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The 5 Rules of Solopreneur Success

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Do you believe that you have to limit your company's growth because you're a solo entrepreneur? 'Solo' doesn't necessarily mean small but sometimes we forget to think big.

Solopreneurs don't always consider the long-term plan, including things like outsourcing and developing products. If we think small we feel small, and are more likely to stay small -it's as simple as that. Today I would like to encourage you to stretch your brilliant, creative mind to see your world as you want it to be in 3 years from now. Begin by asking yourself these questions:

In three years from now…

How many hours a day/week/month will I work?
How will my cash flow have changed?
What is/are my primary revenue stream?
In what ways will my business have grown?

If you see your days, cash flow and business much in the same way as you see it today, ask yourself,
'Is that how I really want things to be?'

If you're content and meeting your goals, that's fabulous. But if you want additional growth, freedom, and financial independence begin by creating rules for your business – and understand your vision.

Have a Plan and a Vision – We tend to get caught up trying to keep up. Schedule a day away from the office to create a map for your business. Chart its progress along the way and know that you may want or need to take a detour every now and then. What is your plan? How will your business grow? How can you plan for that growth? Do you have ideas for passive revenue? Will you add products or services? Understand where you're headed and you will get there much more effectively.

Don't Go Solo All The Way – Doing it alone limits your growth potential. As you create your plan build in a description of your 'job.'  Spending the majority of your time bringing in new business and building relationships will help you grow. If you provide a service that depends on you, like massage therapy, think about product sales, hiring other service providers on a freelance basis, and perhaps joining a network marketing business that fits into your vision and that you feel passionate about. Also, outsource tasks like building a website and bookkeeping. This will allow you more time to network and build your business.

Play by Your Rules – Plans need to be flexible; new opportunities and ideas may arise and things can change. But when you build your vision and the steps to get there, you can remind yourself of the long-term goal before charting a new direction. When you create your plan for growth, consult that plan carefully before committing yourself to a new project or direction.  It's helpful to have a timeline in place as well.

Don't Compare - I made a big mistake when I got on board with Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets - I followed all of the coaches that appeared to have what I wanted. 'I'll learn from them,' I thought. And I did learn a few things, but mostly I sank into a slump.  The truth is everyone puts on their best face when they're in public but we have no idea what their world truly looks like. It's good to keep an eye on the competition but do it for positive reasons and strategic planning purposes. Focus on YOU, your plan, and your desires. They are the only things that count. Compare your progress to your plan and nothing else.

Celebrate Your Successes as They Come – So many business owners minimize their success because they measure it only in terms of money. This lack of recongnition can cause a ripple effect of demotivating thoughts and behaviors. As you meet your strategic milestones and tackle difficult hurdles, celebrate them! Tell 3 friends; take a little time off for a long walk or a glass of wine with someone who will celebrate with you. Working with a coach is a great opportunity to bring awareness to your achievements. Many of my clients will make comments like, 'I had no idea how much I have accomplished this month!' You won't realize it unless you chart your course and recognize how far you've traveled.

Last updated: May 11, 2010

MARLA TABAKA

Marla Tabaka is a small-business advisor who helps entrepreneurs around the globe grow their businesses well into the millions. She has over 25 years of experience in corporate and start-up ventures and speaks widely on combining strategic and creative thinking for optimum success and happiness.




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