Independence is a beautiful and powerful thing. You have absolute control, with no one to hold you back from pursuing your passions in life. In the business world, there is such a path for this independence; one that many people are choosing to pursue. The solopreneur business model is the steadily growing phenomena that encapsulates the power and uniqueness that goes alongside independence in the business market.
Many individuals choose to become solopreneurs for various reasons. Some want the ability to control all aspects of their business, without the hassle of managing others. Others may want to just hold themselves accountable, and not put responsibility on the shoulders of those who may not get the job done. Finally, some people just want to be on their own, without having to worry about keeping other people satisfied in their company.
However, not all aspects of solopreneurship are easy. There are many pros and cons of being a solopreneur. Along with this independence comes a daunting feeling of being alone. As one yourself, or as someone who may want to take the solopreneurship path, you may find yourself wondering how you can connect with other people while not losing your motivation in being completely on your own.
Here are some uplifting tips in how you can stay motivated on this solopreneurial journey, and not feel overwhelmed with doing business on your own.
1. Working at a Coworking Space
Renting an office outside of your home or sharing a space with another business can not only get you in a work mode, but also entice you to stay focused. This can also assist in re-energizing your ambitions by surrounding yourself with like-minded people or being in a space made specifically for work. Some people choose to rent from family or have friends whose businesses have extra space that can utilized as offices. This lessens the possibility of not getting distracted by the daily routine you have at home.
Getting out around other people is also good. You feel rejuvenated by working around other business leaders, without feeling completely alone or closed off from the world. Separating yourself from everyday home life can be instrumental in staying on task and focused as well.
2. Join or create a peer or 411 networking group
Just like having an office outside of the home, creating a networking group, or joining an existing one, helps those who work alone get out of the house (or office) and interact with the public. This is also a great time to network with other businesses, while gaining support and publicity for your company.
Aside from just building a strong network, you can also hear success stories of other entrepreneurs or business leaders. This can get you reinvigorated for your work, and not let your passion or motivation be deterred by feelings of desolation or loneliness.
3. Set a clear schedule
When a person is a solopreneur, they often create their own working hours. Some of the biggest hurdles that many business leaders face is managing their day-to-day activities and tasks at hand. One of the reason why they’re losing motivation is because they haven’t structured their day in an efficient manner. Treat your office and work day like you would an office job where you clock in and out of. Make it a goal to accomplish so many tasks throughout the day, and don’t leave until you get them done.
A structured day should also include time for breaks, lunches, and time for self. Use your time wisely, and don’t get distracted by tasks that can easily wait until later.
4. Taking a vacation
This is imperative for everyone, and not just for those who work solo. A vacation doesn’t have to be extravagant, or expensive. All it needs to be is refreshing for you, and a nice getaway for someone who feels that they always have work on the brain.
As a solopreneur, you probably feel the need to work all the time because the success of the company completely lies on your shoulders. That foreboding sense of responsibility can be overwhelming, and can easily put your mind in a bad place. This can be non-motivational and not good for anyone, especially for your business and its future.
The best thing you can do is to take some time off, and step away from your job for a little bit. Going on a vacation can be a time to center your mind and get yourself back on track. Clearing your head can also help create new ideas and give you the boost of energy you need to tackle your business head on.
This can also help reconnect you and your loved ones, who may feel on the backburner at times. Life is a balancing act, and those who run their own business especially know that to be true. Taking a vacation can be what you need to find your balance to rejuvenate your motivation and drive.
5. Surround yourself with a strong support system and cheerleaders
As a one-man (or woman) show, you must be the one who pushes yourself in getting things done. Since you don’t have a team of employees to get through a rough patch, having a strong support system outside of work can instrumental in keeping you motivated. In that regard, being the sole person who makes a company successful can be an exhausting experience. Your motivation and passion in keeping your business alive and fruitful can start to waiver, especially if you are the only one cheering yourself on.
Be sure to surround yourself with those who have your back and believe in you. This can be fellow entrepreneurs, friends, or family who you like to lean on. If you start to feel overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to reach out and get an outsider’s viewpoint from someone you trust. Sometimes hearing someone else’s perspective can be refreshing and the extra boost one needs to keep on going.
6. Consume Motivating Media While Your Work
One of the benefits of working as a solopreneur is the ability to work in solitude. This can be a benefit if you’re working on tasks that allow you to have background music or media playing. Many people choose to let music play while working. However, other options can help keep you motivated throughout the day.
One option is to listen to podcasts or video interviews of successful people in your field. If you’re a freelance photographer, find a podcast that interviews successful freelancers. This will help keep you motivated by knowing that there are others out there that have been in the place you currently are.
If listening to conversations is a distraction to you, you can also choose to create a workday music playlist. This playlist should be similar to a workout playlist in that it should motivate you to work. Some people need to listen to hip-hop, while others can be productive with smooth jazz. Whatever gets you feeling energized should be included in your playlist.
Hopefully, these tips can assist you in staying focused and motivated in your solopreneurial journey. Regardless of the hurdles that come your way, don’t be deterred by them. There is always a way to keep your motivation going, and not lose sight of your business dreams and passions. All you have to do is keep believing in yourself, working hard, and the rest will fall into place.
Good luck – I will be rooting for you!
This article was originally published in May 2018 but has been updated and expanded