Whether I am speaking to new entrepreneurs, or wanna-be-preneurs, one of the biggest motivators I hear is freedom. The idea of financial freedom, time freedom and even the simple freedom to express oneself, is alluring enough for some brave souls to enter this ambiguous world of entrepreneurship.
So why do so many of us relinquish that freedom the very moment we get it?
When I left a lucrative corporate career behind to pursue my own vision of personal freedom, I knew I was venturing into unknown territory. Despite having been successful in an office full of brilliant people, I quickly learned how important their support and various skill sets had been to my own success. It was easy to take that support for granted – until I opened my solo-preneur business and found myself wearing way too many hats!
Over the last several years, I’ve learned some hard lessons about trying to do everything myself. More recently, my clients have helped me appreciate just how common this problem is, and just how critical it is to solve.
Although it may seem realistic (one might even think essential), to do a lot of the work yourself in the early bootstrapping phase of your business, there’s a mindset shift I found to be more practical. Much more powerful than the advice I give clients about outsourcing certain tasks and timing the addition of virtual assistants, is the simple permissions I give them.
If you are struggling to find the freedoms you initially set out to live, I humbly offer you permission to stop playing these roles in your own business.
Janitor (permission to be messy)
Stop cleaning your office! I’m all for a beautiful workspace and efficient processes, but if you find yourself constantly reorganizing your office, redesigning your website, or ordering new business cards, it’s more likely you are procrastinating the ‘hard stuff’! It’s time to clean up your strategies and get focused on what will make you most successful!
BTW... it isn’t the colour of your logo or the location you picked for your headshots!
Secretary (permission to be seen)
Get out from behind your computer! Email and social media can be powerful tools for generating leads, growing your email list and scaling your business. Nevertheless, if it is the only way you are reaching prospects, you may be feeding a fear. The fear of rejection can keep a lot of new entrepreneurs from making true connections with potential customers or partners!
BTW... you don’t need a lot of clients to get started or to generate momentum.
Cafeteria Lady (permission to be YOU)
Stop feeding off the scraps of others! There’s nothing wrong with doing a little research on what other entrepreneurs are doing in your market. The problem lies in the temptation to get stuck in the comparison game, always worrying about what you “should” be doing. It’s time to start cooking up your own fabulous ideas and serving people with your own tasty gifts!
BTW... People are hungry for unique, authentic ingredients that only you can serve.
Marketing Assistant (permission to get help)
Stop making memes and trying to figure out Hootsuite! As I’ve already mentioned, social media is powerful tool for growing an online business. It is also a HUGE time suck! Whether it grows or suffocates yours depends on your focus. Are you spending all of your time and energy picking fonts for your latest quotes, or figuring out where and when to post? Or have you carved out enough time to be thoughtful on what you are saying and to whom? Investing time in the actual content (vs. the delivery method) ensures it will have more impact when it reaches the various platforms.
BTW... less, super-focused, high-impact posts are worth more than a multitude of “space-fillers”, that only add to the noise of social media.
Accountant (permission to make REAL money)
Stop spending dollars to earn pennies! One of the best (and worst) things about the online business world these days is the number of courses and resources available to help entrepreneurs. It is so easy to get swept up in buying the latest course on this marketing strategy or that! If you had an actual accountant they may ask, “Will this generate enough of a return on your investment?” Are you asking the same question? Early days it will be imperative to learn the strategies that can quickly earn enough income to keep you going, not products (or systems) requiring thousands of followers or a huge email list – that comes later!
BTW... even passion-driven businesses need to make money in or to make impact!
Sales Representative (permission to say NO)
Yes, you need to be selling yourself and your business! No, you don’t need to be running after every “get rich quick” sales strategy on the Internet. Until you have the resources to hire a bunch of sales reps, there is a major mindset shift that could serve you well. It starts with saying, “No” to doing everything and anything to get cold leads, and instead saying, “yes” to business strategies that will magnetize your audience.
BTW... this is not only easier, it is a lot more FUN!
Since I started this post with a focus on freedom, I’ll leave you with one last thought! Real freedom comes from creating the discipline and the systems that support your ability to be YOU and to share your unique gifts with the world. Even solo-preneurs can’t do this alone. Commit to stop playing employee, and start being the powerful CEO of your own business!
If you are struggling to figure out how to do that, I’ve opened up a few Freedom Strategy Sessions, where I offer practical, actionable tips specific to your business. Apply for your FREE session today!
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