The solopreneur trap of doing too much

by Michele on July 11, 2013

One of the biggest concerns I hear from solopreneurs or would-be solopreneurs is that there is too much to do outside of working for clients that it can’t be done without working 7 days a week.  One new business owner said something to the effect of: “By the time you do all the other stuff there isn’t enough time to sign up and serve new clients.”  Nothing could be further from the truth, and hearing this misconception makes me sad.  It’s sad that a business may not be born because of this misconception and that the world could miss out on what that business might offer.  It’s sad for the individual who may not realize their dream of a solopreneur business.  It’s really sad because it’s not true!

This time myth seems to be true because so many solopreneurs spend a lot of time doing a lot of things.  It also seems true because a lot of people who want bigger business organizations strongly encourage hiring and having a team, which may mean leaving the solopreneur model behind.  Just for clarity, I do believe you can have some outsourced help and still be a solopreneur.

So why does it seem like there is too much to do aside from working with customers in a solopreneur business?

I believe this problem happens when a business owner doesn’t work with a strategy or plan.  They hear some new technique and add it immediately to their work load without first investigating if it is a good idea for that particular business.  The result is that the task list of the business owner grows and grows, but there is no cohesive plan for how the parts fit together and create sales.  Instead of a logical plan, the business promotion strategy becomes a patchwork of random tasks that are only on the business owner’s radar because he or she heard about them.  This is not the way to build success!

What works better than randomly adding tasks?  Have a strategic plan for your business and evaluate anything new against that plan.  Make sure that any new task is either already in your plan or that it complements your plan.  It needs to have a specific purpose which is either creating sales or completing an intermediate step to a sale (e.g. having a potential client request a sample).  Once you know what the new task is supposed to do for your business, make sure to create some measurable goals for the new tasks.  That’s the only way to know if it is doing anything for your business.  Once you measure, test and revise.  Repeat this for each new thing you are thinking of adding to your business activities.

Your time is one of your most precious resources in your solopreneur business.  Make sure every task you do pulls its weight, and make any new task earn a place in your business before you take it on.

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