Emotions waiver even in the most mature people. It’s how a person manages their emotions that makes all the difference. Some common metaphors for this quality of our mental senses are that they’re like tides, the clouds or the birds.
See, as a solopreneur or someone who works for themself, it’s not enough to show up for the job everyday. We have to show up greatly, having a high level of mental focus, agility and speed. Our ability to remain inspired and express the best that our creativity can muster has a direct influence on our success.
Beyond the Daily Routine
Many success and business coaches encourage their clients to have a morning routine centered on engaging the motivated mindset. It may include vision boards or affirmations. Company sales teams often have daily meetings designed to get the members riled up for the day’s activities and targets. One of the underlying purposes of such routines is to create consistency in the positive, hoping productivity will follow.
The very nature of doing business on the Internet highlights the importance of consistent action. It’s not enough, for example, to post to social media sporadically. Instead, the social media ‘gods’ reward those who are ever present. Of those, the ones most focused, creative and engaging fare the best.
It’s the same with SEO. And with email marketing the greatest ROI comes from keeping your audience engaged.
These rules apply to everyone who does business online. But it has a particular burden on the solopreneur or one-person team. That burden isn’t just in getting the work done but getting it done greatly while working solo. The solopreneur has no team to rally with.
So the recommendation is to have a coach or mentor. But the coach or the mentor will prescribe a daily mindset routine. This often proves helpful, but it in itself is not an absolute solution to always dialing the emotions to success and keeping them there.
For, what happens when the day comes that the words that once lit you up are now lacking in potency? People evolve after all, and life always calls for your expansion.
Deeper than Purpose
What does it really take to always be “in the mood”? The inability to get and stay motivated and/or inspired can lead some to suspect that they have some mental issue.
And while there may be those whose mental state indeed calls for professional help, the very nature of being a solopreneur means that your daily path will not always be level.
But, if you’re one of us, your business is very much your identity. Your whole self is taken along for the twisty turny wild ride of varying altitudes and speeds. I, for example, am my brand.
It can take something more than a mindmap of goals, a few inspiring quotes, pictures of luxury or a morning moment of silence before digging in to keep your head in the game to the extent that it should be. And, while being driven by purpose is great, it too has its limitations in the ability to inspire and enliven you every single day of your life into the unforeseeable future.
There are two things that I have found to be even greater: mission and identity. Now it’s around that time that the gurus would chime in to point out that you are more than your job or what you do. And in a way I totally agree; it is not that these things define us but that in finding and embracing our definition we become equipped to do these things.
But purpose without identity will always be lost and purpose without mission is like a machine that’s unplugged.
The events of life may not be constant; life is about variety, evolution and adventure, so things change. But what is in your life that will never change? You.
Oh yes, you will learn and grow. You will evolve but you will alway be you. You can change your name, occupation, location, beliefs and so forth, but you are you. And for the solopreneur, that is power. For the solopreneur, having the consistency that leads to success is very much about self-love.
Getting Ahead of It
Technology is a wonderful thing. It allows the creative to do remarkable things, supercharging both their output and their returns without adding a single hour to the 24 hours a day we all have.
And technology is extremely helpful at helping solopreneurs have more consistency in their business processes. Using it to help you keep up with satisfying the demands of sales and marketing in the virtual world is vital.
You can plan out and create your social media posts, blogs, emails, and much more ahead of many days. It means that for as many days as you can prepare ahead of time, you can be sure you’re showing up even when you cannot be online.
It’s one of the best cards in the solopreneur’s deck and it has helped many become sensations. Do it.
But there is one challenge with this to be addressed for the creative types who have little they can outsource; doing the prep work. The prep work always brings the biggest pay off and is usually the hardest hurdle to leap.
For getting done can still consist of many days of creative output. And that brings us back to the issue first addressed; getting and staying in the zone. In this case, consistency equates to speed to market but the content must be created from the place of inspiration.
Keeping Yourself Coming Back for More
In the movie The Karate Kid, the entry into what the young boy wanted – to learn karate – was a massive workload of painting the fence and waxing cars. He did the work and did quite well but reached the point of frustration.
In fact, he hadn’t been too pleased during the process of all that work. And while some may argue that his less-than-blissful stance came from not understanding the purpose of the exercise, would he have taken on the tasks with any greater zeal had he known it?
In my view, the hard work he put in after he had done with the menial work and started practicing the art came much thanks to the work he put in on those chores. And, to me it wasn’t all that his muscles were strengthened by the labor, or that muscle memory had set in from the movement repetition.
No, the initiation Mr. Miyagi gave Daniel showed Mr. Miyagi more of what type of character he had to work with, and it showed Daniel what he could achieve. For both it was a practice in identity. The boost Daniel received from it mentally made him a better student for the art.
But let’s keep in mind that the work of painting fences and waxing cars isn’t exactly masterpiece creation; the emotions yield to the repetitive movements rather than the movements being guided by the emotions like they are in creative works.
In other words, it wasn’t art. Sales and marketing, however, are arts.
Purpose didn’t stop Daniel from getting frustrated and wanting to quit. He had a purpose; he was there to learn karate. But he did not trust that what he was doing was going to lead to his desired outcome.
And though he knew that Mr. Miyagi was a master of the art, Daniel could not see in that moment what he as a student was becoming. Likewise for solopreneurs, when the workload looks like a lot and the results don’t feel guaranteed, there is a breaking point.
If Daniel had quit, however, he would’ve never become champion, but if he had seen himself as champion from the start, he might have gone about the work happily and never let frustration get the best of him.
Making Your Move
If you don’t have anyone outside of you holding you accountable, don’t assume you need such a relationship. Coaches, mentors, groups and so forth are great for inpsiration, comradery and learning, but your accountability should ultimately come from within you, out of joy instead of fear.
Sometimes the extreme freedom a person gets to enjoy when they have no boss but themselves can seem frightening and they seek to limit that freedom. Don’t make that mistake. You’re flying high and have no need to be grounded.
But on the other hand, sometimes you do need a source of inspiration, a reminder, to help you get into the zone. And a daily morning routine of repeating the same words or envisioning the same pictures everyday may not suffice in supporting you through growth – some days it may work well and some days it might not work at all.
But we need success every single day. We need to be able to trust that we can get into the zone on demand and churn out that creativity that is the substance of our gift to the world and to ourselves. Like Daniel-son, it may require looking beyond your reason for showing up. Just the thought of the deadline or the potential benefits isn’t enough.
So, what’s the best approach to mental self-management when you’re your own boss? Have a framework for bringing your ever-evolving identity back into your awareness where you can embrace and function from it on demand.