Top 5 tips to stay sane when running your own business/side hustle
Lauren is an Intuitive Marketing Mentor and Coach and works with purpose-driven solopreneurs who want to develop their marketing content in a way that is strategic yet also aligned and in flow with their soul purpose. She’s developed her approach over the last 3 years, and it hasn’t been an ‘easy’ journey, but she says it has been fulfilling with a steep learning curve.
When my corporate day job ended unexpectedly in October 2019, I had already been running a side hustle for a year which was a co-working club for parents. I didn’t feel ready to take the leap into solopreneurship, but I don’t think you ever do! Here are my top 5 tips to make it work for you without burning yourself out.
1. Really spend time developing the foundation of your business.
By this I mean the why- why are you doing this, what are your values, and how does your business and service offerings align with this. You may find you’re doing something you’re good at but isn’t necessarily making you feel lit up. This won’t be sustainable in the long term. We tend to skip ahead and start working on our colour palette, logo and branding before we’ve really dug deep and checked in at a soul level that this is the way that feels good for me right now. This is not a call to get stuck on perfectionism by the way, (see point 3!) but to make sure you aren’t doing something because you feel you ‘should’ or people say you’d be good at it
2. It isn’t a competition. Chill out and allow yourself time to breathe
I need to take my own advice here, so please know this is written by someone who also struggles with this a lot! Social media doesn’t help. We have been brought up in a society that has taught us to have a lack mentality- if someone else does well, that is somehow ‘bad’ for us. To look upon them with jealously instead of hope. Speaking from experience, if you do anything with a lack mentality-rushing to post something or complete something to get through your to-do list and feel like you are ‘on track’, people will pick up on this vibe, and it doesn’t actually help from a marketing point of view. When you chase people or come from a place of questioning why it isn’t working, you’ll get stuck in a repeating loop like Groundhog day. This does take some faith and trust that it WILL work out. What is meant for you won’t pass you by (a quote I saw on insta!) Based on this I created this graphic about lack mentality:
3. Done is better than perfect- just take action
Often we feel we aren’t good enough, our work isn’t good enough, we feel like an imposter. It’s hard to take the first few steps because they feel awkward and messy and like you haven’t got your s**t together. But that is the only way to develop your business and ultimately to grow it. Failure is all part of the process, and as a solopreneur, you do need to develop your resilience muscle- I’ve found that mistakes and perceived failures still hurt, but I’m now able to pick myself up and carry on a lot quicker. The only way we really learn is through putting things out there and getting feedback. Preparing to launch will never actually create a business. Talking to people, sharing your work and getting feedback will allow you to adjust your course and ensure you are doing both what you love and what people need.
4. Schedule down time in your calendar!
I teach cyclical marketing- aligning with the Moon which means there are 4 basic phases each month or 29.5 days. One of those phases (winter) is about taking down time, reflecting and resting. The reason I started using this approach myself was because I was always on, always working through my to-do list and never allowing myself to truly rest because there is ALWAYS more to do as a solo business owner… the to-do list is never 100% done! You need to come to terms with that and allow time with the laptop and phone off, to disconnect. This also applies to social media. Set boundaries around using it. Scrolling and comparing is never a recipe for happiness or for creating growth in your business.
The basic phases of the moon - we can align our work into these four phases:
5. Find a mentor, find your tribe
Well I would say this being a mentor myself, but truly it has made all the difference for me working with coaches and being in masterminds and memberships alongside like-minded people. Having accountability, connection and support and hearing that you’re not alone in dealing with all the things that come up when running your own business makes it bearable. The first three years of starting a business will likely be the hardest you’ve ever worked (tell me if you find otherwise!) So having people even just a few months ahead of where you are now really helps keep you on track and focused. That is why I also run an online membership called the CALM Marketing Community which embodies all these points!
I hope these tips have been useful. Please do feel free to get in touch –I’m on Instagram as @moon.mentor, LinkedIn as Lauren Jane Roberts, My Facebook group is here, and Pinterest as Moon Mentor or my website www.lauren-jane.com