60-Day 4-Step Successful Solopreneur Self-Care Challenge
This morning a reporter asked for three tips about the importance of self-care for small business owners. Entrepreneurship is a high-stakes game. And when you’re a solopreneur, even more so. You are your brand, revenue, and strategy. In the early stages, it may still reside all in your head, making it even more vital that you stay healthy and balanced to handle your business, and make it to the stage where you can systematize and scale your knowledge.
With that in mind, and because I know you are busy, let’s do this and make it quick.
Step 1: Pick 2 Goals
One of your goals should be health-related. One of your goals should be profit-related.
Step 2: Schedule 1 Hour/Day/Goal
A take on Warren Buffet’s 5-Hour Rule, in this challenge, you’ll see how little time it takes to make measurable progress on fundamental goals. Just one hour each day towards each goal is enough. You get to decide if you are also doing it on weekends or only on weekdays.
Step 3: Commit for 60 Days
It doesn’t matter when you start, as long as it’s before year-end, but it does matter that once you start, you get in two hours daily every day for 60 days.
Paul Graham, a founder of YCombinator, one of the most successful startup accelerators in history, wrote about Manager’s Schedules vs. Maker’s Schedules. You can likely guess the difference.
A manager has a traditional appointment book with his/her days cut into one-hour intervals for meetings, and he/she is likely booked all day every day or even double-booked.
A maker generally prefers larger time blocks to create something and get into the flow zone, so his/her calendar may be organized one in two-three big blocks each day.
Michael Simmons, who inspired this post, makes a case for a third category, the learner’s lifestyle, or the Buffet Method, which is using your time for learning and insights and building in open time to take advantage of both. Appointments and meetings become nearly irrelevant because the learner isn’t measuring output, people, processes, or crossing off a to-do list. The learner is scaling their knowledge.
Entrepreneurship attracts many of us with promises of the lifestyle, but then we unconsciously re-create our corporate lifestyle because we focus on the same things we used to focus on. One way to avoid this is to de-prioritize scheduling and time management and instead emphasize lifestyle design. Build your business in the context of living the life you want. Ask yourself if you were the best in the world at what you do, how would you structure your time, energy, and life?
It might seem a little bit overwhelming to participate in this challenge right now, with fall fullness, YE planning and pushes, and holiday madness right around the corner. Even that’s by design. If you can commit and execute during the busiest time of the year, you can do it anytime, and 60 days isn’t the conclusion, it’s the kick-off to a better-balanced, more successful life.
What’s in it for You?
If a better-balanced, more successful life isn’t incentive enough, there are three more reasons to participate in and complete the challenge.
- Momentum for 2020. 2020. Doesn’t just saying that year get you primed for something big?
- Tangible progress. When you see results in your body, when you drop pounds, build muscle, sleep better, rely less on caffeine and alcohol, it’s motivating and inspiring. Likewise, when you book another client, launch another program, improve your current offering, or hit a revenue goal, it’s motivating and inspiring. Motivation, like inspiration, is a thing, you guys. It keeps us on track, with our head in the game. It fuels us to do more, be more, create more, and love more. All good things.
- Finally, focusing on something essential and doing it well creates room for more. When we see ourselves keep promises to ourselves, it builds trust and resiliency. When we see ourselves making progress in two distinct directions, it builds confidence and creates balance. And a trusting, resilient, confident, balanced entrepreneur is a badass who has room for insights and innovation, who can capitalize on cultivated and unexpected opportunities, who is planning for success.
I’m much healthier as an entrepreneur than I ever was as an executive. Maybe that’s true for you too. I think it’s because the entrepreneurial lifestyle suits me. I craved the freedom and flexibility to set my schedule, pursue my interests, create value according to my strengths, and invest my resources in alignment with my priorities.
Self-care isn’t a side effect or a bonus. It’s a strategy and a core business value. As a founder and a mother, when I’m at my best, my clients, followers, and my family benefit, and the ripple is vast.
Step 4: Post Your Goals Publicly
Lastly, put yourself out there. Declare your intentions for the challenge by posting your goals publicly on at least two platforms with #successfulsolopreneurselfcare. It’s a long hashtag, but it captures the essence. This step is important because it heightens your accountability, and you become part of an accountability community. We’re in it together, so why not support each other’s success?