For many years I have enjoyed Matt Kramer’s column in Wine Spectator magazine. In the May 31, 2011 issue he wrote a piece titled “Nobody Ever Went Wrong.” Matt is talking about wine, of course, in this column, and he writes:
It seems a good — indeed, useful — exercise to see what truths might be extracted from this “nobody ever went wrong” formulation.
I think it works for our solopreneur lives, too, so here we go.
No solopreneur ever went wrong…
…Asking for help. The return on investment when we ask for help is extraordinary. If you don’t believe me, just try it and see what happens.
…Saying they were sorry. We solopreneurs tend to be proud, headstrong perfectionists, so apologizing doesn’t always come easy for us. But when it’s sincere, the three words, “I am sorry,” are the strongest in the English language.
…Starting a blog. I think a blog is the number-one online method for solopreneurs to engage their customers/clients. The truth is that most consumers want to know what you’re thinking, want to hear your “voice,” and want your insight. A blog does that. If you have concerns about the sustainability of a blog, begin with a goal of posting once a month; you can always increase your frequency.
…Taking a day off. Most solopreneurs exist in a state of energy-, creativity-, and idea-deprivation. There’s no better way to refresh than to leave the grid, and free your mind. The work can wait 24 hours.
…Investing in an iPhone (or an equivalent), because smart phones leverage your most important asset: time.
…Tuning out the online advice. Much of the online small-business advice deals with tactics, not strategy. If you listen to too much tactical advice, you will end up chasing your tail. (There’s a golf analogy: players who read instructional articles eventually encounter contradictory advice. At some point you have to work with what you have and ignore the “experts.”)
…Firing a horrible client. The bottom line is bad clients hurt your business, and some can even cause irreperable harm. Cut the cord and don’t look back.
…I asked for help on Twitter and Kimberly Bates (@kimberlybates) said: “Taking action. If it doesn’t work, try something else. Taking action is the hardest part for everyone.”
…Taking a nap. If a daily nap was sacred for Winston Churchill, then it’s a good thing for you and me.
…Marketing locally. Having clients from around the world is cool, but local clients can help your sustainability, get you out of the office, and get you into your community. Face-to-face interaction is a good thing for us solopreneurs.
What Do You Think?
Share your wisdom in the comments below.