If you run your own business, you know: this sh-t is HARD.
- You’re wearing 46 hats at any given time (which, let's face it, looks ridiculous.)
- You’re constantly torn between current client work and marketing your business to get new clients.
- You can’t sleep at night because your head’s filled with ALL THE IDEAS! (Am I the only one who dreams about marketing funnels?)
And then, to top it all off, there’s a little insidious lie we tell ourselves that makes the whole endeavor that much harder: “I should be able to do this myself.”
That one little lie makes an already a tough job nearly impossible. It’s what keeps you up until 2:00 am trying to figure out Facebook ads (true story). It’s what makes you feel stuck, and frustrated, and completely overwhelmed. Oh, and it's absolute BS.
1. Recognize that you don’t have to do it alone
The first step to solving the problem is admitting you have a problem. So before you do any of the next steps, you need to get your mindset straight.
Because you don’t have to do it alone. You really don’t.
I know, I know. You think you “should be able to do this by myself.” Not to be a dick, but... how’s that workin’ out for ya?
If the answer is, “Ohmygod I’m so overwhelmed,” well, maybe trying to do it by yourself isn’t the answer. So step number one is simply to say to yourself, right now, out loud: “I don’t have to do this by myself.”
2. Get free advice from trusted sources
Now that you’ve admitted you need help, the next logical step for us bootstrapping entrepreneurs is to see what help we can get without paying for it.
Or am I the only one that cheap? Because that’s always my instinct: what can I get without having to pay for it?
And you know what? The answer is “a lot.”
But before you start running around the internet clicking on every free resource you see, there’s a caveat: not all of it is useful.
Things are changing so fast-- especially around business and marketing-- that a blog post from 2014 just won’t cut it anymore. Plus, with so much info out there, you’ll get conflicting advice and information overload.
My advice? Pick 2-3 trusted sources of info-- people who walk the talk, have successfully done what you want to do, and share your style and values-- and ignore the rest.
3. Join Facebook groups
Oh my god, I love Facebook groups. If you ask me, Facebook groups are one of the best things on the internet today (after cat videos, of course.) And they're especially useful if you’re a solopreneur working alone.
The right Facebook group is a wonderful community of like-minded people who support and help each other on a specific subject. It's a forum where you can ask questions, get feedback and learn from other people going through the same thing as you.
Sounds amazing, right? Well it is-- as long as you choose the right group.
Because there are so many to choose from. So many, in fact, that you might be tempted to join them all. The more like-minded people you connect with, the better, right?
I suggest choosing a few targeted, active Facebook groups that focus on whatever you need help with the most. Because if you really want to build relationships and be an active member of the groups, you’ll simply be spread too thin if you’re in more than a handful.
How to choose? Here's what to look for in a Facebook group:
- Big enough to be helpful, but small enough to feel intimate.
- Exactly in line with your goals and values, so it uplifts you, rather than annoys or confuses you.
- Run by someone you like and respect.
- People are actually posting in it! There’s nothing sadder than an inactive Facebook group.
4. Start a mastermind or accountability group
Free downloads are useful. Making online friends in Facebook groups is great.
But nothing, and I do mean nothing, beats the support you get from a dedicated mastermind group.
If you’re reading this like, “masterWHAT?!”, don’t panic.
A Mastermind Group is just a fancy word for a small (4-5 ppl) group of entrepreneurs who meet regularly to discuss business, share ideas and get feedback.
I started my mastermind group about 9 months into my business, and let me tell you: I accomplished more in the first 3 months of that group than I did during the 9 months before it.
I’ll save the details of how my group works for another post (or, you can watch a video interview I did about my group here-- although I have to warn you, I look like a crazy person…), but here are the biggest benefits I’ve gotten from my mastermind:
- Goal-setting: We set and share our 90-day business goals as a group, which gives me the structure and accountability I need to achieve them.
- Accountability: During each meeting, we report back on what we’ve achieved towards our goals-- so you better believe I’m getting sh-t done!
- Feedback: I have a built-in focus group to give me feedback on ideas and advice on next steps, so I never feel stuck.
- Support: Having a close-knit group of women who truly care about my success and help me achieve my goals helps me feel less alone and more supported in my biz.
So if you’re serious about not doing this alone anymore, joining (or starting!) a mastermind group is where it’s at.
These are just a few ways you can get help in your biz-- and I haven’t even mentioned all the help you can pay for!
There’s simply NO excuse for trying to do this business thing alone. Believe me, I’ve tried and ended up sitting in front of my computer in dirty leggings, angrily googling Facebook ads with frustrated tears rolling down my cheeks.
Not a good look.
So get help. Start with a free online training, join a Facebook group and connect with other like-minded entrepreneurs so you can join or start a mastermind group.
Take it from me: your business will be better for it.