For about a year and a bit, I pretty much worked by myself. Like many new entrepreneurs, I didn’t have the financial resources to hire a consistent team to help me on a more permanent basis. So, whenever I’d get a project and a budget to allow it, I’d hire another freelancer to help me. What I found with this method was that it helped with keeping my overhead to a minimum as well as creating a community of other like-minded individuals with complementary skill sets.
If you find yourself in a similar situation where you’re just starting off and not sure how it is all going to look, here are some tips:
- Create a virtual support team
I felt so alone when I first launched my business. I had a few friends all around the world like me who were solo entrepreneurs – they were not in the same field but I knew I could facetime or call them, and vice versa because they really got it. Whether it was waiting to get paid or just to talk to someone other than myself, this daily check-in with another human being was crucial to my brain and my soul. Let me be clear, although my 9-5 friends and family were very supportive, they couldn’t fathom what it was like to literally have to hustle for a dolla with no steady paycheque.
- Exchange services
This is something that worked really well for me and still does. As a solo entrepreneur, it’s easy to run out of fresh ideas when working on a pitch for a project or for a client. At times, I would feel really uninspired, until I started teaming up with my friend Cleo, a fellow solo entrepreneur. Whenever we’d get stuck on something, or if we just needed someone else to read what we wrote to make sure it made sense, we teamed up. Our deal was that whomever needed the help, that person would buy the other dinner during the work session. Easy, peasy, right?
- Read, Read, Read
Life is a school and in order to get better at what you do, you got to continuously educate yourself. For me, it comes in the form of reading articles on everything to do with innovation, digital marketing, technology, digital and entrepreneurship. Some of my favourite resources are Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, Fast Company, Business Insider (both English and French versions), NYT, Medium, Forbes (both English and French versions) and the Globe and Mail. LinkedIn is also a fantastic resource for inspiration; not only do my contacts share what they are working on, but also valuable articles in my fields of interest.
- Events and Conferences
I cannot stress how much this has been a game changer in my entrepreneurial life. Invest in a few local conferences, and if you plan on doing business outside of the local city you live in, look into international ones. This year alone, I attended C2 Montreal, Leaders in Paris and the Me Convention in Frankfurt, Germany just to name a few of my faves. The people you meet, the networking you do and the knowledge you get is 100.
- De-Stress, bruh
You can’t create dope things if you’re always stressed out. This actually happened to me, I was constantly worried about getting clients, paying my bills, doing the work…a vicious cycle. Whether it’s taking a daily walk to de-stress, visiting a museum, meditating, or traveling…you need to find an outlet that can help you deal with your situation and see clearly without losing yourself.
Are you a solo entrepreneur? Do you have any tips or tricks? Would love to know!
Photo Credit: Lauren McPhillips