If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.
You have this big dream in your heart that you are going to start your own business and become successful. You have all these skills, talents, abilities and a desire to help others and it is time for the world to know who you are. You become a solopreneur and you want to be able to live the laptop lifestyle of the rich and famous.
So, you boldly make the decision, you figure out some basics like what you want to offer, how much you are going to charge and then announce to your family and the whole world through Social Media that you are in business.
And more nothing…
Your heart starts to race. Shouldn’t you have clients? You think to yourself, “I just need to get a few people to use my services and they will tell others, so I will give it away for free.” You get a few of your friends to help you out, but there aren’t a lot of results. They give you a good testimonial but it all feels fake. When you try to talk to people about what you do, and they ask if you have had any clients yet and you go, “Well, yes, but they were my friends…” The person walks away, and you know that you lost your opportunity to work with them.
Within a short space of time you have given up on your dream and settled for average, believing that the solopreneur lifestyle is only for ‘special, deserving, worthy, talented people’ and you aren’t one of them. You console yourself with the fact that you ‘tried.’
But did you really?
If you are being truly honest with yourself, you know that you didn’t. How do I know? Because I was there many times before I found the solution. I would try so many things only to give up before I ever really started. The desire was there but I lacked the knowledge I needed to see it through.
What Were Some Things That I Learned?
1. Prospecting and Positioning Is The Number One Skill I Had To Learn
If I cannot generate leads and then convert them into clients, I don’t have a business!!! It was the last thing I wanted to learn; but, if I was going to have any results, I had to learn it quick. Once I could do that, my business grew because I already had the other skills I needed to work with my clients.
2. It Takes Time & You Have To Trust
A business does not grow overnight. I stopped focusing on the big dream and concentrated only on making small goals, such as my first paying client, earning $500 a month, getting good reviews and testimonials and improving my prospecting skills. As I did that, I was able to stay encouraged and keep moving forward.
3. Sweat Equity
I had no money to invest to build my business and it was hard not to be jealous of those who could and got instant results. I had to choose the hard way because there was no other way for me. I pounded the pavement and I talked to a lot of people, just to get a few who would hire me. I kept putting myself out there and never giving up. Opportunities would come my way, I would be pressured to go into debt for my business and I would answer, “Sorry, it is not in my budget right now,” and have to walk away.
It was hard. I had to learn how to do everything myself because I had no money to hire someone to do it. Over time an amazing thing started to happen, my business grew. I only spent money that I had and said ‘no’ to everything else. I worked very hard.
4. No Became My Friend
Rejection never became a part of my business because “No” became my friend. I learned to accept it and even welcome it. I knew that for every so many no’s a yes was sure to follow. I made it a goal to find the no’s.
5. I Learned to Value Me
I have a lot of skills, talents and abilities and I am valuable whether I served zero clients or hundreds of them. When I stopped measuring my self-worth by the number of clients I had, my life changed. I could talk to anyone about my business and do it confidently, even though I didn’t have much experience, because I knew that I could help them. I became more relaxed and it came across in my body language because I no longer cared if someone wanted to work with me.
Being a solopreneur is one of the hardest and most rewarding things you can do. It will challenge you in ways you can never expect, and you will become better then you can ever imagine.
I want to encourage you. If you a solopreneur and need some help learning how to prospect and position yourself as an expert in your niche, send me a message and let’s talk. I will give you a few practical tips tailored to you to help get you started.