Years of laboring in the salt mines as you wonder what the specific ramifications of physically attacking your supervisor might do to your career are finally over.
Not only are you self-employed, you're the only place the “buck” stops.
But after a while, life as a solopreneur can become very routine. You may begin to feel isolated, easily distracted and then finally… bored.
These are the warning signs of what I call, “Solopreneur Rut” and if left untreated, it can be very damaging to the business you've worked so hard to build.
Here are 3 tips that I use to avoid the Solopreneur Rut:
Learn, Establish & Practice Effective Time Management Skills
In a solo office, it's easy to adopt a “Whack-a-Mole” mentality towards managing projects, emails, social media, phone calls and administrative issues that arise during the day.
While you'll certainly feel that you've been busy at the end of the business day, you probably won't feel that you've accomplished what you set out to do that day. Unexpected issues will always arise, but the time you spend dealing with them should be the exception, not the rule.
Instead, maximize your productivity by practicing effective time management. Establish deadlines daily, evaluate any progress (or lack thereof) on each project and prioritize your tasks in order to get the job done efficiently and effectively.
Maintain Communication with Colleagues, Old Co-Workers, Mentors and Mentees
Regularly schedule meetings and keep in touch with individuals who support your vision. The meetings might range from a simple call, grabbing a cup of coffee at Starbucks, a lunch or joining a like-minded local group that you found on Meetup.com. (Here's one that I organize here in Orlando: http://www.meetup.com/ASMCOAFF/)
Not only will the contact keep you from feeling alienated and lonely, it can also help you professionally by establishing or strengthening your business network.
Best of all, it gives you the opportunity to troubleshoot things going on in your business and provides a chance to hear other opinions aside from your own.
Practice Regular Evaluations
Practice regular self-evaluations in the same vein as you probably received during annual reviews from your supervisor at your old job.
I like to schedule my self-evaluation quarterly as it gives me enough data and history to review without being too shortsighted. I set it for the same date that I pay my Quarterly Estimated Taxes so I can get two distasteful tasks over at the same time. 😉
If you have a mentor, it might be good to set up a time for them to review your self-assessment and provide feedback.
Adoption of these tips can help you work smarter keep you going on an optimum trajectory.
What else helps you avoid the Solopreneur Rut?