Before I get into this post, I want to stress that I am #BLESSED to have my own business and live my solopreneur life. Getting to choose who I work with, set my own schedule, and decide the direction of my work is a freedom and a privilege!
That being said, being a solopreneur can be tough and lonely and really overwhelming. Being the sole person responsible for every aspect of my company and work is daunting, and I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t always do the best job of dealing with it.
But, this isn’t new to me. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I have been at this for 6.5 years now, and I’m still sustaining a business. And how did I do that? Honestly, a lot of trial and error! I’m always looking to refine my workload and business structure, but some things have remained steady since the beginning.
Invest In Tools
For the work I do (digital marketing and content creation), I don’t require a lot of physical tools. Give me a laptop, some headphones, and an iced coffee (yes, those last two are requirements) and I can do my job. But in order to do quality work efficiently, I require a lot of online tools. And not the ad-riddled freebie versions. I’m a professional and that means I pay for the professional tools. In total, I pay a little over $300 a month for the pro version of tools like social media schedulers, visual creators, storage and doc sharing, PDF creators and document signing, and email marketing. And sometimes that list gets bigger! When I started, I had two subscriptions: Hootsuite and Quickbooks. Now I have over 10! And you better believe that list will continue to grow. But it makes my job easier, and it provides a higher level of service and quality to my clients. And when you are a solopreneur, nothing is more important than that.
Mix Business and Fun
If you follow me on Instagram, you know I am OBSESSED with office supplies, stationary, and planners. I am completely untrustworthy in the Erin Condren store. But this addiction does serve me well because these tools make my job way more fun! I love planning my week, color coding my to-do list, and surrounding myself in pretty tools of my trade. At first, I felt guilty. Is spending time on this taking away from the time I should be working? But then I realized that taking the time to plan my work and make it pleasing to look at IS work. I need that time and organization to effectively do my job, and I should prioritize that in my work week.
Know When to Hold Em, and Know When to Fold Em
I’ve been dying to find a way to use that clip FOREVER! Pepe is definitely my favorite Muppet, and also an amazing singer. So how is this relevant to my work life? Well, you have to know when to hustle and when to SLOW THE F*CK DOWN. After much trial and error, and lots of beating myself up for not being “normal” I have accepted my weird work needs. I can work really well in the morning until about 1 or 2pm. Then I need to stop for a few hours. I almost always need an afternoon nap, and then I make dinner and stuff. But then I get my second working wind around 8 or 9pm, and will happily do work (especially writing) until about midnight. I used to try and push myself to be productive during my off hours because I felt like I needed to have a more standard workday. But when I did, I threw off my whole schedule and ended up messing up my next day. So now I know when to work and when to rest. And I stick to it!
What helps you make your work life more pleasant and manageable? Are you living your best solopreneur life?