“Do or Do Not. There is No Try.” – Yoda
Often times, as creators who are stepping out to make an income doing our own thing, we wonder if what we’re doing is right. Just like Luke, in the Empire Strikes Back, we have all of these different emotions running through us, we want to make sure that we’re not spinning our wheels. Also like Luke, we must listen to our inner Yoda and not let those emotions keep us from being successful.
For me, personally, having the background in engineering that I do, I just don’t have the personality to simply experiment. I can’t afford to just play. I have to know the actions I’m taking are going to yield some sort of results. I need to know what my constraints are so I can be creative.
Like me, you’ve probably scoured the web looking for any tutorial or eBook you can get your hands on. How many newsletters do you have coming into your inbox because it promised that one extra piece that you thought you needed? Five? Ten?
Me? I’ve strategically signed up for at least 20 newsletters. Each one goes to it’s separate mailbox so that I can keep track of their author’s marketing efforts. That’s on top of the ones which I’ve signed up for just a freebie info piece.
Which leads to the next question: When you entered your email, why did you? Was it truly to get something you thought would make you better at your craft? Was it something that you guessed you would need in the future? Or was it something that you wanted because it was free and you didn’t know the answer to the clickbait copy that was before the form?
For me, it’s been all of the above.
With all of this information out there, how can we put it to use and make ourselves better at our business?
Here’s the 3 top things I’ve realized that have helped me be a better solopreneur.
Find Where You’re Stuck
In a recent survey by Pat Flynn back in July of 2015, he asked what his audience’s biggest struggles were. Yesterday he shared the results with what he was looking to do about it in 2016. Below is one of the graphics he used in this awesome write up. (I look forward to him accomplishing some of the things he said he’d do.)
And here were the top responses from his audience members who already had a business:
I can so relate to all of these issues. I’ve had every single one of these struggles myself. I still have sleepless nights because I question whether or not what I’m doing is real. (I think even Pat has that question from time to time.)
As a true beginner back in March, I had no idea where to start. I had too many ideas going through my head in what I wanted to do. And, as I mentioned above, I wanted to make sure that what I was going to do would leave me feeling successful.
The first part in making yourself a better solopreneur, I believe, is to figure out what is holding you in the position that you find yourself in.
Essentially I want you to just simply realize the issue that you’re having the most. Out of Pat’s responses above, which one (or two or even three) resonates with you the most?
Once you realize where you’re stuck (whether you already have a business or not), you need to get help.
Just like with being sick, yes you can possibly get better if you tough it out, but there are ways to expedite the agony you’re going through. Either make the symptoms go away or to cure the illness itself.
So going down the list of Pat’s real quick, here are places where I’d look for answers. (FYI – each one of these problems could warrant a blog post, but I want to help you get going as soon as possible for 2016.)
- I don’t know where to start / I can’t pick a business idea / Feel like my ideas aren’t good enough – Honestly, there’s a reason why the pack over at Fizzle have Finding Clarity as a step all by itself in their roadmap. It’s the foundation of your future success. If you don’t start on the right foot, then you’re going to have to come back to fix fundamental issues. Just simply by going through their process of finding a niche to work in will help immensely in finding your starting point. I believe Corbett has come up with a great test to do just that.If you go through Fizzle’s Finding a Topic and Defining Your Audience courses and still don’t know where to start, then perhaps you need to start Asking via what Ryan Levesque teaches or going to Dane Maxwell and his group at The Foundation.Truth be told, the secret to both is simply asking a group of people what they’d be interested in buying to fix a particular problem (that you’ve drilled for through questions) and then coming up with a solution for said problem. If the solution fixes a very big pain for that group of people or businesses (I’d suggest B2B solutions myself – you can make them members of a site), then they might even prepay you for it.
- Information Overload (Information Constipation) / Confused about the next step – Once you have an idea for your topic, it’s time to actually start. So looking at this grouping, I’d think that the best place to get help with this is to find a Mastermind (online or offline), find some supportive social media groups (LinkedIn or Facebook have a ton), and/or start going to nearby Meetups to network.The idea behind all of these is that you want to get feedback from as many people as possible. You want to have a group to bounce ideas off of. Once you have that in place, you can ask them what they believe is the most important part of your business AND how you might be able to improve on those parts. Remember, you can make your strengths better and better, but you can only make your weaknesses so good.If you’re interested in finding a group but you don’t know where to find one, come on over to the New Inceptions Masterminder Group on Facebook (and soon to be LinkedIn… I’ll let you guys know) and we’ll gladly help you bounce ideas. In fact, I run two masterminds a week with members of this group.
Fizzle might be a good solution here as well, as they have a thriving forum to bounce ideas off of. In fact, the initial members for my masterminds I found through Fizzle. And let’s not forget that roadmap that I mentioned earlier. So that’s a choice as well.
- Trying to do too many things at once / I don’t have enough time – Ok, so this was the problem that Pat saw himself having in 2013 and 2014 before he hired people to help him step up his game for 2015. In fact, he had a talk where he and his guest talked about Superman Syndrome and how it can kill your business. I really think that chat made him think quite a bit.If you don’t have the capabilities to hire people (staff members or part timers) outright to do tasks (repeating or not) then perhaps you can get some help from those in your mastermind groups or other groups that you’re a part of. One of the things that I learned in getting America Multi-Sport off the ground yearly was that sometimes our sponsors didn’t give us money. Instead, they offered services and their time to support our events.Likewise, see if you can partner with those that are in your immediate circle of influence once you have a few decent connections. If they don’t stick, don’t be afraid to replace them.
- I fear failure / Struggle with Perfectionism – I’ve talked about both of these before. But just in case you haven’t heard it, here’s what you need to know: Failure can really only happen if you quit. Unless it’s in school or in Corporate America, life would tell us that just because something turned out a way that you didn’t expect, doesn’t mean it was a failure. Life is all about learning, and nature has made it so that the best way for us to learn is through things not going as planned. All you can do is pick yourself up, adjust, and try again. No big deal. It’s how we learn how to ride bikes and do anything else in life, right?As far as perfectionism goes, on one hand it’s an extension of the Superman Syndrome mentioned above. On the other hand, it’s an excuse. One that can debilitate you from getting anything done. If you feel that you struggle with being perfect, check out this post to help yourself get over it.
Take Productive Action
Just get started and keep it simple.
One of the things that has held me up for so long in getting New Inceptions started was that as I searched the web, I kept coming up with more and more things that I needed to be doing. The question is not whether or not I needed to do them. The question was in which order? The more I heard or listened to, the more I had on that list and the more confused I got.
While learning is a great thing, Just in time Learning is even better. Just in time learning is when we do a little bit of work, get stuck, find an answer, and then move on with a little bit more work.
When you’re taking action, make sure you’re doing so by utilizing your strengths first. If you don’t see yourself as a great writer, for example, don’t write. If you’re creativity relies on something that you must perform or do, then use another means to get it to others… such as video. And while you might be able to share it on YouTube, you might actually make a little income on using a platform like Udemy.com. Monetize on your actions any way you can from the get go – but be smart about it.
Ok gang, that’s the last post of 2015. I hope it gives you some motivation to make some strides in 2016. If you haven’t gotten started on making your hobbies or passions into a business, I’d recommend heading on over to Fizzle right now and get started on the Roadmap. When you go through any of the links on this page, you’ll be using my affiliate link. This is a win-win as you get your first month free (saving you $35 your first month). I don’t care if that’s as long as you stay. I just want you to set off 2016 on the right foot.
Let me know below if you’ve made it over there. I’d love to connect with you over there and possibly even get to know you more so we can do some awesome things together in 2016.