When you started your Solo Business Journey you had a dream. Perhaps it was TIME freedom, or maybe FINANCIAL freedom, or even freedom to DO BUSINESS in your way or a mix of all three. But somewhere along the road, you got a little lost. You’re working more hours than you did when you were employed, you’re taking home less money than you did when you were employed, and you can’t remember what freedom feels like!
Whether you are a Solo Business Owner, or you own a business of any size, to run a successful business you must have these three basic foundations: Self, Systems and Support. These can be interpreted and implemented in a way that suits you, but fundamentally to be successful they need to be there.
Let’s look at them one at a time:
Self – You are the most important asset in your business. Whether you are working alone, whether you are outsourcing work to other freelancers or whether you have a team, without you, the essence of your business is missing. Even corporations have a ‘self’; what the company stands for and how it runs is part of the annual report.
Self-Awareness, Self-Care, Self-Development are all part of this Self Understanding. Knowing what drives you, your strengths, your weaknesses, your purpose, your passions, your principles; all this feeds into the essence of you and your business.
Systems – You have them, whether you are conscious of them or not. There are things you do; habits you have; and ways of working, some of which help and some which hinder. The trick is to get them out of your head and onto paper.
Bringing your systems into the open, or your consciousness enables you to become consistent in your approach; tracking how successful they are, adapting them, adjusting them, even training someone else to do it for you. But like you, it can only happen when you’ve documented your business. This is not meant to be a collar or a restraint. It’s a way of benchmarking, identifying what’s good, what’s great, what’s a bit ‘meh’, enabling you to consciously make a change or a shift in how you and your business operates.
Support – It is not possible to be all things to all people. We each have unique skills and abilities, part of being a successful business owner is knowing what you are good at whilst knowing where you need help. If you want to grow and scale your business, Support might involve outsourcing tasks to other freelancers, or even staff. But even if you have chosen to be a permanent Solopreneur, you still need a business family. No man (or woman) is an island. We function better as part of a tribe. A coach or a support network of other business owners, in-person or online, who are treading a similar path gives us fresh input and ideas.
Where these 3 things interact, and intercept is the sweet spot. The centre of the tornado that is business. The very place where the calm and balance reside.
But what happens if one or more of these things is lacking?
Limited INCOME – If you have Self-awareness and Systems, but no Support, you are maximising your potential as an individual. But you have created a financial glass ceiling.
As one person, you only have one person’s ideas, one person’s skills, one person’s TIME and you rarely, if ever, see your blind spots. Support doesn’t have to mean staff or scale, although it can; it could mean having a coach, a supportive networking group or maybe even asking another freelancer for help.
Limited LOVE – There are many ways that a lack of understanding of yourself and your drivers impacts your business. If you have Systems and Support but no Self Understanding, you are at risk of creating a business you don’t love. I’ve seen so many business owners build something successful only to realise that it doesn’t float their boat. It isn’t their small business dream.
Alternatively, if you do love the business, but you don’t have a Self-care routine, its easy to generate a stressful environment as you constantly push yourself. After all, you love what you do, right? Not understanding that burn-out is on the horizon.
Limited TIME – Finally, if you have Self-awareness and Support but no Systems, you are likely to waste time, going around and around the same circle, sometimes hitting and sometimes missing. Anyone you ask to help you will be frustrated and will waste time redoing work and may even become frustrated and leave. If you want everyone, including yourself, to have a great experience whenever they touch your business, it’s important to document, engage with and constantly improve upon your Systems.
The magic happens when these 3 things are working in perfect harmony.
You have clarity around your business dream, what you are working to achieve, how you are turning up in your business.
Your systems are clearly mapped out so your customers, your potential staff or freelancers and your suppliers all have the same GREAT experience of your business, that doesn’t rely on your good mood.
You have a strong support system: whether that’s networking, coaching, freelance support or even staff. You are not ‘going it alone’ and you are using your time, your money and your vision in the most effective way.
Give yourself some time to think about the elements that go into this Business Basics Blueprint and how it relates to your business.
Business Mastery doesn’t happen overnight, we build mastery by going around the Wheel of Progress again and again. Each time growing and building our business muscle, 💪 but I’ve already hit 1,000 words so that’s another story for another article!
If you need some guidance on where you are with your Business Basics Blueprint, there is a FREE Business Basics Assessment in my VIP Vault. Go along and give it a try, allow yourself 30 mins, and if you’d like to chat further, there is an option to book a call with me. 😊