Confessions of a Solopreneur 4: I am all things to all people
Agility, by any other name… is judged.
For the past couple of months, I’ve taken on a role with a client to work from their office. What does that mean? That means, they had a need, and I filled it. Is it exactly what I do? Errrr no. Is it something I can do? Yes.
Why am I doing it?
A few reasons actually, and I am going to be honest here… because 👆🏾 confessions.
First, as a solopreneur, especially in the early years, you either have patchy periods of work or you have so much work you feel like you’re drowning. ‘Comatose or Cardiac arrest’ I like to call it. There is rarely an average. No, really. It’s either consistent 12-hour days or back-to-back hair and massage appointments for a few days. And one day soon I’ll learn to enjoy the down days, but a few years into it, I don’t know how to yet. That is pretty much how everyone feels early into building anything… panicky AF.
So any chance for stability that supports your overall efforts to build your business must be seized with both hands and hung onto for dear life.
Second, while this is an existing and fairly regular client, there’s not a whole lot of chance that I would’ve got quite so much work from them in the first couple of months of the year.
Third, it offers the opportunity to consolidate my position with them and give them a first hand (paid) demo of what else I might be able to do for them going forward.
Fourth, and perhaps most important 🙄 it lets me get off my couch, get out there, enjoy some grown-up, corporate company, and luxuries (coffee, drunk while hot, comes to mind).☕️
What’s not to like?
When you are small, above all, you are agile. And that’s a good thing. It’s often easy to get caught up in the need for a specialty. For a niche. For the ‘one thing’, you do to be so stand out that you must talk of nothing else and be nothing else.
Well, it’s 2017! Anything you do, 20K other people are probably already doing. And, brace yourself, probably doing better than you. Getting hung up on labels right up front is probably not the best idea.
Fuck that shit! Bring your specialty into the way you think about the opportunities in front of you.
When you’re small, you hustle. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s a cop out.
Do what you can.
Keep that mind working.
Keep creating more work. Nothing keeps you current like honing your craft.
Keep getting paid.
Set up a separate financial account for your business and get used to the habit of money going into and out of it. (I am embarrassed by quite how long it took me to do this.) That’s the only thing that gives you street cred. That’s how you will become eligible for loans, or grants, or mortgages or even be able to afford things like insurance.
And in the end, those are the reasons we work right? It’s no different for a solopreneur.
So I say take the path your business needs. Shut out the fucked up noise. Focus on your long game, baby… long game. And make tiny (or massive) steps towards it. Keep on walking. We’ll get there. I couldn’t believe that more.