Over the last decade, the term solopreneur has risen to prominence as the number of entrepreneurs chasing their dreams has grown rather significantly. Many Nigerians have embraced solopreneurship, running home-based businesses, using just social media as sales channel. But don’t confuse the commonality of solopreneurship with simplicity.
Surviving and thriving as a solopreneur is challenging. Even in today’s business-friendly climate, the chances of being successful as a solo entrepreneur can be pretty low, unless you approach it the right way.
As tough as it is to excel as a solopreneur, the opportunity is still there. And for those that do make it as a solopreneur, the reward can be incredibly lucrative. The question is, do you have what it takes?
Here are tips to be on your A-game as a solopreneur:
1. Find Support and Accountability
The term solopreneur is a little misleading. It implies that the individual is doing everything on their own when, actually, successful solopreneurs rely heavily on others. They may not have official business partners or employees, but they certainly aren’t doing it on their own.
If you want to be successful and accomplish the objectives you’ve set for yourself, you’ll need other people who can hold you accountable. This might look like a mentor, business coach, or friend who is a small business owner.
2. Take Care of Your Personal Needs
You can’t be successful — at least for any extended period of time — if you’re ignoring your personal needs at the expense of growing your business. In other words, a failure to care for yourself will inhibit you from caring for your business.Everyone has their own unique needs, but there are a few things that apply across the board. One such thing is sleep. If you aren’t getting an adequate amount of quality sleep, your performance will suffer, there are no exceptions.
“When you sleep your mind is actually at work (in a different way), helping you store memories and making your mind sharper and more powerful. This process is called consolidation, and though not perfectly understood just yet, the evidence is very clear that the link between memory and sleep is very strong.”
If you aren’t getting the right sleep, nutrition and exercise, your body will gradually shut down and your business will follow suit.
3. Build Your Personal Brand
As a solopreneur, you’re essentially a brand. Sure, you may have a product or service that you sell, but you are the face of the business. This is why personal branding is such an important requirement.
Today, personal branding takes place almost exclusively online. Not only do you need a website and some SEO optimization, but you also need a strong and convincing social media presence on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Authenticity is the key when it comes to personal branding. People crave authenticity in today’s world and a brand built on genuine principles will perform far better than a brand that was artificially formulated in a boardroom.
4. Learn to Crush Your Morning Routine
Do you have a morning routine? Well, you need one. Even if you aren’t an early bird, a morning routine is highly beneficial and sets the tone for the remainder of your day.
Interestingly, your morning routine doesn’t need to have much to do with your business. It’s simply a constructive ordering of activities and processes that helps you feel accomplished and gets you in the right frame of mind.
5. Set Aside an Emergency Fund
The life of a solopreneur, especially one who is just starting out, can feel a lot like a roller coaster ride. One month it’s up and the next month it’s a free-fall down. Emotionally, this can be draining. Financially, it can be catastrophic.
You don’t have the luxury of living paycheck to paycheck as a solopreneur, if for no other reason than you might not have a paycheck one month. This is why it’s so important that you build up an emergency fund.
Your emergency fund will be unique to you, but it’s wise to keep at least three to six months of expenses stashed away in a highly liquid savings account.
6. Hope for the Best, But Plan for the Worst
You need to be prepared for the storms that will inevitably pop up from time to time. While a personal emergency fund is part of it, you also need to give your business a strong defense and generous safety net.
Practically speaking, at least in terms of the cyber landscape, you should invest in a cloud backup solution that protects your data and prevents you from losing everything in a cyber attack.
It’s not fun to think about cyber attacks, natural disasters, and health crises, but these are important topics. They all have the potential to negatively impact your business and you you can’t afford to let them.
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