be a lot more happy about your accomplishments then having slept for 2 hours more in the morning.

But of course we are not building a lifestyle business to work even more than before, therefore I learned something else to be important as well.

Be Nice to Yourself

Sounds like quite the opposite to the one before, huh?

Actually they are both true and right.

While we have to get some focused work done every day, it’s also important to enjoy our new freedom and flexibility. Be nice to yourself!

You want to work out at noon or go to the market at some days? Do it!
You want to enjoy a meal out together? Go for it!

Building a lifestyle business should not be focused on work, but fitting the work around what’s truly important in your life.

Allow yourself to be happy.

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 This is something I still need to learn and embrace more, because everything we could do feel so much more compared to what we actually do or get done. But it’s ok. If you make progress every day, things are heading in the right direction.

Since we don’t have to clock in 8 hours at fixed times a day anymore, your working hours can get out of hand quite easily. Therefore I copied a tactic from my good friend Paul Minors (epic blog for productivity, go check him out).

Every evening I have a task in my list the “closes” the working day. I’ve changed the settings on my phone to be at sleep mode after that time, so I can completely take time off for myself.

I’ll also not look into emails any more that evening, which was a really important step for me.

By being completely away from our business and thoughts, our brains can actually recover for the next day and work even better. And also, this is finally the time each day to be nice to yourself.

Have One Vision

All of the before mentioned stuff is day-to-day work, routines, behaviours and so on. But getting caught up in all these small things prevents us from actually seeing what we are working for.

What is our vision?

Every week I conduct my weekly review to check what I’ve worked on, what I will work on the next week and what the bigger picture is.

Why did I do those tasks?

It’s important to know why you are doing what you do. Otherwise, you can easily feel frustrated and loose motivation for your tasks.

Actually I’m still pretty bad at this, so once I find something to better visualize my vision for myself I’ll share it with you. Perhaps you have something you could recommend?

Looking Forward

Many tasks feel already pretty good, some routines need more time to be adapted and other areas are falling off too much. There is so much space to improve, which is actually kinda cool.

Imagine we would already start our lifestyle business knowing everything and doing everything right the first try.

As John Sonmez puts it: Trust the process.

You don’t have to be perfect when starting as a Solopreneur. Just try to get better every day.

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Originally published at lifestylebusinesstransformation.com on May 1, 2017.