Last week, I had the opportunity to join fellow boss babes Monica and Brittany at WeWork to speak on LIKETOKNOW.it’s Influencer panel celebrating their book launch. It was nothing short of an amazing experience and exactly what I needed.
Truth be told – I’ve been feeling very uninspired and defeated. My Instagram numbers have been wack (I. hate. the. algorithm.) and it’s that time of the year where we’re supposed to be setting goals and changing things up – and as of last week, I was 100& unsure of what that meant for me.
The funny thing is, the past few weeks have been pretty awesome in terms of partnerships. I’ve landed some huge projects and a lot of things have just gone really really well – but for some reason, up until last week, I’ve just been feeling very blah in every sense of the word.
That all changed (finally). After speaking on the panel, hearing from my peers, talking to new faces and sharing my own story, I was reminded of one thing. I AM A BOSS. And I don’t mean that in a vain way. Like literally, I am a boss. I’m MY boss. I own two businesses. I manage those businesses. I’m a boss. And then figuratively – I’d like to think I’m making boss moves and I should totally celebrate that more often.
Along with some of the more general topics we all talk about as bloggers (how to get started, why we got into blogging, etc.), the panel discussion really got me thinking about the business side of things. We do so much more than take selfies, share shopping hauls or pose in front of colorful walls. We run businesses. And that is no easy task.
Rather than sharing my go-to tips for the future blogger, I started writing down some of the biggest takeaways I’ve learned over the past few years since starting my business. Whether you are a blogger, fellow creative, business owner or looking to take that next step from employee to boss, I hope just one of these tips might help you make moves!
5 THINGS I’VE LEARNED AS A SOLOPRENEUR
- You Need Business Hours: I blog full time, co-manage a consulting business, recently started a new fitness journey, am setting up an entire house…and have a personal life. To say I can’t do it all every single day would be an understatement. My to-do lists are never ending and all over the place. I have things that I have to do to maintain my blog. I have tasks that need to get done by deadline. I have things I do every day/week on a personal level to keep my life in order. It can be a lot so I made the decision about a year ago to set business hours. Every day, I set aside two hours to complete all admin tasks like updating my finances, clearing emails, social media management, etc. I also set aside 30 minutes to an hour every day to actively engage with my audiences. Instead of trying to tackle everything at once, I like splitting up my admin tasks across different days and then using the time outside of those business hours to get deadline projects and personal things done. I also build in a “Me Time” hour every day for Netflix, naps, etc. BEST decision ever.
- Budgets are for Bosses: When I first started my business, I didn’t have a budget. I mean I definitely have a budget for my personal finances but I didn’t set anything up for my business expenses. Since realizing that one) I need separate bank accounts and two) I should be setting money aside for those business-related expenses instead of using my personal accounts to make purchases…my world has changed. Every quarter, I take note of all recurring expenses and add those up. I then give myself a bucket of money for misc expenses every month to cover upcoming projects (props, photographer fees, etc.). Every month, I make sure I’m tracking against those buckets. Having structure to the way I spend my money for the business has been such a game changer. I feel so much more grown up! My mom would be proud.
- Defining Your Brand Is Necessary: I can’t say it enough – you need a clear definition of your brand if you want to set yourself apart from others in whatever industry you’re in. Think mission statement, vision, voice + tone, messaging, colors and aesthetic, etc. It matters. Your authentic story, product, service, etc. matters too. Don’t get me wrong. But the guidelines you set for your business and how you push across that story, product, service, etc. matters way more. An amazing product doesn’t do much good if there’s nothing to build awareness or brand loyalty with your customers – #amiright???
- Your Network is More Important Than Your Wifi (almost): I can’t say it enough – surround yourself with people making boss moves. Having a strong network and community of supporters is huge in staying on top of your goals. I love my blogger friends, my photographer and of course my amazing family and boyfriend who all contribute to the success of my business. I’ve learned so much from surrounding myself with people who have similair work ethics and passions. I brianstorm with my network. I look to them for inspiration. I vent to them. I need them. Go out and work from a coffee shop, meet new people, join a coworking space, sign up or a networking organization. Do it all and add those names to your virtual Rolodex.
- Comparison Will Be Your Downfall: I wrote a post on comparison a few weeks ago and I still take the same stance. Comparison is all too real…and it can suck you all the way down. No matter how big or small your business is, try your hardest to kick comparison out of the equation. Every business is different. Some grow slowly and some grow overnight. Some need to evolve to keep from failing and some are straight up winners from the beginning. It doesn’t matter. No matter the level, you will always feel like you need to step your game up. Rather than competing with the “other” or trying to compare your success to others, consider this feeling as a challenge to better your business because YOU want to make it better.