Being a successful solopreneur is an extremely challenging goal.
Being a great parent is likewise extremely challenging.
So can you be both? With careful thought and planning, yes you can!! Many have accomplished this.
Both of these ambitions will take up lots of time and thought. They both leave you with very little energy at the end of the day. And they both linger psychologically: meaning that it’s very hard to “switch off” in either case.
As you can imagine then, finding a way to do both these things at the same time is quite a challenge. So what are some secrets for doing this?
Let’s take a look.
Perhaps you are too focused on work, which leaves you stressed when spending time with your family. Your webinar didn’t go well and you realize that you made mistakes in your presentation.
Or maybe you are thinking about your new product launch.
Or your business stress has you in a bad mood.
Maybe the cash flow isn’t what you want and you are struggling to pay your bills.
Then perhaps you’re too far the other way. Maybe you’re a great parent, but you let that interfere with your work-life. Maybe you can’t focus at work and you’re constantly taking holiday to spend time with your family.
Maybe you’re distracted by hearing the kids play downstairs and you just can’t focus on work.
These are definitely issues many stay-at-home Moms face when they start a business.
So, what do you do?
There’s no single answer to this. There are so many variables in this situation that one answer wouldn’t be relevant for everyone.
I would say to pray and ask God for guidance. He will help you to see how to maneuver this. How to plan and how to implement your plan.
But here’s a truth that is fairly universal: If you try to do both things simultaneously then you will do neither well.
This is why you need to be very strict and disciplined about what you consider to be “work time” and what you consider to be “home time.”
Some successful solopreneurs “dress” for work – just as if they were going to an office. No pajama days for them. This simple trick can help them and their families realize that office hours are important.
Set up a schedule for work, and stick to it. Focus on your work for these set periods of time, and afterwards, switch your attention to your family. Then focus on them!
You might feel as though that defeats many of the benefits of being self-employed in the first place. But there are ways to get the benefits AND still keep things separate.
For one: as long as you are able to focus hard and work fast, there is nothing to stop you from taking additional breaks throughout the day. As long as they are clearly defined and you go back to work afterward!
Sometimes you can try to focus on completing a certain amount of work, rather than working for a given amount of time. This incentivizes you to work quickly, and it means you often can take more time to be with your family!
One of the great benefits of being a solopreneur and a parent is that you are setting a good example. Your children see that you are working hard – and they want to emulate that behavior.
They also see that you are setting goals and accomplishing them. Children thrive when they see the success of their parents. They will even benefit from seeing you make mistakes and correct your course along the way.
Such examples are “caught” and you will see your children being more productive. They too will want to be visionaries and set goals. They too will want to put in the work necessary to achieve those goals.
So pray, plan, implement, and be a great role model for your children. They will gain much from having such a parent!
And you will flourish in your pursuits!
It’s the start of a new week. Do you have a “Start Your Week Off Right” routine?
I can’t say that I always have.
I like to begin each day with coffee and the Bible. But I haven’t always taken the time to think about my focus for a week. Another week dedicated to my God, my family, and my special assignment from my Creator.
That’s what life is, you know. Your life is your special assignment from God. Nobody looks just like you. Or thinks just like you. Or has gifts and desires just like you.
You are different. You are one of a kind. A masterpiece. Even when you are in a crowd of people, there’s no one quite like you.
Do Your Customers Trust You?
It’s a well-known fact that people like to do business with people that they know, like, and trust.
So every now and then we have to take a personal inventory. How do we measure up?
When I think about this concept, I almost break out into laughter, because I am reminded of one of my favorite all-time businesses.
Are you ready?
A tire store. Mac’s Tire Store in Tupelo, Mississippi. Let me tell you about that store.
You may have heard that my husband and I lived in Mississippi for about 25 years. We had some wonderful times while there, and I loved the area.
However, there were a couple of times when I would suddenly find my tire low in air, and I wouldn’t know what to do about it. (It seemed that Mickey was out of town or in a business meeting when those times came).Could it be fixed easily, or was it serious? I certainly didn’t know.
So I would take my car to Mac’s and confidently wait with my cup of coffee in hand and a pleasant magazine to browse.
I was confident because I knew these people. Their service would be quick and first rate. They would do a good job, and they woudn’t try to sell me something that I didn’t need. In fact, once I went in thinking that we needed new tires and they talked me out of it!
Now that’s my kind of a store!
It’s funny because I don’t even care about cars. Much less tires. But when I was in trouble, I knew these people would help me. They came to my rescue, and I was incredibly grateful.
The kind of trust that Mac’s had with me (and others), didn’t come over night. They had worked at building their business on a strong foundation of integrity and friendliness. They knew that most people think of tires as an unpleasant necessity, and so they worked at making the experience at their store to be the best it could be.
Have you thought about this element in your business lately? I have. Every now and then, I like to take a step back and look at this issue. How trustworthy do my customers see me?
I think that this is even more important for online businesses. Since people can’t see us and talk with us face to face, it’s even more important to convince them that they can trust the products and courses they buy from us. They need to know that we understand their needs and concerns and help them meet those needs.
I’m determined to build my own business around the same concepts which made Mac’s so great.
The following points to improve your trust ranking and build better relationships in your business. They can also be used to regain trust too.
- Understanding and Empathy – try to look for things that you have in common with people and then build trust from there.
- Being Honest and Open – don’t be scared to show your true emotions and viewpoints. Of course be receptive to other people’s opinions too.
- Be Genuine – show people that you care.
- Have Respect – you need to respect yourself and others and treat people as equal. Do not blame or criticize anyone or make them feel guilty.
- Listening – really pay attention to what someone is saying and demonstrate that you understand them. All it takes is a quick nod in agreement to achieve this and trust will quickly build.
- Best Interests – learn how to take other people’s interests into account, not just your own. Look for solutions so that everyone becomes a winner.
- Being Reliable – when you promise to do something, follow through and get the task done. Don’t make promises that you have no intention of keeping.
Think about how you can take these principles and apply them to your business practices. If you promised to look into something for a customer, actually follow through and do so. Even if you don’t locate what it was they were looking for, at least you made the effort and tried. This will no doubt be totally appreciated by them and helps build trust and respect.
Sometimes mistakes happen or you sell or refer a product that isn’t suitable. When this happens be honest and tell your customers or clients that you made a mistake. This helps demonstrate solid business practices along with trust.
If you truly want to run a business with honesty, integrity and trust then take steps to build relationships with everyone you meet on a day to day. Be personable. Open.
One of the best ways to build trust is to write a book. Share your life. Your stories. Your point of view.
For material to help you get started, check this out.
In the meantime, Keep on Soaring!