Today is my first anniversary of life as a solopreneur and it’s been a crazy and wonderful twelve months of self-employment.
Keep up with your bookkeeping
When I was in college, my mom bought me a shirt that said “English Major: You Do the Math.” While I won’t say that I’m totally inept when it comes to numbers, my strong suit is definitely words.
It’s been a big mindset shift to not just be a writer and an editor, but to also be the chief executive officer, chief marketing officer, and chief financial officer. And because it’s easy to put off categorizing all my revenue and expenses “until I have more time,” suddenly I’m faced with reconciling the last four months of financial data.
Fortunately, I’ve only had a couple of days that I’ve ended up having to dedicate to digging myself out of a financial reporting hole. And I’m glad that’s a lesson I learned early!
Take advantage of networking
Every personality test or analysis I’ve ever taken has confirmed what I’ve known since a young age: I’m an introvert. And not just an introvert but a shy introvert, which can make large groups of people and social situations a little uncomfortable.
But the truth is that networking is awesome. Local events, industry events, and freelancer events have all been an enormous support for finding a community, getting writing and editorial help, being my own boss, and finding great clients to work with.
Even when I feel butterflies about putting on a nametag and taking a deep breath before chatting with strangers about who I am and what I do, I almost always feel like it was time and energy well spent.
Turn off your computer
One of the joys of being self-employed is that you can truly work whenever you want. But one of the pitfalls is that you can truly work whenever.
Whether trying to meet an upcoming deadline, working to get ahead of schedule, or just tackling the never-ending to-do list of administrative work, it can be easy to start working as soon as I’m awake—and to keep working until it’s time to go to bed.
Being okay with shutting things down (even when there’s more to do), turning off excessive notifications on my phone, and setting boundaries to prevent me from becoming an actual workaholic are all essential to taking advantage of the fact that I can set my own schedule.
Are you a seasoned solopreneur? What have your most important lessons been?