As solo-preneurs and “mom-preneurs” it’s easy to get stuck into traps that keep you small. I’ve done it and I watch you do it, too.
Identifying problems that lead to stress, burnout, and unsustainable business practices is the first step in creating plans that can and will help you modify how you work and make positive changes.
Most of us are multi-talented, we are capable of maintaining a blog, designing, writing, crocheting samples doing some kind of graphics, managing and juggling. We often lack clarity because of this and that keeps us small.
Ask yourself these questions:
1. Which part of my business do I sit down to do first no matter what kind of day I’ve had.
2. Which part of my business do I sit down to do last, no matter what kind of day I had.
Do the same with secondary and tertiary tasks.
The things that make the top of the list are where you excel, these things do not expend your energy reserves. Things at which you do not excel are tasks you may want to hire out. (Accounting, PR, taxes, graphics, pattern writing.)
Knowing what gives and takes away from your energy reserves is important! It helps you gain clarity and define real goals.
“Oh it’s just something I do…” “I’m not like (insert name here), maybe someday.” “It’s not like I’m a real (designer/writer/tech editor/contract crocheter)…”
If you find yourself saying or thinking these kinds of things then you are selling yourself short. I know, we were all trained to
believe that speaking highly of ourselves made us braggarts and egotistical. There is nothing wrong with saying and thinking things that are positive and make you feel strong about who you are and what you do!
“I am a crochet designer.” “I am an expert about garment construction.” “I’m a crochet teacher.”
Catch yourself saying or thinking thoughts of depreciation, stop and replace them with an “I am” statement.
One of the biggest ways to lose enthusiasm for what you do, is to start seeing the world as a place of scarce resources. The reality is there are enough resources to serve every human on the planet and then some. (The problem is with allocation, cultivation, and husbandry, not quantity.)
When you worry about making money, when you fear not having enough, you freeze up, you compete, you look over your shoulder, and you see everyone as competition. You can not sustain that kind of business as a
solopreneur/mom-preneur. You will burn a lot of bridges, you will make bad business decisions and you won’t be able to grow. Large corporations can function with that mentality because they are big enough organisms to survive the fall out. One of their divisions dies off, there are twenty more to replace the dead division; you do not operate at that level.
Look at how you view competition. Don’t view people as stepping stones; see them as partners and watch things flourish
Money guilt is symptomatic of many creative people. We have wrongly been indoctrinated that having money makes you greedy. I used to suffer from this greatly! Then one day I realized that money was just a tool. I live in a world that uses money to exchange for goods and services. I volunteer and help people less fortunate than myself in my community and I always have done so, so having would having money change that? Nope.
Money helps buy things like groceries, cars, houses, and shoes for the kids.
Feeling guilty about making money or being successful doesn’t help you run a business and can lead to burn out fast.
Evaluate your feelings about this; do you really think having more money would fundamentally change your personality? Will you ever be that greedy person? Will you ever be that jerk? I doubt it.
You don’t have to do it ALL yourself!
Many mom-preneurs fall prey to having to do it all and be it all. We are less likely to ask for help and often see hiring contractors and other professional services as proof of our insufficiencies.
Get help! I couldn’t maintain Hookey.org without the help of moderators and the Welcome Wagon. I also have a few folks that help me with editing, and soon some people will be guest blogging here.
Does it make me less than capable? Nope. In fact if I were to start designing again, I would hire contract crocheters, tech editors and pattern testers. Why? Does it mean I’m lazy? Nope, I’m not lazy, but I know my strengths and weaknesses, I would rather promote and run the marketing program than write patterns.
You can afford this! Stay tuned for more info on hiring contractors and professional services!
Fear of Success
Fear of success is the leading killer of businesses and careers. It’s related to money guilt in that for some reason we prize being “nice” people. Nice people over do, over give, over commit, undercharge and give away themselves.
I am not going to say that “nice guys finish last” because it’s not a saying in which I believe, but I will say our definition of “nice” needs to change.
All businesses including not for profits are designed to generate revenue. The difference between a not for profit and a for profit, is how that money is spent; a not for profit reinvests the money into the business. Notice that the heads of organizations like the Girl Scouts of America and the American Red Cross are not poor folk eeking out a living.
As a micro-business or small business owner you will most likely operate more like a not for profit, in that you will reinvest most of your earnings into your business.
Whereas, I believe firmly there are enough resources in the world for everyone, I also know that as individuals our personal resources of time and energy are limited to the rules of our world.
STOP GIVING YOURSELF AWAY!
(That means lots and lots of detailed free patterns. Look, the internet is full of free patterns. If you are giving away complex garments, afghans etc. STOP! You can give them to your friends and family, but why to the whole world? If you want to do this as a profession then you need to charge. If you want to give away free patterns, then make it something small and simple.)