Could You Become a Solopreneur in an Hour?

Always dreamed of running your own business? You’re not the only one – there are more solopreneurs than ever today as the latest statistics show.

Even a few years ago, starting out on your own was super hard. However, today’s solopreneurs have a huge wealth of technology and tools to make starting out a lot easier.

All the same, whether you are a massage therapist or a management consultant, starting up your own business can feel like an enormous task. It feels like there’s so much you’d have to do to get started that it’s tough to know where you should even begin.

But what if we told you that you could take the first step toward striking out on your own in less than an hour? Sounds too good to be true right? Well, read on and we’ll see how you really can launch a business and start taking your first bookings under 60 minutes! All you need is a little planning and the tools to make it happen — both are closer than you think!

First – Start Planning

There are some basic questions you need to consider before you create an online presence as a solopreneur. If you’ve been thinking about this business idea for a while, most of these should be straightforward to answer:

• What type of service will your business provide?
• How much will you charge for your service?
• Can you offer your services over the internet, or will people need to come to you in person?
• If you are selling physical items, how will you deliver them to customers?
• How many clients can you take on at one time?
• What’s the best way for clients to reach you?
• What do you offer that’s different from your competitors?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you can go from answers on paper to clients online pretty quickly.

Launch A Profile for Your Business

You do not need any technical experience to set up a one-stop online platform for your clients to book your services. Book Like A Boss allows you to create a fully customized profile in minutes. Potential clients can view your information, send you a message, pay for services, and schedule an appointment all in one location.

On the back end, you’ll see all that information in one dashboard. You can also integrate it with your personal calendar and embed your profile on a website. Oh, and most importantly, Book LIke a Boss partners with PayPal and Stripe so you can be paid for your hard work right from the start.

Your profile can be as minimal or as expansive as you want it to be. If you are short on time and keen to hit the ground running, you may opt for a slim presence to start, knowing that you can come back and add features over time.

Get customers visiting your page and booking you

Your business as a solopreneur is only worth it if people know about it and use your products or services. A marketing strategy should be part of your planning process. Consider who you are trying to reach and how it might be best to do that.

For example, if you are going after the Millennial market, consider some paid social media advertising. Can you partner with any other solopreneurs or small businesses for mutual benefit? Your Book Like A Boss profile will be easy for your clients to remember no matter what type of promotional tools you use.

The more photos, videos, testimonials, and other content you add to your profile, the more successful your business will become – it makes the page more engaging and ensures visitors are more likely to convert into paying customers. Again, this does not need to happen overnight; things can start small and grow over time.

What are you waiting for?

If you’ve been thinking about launching yourself as a solopreneur, there’s no time like the present! Everyone has an extra hour to spare; why not use it to further your goals and launch your business today?

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Len is a tech and business writer who covers small business and startup advice and has appeared in many print and digital publications. He lives in London, UK, where he's also a sub editor on a national newspaper. He loves to travel and has lived in France, Spain, Senegal and Rwanda.

Mindfully Upset

No, the title of this article is not a mistake. It is possible to feel upset – or a range of other emotions – and yet remain mindful, just the same. The working world can sometimes leave us feeling unhappy, defensive, blue, or otherwise in low spirits. We don’t have to automatically discount those emotions, nor do we have to pretend that we don’t feel the way we do.

It is said that our true potential is best demonstrated by what we do when we are required to handle difficult situations or people. When feeling upset, we might do any number of perfectly understandable things. We may lash out…choose to give up…or react with anger.

There is an alternative. It’s possible to be mindful while dealing with unwanted emotions. Here are the steps involved:

1. We can start by acknowledging that we feel bad. We have a tendency not to want to feel unpleasant emotions. We are taught that “big boys and girls don’t cry”, or that we should just “suck it up, buttercup”. While we do have to sometimes carry on in the face of whatever is going on, there’s nothing wrong with recognizing that we are feeling something we don’t want to feel.

2. Next, name that feeling. Is it sadness, confusion, disappointment, frustration…? This might be harder to do than it seems. After years of pushing our emotions aside, as we are taught to do, we may have become somewhat disengaged with them. Take a minute or two to wait this out. Sit with the slight discomfort of actually FEELING something, in order to name it.

3. Once we name it, we can be mindful about our emotion. We can silently repeat a mantra of “I am feeling (blank).” This mantra isn’t a judgment. It’s just a statement of fact. It’s a deliberate way to accept the emotion, without reacting in a rash way, or compounding negative feelings with self-blame.

4. After naming the emotion, we can check in with the body, to see where we can physically sense it, and exactly what it feels like. Does this feeling create a heaviness, a burning sensation, a tension, or something else? We can listen to the interior monologue of what the emotion is telling us.

5. As time permits, we can spend a little while sitting in silence, and waiting to hear what the emotion has to say. This can often yield a surprising bit of information. A quietly mindful approach to emotions and feelings can provide us with a successful tool to receive whatever message needs to be transmitted.
It may also be that, given a few moments for mindful reflection, we can recognize the baseline reasons why we have this feeling. It may be other than what we have initially thought was the cause.

6. Once we’ve finished being mindful of the emotion, we can take several deep breaths. When possible, we can journal anything that arises from this mindfulness exercise.
These steps don’t need to take too long to fit into your workday, and can be immensely helpful in terms of self- awareness, regulating your reactions, and staying present. All of these skills can make us better co-workers, managers, or leaders.

Don’t Be A Freelancer

Here’s my list of the top three most disposable things in an office.

1) Last week’s leftovers in the fridge
2) Loose staples
3) Freelancers

It doesn’t matter if you’re a writer, designer, or programmer. You’re there because you’re cheaper than a full time employee. You’re also easily replaceable by some other freelancer.

The upshot of it is, because you are completely dispensable, it’s easy to get bullied into accepting less than you think you’re worth.

Now, let’s flip it around, because here is my list of three most indispensable things in a business.

1) Today’s lunch
2) Great team
3) Trusted partners/vendors

That’s right. When businesses find the right partners and vendors, it allows them to focus on growing their business, while the vendors and partners play a critical supporting role.

So here comes the million dollar question. What’s the difference between a freelancer and a trusted partner?

What Are You?

A few weeks ago I ran a completely unscientific survey asking people in my Freelance Writers Facebook group if they considered themselves freelancers or B2B service providers. For those who responded, there were follow-up questions about rates and income.

By and large, this is a group that creates marketing content for business clients. They aren’t writing magazine articles for Atlantic Monthly, or proofreading academic papers for individuals.

I expected that people who viewed themselves as B2B service providers would have higher hourly rates and incomes than freelancers. What I didn’t expect was the of the 23 people who responded, only 2 (plus me) viewed themselves as service providers. 92% of my respondents viewed themselves as freelancers.

Clearly, there wasn’t enough data to compare income levels between the two groups, but it was telling that so many freelancers never really stopped to consider the job they do within the business ecosystem.

Simply put, they are a business, even if they are a one-man show. Their clients are businesses. They provide a writing service. By definition, they are business-to-business service providers. But they’ve told themselves they are freelancers.

Becoming a B2B Service Provider

So how do you break out of the freelancer mold, and become the valued service provider your clients can’t live without? Here are a few steps to get you started.

Change Your Mindset – The biggest thing holding you back is probably the idea that you are a freelancer. Until you understand and internalize that you are providing valuable services to your customers, your customers won’t understand it either.

Change Your View of the Project – Stop looking at freelance projects as standalone pieces. Find out where the project stands in your client’s scope of work, and see how you can expand into larger areas of the project. This might mean contributing something outside the scope of your engagement, but if you do it, you’ll find your client starts to look at you differently. And you could find yourself brought into other areas of the project.

Market Yourself Like a Company – This doesn’t mean go beyond your budget, but it does mean stop using generic URLs like, and start promoting yourself as a business. Invest in a URL, website, and logo. Write quality blogs, and create infographics or brochures (or go to Fiver and hire someone to do it for you) for your marketing efforts.