7 habits of successful solopreneurs and freelancers

November 19, 2019

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Being a solopreneur or freelancers is exciting, liberating and empowering, but at the same time terrifying, overwhelming and harder than most people admit. Sure, the sky is the limit and you can do whatever the hell you want, but in the end it’s all down to you and there’s no manual on rulebook on how to make it work. 

Yet, somehow, some solopreneurs or freelancers seem to know how to play the game and turn what they do into a success, while others flounder. 

What sets them apart? 

Over the years I’ve discovered what successful solopreneurs and freelancers have in common. There are certain things they do and don’t do, certain habits they all have. 

Let’s not waste any time and dive straight in! 

Here are the 7 habits of successful solopreneurs & freelancers:

7 habits of successful solopreneurs freelancers

They’re always learning and evolving. 

The most successful solopreneurs & freelancers know that in business you’re either growing or you’re dying, so they get in motion and grow. They understand that the landscape is constantly changing and so must they. What worked yesterday might not work today and what works today might not work tomorrow, so they’re always learning, always experimenting, always evolving. 

It’s a great habit to adopt and surprisingly easy. Ask yourself questions like: 

  • what can I learn from this?

  • How can I become better at this?

  • What else do I need to know or learn?

  • Where have I stopped growing?

They put themselves out there

When you work for yourself, it’s all too easy to hide behind your laptop. Days somehow fly by when you’re building or updating your website, doing market research, writing blog posts or newsletters and managing your social media. Whilst those are all important things to do, they’re not things that are going to get you big breakthroughs.

Successful solopreneurs & freelancers know that they can’t hide behind their laptops. They pro-actively reach out to businesses and people they like to work with, they share their work with others and show up even when they don’t feel ready. 

They don’t wait for things to be perfect 

As a solopreneur or freelancers you often are the business, especially in the beginning. As a result, rejection or criticism of your products, services and even social media or blog posts can feel very personal. It stings when something that you’ve put your heart and soul into gets shot down. Likewise, it hurts if you launch a new product or service and NO ONE signs up or buys it. 

So what do most of us do? We procrastinate. We wait for things to be perfect. 

Successful solopreneurs & freelancers recognise that this is a trap and that is doesn’t get them anywhere. Of course they value quality, but they also want to get things done. They believe that ‘done is better than perfect’ and put things out there when they are good enough. 

They make connections

Successful solopreneurs & freelancers realise that their livelihood depends on the people they know. There’s truth in the saying ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know’. 

Don’t get me wrong, knowledge and experience are super important, but we humans don’t operate in silos and most opportunities arise through interaction with others. If no one knows who you are or what you do, it’s much harder to build your business. 

The most successful solopreneurs & freelancers know this, so they make it a priority to build their network in their field and collaborate where possible. They show a genuine interest in others and support them wherever they can. They connect people and businesses who might benefit from knowing each other. They build their influence by being kind, authentic and generous. 

They don’t get discouraged by setbacks

Let’s be honest, setbacks suck. We all like things to work out and go to plan, but that’s not how life works. Setbacks are an inevitable and normal part of the process – in our personal and our professional lives. 

Successful solopreneurs & solopreneurs understand this, so they don’t make a big drama out of it and don’t take it personal. They take a setback, rejection or defeat for what it is: simply a bump on the road. They also try to learn and grow from it, so they come out stronger, wiser and more capable on the other side. 

They see ‘no’ as an opportunity

Similarly, when they get a ‘no’, they don’t let it stop them. They see it as an opportunity to try again, but in another way. They know that a ‘no’ is rarely a solid or hard ‘no’ and come up with different ways to achieve their goals or get what they want. 

They realise that whilst this door might be closed, it might open in the future. More importantly, they know that there are other doors that could get them where they want to be, so they get creative and try to find them. 

They are tool-savvy

Successful solopreneurs & freelancers work hard and smart. They’re resourceful and try to find ways to make life easier for themselves. That might be by outsourcing design work through fiverr.com or by using online tools that help them save money, time and effort (hop on over to last weeks’ blogs post with my 5 favourite tools). 

Successful solopreneurs & freelancers are definitely not martyrs and try to help themselves as much as they can. 

There you have it: 7 habits of successful solopreneurs & entrepreneurs. But enough talking! As Walt Disney once said: the way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing, so let’s get to it! 

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