Top 3 Lessons Learned in Year 1 of Solopreneurship
During year 1 of Cultivated Experiences, it was a lot of learn as you go and teaching myself the many aspects of starting and running an online business via Google search and different online communities.
From accounting and client relations, to website design and project management, and a million other things, as a solopreneur, you’ve got to be prepared to dip your toes into every department of the business.
There are 100+ lessons I learned during year one, but I did want to start by sharing the big 3 I’ve learned that now offer me significant support in growing every aspect of business.
1. The Power of Community
Whether a co-working community or a local networking group - having a group of people to gain inspiration, advice, mentorship, and partnerships through is SO valuable!
Being a solopreneur can be isolating at times - so joining a community as a place for networking, making friends & new connections, sharing resources, or even celebrating wins with, will help you grow your business, network and entrepreneurship skills a ton.
2. Be a fucking pleasure to work with
You’re only going to be able to retain & grow your current network when people truly enjoy working with you.
It sounds like a no brainer, but this means more than just being a nice person - to me, it means keeping a positive and high energy at all times, maintaining strong communications, and going above and beyond to serve my clients by making sure that working with me is easy, stress free and worth their time and investment.
Between the referrals from former co-workers and the positive feedback I’ve received from happy clients - this lesson has proven its value ($$) and importance so many times over, and a lesson to never ever ever forget!
3. Know your value. AND have the confidence to ask for it!
One of my biggest struggles and honestly a lesson I’m still learning, is how to price my services AND stick to that price.
There’s a number of strategies you can use to determine your service price, such as evaluating your competition’s pricing, your financial goals or your internal business costs.
But once you’ve determined your value ($$)- what I’ve learned(ing) the hardest part is, is having the confidence to stick to that number when you’re challenged on it!
After accepting a few projects at a lower rate than what I know I deserved, because I was too nervous or timid to push for my worth, I quickly realized that this was not a good situation for either side.
During these projects, I found myself wanting to compromise my quality of work because I became frustrated when my time commitment was not worth the earnings I was achieving. BUT looking at lesson #2 - no matter what, you can not compromise your quality of work, and it is not fair to the client to give them half-ass work because you didn’t charge them enough.
So lesson learned - my work and relationships with my clients will always be better for both sides when we are both happy with the project rates.
Not just for your happiness but for the clients as well, once you’ve determined your worth, always stick to it!