There are times, as a solorpreneur, when you feel as though both of your hands, each of your eyes, and the right and left side of your brain are all working on different things. You’re Pinteresting and answering email and scanning Twitter and reading a blog post and creating graphics and scheduling calls for next week all at the same time. Somehow it all gets done, but at the end of the day you’re straight worn out, sitting there on the couch, glass of wine in one hand, watching the final episode of GoT (OMG btw), scrolling Instagram and creating a plan of attack for tomorrow. Yeah, I know you do it do—finally sit down after work and you’re still multi-tasking your relaxing.
We talked about how you should be treating yourself as your one and only employee. So today we’re going to simplify that daily business grind, knock out your to-do list with maximum focus, so you can get through the day and actually put your feet up and your phone down at night.
Hire out or trade skills
While it feels pretty good to say “I did it all myself,” sometimes you have to let someone else help you out. Whether it’s copy editing, blog designing, or cutting through customer service tasks, handing a little bit of the work off to someone else (maybe someone who could do it better) is often a good idea. If you’re not really at a point yet that hiring help is plausible, consider trading skills with one of your badass business buddies. I’ll do a little design work for you and you help me knock out copy for a sales page.
Find your focus
Running around like a chicken with its head cut off does not a #GIRLBOSS make. I know it’s addicting and it feels good to be karate chopping your to-do list like a ninja in between HIIT workouts and Skype calls, but you can slow it down. Really, you can. This year I’ve been making an effort to be more of a relaxing on the beach, lunching between client sessions, badass boss lady. And in order to do this I had to get real serious about figuring out what’s important and only focusing on the task at hand. When I’m writing my ebook, I’m writing my ebook. When I’m scheduling social media, I’m scheduling social media. My phone does not need to find its way into my hand and my email does not need to be constantly tended to. Focusing on one thing at a time has made a world of difference in the way I feel at the end of the workday and about my business overall.
Here, you can have your sanity back. You do not need to handle every aspect of your business manually. If people sign up for a program or service they should be automatically dropped into the correct email list and automatically receive the information to take the next step. If you regularly collect the same information from students you should be creating forms and instruction sheets. If you write the same emails to perspective clients you should be using an email template that you can quickly personalize.
Find some solo business buddies
Nothing helps more when you’re really in it—you know, crabby clients, crazy launch weeks, so much damn work—to have someone else to talk to who gets it. No matter how much you love your friends, family, and significant other, if they haven’t been in the trenches of solopreneurship too, they just won’t be able to wrap their minds around everything you do. Slack chat, Gchat, Skype, whatever way works best to take time each week to connect with someone else who’s working their ass off to.
Touch emails only once
Don’t worry about inbox zero, but do file that ish on a regular basis. I only open my inbox a couple of times a day—usually when I first start working in the morning, mid-day and once more in the evening. And I do my best to touch emails only once. This means it either gets answered, deleted or filed and out of my inbox immediately. Only items that require a lengthy response, for example, responding to questions for an email interview, will stay in my inbox until they’re finished.
Your online conference looks fantastic, but unfortunately I won’t have time to participate this year. I think so-and-so would be better suited to take on your web design project. I’m swamped at the moment so I won’t be able to create a guest post for you, but thank you for thinking of me. Saying no isn’t always easy, but sometimes it is necessary. If you feel super guilty turning things down try this: give them a compliment, politely decline, and suggest another person or two to contact instead. You don’t need to explain and I guarantee they’ll still think you’re awesome and email you again in the future.
Keep it simple
Emails can be short, blog posts can be just blog posts (no opt-ins, upgrades, worksheets – as much as I do love all of that), details can be nailed down in a 15 minute Skype session instead of four days of back and forth emails. Everything doesn’t need a long complicated plan. Simplifying things not only takes less time, but makes projects and tasks less stressful.
Have a backup plan
What if I get sick? What if my computer dies? What if I have to fly back home on short notice?? Those what-ifs can be nerve-wracking when you have to do everything yourself. But I know if I’ve got great people around me to help out if I need someone to run a Badass Babes hangout, write a guest post, or pick up a design project. What badass babes do you know that could be your emergency contact if you need someone to help with or take over a project with zero notice?
Create passive income
Awwwwyeah, the holy grail of making your workweek less stressful! Yes, you may need a few late nights and some long weekends to nail this one, but I promise you it will be worth it. How much could you relax if you had an extra $200 every month? What about an extra $2000?? That $2k smackeroos that you would be doing zero work for or very very close to zero work for on a weekly basis. Would that extra income stream allow you to take on two clients each month instead of four? Would it allow you to take actually step away from your computer in the middle of the day instead of grinding away for 10 hours at a time? Would it allow you to finally make time for that class you’ve been considering for months now? Or allow for “gasp” an actual vacation??
Simplifying your day and making the work easier on yourself is going to have three awesome effects. First, it’s going take the tightness out of your chest and the weight off your shoulders that comes with solopreneurship and probably add a few years to your life.#Score! Second, it’s going to allow you to step back often, look at the bigger picture (instead of constant OMG I need to finish this TONIGHT) and make sure your business and everything you do is always pointed in the right direction. And third, it’s going to give you the time to really connect with people – with your audience, with other business owners, blogging friends, and of course your offline people too.