Should solopreneurs say yes to every opportunity?

by Michele on January 24, 2012

Strategy helps solopreneurs choose events wisely

Think strategically when choosing which events to attend for your solopreneur business

I was with a friend over the weekend, and she mentioned an event that she was going to and thought I’d be interested in attending as well. She had told me about it a few years ago and I checked it out and decided it wasn’t for me at this time. When I told her so, she was absolutely stunned! Here she was, presenting me with what seemed like a golden opportunity and I was turning it down. Her thinking was that my business must be at capacity or otherwise I’d be going, but that wasn’t my reason.

The reason I wasn’t going comes down to the #1 thing business owners must have to succeed: strategy.  Strategy is everything in a business. It means that everything you do is intentional and has a purpose that contributes to your success. For live events, strategy doesn’t mean going to any and every event that is open to you and hoping that it will help. Strategy means having a specific aim in mind for attending events, and a specific type of person you want to meet. To show how having a strategy guides decision making, I’ll tell you why I turned this event down.

For my business strategy, if I’m going to an event to meet potential clients then the event audience should have some correlation to what I do. There should be something about the event that attracts people who have or want their own solopreneur business. The event my friend invited me to was more or less a random assortment of the public. There was no attraction specifically for the people I feel most called to serve, solopreneurs.

The second factor that led to my decision is that this event required 5 to 8 hours on a Saturday plus prep time. This is a massive chunk of time to spend in an untargeted manner. There was also no guarantee you’d actually get any time in front of anyone. The event is run in a very free-form manner, and people may or may not enter your room when you give a talk and they can come and go as they please during the talk. This isn’t conducive to sharing anything of value with anyone.

The final factor to consider is that I live in the Los Angeles area, and there are dozens of events every week. I haven’t even begun to attend all the events I could that would possibly have people interested in what I do. Until I’ve made a considerable showing at those events, it simply doesn’t make sense to go to an event filled with random people.

It’s easy to pulled off course if you don’t have pre-set goals and strategy. Having those in mind helps guide your decisions and give you something to measure your success.

Have you set your goals for the year and your strategy for achieving them? Tell me about it in the comments – I’d love to hear how strategy helps you or if it doesn’t. If you don’t have a strategy yet, let’s talk and start setting one up. Click here to schedule a call with me.

Comments

  1. Mozette says:

    I have been through this before. Last year, I was offered a great opportunity to be published through Bibliotastic.com . This was great. So, I jumped on board and asked a few of my writer friends to help me edit six of my stories; and to be brutal with me (as I don’t take offense that easily when it comes to writing so long it’s constructive). Well, a month later, I e-mailed my manuscript with the contents, dedication and cover art to the publishers and they set up an account for me… and my book was published online through an e-book format! Yay!
    Well, the first thing one of my writer friends said was: “Okay now to get into writing the next one.” Now, I don’t throw books out there just to get people’s attention. It’s only been a month and I’m not going to work my butt off to get another book out there if there isn’t much of a fanfare about the first one. I’m going to wait about three months or so before I put out the next one because if I’m doing something wrong, it’ll show up sooner rather than after I’ve tossed out three or four books into cyberspace and wasted my time.
    I do have other stories – and books – to be edited and published, plenty of them, but I’m a very patient kind of person and will wait until the time is right for me to put my next book out, not until the public is. I believe in lettin’ ’em sweat a little. 🙂

    1. Michele says:

      Mozette, nice strategy on all counts! I love that you are so deliberate about getting your writing out. Congratulations on being published and best of luck with the future books!

      1. Mozette says:

        Thank you. I’ve been trying to get published since I was 15 without any luck. However, as with most things in life, you gotta start at the bottom. And at 38, I’m just happy to have so many people looking at my book so far and it’s only been a month.

        I am eager to have more people read more of my work, but I know if I flood the market too much – and with the wrong reading material – I won’t succeed. I have noticed that this game is like Chess, there’s strategy, patience and cunning at all turns; and to be successful I have to know my opponents well.

  2. Don Talbert says:

    Hi Michelle,
    I agree that strategy is key. When going to an event, first figure out why you’re going.
    I also want to point out that I don’t go to an event to find clients. I go to find people who have clients, and leverage myself through them. I call it wholesale prospecting.
    I also developed a tool, that prompts people to go through a pre event checklist, a pre event expectations form, and a post event evaluation.
    It’s a great tool for measuring expectations and results. Not to mention, building an inventory of contacts for that all important follow up.
    Thanks for posting this valuable info.
    Don

    1. Michele says:

      Don, Love your idea of wholesale prospecting! I like that you prompt people to use a formal process for setting expectations and measuring results. It’s a great way to make sure you are on track and getting results for your efforts.

      Michele

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