A growing number of women are choosing to pursue the life of an entrepreneur instead of a traditional 9-to-5 job. For many women who face a combination of family-related and career-related goals, becoming a solo entrepreneur – also known as a solopreneur – is the best option. Depending on their industry of choice, woman solopreneurs can find a way to enjoy a great level of schedule flexibility, which allows them to not only run their businesses well and on their own terms, but also gives them room to meet their own personal obligations to their families and friends.
However, with flexibility, stability and power come great responsibility. If you want to build a life and a career as a solopreneur, you have to know how to design a successful and sustainable business model as well as a well-balanced personal life. Although that sounds like a challenge, it’s not impossible. The following steps can help you find your way to success as a solopreneur without sacrificing a healthy work-life balance and independence.
Hone your strengths
Instead of dwelling on your weaknesses, consider your strengths. Now, focus on the ways you can make the most of those strengths, expand them, fine-tune them, and use them to your absolute advantage in your business. By focusing on opportunities for learning and growth, you can use them as ammo to meet and exceed your short-term and long-term goals.
Outsource when needed
Now that you’ve zeroed in on your own strengths, it’s time to consider the needs you can’t fulfill on your own to make your business grow. There are some skill sets and tasks that, while they may be vital, aren’t worth you spending your own time to learn or execute. This is when subcontractors and new hires come into play. Keep in mind you may need to only do this temporarily. Be honest with yourself about your time, obligations and skill set. Never be afraid to hire someone with strengths different from your own to take on those tasks that are taking up time of yours that would better serve your business if you were free to spend it on other things
Establish a work-life balance
Don’t let your job as a solopreneur take over your entire life. It’s easy to let that happen once you’re engrossed in a project as personal as your own business. However, while you’ll be busy running your business if you neglect yourself and don’t take time to rest and recharge, your own productivity will suffer. Find ways to step away and reoccupy your mind, if even for an hour, on a regular basis.
Embrace diversity of perspectives
Being a solopreneur means you ultimately call the final shots. But if you get too used to that idea and forget about the value of hearing other perspectives, you’ll find yourself working in a vacuum. Make an effort to bring people onto your team who will bring different perspectives to the table. Look for contractors from different backgrounds, with different beliefs, and more.
Hold onto your support network
Just because you’re taking the solopreneur route in your career life doesn’t mean you have to isolate yourself from other people 24/7. Make it a point to maintain a life outside of your office, including keeping up with friends, colleagues, and family. Accept social invitations, go to events unrelated to work, and remember there’s a whole world out there.
Explore women-focused business programs
As more and more women are becoming business owners and solopreneurs, more programs are appearing to support them. Women face special obstacles in many areas of the business world, and these programs are designed to help you overcome these obstacles. Spend some time looking into these programs on the community, state, and federal level and see if any of them could help you.
Get a mentor
Having a mentor is invaluable for all entrepreneurs, but even more so with women. Navigating your way through the business landscape as a woman and a solopreneur comes with its own set of challenges. A mentor who has also faced the same challenges will be beyond helpful to you.
Solopreneurs will feel a sense of urgency with every decision that lands on their desk. Don’t let that sense of urgency push you to make hasty decisions or make unnecessary risks. Take a deep breath and do your research – and never let someone else pressure you to do something that doesn’t feel right.
Blue Labrador offers women solopreneurs great coaching and tips to help you build and improve your business. Call us to schedule a time to talk about how we can help you grow your business.