One person business is a lonely place

Starting a business is a very exciting thing. Especially in the beginning. I have had a small one person business for a while now – 3 years ‘doing it actively’ and 3 years ‘half-heartedly. And there was a long pause. Simply because it did not bring me what I hoped.

I have restarted the activity again in 2018 with a different approach, product and platform. It is definitely more rewarding and more exciting than my previous attempt. One thing did not change though.

It is a one person business. That means that I have to do everything by myself – which is o.k. but sometime I do feel that I operate on an lonely island. In that sense, I pleased to have a full-time job where I meet new people every day.

My family is extremely understanding and supportive. They do listen to me when I go on about this product and that product, this trend and that one. However, they do have their own work life and I do not want to burden them too much. So I discuss only most burning issues with them. So yes, getting into a one person business means that most of the time, you will work by yourself. You will have to figure out most of things by yourself. And you will have to make important decisions by yourself because you are the only one who knows your business inside out.

P.S. Just to make it clear, most of the time I don’t mind that there is no one else in my ‘company’, but there are moments when I would not mind a chat with a friendly colleague.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Still blogging without a “niche”

Niche is a big word in the digital world. I do hear it more often: “What is your niche? You do have to have a niche!” It begins to give me bit of an anxiety simply because I don’t have one. Trust me, I am looking for one 🙂 I have listen to countless self-help gurus and entrepreneurs. And to be honest, I have been confused.

One camp seems to say – choose a niche that is trending, people are interested in and do not write about something just because you love it or because it happens to be your hobby. The opposite camp says – find something that you are interested in, hobby is o.k., you have to have a passion to last in this race… These are very conflicting ideas and it does not help me much. So I went back to basics and thought to myself – it is me who is going to spend the time on this, I should have some interest and passion for the topic.

I do not want to do something just because it is trending or many people are searching for it. As I have a full-time job, I do not want another one that I do only for the bucks. Also, I do like going to website of people who have been doing something for years and with a great expertise. They often have an ability to dive deep and go into a great detail. They often share their successes and fails and that makes it even more appealing and credible.

So here is my checklist as always that might help you to make the right decision.

  1. What do I want from my blog/why I am doing it
  2. Do I have the interest and passion in the topic/niche
  3. Am I thinking short-term or long-term
  4. How deep I want to go
  5. Trending niche or evergreen – which one is more me?

Just a side note:

What is my niche at the moment? Good question. As I wrote in my profile – I am looking forward to an early retirement 🙂 At the same time I do not want live a passionless life. I would say my niche is still unrefined and very broad. I writing about my trials and successes as a little person – ordinary person. Trying to build something outside my full-time job. Using internet and what it offers to do that. Mainly selling on platforms – big and small while developing a blog. I think it is a path many people take these days and I interested in it – freeing yourself from 9-5, gaining more autonomy, not necessarily working less but working with passion even when Mondays come 🙂

Have a great one, dear friends!

2 paths to blogging

Sorting out ideas…

Sometimes I have just too many ideas and sometimes I have none. What helps me in both cases is a thinking page. I ask myself questions and write down ideas as they come. After that I try to streamline the flood of ideas into something more targeted and something that makes more sense. I am not afraid to cross things out or change them completely. This is something I was taught by one of my old mentors. He always said that that I need to cross thing outs to come out with the best ideas.

Once the rough draft is ready I bounce it off someone I trust. If things look good – I will start researching and going deeper. By then I know I am serious about it and committed. The last step is to get the details right. This looks like a lengthy process but it is worth it. I used to jump into things straight away without thinking and it cost me lots of time and energy. Of course it is not fool proof but it does make me more effective and brings better results.

Yes, and here is a list for those who hate reading paragraphs 🙂

  1. create rough draft that includes all ideas
  2. streamline the draft so it has only one key idea
  3. cross out things that are not relevant to your idea
  4. bounce your idea off someone you trust
  5. do a deep dive i.e. research
  6. add details and go for it

Good luck dear friends 🙂

thinking page (first step)

Blogging in stages

I am not an SEO expert or seasoned content creator but after working for several years in education, I am fairly good in scheduling, prioritising and streamlining.

This is how I approach my posts and it may work for you as well.

  1. I create a very short post just to test the water. Usually it is based on something I am working on or dealing with.
  2. I wait for the response from social media and ask myself: is there any traction, any interest and from whom, what are the questions asked
  3. I decide if I should expand bit more, should I shift the focus a bit or should I drop it altogether

There is one disadvantage – you do have to tweak your tags and keywords as your post is evolving. So it is not for everyone. I think solo businesses or part-time bloggers might save some time and effort by doing this. The big advantage of this is that you can create a highly relevant super niched content for your target audience.

Create a visual diary

It has been more and more obvious to me that I will not keep up with my journaling. My main reason if being honest is that I can’t be bothered after just finishing my day time job. Lifting a pen is like a lifting a weight on most of my work days. It would be lovely to log in all my feelings, dreams and plans while finding an interesting quote or affirmation that would complement it. But that is just not going to happen.

However, I do like to have some sort of memories. So what I have been doing recently is rather lazy but at the moment it is working for me – a visual diary. Simple colourful notes mixed with photos that reflect my mood. For me this is effortless and created within minutes. Yes, you may call it a mood board. I do not present that I have invented a wheel 🙂 However, I am a very visually focused person with a visual memory so this style is perfect for me. I know it will not satisfy everyone but hey, it is better then nothing 🙂

Hope you are having a great day dear friends!

This helps me to stay in a positive work mode…

and it may help you as well. These are only small things but they do make a difference when I work at home.

  1. switching off all noise
  2. communicating in a clear and friendly manner that I will not be available from…to…
  3. holding my centre with a help of my visual board right on my desk
  4. using my favourite scent in the room
  5. keeping a bit a nature right beside or close to me (my three-legged cat and self-planted lemon tree)

If you have time and want to read about each point more you can below:

  1. I used to run news channel in the background but it was very distracting a and took me away from my work. Usually not very positive space. Now I watch news only at a certain time of a day and for a limited time. Similarly with my phone. I used to check every notification no matter how unimportant and that was hugely distracting. Now I keep my phone in a corridor and not on my desk, the sound and notifications are off until late afternoon. I like to work with a soothing background music or when I do not have to be too creative with an interesting YouTube video/podcast.
  2. I noticed that it is better to tell people (including family members) that I am in my working mode and I will not be available. Usually I give them also an idea about the time period. This helps to avoid lots of misunderstandings. I always choose a friendly manner over anything else and usually the response is very good.
  3. I like to keep a very detailed and focused board rather than a generic one with a general quote. The more focused the faster brings me back to the space I want to be.
  4. I love natural scents and scents that I associate with pleasant moments.
  5. Nature is so essential to staying positive for me. I simply love it. Herbs, wildflower, grasses, trees, you name it. And of course – pets. They are absolutely awesome and I don’t really need to write about their positive effect here…

Have a lovely day dear friends and remember – keep it positive 🙂

reducing negativity while working at home

Create nice things for yourself

One thing I have learned while working at home is that it is hard to be motivated in the long run. Yes, I can get fired up for a week or two but how will I keep it going for the rest of the year right?

I try to follow all the trends and advice that comes across my home office desk but to be honest, I rarely put it to work. There is one trick though that worked for me so far – and that is creating nice visual for my vision board. I am very visual and I do really badly in note-taking. I have notes all over the place, handwritten, typed and even recorded on my mobile. Then of course, I forget that I ever made them.

This year I intend to be very organised and create a new, colourful and a very appealing roadmap. And I mean VERY. I am sifting through my ideas and putting them into colourful documents. The usual Google Planner or Excel sheet might be functional but they just don’t work for my brain. I do not know why but I don’t feel motivated to open them or to use them. I think it maybe the layouts, endless rows of lines…I don’t know.

Anyway, let me know if you are the same and what are you doing about it 🙂

Have a great 2021 dear friends!

organising small business plan, colourful and vivid for focus and motivation
Organising myself while staying motivated and focused.

Struggles of a solopreneur

Last year was a struggle. I tried really hard to get out there and make some success. It did not happen…yet. Yes, I am not giving up but boy, it is not easy. This post is more for people who are thinking about “an attractive product” that would sell like a hot cake. Well if you have those skills, this one is for you.

What I miss the most is a just platform or an opportunity where I can showcase my products for a reasonable fee and I get actually discovered. Although many big platforms ‘offer’ that, the practice is different. It is very hard to get discovered without paying for ads or just through Social Media.

Social media were useful years ago, now they have become paid platforms as well and you have to ‘pay to play’. Of course there are those who go viral or get lucky but what percentage is that? No, I am not envious. Good for them. All I am saying that there is a serious need for better and more just platforms. If you are able to help or provide this then you will not have a problem to find clients.

And of course here is my list of my top struggles:

  1. ranking on the platform/ visibility, choosing niche, product, keywords
  2. trying to please the algorithm all the time
  3. being shown to only a small fraction of my subscribers by the algorithm
  4. not knowing whom to trust in terms of courses, e-books and gurus (there are just too many of them)
  5. having limited exposure because of the way how the platform works and is set up

I hope that my next year’s list will be different 🙂 As I said, I am not giving up, yet….

Looking forward to 2021, small business needs, one person business plan

This might help you…journaling for business

Something I have been doing recently and helped me a lot – journaling. I know it is not a new concept at all. I do my personal journaling here and there and find it very helpful. But this time I though why not do that also for my tiny business. The reason is simple – I just don’t remember every little thing. For example I make a tweak to the product but I forget about it. Then when looking at my analytics, I am wrecking my brain what have I done well that the product suddenly sells…

I have avoided looking at my social media analytics for ages. There are different reasons for that. Let’s say, I just looked at the curves and watched if they go up or down. Very amateurish, I know. For what I was doing – it was enough. At least so I thought.

When I started pinning on Pinterest, I was getting overwhelmed – by the sheer numbers, scheduling etc. I just did not remember what works and the analytics did not help me in this. Hence comes the journaling bit. After years of writing on Post notes and loosing them in a process, I started a simple journal with the following:

  1. what I’ve created
  2. when it became live
  3. what was the response
  4. sources that inspired me
  5. what details I have changed
  6. what was the outcome of the change

business journal might be the game changer

How is my business going in 2020

No, I will not be complaining. But I do need to say that it was not what I expected. I was hoping to really shoot up this year. Well, it did not happen. Now, when I look back, I am thinking about the positives. With regards to my products, I did see that the idea works. Or rather, yes, the product sells.

However, I made lot less than expected. That is going to be the next step. I will try to find out how to scale it up. So I still feel that I did not get very far, yet.

Here is my list to rethink my strategy:

  1. what worked and why
  2. what did not work and why
  3. how to scale up successful items
  4. find better platforms
  5. find products with better return on investment
  6. learn new skills that will help me to achieve the above

Happy Holidays dear friends 🙂

Balancing in 2020 and getting ready for 2021