Tom Clairmont

Tom Clairmont

Helping you pivot through your small business journey.

The Solopreneur Challenge: What do I focus on?

You’re Not Alone

If you’re in the planning stages of starting a solopreneur type business, or maybe you already launched one, you’ll more than likely be having the same thoughts and questions that all the other solopreneurs have.

Questions like:
• How do I start?
• What should I focus on?
• How can I possibly get all this stuff done?
• What about all that techie stuff that I’m supposed to know and do?

Well, first of all, I’d just like to say, ‘You’re not alone.’ This is the kind of stuff we all think about and dwell on, every day.

But I’ve found that having the right mindset of an entrepreneur, or solopreneur will go a long way for you and will help you to focus on the right things at the right time, so that you can manage your time better and increase your chances of success.

And this is why I created several mindset e-books that talk about how we should transform our thinking and actions and how to push through challenging circumstances.

My mindset E-books cover a wide variety of topics, like:
• How to Turn Failure into Success
• How to Overcome Trying Situations by Changing Your Mindset
• Developing a Present Moment Mindset
• How to Overcome Challenges
• Developing Your Strengths
• Developing the Confidence to Go After Your Dreams

And, friends, I’ve been through a lot in my day. I’ve had my share of ups and downs, and let me tell you, my low points have been pretty low. So when I talk or write about how to overcome challenges and turning failure into success, it’s from personal experience, the hard way. The ‘mindset reset’ way.

So I’d like to take a few minutes to talk about the proper perspective we all should have when running and building a business.

Taking Control

First, we need to take control. We really need to know how to say yes to certain tasks and how we spend our time and no to the mountain of distractions and how we shouldn’t spend our time. There are a lot of distractions, every day and we’re not going to get much done if we give into them.

Another part of the mindset makeover is being able to push past the things that we assume will limit us. We can accomplish so much more if you have a bigger view of what’s possible.

You can have a worldwide business. You can have worldwide influence and impact all around the world. You can be a very successful business person. If you have a book you’d like to write, you can write that book. Or, maybe it’s creating a course to sell. You can create a course that will make you a lot of money. 

You can learn the things you need to learn. Push past the limiting beliefs and expand your comfort zone. Learn how to have reachable goals and then reach them.

How? By just having steady improvement and not expecting huge, immediate results. Now do I want results? Yes I do! And I expect results. I expect to make good money from my business. But at the same time, I can reduce a lot of frustration and discouragement by having realistic expectations for those results. 

It’s sort of like winning a baseball game with singles and doubles.

Now, some, and I know 2 people just recently, said they’d rather try to win the game by hitting home runs and not messing around with singles and doubles. 

So if that’s the way you want to play ball, then go right ahead.

If you have a $500 product or service and a $5,000 product or service, what would you rather sell? The $5,000 product or service, right? I get it. Some may choose to try to ramp up their business by selling a handful of the $500 product and build up a client base, but others may say that they’d rather have one or two clients a month on the $5,000 product.

Either way, just make sure that whatever course of action you’re taking, you have reasonable goals and reasonable results. This will help with your mindset of having success more often instead of always being disappointed and discouraged.

Turn your goals into daily habits (what do I have to do every day to make my goals a reality? The short to-do list). Routine = momentum (routine doesn’t have to be boring) The more you can routine-ize your processes, the more momentum you can pick up. Ex: drip email marketing will work for you on auto-pilot once you have the initial work put in, in advance.

Embracing Obstacles

Another solopreneur mindset reset challenge is to embrace obstacles, instead of trying to find a way around the obstacles. I’ve found that usually the best way to deal with the obstacle is through them (book ‘The Obstacle is the Way’ by Ryan Holiday) In the book, Ryan says “It’s not just: How can I think this is not so bad? No, it is how to will yourself to see that this must be good-an opportunity to gain a new foothold, move forward, or go in a better direction. Not ‘be positive’ but learn to be ceaselessly creative and opportunistic. Not: ‘This is not so bad. But: I can make this good.”

The next challenge of the solopreneur, is how to achieve more with less. You see, when you have a job, you have people around you that can do things. You have a structure in place for how to get stuff done. But when you’re alone, you have to have what Ray Edwards calls, a ‘low cost essentialism’ sort of mentality where you can focus on just the essentials of what you need. 

Typically, you need less than you think you do. You don’t need to buy a lot of software/hardware. You don’t need a team of people, typically, when you’re just starting out. Now getting a virtual assistant, might be a good idea, and maybe start this person part time at first to see how it goes and if there’s enough tasks for this person to do.

But I don’t normally recommend building a team of people around you and build up your overhead.

The last thing I’d like to touch on in this episode of the challenges of being a solopreneur, is self discipline. Now, when you’re working a job, with someone over you telling you what you need to do and how to do it, and when it needs to be done, you can get a lot of work done during the course of any day.

But when it’s just you and you’re the one with the dream of having your own business, and you’re the only one that’s pushing you, how much are you really getting done? You’re now ‘working’ for yourself. It’s not that you don’t know what to do, but you’re not doing what you know.

You know you need to be motivated. You know you have this to-do list of your top priority tasks. You know you need to turn off the TV and to not go to the refrigerator every hour on the hour.

But because you’re probably working from home, you’re finding that without that external push from others to get things done, that things aren’t getting done as fast as you were expecting.

So, in times like this, let your dream be your motivator. How soon do you want that dream life, or the thought of quitting your job, how soon do you want those things to happen? It’s up to you.
You need to go back to ‘What is your WHY?’ When you lose your ‘why’ you lose your motivation.

So, the challenges of being a solopreneur are many. Did I even scratch the surface with what I was just covering here? No. I had a very long list of things that I originally planned on talking about, but it would take all day.

Is it easy being a solopreneur? No. Is there a certain freedom you now have because you’re your own boss? Yes. Absolutely. But in this freedom, comes a certain aspect of self discipline and self motivation that you’ll need to have.

If you’re in constant learning mode, and if you can focus on the small wins you have each day and not get caught up in all the negative thinking that comes so easily to us humans, then you’ll be able to press through the challenges and push through the obstacles you’ll be facing.

Because there will be many. There’s a never ending supply of obstacles. Internal and external. So check out Ryan Holiday’s book ‘The Obstacle is the Way’. It’s available on Amazon. It helped me and I’m sure it’ll help you as well.

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