Hey solopreneurs! I have a special message for you today. I don’t want this blog to be just a hub for getting found online. My original vision was to have it be a hub where solopreneurs and bloggers could feel safe, chat, share stories and get support. As a solopreneur myself, I understand how lonely and frustrating owning your own business can be. It can make you anxious, depressed and feel overwhelmed. It also can make you feel more alive than you have ever felt. It’s a roller coaster of highs and lows, so I want to share a few things that have greatly helped me in the last 2 years and hope it will brighten your day just a little. I have long ways to go, like gazillion miles to go and it is a daily struggle but lets Push Thru together!
- Recognize that you’re a bipolar entrepreneur and address it. You see, most creativepreneurs I speak to all agree to having the shiny ball syndrome: how one minute they feel so awesome, and the following minute they’re crying and feeling like they suck. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stayed up staring at ceiling with the most awesome ideas to save the business universe, and then started crying, questioning who the eff I think I am. It goes like this. First I tell myself I’m brilliant. Man, this is amazeballs. This will change everything. Why didn’t I think of this before? Let me go buy that thing now. I should register that domain. Then three minutes later, I’m tearing up, and I start thinking that I suck. No one will listen to me. I’m a mess. I’ll never succeed. Who do I think I am? I then feel pathetic and useless.
Does this sound like you? I call it the bipolar entrepreneur. But you see, the real issue at hand is the “shiny ball syndrome” and lack of focus. James Wedmoore said to me during Creative Live was to get good at one thing, succeed in it, and then when you launch your next thing, people will believe in you. When you’re working on too many things at the same time, you’re working on nothing. And then I cried on live tv during Creative Live and gave them an Oprah moment. James was right, though, and that was the turning point for me to focus on my SEO bootcamp and blog. I started out this year with the plan to simplify and focus because after feeling extremely overwhelmed and dealing with anxiety and depression, I needed a change.I needed to focus on one thing at a time and when all those other great awesome ideas come, I capture them somewhere and put it aside and do of more below.
- So, the first step to addressing having both hands in too many buckets is: write down your core values. I started working on core values, and on what fires me up, thanks to the incredibly gifted Lara Casey. (You should follow her blog here). She helps people make things happen and has great worksheets, brain-dumping exercises and so much more.
My core values: Doing God’s will, following Jesus, providing for my family, loving and being there for my family. Laughing daily. Having freedom to create, to travel and to be me. So whenever I have an idea, I go back to my core values to see if it lines up. If it doesn’t, then the answer is no… give it up. Drop it. Heather Crabtree has been scoping about core values and how she even added her core values to her website.
- Work from your Zone of Genius. Why do we feel pushed in so many directions? I was first introduced to the term when I was on a marketing panel alongside the lovely Laura Garnett, and it felt like the puzzle pieces clicked and snapped together. Your Zone of Genius is the intersection of your innate talent and your passion. It’s when you’re doing the work you were meant to do. Of course, it’s not the easiest thing to know what your Zone of Genius is, so take the test and answer the questions listed here. When we’re doing anything and everything else, we’re just doing busywork and it will increase the personal frustration tenfold. Believe me. So, your Zone of Genius is when you join your innate talent and your passion. When we don’t do this, according to Gay Hendricks, “we unknowingly self sabotage so we don’t leave our comfort zone.”
- Work on one project or task at a time. Oh, this is such a hard one for me because I’m a Brazilian crazy nut wanting to conquer the world! This is not an easy step or an easy answer, but I’m doing exercises to move towards this goal. One of the tasks I’m working on is limiting my social media to what’s working, so I can then be very intentional with my weekly tasks and cater to my audience. So I ask you, what needs to be cut from your social media? From your schedule? From your personal life? [bctt tweet=”How can you become hyper focused to be the best you can be for your audience and for yourself?”]
- Outsource, baby. When I started my photography business 7 years ago, one of the first words of advice I heard was to outsource. This means to hire someone to do the tasks you despise or that you’re simply not good at. I’ve been a believer of outsourcing from day one, but I kept doubting that I’d gain more by doing it. You see, when you’re focused, intentional and working on tasks that bring you into your Zone of Genius, then you gain more clients and abundance, which will allow for even more outsourcing because things start to finally flow. I know have a great editor for my blog articles, and I get more things done since I started outsourcing to her, and I even outsource a few other tasks I loathe.
[bctt tweet=”HYPER FOCUS > BE INTENTIONAL > OUTSOURCE WHAT YOU HATE = SUCCESS”]
- Share your voice. I’ve done 68 broadcasts on Periscope now, and I almost gave up after 14 broadcasts because no one was commenting or hearting, and I felt like I was speaking to myself. It felt lonely and confusing. But I was motivated by the TagTribe and PeriGirls peeps, and I kept pushing through. You see, you need to share your voice, your passion and your beliefs because people are listening. You never know who is listening. The first time I heard this was while watching Rick S. on Creative Live. He does nature wildlife photography, and he said exactly that. He said you just don’t know who may be listening. He had been teaching a workshop at a college, I believe, and after the workshop, a guy came up to him and said he wanted to hire him to go to a personal jungle photo excursion in Africa—all expenses paid. Say what!! Today with social media, we can broadcast our voice and do it fast. So speak in your own voice, be authentic, be you, and share your voice and vision. I just got a shout out from a listener who I didn’t even know was listening, or who perhaps hit that replay button.
- Push through. Every day, take one day at a time, and push through. Rework, Re-aim, share your voice and push through. As Dory says, “keep on swimming,” but I want you to swim with direction, too. Swim by working from your true passion and talent. Swim intentionally, and swim when you feel lonely, lost or overwhelmed. Rework it, refocus, simplify, take time off, re-evaluate things. Do the hard thing first, so you can spend your time doing the things you love.
- Do ya thang! Seriously, this is a huge one for me, as I’m at a crossroads in my solopreneurship, and right now I’m re-evaluating why I’m doing what I do. I’m examining whether it’s to please others or whether it’s really what I want.
[bctt tweet=”Stop caring what others will say, how your industry will react, how you will be judged, or even how perhaps you have failed.”]
You are strong, and it’s better to fail than to lie to yourself and be miserable.
What if we creatives just looked ahead, not to the sides, and didn’t compare ourselves, didn’t care about pleasing so much, cared less about being popular or being adored by our audience? What if we did just what we wanted while aligning with our core values and our beliefs? What if you could imagine what your ideal day would look like? Think about it. Write it down. What would an ideal day in the life of ________________ (insert your name) look like? How can you start doing more of those things in your ideal day? Are you feeling a little spark inside of you right now at the thought of living out some of those things in your ideal day?
This was an exercise I did in Lara Casey’s Making Things Happen, which then got buried after I did the workshop, and now I’m bringing it back. Because in order to make things happen in my life, the things I want to happen, I have to be true to me, to myself. I have to do my thang! And I want to help you and support you in doing yours! We can do this. What has helped you fight shiny ball syndrome? and push through in your entrepreneurial journey?