Being a solopreneur is exciting and empowering, but it can often feel exhausting. Since you are starting your own business, you often have to wear many different hats to manage all parts of the business before you can hire staff.
Constantly moving from one task to another can leave you feeling underweight and working longer than you expected. But even without a staff dedicated to helping you control the many moving parts, there are ways to manage your energy and avoid burnout.
To help you with this, a panel of Council for Young Entrepreneurs members share their best advice for “doing it all” as a solo business owner.
1. Divide your day into segments
When you are a solopreneur, you spend most of your time and energy solving operational problems. While sorting them out is a priority for the smooth running of your business, it ultimately saves you money and time. I would recommend dividing the day into two halves, with the first half devoted to sales and only bringing money into the business. Really, 99% of problems can be solved when money comes in to a company. The second half of the day should be further broken down into five segments: marketing, finance, business operations (including government work), HR, and personal. These five segments are essential parts of your business, but they drain your energy. Having time for personal work is also necessary because that is usually the least priority. † Kripa Shroff† AK Multinational LLC
2. Automate Certain Tasks
If you are a solopreneur, you wear different hats. You simultaneously take on the role of the customer service representative, salesperson, leadcoder and much more. But arranging everything yourself is not easy. To make things easier and more efficient, you should definitely try out apps and systems that are available online that allow you to automate your tasks. That way you can save a lot of time and use it to focus on tasks that really matter. † Josh Kohlbach† Wholesale Suite
3. Clock enough hours of sleep
Entrepreneurs should prioritize their physical and mental health. If you are not at the top of your game, your results will be negatively affected. Many entrepreneurs try to do everything, which takes enough time in the day to get everything done. Sleep is the first thing they cut from the schedule to make more time. That’s a big mistake. Sleep is crucial to allow your body and mind to recover and regenerate. Do a quick search online and see how much sleep a person your age should get to feel (and work) their best. Most entrepreneurs can’t get enough of it. Try improving your sleeping habits for a week and see how different you feel: more energetic, productive and happier. Your business and your life as an entrepreneur will improve. † Jonathan Prichard† MattressInsider.com
4. Throw, reduce and delegate your time
Whatever you focus your attention on, you focus your energy and ultimately your life. The most common problem for solopreneurs is that when they divert attention from something useful, they don’t get their time back. And as they grow, so does the demand for their attention, diluting their focus on higher ROI activities. There is a high cost in an attention economy, so creating awareness about where it is allocated becomes a top-notch skill to acquire. An effective approach is to divert resources away from wrong items before refocusing on the right ones. To earn back attention, identify parts of your routine and see if you can 1. dispose, 2. reduce, and 3. delegate to make better use of your time. Often the most practical first step is not to do something. † Michael Ranfone† Ranfone Performance Consulting
5. Be intentional with your focus
Being a solo founder is tough. The number 1 thing that requires your attention is your focus. Most startups don’t die because the founder hasn’t worked hard, but because they’re working on the wrong things everywhere. Be extremely intentional about where you want to spend your time. In an early start-up phase, the founder must eliminate distractions. At a late stage of startup, they have to delegate the task to someone else. The key to maintaining laser focus also comes from being disciplined about your personal habits. A startup is usually an extension of the founder. So with a good sleep schedule and exercise routine you will go a long way. It keeps you energized and resilient and allows you to free up time to give your full attention to the things that need it most. † Brent Liang† fractal
6. Start with small, quick tasks
A practical tip is to complete all the tasks you can complete in five minutes or less, be it administrative work, marketing, personal tasks or anything else. One of the reasons solopreneurs get burned out is that they have a million tasks to complete. It is exhausting to realize how much they have to do. If you list all the short tasks first and disable them, you can save both energy and time. There are powerful psychological effects that occur when you get rid of small and easy tasks. You feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when you get a few jobs out of the way. You will also realize in a deeper sense that it is possible to chop down a mountain of tasks an inch at a time. Start with small, quick tasks and you’ll find enough energy to accomplish everything. † Blair Williams† Members Press
7. Take time off
One tip I would give solopreneurs is to take some time for themselves several times a year. It’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day business, but if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to do anything else because you’ll get burned out. † Kristin Kimberly Marquet† Marquet Media, LLC
8. Remember why you do it
It’s so easy to get stuck in the startup phase of a business due to the amount of work or getting discouraged. That’s why when you first start building your business, it’s important to stay focused on the end goal and trust that you will eventually get help and that it won’t always be just you. Taking care of yourself, finding ways to stay motivated, and trusting the process are all necessary. † Nic DeAngelo† Saint Investment Group