Solopreneurs are torn in a million different directions. Not only do we need to balance the many areas of our business, but we have to be mindful to find the balance between our personal and professional lives as well.
While diet, exercise, and stress reduction techniques (like meditation) are givens for taking care of yourself, there are other things you can do that aren’t always so obvious.
If you’re a workaholic and don’t prioritize self-care, think of it this way. The more you take care of yourself, the more you take care of your business.
So, look through the list below and see if you can add any of these to your life.
1. If you’re extroverted, find time to be social. If you’re introverted, carve out some alone time.
Since this is where you get your energy, it is imperative you fit these situations into your busy schedule. Solopreneurship can be exciting but draining as well. So, know yourself and re-energize based on your personal preference.
No, but seriously.
And I know I’m far from the first person to say this, but the reality is, this is something solopreneurs often sacrifice first. And honestly, it should probably be the last to go.
We all know how much more focused and productive we are after a good night’s sleep, so while at the time getting fewer zzzs seems beneficial, it’s a detriment in the long run.
3. Find a passion outside of work.
As a kid, I had so many hobbies. Basketball, tennis, soccer, choir…you name it. They were just a part of life.
The other day a bunch of other professionals and I were talking and we realized how few of us stuck to those hobbies we used to love, let alone have tried new hobbies. As an adult, it’s easy to prioritize a career and family over personal interests, but in order to be the most fulfilled version of yourself, you can’t let hobbies fall by the wayside. They’ll help to keep you motivated when you are working because you’ll have other things to look forward to outside of work. All of this is important for a balanced lifestyle.
4. Be present.
As a solopreneur, it’s so easy to say things like “once I have X amount of customers, I’ll enjoy Y.” Thinking about the what-ifs of the past and future can enter your mind numerous times throughout the day, and can even take over some days. However, it doesn’t do you a whole lot of good.
Practice being in the present. Focus on the task at hand, and do everything one step at a time to fully enjoy it and get the most out of every moment.
Now, I am telling you this very hypocritically. So, let’s make a conscious effort to work on this together in the new year, ok?
It's important that you take care of yourself. To avoid wasting time unnecessarily, we encourage you to review The Solopreneur Success Cycle! It’s an incredible roadmap designed to help you start, run, and grow your company of one and is beneficial for novice and experienced solopreneurs! Be sure to check it out!
5. Set boundaries.
A lot of solopreneurs I know are people pleasers. They’ll say yes to just about anything clients ask for in order to maintain the relationship (and keep the paycheck). However, you’ll face burnout constantly and will ultimately create tension between you and your clients/customers if you don’t enforce some sort of boundary.
My sister-in-law is a rockstar CPA. At the beginning of tax season, she sends all of her clients a video reminding them of the assets she needs from them as well as the strict deadlines. Then she covers what will happen if they miss deadlines, how much it will cost to rush things, etc. She also emphasizes that she won’t respond to text messages and that she’ll only respond to phone calls during business hours.
Did this rub clients the wrong way? Did any of them leave because of this boundary setting? No. In fact, she retained all of her clients because her boundary-setting garnered respect from all of her clients.
Moral of the story? Set those boundaries. It will keep you sane and your clients will respect you for it. And if they don’t? They’re not worth having as clients anyway.
6. Stop being your biggest roadblock.
Early in my career, I worked looooooong hours. Burnout was a constant feeling. My boyfriend at the time (now husband) told me I needed to ask for a raise to make my job worth the time spent on it. I didn’t for over a year. For no good reason either other than I was nervous and didn’t think they would say yes anyway.
However, when I finally asked for it, they gave it to me willingly. It was actually a very simple process. What I learned is that it wasn’t my boss that was saying no to me that whole time, it was me. I was my own roadblock.
Take this story and apply it to other areas of your business. Imposter syndrome is a very real thing in the solopreneur world, so recognize when it’s happening and be observant of when you need to get out of your own way.
7. Celebrate the wins, big or small.
Self-care is about making yourself feel good, so don’t just wait for the big milestones to treat yourself. Being a solopreneur is hard, so embrace positive moments, no matter their size. Every time you do will be an instant mood booster that will motivate you to continue to reach milestones moving forward.
8. Step away from technology.
Let’s face it. We’re all addicted. Maybe on different levels, but we all rely on it these days.
I’m currently on a road trip while writing this and my hotspot cut out. No phone. No internet.
“Well, now what am I supposed to do?” I thought.
Oh yeah, I’m on a cross-country road trip exploring places I’ve never been. How about I just enjoy the ride and scenery?
Every day, take time away from your devices. It is amazing what a mood booster it really is.
9. Take that vacation.
Deadlines will always be there. There will always be another big project coming down the pipeline. New business development and lead generation will always be a priority. So, instead of canceling a vacation, plan ahead for these things and take that trip you’ve been waiting for. You deserve it!
10. Do small things that make you happy throughout the day.
Life as a solopreneur has its ups and downs, and days can be unpredictable. But, you know what you can plan for? Those little treats throughout the day that you can look forward to. Whether that’s keeping your favorite creamer in the fridge for your morning cup of coffee, or keeping your favorite toffee in your desk drawer for an afternoon pick-me-up, invest in those little things. You’ll be glad you did :)
11. Make time for relationships.
We often hear about those older men and women who look back on their lives wishing they would have spent more time with family and friends.
Those are the things in life that truly matter and it’s important to not take them for granted. Nurture those relationships to help nurture yourself.
What are some not-so-obvious self-care tips you like to implement every day? We’d love to hear about them!
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