By Kalina Cardoso
I’ve been a solopreneur since late 2016, and have survived all the ups, downs and crazy twists and turns that come with running your own business. I’ve learned what to do—and what not to do, and today I want to share three tips that have helped me find (and maintain) success as a solopreneur.
#1 Be Consistent
Slow and steady wins the race. As an entrepreneur, you probably see tons of advertisements from people who swear you can make 6 or 7 figures by tomorrow if you follow their super-easy blueprint. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen such a miracle for myself yet. The only secret to success I’ve experienced is to be consistent. Stay in the race for the long run.
Success is a marathon. It’s important to pace yourself but it’s more important to stay moving. Consistently work towards building a strong foundation for your business. Keep obsessing over your customers and get better and better at solving their problems. Keep working on your business strategy and stay focused on your KPIs. Write down your goals weekly. Keeping moving forward.
If all this stuff makes you cringe because you are great at your skills (like coaching or graphic design) but not so great with your business acumen, don’t freak out. Working on being better one day at a time, but CONSISTENTLY. And if you need help doing this, you can always call me 😉
The sweet spot is to continue to learn and try new things (being adaptable) all while maintaining and growing a strong business foundation (being resilient). It’s kinda like a tree—you have strong roots and a grounded trunk but your crown reaches out to explore what’s around you.
If you are wondering what your business foundation is, think of it in general terms: your product, service or experience, the customer experience, branding, marketing, sales, finances, systems & processes, people (if you have staff), and yourself as a leader and a human being.
Lastly, stay committed to consistently improving your craft. Think of other skills related to your field that you can improve upon. For me as a coach, I can continue to improve my coaching skills, but I also work on my public speaking, writing skills, neuroscience, human performance, well-being, mindfulness as they relate to being a great coach.
My favorite ways to stay consistent:
- I have my own coaches. Even if I worked in the business all week, just by talking to my coach every week, I keep my goals and visions alive and continue to make progress even if it’s talking through what I need to do.
- I have a paper planner that I use to plan and write my monthly, weekly and daily goals. I can also write little notes for myself or write all my genius ideas. 😊
- I continuously learn more about business, technology, sales and marketing by watching podcasts, listening to audiobooks in the car, reading and talking to people who know more than me.
#2 Be Curious
Business is always evolving and you need to keep up with better ways to serve your customers. You don’t want to end up like Blockbuster and Toys R Us. Stay connected to your community of people who are in a similar line of business, to tech and business news, and keep analyzing your ideal customer.
Try to predict what improvements of your existing product, service or experience they may enjoy. Your customers may don’t even know that that’s what they want and love. Think about recent products that you’ve been enjoying without ever thinking you needed them. Did you ask for your home phone to also become your portable computer? You didn’t but now that you have a smartphone, you can’t imagine life without it! By continuously staying focused on your clients and finding the best solutions for their problems, you will stay relevant.
Make a list of the clients that you enjoy working with the most and the ones that bring the most revenue to your company. What do they have in common? What is it about your product or service they enjoy the most? What would make them even happier? Happy clients are the ones that will tell everyone how amazing you are and support you in the long run.
Consider some of my favorite ways to stay up-to-date:
- Joining masterminds with other like-minded solopreneurs or entrepreneurs. Reach out if you want to join mine here in San Diego [LINK].
- Go to business conferences and make personal connections.
- Join groups on social media who are in your industry.
- Join groups of people who could become customers and get super clear on what their problems are.
- Sign up for different high-quality newsletters like The Brew. They have a business-themed one, a tech-themed one, and one about marketing. I try reading these as often as I can. They keep my brain fresh and up-to-date on what’s going on in the world without the drama of regular news.
#3 Embrace The Journey
You’ve seen all the fun memes about entrepreneurship and they are right— the line from here to success is anything but straight. One day you feel on top of the world, and the next day you feel like you’ll never figure out how to stay on top of everything.
That’s why I believe entrepreneurship can sometimes feel like a path to spiritual enlightenment. You are constantly learning about yourself through various challenges. It’s through commitment to our personal and spiritual growth that we can achieve high levels of success while enjoying a high quality of life as well.
I think that effort and hard work are part of the journey, and the rest is trust and surrender that after you do your best, the rest is up to the universe to unfold.
In other words— have high intentions (what would you like to see in your world) combined with low attachment (the expectations of how things should be). As you make this your ongoing state of being, you’ll free yourself from the worry and anxiety that you are not doing something right. The only “right” thing to do is to show up and do your best, whatever your best is each day. Sometimes your best is knocking off a to-do list, and sometimes it is a day to relax and rejuvenate so you could get back to feeling clear and grounded.
The things I do to embrace the journey and the many turns and plot twists
- Read spiritual books like “The Surrender Experiment: My Journey into Life’s Perfection” by Michael A. Singer, “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose” by Eckhart Tolle, “What I know For Sure” by Oprah Winfrey, “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom” by Miguel Ruiz to help me expand my awareness, learn mindfulness and experience more peace.
- Spend time in nature several times per week. I think this one is widely underestimated by people who are zoned in on their business but would have a great return on investment. Every time I run on the beach, hike or read in the park, I feel like everything slows down and things make so much more sense; my problems become smaller and my inspiration levels to work on my business go through the roof. By being in nature, we get to see “the big picture” which is always calming and reassuring to me.
- Talk to other people who are entrepreneurs because they “get it.” By feeling connected and sharing similar experiences we get to suspend that feeling of “I’m just trying to figure things out” and we get a sense of comfort in that our challenges aren’t unique. And when they aren’t unique, they seem to be easier to accept. And once we are in a state of acceptance and peace, we can tap into our inspiration and find creative solutions.
Extra tip: Work with a coach to help you stay consistent with growing your business. Left on my own devices, I’d have never brought half of my business ventures out to light without the weekly conversations with my coaches throughout the years. As professional coaches we are trained to stay present and curious. With that kind of professional support, you can make sure that you are moving consistently and the right part for you to get to your “best-case scenario” in life and business.
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