Being a solopreneur is a fantastic way to lead a business lifestyle that you will love. Venturing out on your own presents you with the opportunity to experience the satisfaction of creating something from scratch.
Until a few years ago, solopreneurship was usually thought of as an interim career move and as something you would do when you’re between jobs. This perception, however, is now changing by giving solopreneurship or freelancing, the status of a long-term career path. Freelancing is, in fact, turning out to be a more financially secure career path, where an average freelancer is able to reach their income goal within a time period of 23 months.
Check out these numbers: 54% of Freelancers have no interest in returning to full-time employment. Forty two percent freelancers reach their come goal within the first year.
The Need for Discipline
Being a freelancer calls for tons of discipline and a controlled approach because here you are your own boss and are directly responsible for your income and your business growth. An effortless to-do list and basic time management technique do not cut it for a rewarding career path as a freelancer.
There is a need to imbibe certain must-have disciplines for success as a solopreneur. One must focus on the quality of work instead of the quantity. Of course, the amount of work you do is important, but the importance of maintaining the quality is much higher. Delivering good quality work on a consistent basis is essential for client retention and adding a level of credibility to your profile.
In its important to maintain contracts for the benefit of both yourself and your client. A contract helps define the payment terms, confidentiality terms, deadlines, and the expected work quality. It serves as a written guarantee and makes it easier to keep things transparent in every project.
One should create a suitable work environment and have a dedicated workspace, which is meant for nothing, but work. This will help create a distraction-free zone for you in the comfort of your home and help you stay focused and be productive. If you are able to deliver better from a coffee shop or if you feel an office setup or a coworking space will help you focus better, pack your bag, get dressed, and head out.
Track your finances by keeping a check on your earnings and your expenditures on a regular basis. This will help you get a clear picture of your actual income every month, and how much more you absolutely need to do make, in order to reach your income goal.
Decide and stick to your working hours. Even if you are working out of your home, draw a line between your home routine and your work routine. Once that line blurs, it will only hamper your focus, your seriousness, and your quality of work.
Dress to succeed and play the part of a true professional is underrated. Do not be a slob and dress for work the way you would at a full-time job. What you wear influences your mindset and your confidence level, which is why it is important you dress up to feel comfortable, functional, and confident when you are working towards achieving your career goals.
How to Improve Productivity
In solopreneurship, maintaining productivity and delivering competent work consistently takes just a little extra effort. It is not impossible to be productive as a freelancer, as long as you work by an unusual set of rules. In fact, a report by Stanford Graduate School of Business states that working from home improves work performance by 13%. Also, the company saw a $2,000 increase in the annual profit after letting their employees work from home.
Create a work calendar and plan your day around it, take regular short breaks to avoid burning out and ensure focus, and stay updated with technology to use it to grow your business. Also, instead of taking up you work clientwise or projectwise, try taking it up task-wise. Group all similar tasks together and get done with them one by one. You can then move on to the next group of tasks.
Freelancing myths busted
There are a number of preconceived notions and myths about freelancing that have been interfering with the success and growth rate of freelancers all these years.
Freelancing is stress-free: Freelancing is not free from the stress of work and deadlines. As a freelancer, you have to handle the challenge of finding good work, of meeting deadlines and managing projects, and making enough money every month to meet your income goal. The uncertainty involved in the world of freelancing creates work stress that is sometimes worse than in a full-time employment.
Lesser work hours: For a full-time freelancer, the number of work hours are no less than work hours at a full-time job. To be able to deliver good work on time, a freelancer too has to work during regular business hours, sometimes even more. How much money a freelancer makes is directly dependent on the amount and quality of work, both of which usually take up long working hours. Finding good projects and handling client communications also form an important part of their to-do list. The only way to improve the number of working hours for a freelancer is improvement in their efficiency with time.
Freelancing is Good Money: As a freelancer who is just starting out, the possibility of make good money with every project is a myth. You sure can fix your rate and control your income-flow and workflow, but even that does not guarantee a steady and a good income every month, especially in the initial months. The initial period usually goes by in finding clients and establishing your credibility in the market.
Flexibility to Travel Around: One usually imagines a freelancer traveling places and being able to work from an exotic cafe or the hotel they are staying in. Two important factors that come into play when planning a travel are money and time, both of which may be a limitation for a freelancer at work. When a freelancer has deadlines to meet, traveling around also has limitations like being unable to find leisure time, and the problem of not being able to find good internet connectivity every place you go to.
Finding Clients is Easy: Finding clients for work is not as easy as it may seem. Despite the various platforms where you can seek and bid for projects, creating a strong profile and attracting good clients is neither certain, nor does it happen overnight. This is a process that takes time, patience, and constant effort.
Quality is Enough: Delivering good quality work is critical for the success of a freelancer, but it certainly isn’t enough. Being proactive to be able to stay ahead of competition, keeping yourself updated, staying active on social media platforms, and getting new clients, are some of the many challenges that a freelancer needs to meet for a successful and a long-term freelancing career.
Solopreneurship is a one-man show where one juggles everything single-handedly. Meetings, finances, bills, administrative work, and the actual work, everything has to be done, and done well, by one person. It takes a lot of commitment and will to plunge into this challenging yet satisfying world of solopreneurship. With complete focus, a strategic approach, and determination, solopreneurs can achieve tremendous rewards while they bask in freedom and flexibility.
Rise in the number of solopreneurs has triggered a shift in the workforce. Advancement and accessibility of technology has made this choice of career scalable and has created a vast market place than what is achievable by traditional ways of business.
Many major businesses and now looking to take a pick from the vast market of on-demand resources to manage workload and take advantage of a specialized skill-set.