Staying Motivated as a Solopreneur

Staying Motivated as A Solopreneur: At Peace With Money

Of  all the barriers to being a successful solopreneur, one of the most challenging might just be this: yourself. Not you specifically, but your ability to find the time and motivation to take your solopreneur business seriously and do what needs to be done. Lots of people find that when it comes to managing themselves, they are not the best bosses. Without somebody looking over your shoulder to make sure you’re doing what you should be, it can be challenging to actually get things done! Here are a couple ideas and resources that can help you take the leap – and take your creative work seriously.

My Story

Working alone has been challenging for me throughout my solopreneurial journey. While running my jewelry business, I often dealt with feelings of pointlessness and like I was working without direction. However, I knew that I really benefited from accountability partners, so when I took on another employee to help me with jewelry making, the company and the fact that I needed to have work for her to do both kept me on track.

In general, I have always worked best with either deadlines or an accountability partner. My most successful exercise programs have involved meeting others for hiking or for a class. One year Etsy offered a boot camp program where we got paired up with a couple of other people and we met weekly via FaceTime from October through December to prepare for the Christmas holiday. We discussed strategies and set goals and then reported back during the following week. 

Another strategy I’ve been working on recently is time blocking, which reduces decision making. Just like with your money, when you make a plan ahead of time and reduce the need to decide in the moment, you usually make better decisions. So on Sunday evening or first thing Monday I plan out my general schedule for the week. Then I schedule the tasks I need to get done each day, and I schedule break time so I don’t burn out. I’m still working on this, but I find when I do it I end up having a day that I feel good about.

Experiment

I’ve found the things that work best for me and figured out how to structure them into my work and my business. Doing this for yourself can ultimately really aid your motivation! Try brainstorming practices that have either helped you get things done in the past, or that you’d like to try. Maybe bullet journaling used to work well for you, or maybe you’d like to find an accountability partner who also runs a small business. Perhaps you’re actually exhausted from all the other things you’re doing, and you’d get more done if you scheduled in some breaks! Play around with your ideas and find out what works. Once you’ve found your sweet spots, use them and get stuff done!

Resources

Staying Motivated as A Solopreneur: At Peace With MoneyIn my monthly newsletter (subscribe here!), I recommended some of Thomas Frank’s resources on motivation. I also want to recommend a couple resources centered around motivation and productivity. Earlier this month, I happened to listen to a great episode of the Copyblogger podcast, which featured author and cartoonist Jessica Abel talking specifically about productivity for people who make creative work. I highly recommend the episode and definitely want to check out her book, Growing Gills. She also has lots of free exercises on her website. Muchelle B’s videos on goal setting and weekly scheduling are also very helpful. She talks more in depth about using an accountability partner and time blocking.

I hope these ideas are helpful for you, and that you find the motivation you need. Speaking of an accountability partner, my coaching is designed to provide exactly that. If you’re intrigued, check out my Services page and schedule a call!

Angela

Three Money Myths to Avoid When Starting a Small Business

Avoid These Three Money Myths: At Peace with Money

If you’ve ever expressed interest in starting your own business, you’ve probably come across a lot of money myths designed to discourage you. I’ve busted three of the most common ones below. Here are some ways to avoid the pitfalls they warn of:

“You have spend money to make money.”

One of the most common money myths would have you believe you need a lot of capital to get a business venture off the ground. The great thing about starting a small business is that it can be just that – small. You don’t need a lot of money to start testing out your business idea now, and you can always scale up later.

It also depends on what type of business you’re looking to start. Service-based business may not call for any upfront investments in materials or supplies. Craft business may be able to source up-cycled materials at lower costs. The possibilities for starting business without a lot of money are numerous. For more reading on this subject, I suggest The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur.

“You have to look successful to be successful.”

This money myth is sort of the “keeping-up-with-the-Joneses”  mindset of the business world, and many fall victim to it. Just the other day, I was listening to Hilary Hendershott’s Profit Boss podcast, and she was discussing an earlier part of her career in the mortgage business. She felt that in order to be a successful professional, she needed to project a certain image. She ended up spending all her money to keep up her appearances, and eventually had to turn it around and re-evaluate her financial priorities.

Ultimately, she learned an important lesson – success can come without material trappings. You don’t need to get caught up in spending your startup cash on the best technology or a new car, and you certainly don’t need to fret because your office doesn’t look like Google HQ yet. (Anyway, does anyone actually use those nap pods?) Evaluate what success means to you, and make sure every dollar you spend in your business serves a purpose that agrees with your goals and values.

“Your income becomes less dependable.”

This is a myth-bust within a myth bust! In a Wisebread article on this same topic, I read, “As a business owner, I seemed to have little or no control over my income. I worked hard all the time trying to bring in income and win new business. Sometimes there was a lot of income, but sometimes there was none, despite my best efforts. My income ultimately depended on fickle customer decisions and economic forces beyond my control. Income for small business owners can be quite volatile.”

Clearly, this particular business owner was using the GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) Formula, rather than the Profit First formula. Profit First asserts that Sales – Profit = Expenses. This equation lets business owners create a system to stabilize their income and plan for incoming expenses. The author above probably would have benefited from the free download of the first 5 chapters of the Profit First book! I know I definitely could have benefited from Profit First when I was just starting out as a small business owner. 

If you’re looking for more reading on this topic, definitely download those chapters and read through my other blog posts! If you think you can benefit from some one on one help with your business finances, schedule a curiosity call with me. I wish you the best business beginnings – don’t let these money myths stand in your way!


Angela

Image sources: Thought Catalog, JoelValve