The thought of becoming a solopreneur can be very exciting – being your own boss, setting your own schedule, freedom to pursue your dreams. But actually being a solopreneur can be tough. It requires enormous grit and the ability to handle the many setbacks that may come along the way.
Here are 7 ways to stay motivated as a solopreneur:
1. Realize that you will encounter setbacks
To succeed, you have to be able to go from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. The most successful people welcome failure. Even when something does not go according to plan, learn from each setback, fine-tune and keep going. Like Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”. Some people take a shorter time to achieve their goals while others take a longer time, but it doesn’t matter, because at the end of the day, you would still have made it.
2. Create a vision board
Remember what first got you started on being a solopreneur? Create a vision board, and take the time to visualize your goals once a day. More often than not, we lose sight of our dreams when we are deep in the trenches. Often, there is some other motivating factor other than money – it may be wanting to solve a particular problem, meet a particular need, helping a particular group of people. Remind yourself of why you are doing what you are doing to keep yourself motivated.
3. Stay in touch with your family and friends
Family and friends are the greatest source of support in the toughest times. Make time to stay in touch with them even if you may be busy. Having a meal together once a week, enjoying a board game together, will ease your stress hormones and give you the much needed energy replenishment to allow you to push ahead. Your family and friends may not fully understand what you are doing but will help you remember the simpler joys in life.
4. Take breaks
Sometimes, the best way forward is to first take one step back. Taking a break once in a while helps you maintain perspective and allows you to refocus on what is important. Pushing forward on little to no rest may lead to burnout, and that does not work in the long run. Pace yourself well, and your body will also thank you for it.
5. Celebrate the minor successes
Enjoy the little successes along the way. When your site reaches its first 1000 subscribers, celebrate. Celebrating each milestone along the way will give you something to remember and look back on when you encounter a setback. Get your spouse a small bottle of perfume, or an air purifier for your bedroom. Take good care of yourself and never beat yourself up too hard for whatever reason.
“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.” – Mark Twain
6. Have fun in what you do
Always have an upbeat attitude to your business. See what you are doing for others and how it benefits them in more ways than one. Embrace a light-hearted perspective to your business and its infectious quality would influence your customers as well.
As social mammals, we humans tend to get affected and be put down by failures or criticism from others when in fact, a positive attitude helps you balance the negativity generated and put you back on your feet in no time. Convert that negative energy into positive energy; a critical comment can always be converted into positive, constructive feedback.
7. Have a plan
As a solopreneur, there could be many things fighting for your attention and it can be easy to get distracted. Always have a plan and blueprint for what you what to achieve. Lay out the major milestones clearly and hold yourself accountable each step along the way. Whenever you get sidetracked, always come back to your plan to remind yourself of the next steps you should be taking.
Being a solopreneur is hard, but it can be very worthwhile and fulfilling. Staying motivated along the way is key.