Let’s Talk About Business…

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I’ve been working on this post for a while in my mind. If you are a blogger, writer, or author, you know this life: the one where you write everything in your head and then think you posted it, wrote it down in a notebook, or sent it off to your publisher and then realize you never actually did anything beyond thinking about it. Yeah… that’s been me since May pretty much.

I was developing a strategy for the blogs and thinking about my business when I had an opportunity arise that looked really good – but didn’t come through. But I became so excited about it that it consumed me and it’s been hard to get back into the flow. This is one of the downfalls of being a solopreneur. I spend my days working for myself, by myself. If I don’t get something done, I am the only one who notices. And that has always been a downfall of mine, which makes me a great employee for others but terrible for myself.

Over the last few months, I have worked with a writing coach, come up with 1,645 new ideas, written two books for others, helped a client start writing a memoir, taken on a new client who will be fun to work with in my coaching portion, and watched some past clients really take off with their craft. It’s been a lot of fun. Meanwhile, I’ve been really struggling to write on my own. And that can be a huge problem when it’s where your income comes from.

So today I thought I’d share a little about the honest behind the scenes stuff solopreneurs online aren’t sharing with you. The truth they don’t tell you when they are sharing about making $6,456 a week with their latest class or book. The filtered life is a pretty one but it isn’t real life and when people don’t tell you about their teams or how they have folks coming into their home to cook their meals, etc., you can get pretty discouraged when you start this life and find it can be harder than you expected.

You Are Accountable for You

No one is watching you when you are self-employed. Whether that means starting your own freelance business, developing a product and selling it, offering a service to others, or doing an MLM, you are responsible for your own progress and hours. That means when someone calls for lunch or when you wake up sick, you don’t have to ask anyone for permission. This can be dangerous for people pleasers.

If you want to be successful working for yourself you will have to set boundaries. You will need to set a calendar and not allow others time that you don’t expect them to give you. When they are at work, you aren’t expecting them to make time for you so why allow others to feel they can do that to you. Set your business hours and live by them except in special circumstances.

Not Every Idea is a Good Idea

I generate so many ideas per minute if I am not engaged in a project. Book titles. Book ideas. TED Talk ideas. Business ventures. Thoughts for sermons. Blog posts. I love to think and dream. As a business owner with a coaching business and a writer who loves to help others, this can be problematic if I don’t keep it reeled in! I need to start executing on some of these ideas instead of just thinking of them, writing them in my “Ideas to Think About More” notebook, and moving on. There could be some gold in there that answers some of the things I complain about at times.

Your Business, Your Rules

I am so over filtered everything. I am tired of fake lives, fake smiles, fake everything. I am not on social currently because I needed to step back to really center myself. This is MY business. I have this idea where I want to offer a handful of new clients a “Pay What You Can” model so I can help folks who can’t afford typical coaching. My value is not based upon how much I earn so what a client pays me doesn’t change how my services can change their lives or impact their decisions. However, I also have bills to pay. For so long, I was stuck into this thinking that because I have my own business I can’t go back to work full time. But most of my clients meet with me after business anyway – so why couldn’t I go back to work during the school year and earn a salary doing something I love so I can use my business to help people that other coaches won’t touch because they can’t afford them? My clients are very special and fit into a very small niche anyway – by removing the financial barrier, as coaches have done for me in the past, I can help someone discover their voice and impact the world who may have never asked otherwise. This is exciting. My business, my rules. This was such a freeing revelation this month!

It Can Be Hard; It Can Be Easy

Much of the time we make things hard because someone told us they should be. Working for yourself is not always a cake walk, but it also isn’t always this difficult thing where you don’t know what day it is because you’ve been grinding so long. I am a night owl who loves the quiet of the evening. As I write this I am just coming alive for the day despite having been up for a while. I can do that because I make my hours. There are days when a blog takes 20 minutes and there are days they take …well, days. Those of you who have been reading me for a while know that I seldom edit because I like them to be raw and from the heart, even when informational. Some days are easy and some days are worthy of a nice swim in a cold pool!

 

Working for yourself can be so rewarding, but when you do, you are everything. You make the decisions and do the advertising and do the work. Until you can hire a team to support you, everything is on your shoulders and you have to be prepared to handle that. If you can, you will go far. If you can’t, you may want to take a new path. But either way, be sure to surround yourself with people who are real so you aren’t lost or feeling like you’re alone. Be sure to establish a good network of other solopreneurs and freelancers who understand your life and the choices you have to make.

Until next time,

~Shell

 

2 Replies to “Let’s Talk About Business…”

  1. I like you, Shell, and better yet, I respect you. Nothing phony or fake about those claims…simply truth.

    I rarely talk to people. I’m terrible in social settings because I truly don’t want to waste my time on small talk. I want meaningful discussions. I keep wondering if there is anyone out there who really knows how to talk about anything with substance. Sigh!

    Great summary of going it solo. I have degrees in Marketing and Economics, and no classroom could adequately prepare me for working for myself. It’s a whole new ballgame, but I love it.

    Thank you for sharing…you are genuine and that makes you an asset for me. 🙂

    1. You’re welcome, Bill. I completely agree with you. I have an MBA and a BS in Human Services Management, and neither prepared me for sitting down to write a book when people were calling with immediate needs. It’s been my biggest challenge and something no class – nor therapy – can teach.

      Like you, I’m don’t like and I’m not great at small talk. I have a very small group of people I see in person because small talk is awful for me. I loathe small group settings; for me those are torture. It is one of the reasons I haven’t worked in an office in so long!! I sometimes think I’m here to challenge people cause when you approach me with small talk, it’s become a challenge to myself to turn it into meaningful dialogue! Sometimes it is tough!!

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