As I sip on some tea beside the rice fields in Ubud, Bali, I have to hand it to myself. 5 years ago this life would have been a pipe dream. I had zero solopreneurial bones in my body. Fast forward 5 years. I’ve published 10 eBooks and my blog has helped me engineer a freeing Internet lifestyle. I’ve traveled this journey ‘solopreneur style.’ Here is how. –
First, I followed a few simple, powerful tips I learned from successful solopreneurs.
Hyper successful solopreneur Michael O’Neal deems solopreneurs as unemployable people who achieve business success on their own terms. I have to agree with the guy. I roll out of bed when I want and work when I want, from wherever in the world I please. I have learned a few things about being a solopreneur which I want to share with you today.
Soloprenuer Mindset: Stop Trading Time for Dollars
During my lean days I once worked 38 consecutive hours. I wore the accomplishment like a badge of courage. 4 years later I realized what a silly guy I was. I had yet to uncover the great secret of secrets; stop trading time for dollars. I figured that by working a set period of time I’d get paid.
I was still thinking like a security guard (my old job). If I worked 8 hours daily I received a paycheck based on my hourly rate.
After failing for a while I figured it was best to move into effective action. Each act I took should move me toward my business goals. This required deep thinking and presence of mind because to make a true impact in all you do is no small feat.
Example; instead of posting 4 sentence comments on 100 blogs daily – which ate up so much of my time – I posted 5 paragraph comments on 5 relevant, authority blogs daily. The results I saw were nothing short of miraculous. I didn’t work more to make more money, because we don’t trade time for hours here. I worked intelligently to build bonds that helped me attract more of my ideal clients.
Soloprenuer Toolbox: Create a Blog
Blogs are one stop shop for interested customers. Solopreneurs should create a blog, or a “Content Central”, for potential customers to communicate with. Publish videos, reviews, authority interviews, podcasts and other forms of content to show off your cyber wares.
Solopreneurs have the power of expression and authenticity, which is what Internet users seek on the WWW. You no longer have to follow the party line or the company line for that matter. You brand you, since you’re calling the shots.
As a solopreneur my blog screams me. As it should. Brand yourself. Stand out from the crowd. Create a blog to distance yourself from the herd.
Soloprenuer Advantage: Make Personal Development Your Best Buddy
No matter how prepared you are to build your business, life will intervene. Every second you move into freeing but uncomfortable action limiting beliefs will tug at you, pulling you back into your comfort zone. Engage in devout personal development to uproot your limiting beliefs.
Meditate for 10 to 20 minutes daily. Read inspirational eBooks for 30 minutes daily. Clear your inner world. Solopreneurs face a plethora of challenges over the course of a normal day, but they are also very driven and should use their drive to continuously learn and educate others. Working on your mental tools enables you to make clear-thinking, freeing decisions while in the midst of chaotic situations.
I meditate for 20 minutes daily and read inspirational eBooks for a few minutes each day. Going within helps me gracefully navigate my way through my business day. Work on your mental tools to smooth your path, and get the influx of health and energy you’ll need to persevere.
Soloprenuer Skills: Extract Blessings from Failure
If I weren’t a depressed, angry, fired security guard who saw his net worth vanish I wouldn’t be here. I’d be sitting home in NJ instead of living it up in places like:
- Costa Rica
I went through a few tragic situations and faiulres from my childhood, through my teenage years to my adult life. Each moment has prepared me for now. Solopreneurs can’t avoid being broken down by any number of misfortunes, including losing all of your money, watching business relationships dissolve and losing loved ones along your journey.
During these pivotal periods focusing on your blessings while you embrace the bitter sting of loss helps your blessings expand. Wherever your attention and energy goes, it grows.
After falling $50,000 into debt and being sued by creditors I decided to file for bankruptcy. I was initially mortified by the prospect but saw my act as wiping my slate clean. I also learned that many successful solopreneurs and titans of industry declared bankruptcy at one point – or more – during their careers. I learned to see good in a tough spot and my good soon multiplied into a flourishing blogging business.
Soloprenuer Creds: Your Network Builds Your Solo Success
Solopreneurs have to let go one little ego-based stream. You can’t do this on your own. Business friends leverage your presence. Testimonials, endorsements and positive reviews inspire your customers to know, like and trust you. Positive feedback flows from business associates and friends who you patiently connected with.
I blog from paradise because of my actions and because of the actions of my network. I’ve aggressively promoted friends who aggressively promoted me in return. I endorsed friends who endorsed me. My endorsements and my shared blog posts attracted a wealth of prospering opportunities which I seized. Promote niche leaders. Endorse them. Make friends. Build your network to embrace the ultimate irony of being a solopreneur; you never truly do this bit on your own.
Engineering a New Life: Listen to Your Internal Guide
A while back I trashed 3400 blog posts and ditched my old blog. Some bloggers thought I went mad. I listened to my internal guide and acted appropriately. Fast forward 5 months. I’ve grown my Blogging from Paradise blog and brand at a stunning rate of speed. I listened to my internal guide. I trusted my intuition.
Successful solopreneurs have found the ideal mix of tuning into customer feedback while honoring intuitive nudges. Going within during times of indecision gives you all the approval you’ll need. Trust your gut. Follow hunches. Spend more time in silence to become a more dynamic solopreneur.
Soloprenuer Reality Check: Make Friends with the Tax Man
I was terrified to become a solopreneur because I heard this faulty advice ringing in my ears:
“Don’t go down that road because you’ll have to worry about paying taxes.”
Turns out, if you set aside estimated taxes, pay on time and file for appropriate deductions the tax man is not a boogeyman. Take advantage of solopreneur tax benefits. Deduct relevant expenses, such as home office. Be honest. Save money to pad your retirement account and to reinvest into your business.
Ultimate Freedom: Hire to Retire
Hire help – automated or otherwise – to retire. Remember my 38 hour horror story from earlier in this post? I wasn’t thinking like a solopreneur back then. I wasn’t thinking like an owner. I wanted to micro manage everything.
Now I hire folks to design my blog and eBooks. I pay for premium tools to automate intelligently. While island hopping I need to hire if I want to have a life and if I eventually want to retire.
Even if we love what we do most solopreneurs will call it a day at some point to fully enjoy their spoils. Planning for that day early on helps you make the quantum leap from employee to entrepreneur and also inspires you to leverage your time effectively.
Are you a solopreneur?
What tips can you add to this list?
How can you become a more successful solopreneur?