Solopreneur Life: Going at it "Alone"
When I started FIVE12 STUDIO (then CNICOLE PHOTODESIGN), I thought I was going to only be a photographer and graphic designer.
As I set myself up to run a business, I became an admin, social media manager, content writer, and email marketing "specialist."
Some people have the luxury of hiring a team of people to offload some of the work, some do not, and some don't want to.
Whether it's because of financial reasons or control, a lot of people choose to go at it by themselves.
Granted, if you're doing this full time, you can schedule certain days for certain tasks.
Monday and Fridays can be admin catch up.
Reserve Tuesday-Thursdays are for meetings or/and client work.
Use Wednesdays as checkpoint days, check your weekly progress and play catch-up.
Only you know your schedule and how to go about it. If you're working and running a business, your schedule may look different. When I worked full time, Mondays I did nothing with FIVE12 STUDIO unless it was posting to Instagram. Sundays were for blog posts and posting to social.
There's argument that you can't and shouldn't go at it alone. I agree, but whether you have to by choice or need, there are tools to help automate some of your processes.
1. Scheduling social media posts.
I use SmarterQueue to share my posts on social media. Anything FIVE12 STUDIO related is evergreen content, meaning it continues being shared. Content from others is shared a few times before I replace it with new content.
I cut my time to schedule time social posts to 30 minutes a week. Boom!
*TailWind and *BoardBoosts are great apps to use for Pinterest promotions (are you NOT on Pinterest? Why NOT?). I don't have to think or worry if my posts are being posted. They're there, and I can enjoy my life.
What about Instagram? I know auto posts for business accounts have become the new rage, but I'm not jumping on that bandwagon yet. No worries, sooner than later. Nonetheless, being able to upload my photos in advance is so much easier for me. Plus I don't have to worry about the best times because *TailWind does that for me.
2. Creating Templates.
I love Canva. Downloading the app from my phone helps me work smarter when I need posts in a hurry. Having my branding guide set and elements picked out really has been a time saver. And although opening up Adobe is nothing new for me, I save that for bigger projects.
3. Setting a schedule to create a work/life balance.
Everyone's situation is different, I understand this. I'm a breadwinner for me, not for children. I'm lucky not to be sick or have to take care of a sick one. Understand, one size doesn't fit all. If I may advise though, create time to breathe.
The workaholic life seems glamorous but it's not (saying this as a recovering workaholic). I get it--if you don't do it, who will?
I'm still learning, but I will say this--working out in the morning has helped me set my mood for the day. A quick 30-minute walk or yoga sets my endorphins.
That 5 AM talk? The struggle is real but beneficial. If your body aches at the sight of that sentence, go about it gradually. Do 30 minutes earlier until you feel comfortable.
If you're not a morning person, balance a nighttime routine that doesn't leave you exhausted the next day.
4. Balancing To-Do Tasks.
Excuse me while I interrupt this post to bring you this important news--I'm in love.
Asana is the love of my life. Communicating with my clients, setting up private and public tasks with due dates help me stay on top of things.
Managing what's on your plate and what needs to be tackled first helps you be less overwhelmed.
Limit the amount of time you check your email.
No one will die if you don't respond immediately. If it's an emergency they'll call you. Check it twice a day, at the beginning and in the end. Clean up obvious junk mail/promotions. Then move on to client emails, and send out potential/pitch emails. You should be in your emails no more than an hour a day.
Find passion work.
You don't have to sell it. In fact, don't. Find a project you enjoy for the heck of it and go back to it during your downtime. This helps you stay creative and avoid burnout. You can master it, you can not. The best thing is it's about you and no one else.
Give yourself grace.
Dear solopreneur, you're doing amazing. At times it seems everyone else is ahead of you, but you're doing this thing on your own and that kicks ass.
Remember this when you're feeling frustrated because you will. Know that wearing major hats is a huge accomplishment. If you want to add people to create a team, make that a goal and keep focus.
How are you dealing with being a solopreneur? Leave your comments below to share with the world.
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