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I’ve balked at calling myself an entrepreneur for a number of reasons. But then I came across this wonderful distinction between solopreneur and entrepreneur who works alone and realised, ‘Hey! This shoe fits!’ It’s quite humbling to say that I’ve learnt more about solopreneur challenges in the last six months than I have in the last 11 years as a blogger.

If, by chance, you too are a solopreneur, here are some tips that I can share from personal experience. Before we dive into the tips, I want you to know that being a solopreneur takes two important qualities: Belief in your business and tons of patience. Without these, you might as well pack it up right now.

7 Challenges of a Solopreneur and how to overcome them. Click to Tweet

1. Find your rhythm

If you are also a mother like I am, let me admit that it is actually quite challenging to balance the needs of a family as well as finding the passion to work on your business. And that’s why the concept of work-life balance is always a bit skewed. Why?

Because my schedule is different from yours. Even if we work the exact same jobs, we don’t have the same kids, the same responsibilities or the same chores to do every day, right? And all of this gets exponentially tougher if you add more kids and/or ailing parents to the mix.

So the one thing that worked for me was finding MY rhythm. That’s why it’s important to sit down and chart your time for the day, week and month. That way you will know what is non-negotiable, what’s a priority and what can be done later.


Check out my post: 5 Tips for working from Home

It’s that easy and that difficult. 🙂

2. Block Time Diligently

The one thing I had to do once I launched my own business was to be brutal in blocking of my time. In the early days of the launch, I was so heady with excitement and overdid everything possible.

The result? I was burnt out, exhausted and ready to give up within 2 months of launching. Once I sat down and started time tracking and blocking slots of the day for different tasks, things became much smoother!

Read my tips on Time Blocking and work out a schedule for yourself.

3. Make Time for Leisure

Do you know the number one cause of burnout for solo entrepreneurs? Not making time to unwind. We’re so obsessed with making things work, gaining clients, selling our products that we use every pocket of time available to work on the business.

This is detrimental to your health as well as the business. That’s why I started putting leisure time on the calendar! That’s right.  I now actually write down things like, ‘Watch an episode of that TV show’, ‘Read a book’ and ‘Listen to some music’. Once it’s written down, you are more likely to make the decision to consciously switch off. 

The down time is excellent for your brain and you come back to tasks with a renewed sense of purpose.

How I make time for Hygge as a working mom.

4. Handling Multiple Roles

Being a solopreneur is a tough ask because you are simultaneously all of the following: Creator, Administrator, Marketing Head, Graphic Designer, Virtual Assistant, Trainer, Learner and Brand Strategist.

That’s doing the work of 8 people all at once! 

That is why it is important to take stock of what you want to do at the beginning of each week and month. Evaluate what role will help you work towards your goals in the smartest way possible.

Then, chart out different days for different tasks. For instance, if you find that you get into flow when it comes to writing, try and write 3 posts on the same day. On the second day, create graphics for all 3 posts. On Day 3, create a social media schedule for marketing your content.

The key? Prioritise and Optimise.

Download my Free 4-week Social Media Worksheet Template for your own use.

5. Schedule content on social media

Don’t be everywhere at once. It causes your attention to be pulled in multiple directions and your business never gets time to take off.

Once you’ve found which channels convert the best, spend more time both scheduling content and understanding what the audience wants.

How to be productive on social media

6. Develop a Growth Mindset

This was the thing that held me back the most, especially because I spent six months worrying about what people thought about me. I’ve been a blogger for 11 years and for me to make the shift from hobby blogger to solopreneur was a BIG leap.

It meant that I’d have to completely re-think my approach to blogging. I’d have to consider the idea of monetizing the blog. I thought about re-branding but never took the plunge until August this year. I also worried incessantly about the sly references to new features I’d introduced on the site.

All of this was holding me back until something happened. My husband told me, ‘Unless you think like a businesswoman, you will never be one.’

That stopped me in my tracks. He was right! I couldn’t do things the way I had always done, because my focus had shifted. I didn’t have to change the way I wrote, but I was changing the direction of my blog into a business. Once I understood that and let the shackles fall off, I was able to dive into the business with renewed faith and confidence.

7. Be ready to invest in your business

In order to make money, you have to spend money. I know how paradoxical that sounds, but it’s the truth. 

I’ve always been the ‘do-it-all’ type of person. This meant that I was spending hours and hours on research and self-study instead of investing in a course/courses that would help me reach my SMART goals. I finally took the plunge and bought a wonderful Bundle of courses last month. (More on that next week).

Similarly, the second thing you have to invest is time in your business. Without spending time to understand what works and what doesn’t, you will stagnate. You can’t just create content and hope for it to work. No, you have to create content that will drive clients to your business. That takes time.

That, my friends, is how I realised and overcame my challenges as a solopreneur. I know the road ahead is rocky but it’s exciting. As the weeks and months unfold, it’s time for me to keep taking stock and hey, I’ll be back in another six months with an update.

Being a Solopreneur comes with its own set of Challenges. As a working mom, here are the ways I've used to overcome 7 of them. From productivity tips to social media management, it's all in here. #Shailajav #Productivity #Solopreneur #Entrepreneur #SoloEntrepreneur #SocialMedia #Scheduling #TimeManagement #GrowthMindset

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17 Comments

Mayuri Nidigallu · October 1, 2018 at 8:23 am

I like the sound of the word ‘Solopreneur’ The responsibilities that come with it sound never-ending and very exciting as well.
Wishing you the very best, Shailaja. A wonderful post for anyone planning to start a new venture, solo.

    Shailaja · October 1, 2018 at 8:26 am

    Thanks, Mayuri. It’s been a tough six months but the hard knocks are worth it. I’m so much better equipped to handle things as they come my way now. 🙂

Parul Thakur · October 1, 2018 at 10:58 am

I have always known you to be thorough with your work and well organized. As I read your tips, I was nodding all along how important it is to take care of self, plan time well and enjoy. A great post, Shailaja. This will only get better for you!
Parul Thakur recently posted Gratitude List – September 2018My Profile

    Shailaja · October 22, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    Thanks Parul. Fingers crossed that things keep growing from here on. 🙂

Sanch @ Sanch Writes · October 1, 2018 at 2:40 pm

Those are some great tips. While I’m not looking at doing anything of that sort through my blog, I can see the value of these tips as I contemplate other avenues for myself career-wise. Thanks for the post.
Sanch @ Sanch Writes recently posted September 2018 ReflectionsMy Profile

    Shailaja · October 22, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    Only after I read your gratitude post this morning, did I realise the import of this comment. Wishing you all the luck and love in the world as you try new ventures, career wise 🙂

Ramya Abhinand · October 2, 2018 at 6:26 pm

WHats life without challenges, and we all need to overcome it to achieve what we have set out to do. I really appreciate your commitment to your venture Shailaja, And these challenges are not only for a solopreneur. But as a blogger and a mom too I need to overcome these on a day to day basis. i work on planning my day diligently setting time for each activity. And I stick to this. This help me achieve what I set out to achieve on that day.

    Shailaja · October 22, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    Thanks Ramya. I agree. Our challenges may be different but at the heart of it, they are quite similar. 🙂

Anshu Bhojnagarwala · October 3, 2018 at 10:56 am

Work of 8 people, it’s not easy, and with it being a full time mother. But I love your discipline and methodological approach. I am sure with your level of commitment, you can do everything in order, in time and with perfection. kudos to you! I really look upto you when I plan my weekly calendar. 🙂

Modern Gypsy · October 3, 2018 at 9:25 pm

Those are some great tips, Shailaja. Being a solopreneur is no easy task, and I admire the methodical way in which you have approached it.

Trying to balance a full-time, mentally draining job and making the pivot to solopreneurship is proving much more difficult that I ever imagined. Some of your tips are quite helpful, though I really need to work on finding a rhythm and pace that suits my schedule better.

Wish you all the very best with your venture. I’m sure you’ll do really well with it!

Shilpa Gupte · October 5, 2018 at 5:03 pm

Thanks for these tips, Shy. Good for you that you finally took the plunge. I am sure you will be able to fulfil your goals and dreams. Maybe not now, but someday these tips will be useful for me , too! ❤

shanayatales · October 9, 2018 at 9:29 am

Great pointers, Shy. I do most of this, but I really need to get better at batching and scheduling tasks in a way that works for me. I have tried a few different schedules (tailored to my needs), but haven’t found my perfect fit yet. I know it’s a matter of time, and I will find my groove soon enough.
shanayatales recently posted Why I Stopped Posting Quarterly Goals on My Blog (Among Other Things)My Profile

Karen Ching · October 11, 2018 at 7:55 am

Totally agree! Especially with numbe 3: Make Time for Leisure. I think people who don’t make time for leisure are more prone to burn out. We should really make time for ourselves and relax once in a while.

Karen Ching recently posted Economic Benefits of Using an Office Space for Lease in ParanaqueMy Profile

    Shailaja · October 11, 2018 at 8:23 am

    Exactly! I can’t do without my down time and time away from work every day. It’s what breathes more life into me to dive back into the business again. 🙂

Obsessivemom · October 18, 2018 at 7:21 pm

I love how you approach all your problems – with a cool collected well-planned mind. And that is why you are where you are. Kudos Shailaja. I hope you achieve the balance you strive for.
Obsessivemom recently posted Jumbled mythological ramblingsMy Profile

    Shailaja · October 19, 2018 at 8:06 am

    Aww thanks Tulika. I never thought I’d fall in love with the work the way I have. It’s good to wake up each morning a D tackle the challenges 🙂

Multi Tasking: 3 Ways of Doing it Effectively- Shailaja V · October 8, 2018 at 11:02 am

[…] Work from home solopreneur? Do these 7 things to optimise your time! […]

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