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TGIF: The Balancing Act of Solopreneurship

What comes first, the chicken or the egg?

Well we all know you can’t get the egg without the chicken. But don’t all chickens begin as eggs?

I’m starting to see just how often this question applies to business.

Don’t worry, I’m not talking about answering my long-lost calling to become a chicken farmer, here. Although this takes me back to visions of my neighbour’s chicken coop that once adjoined the backyard of my childhood home. There were never any chickens around when I was there, at least not that I can remember, but my brother, my sister, my best friend Al and I used to crawl out of our treehouse onto the tin roof sometimes for fun.

Or maybe that was just me.

Anyway, the rooftop adventures came to an abrupt end one day when I tried to slide off the roof on my bottom (it was about an eight foot drop to the ground), and my Modrobes got snagged on the edge (remember Modrobes?), leaving me hanging upside down for a solid three seconds before I dropped to the ground, face-first. Fortunately, I walked away with nothing worse than ripped pants and a mouthful of pine needles. And now I have a story to share with you here today…

Wait, where was I going with this?

The truth is, this basically sums up my week. I’ve had a lot going on, which is great, but it’s also meant figuring out how to wear a lot of different hats, and then deciding which hat should be worn when and for how long I should wear it. All the while, I have to remember to start prepping for next week’s hats, and next month’s after that.

Welcome to the world of solopreneurship.

Yes, this is where I was going with the whole chicken-or-the-egg ordeal. You see, when you’re building up your business, these are the types of questions you have to consider: what comes first, the business or the clients? Well, of course you have to have the business in place before you start wooing the clients. But what’s a business without any clients? Does it really exist at all?

It all comes down to some killer prioritizing skills. I’m finding new ways to carefully structure my days — and my weeks — to make sure I have room to satisfy all of my business needs. This means dedicating time to providing client services — the core purpose of my business, and the reason I started this whole thing in the first place — but it also means focusing on continuing to build up my brand. As business owners, we work so hard to fill our days with client work, because that’s what we love to do (and how we pay the bills). But we can’t neglect dedicating time and effort to those other tasks — you know, stuff like social media marketing, blogging and networking — because this is how we get the clients who pay us the money for the next month’s bill payments.

You still with me?

What I’m trying to say is, I’m totally feeling your pain here. Fortunately, I can help take the weight off for you. I’ll handle your social media marketing and blogging, so you can free up some time to focus on your clients. This way, you’re always staying one step ahead.

Now, onto my weekly reflections…

Highlights This Week

What I’m Writing:

I’m contributing to Zoomer this week, taking a closer look at senior-assisted living and the stigmas attached. Making the move to a retirement community is a difficult lifestyle change — for everyone involved. I had the opportunity to interview a woman who recently left the home she had lived in for 45 years, as well as an expert in the industry who shares tips for ensuring a smooth transition.

What I’m Reading:

I stumbled across this incredibly powerful story featured in ESPN about how social media influences our mental health. Sometimes, we paint these pictures through Instagram filters of the kinds of lives we only wish we were living. But the truth is, they’re far from reality. As this story emphasizes, “it’s OK to not be OK,” and “it’s OK to show people you’re not OK.” You may be surprised by how many people can relate to what you’re going through. And by putting the truth out there, you could inspire others to do the same.

What I’ve Learned:

I’ve started a new project this week with a client who works as an Intuitive Medium. I’m fascinated by the work she does, and I’m learning so much about the field. I think intuition plays such a valuable role in our lives. I find I rely on my intuition a lot when making big life decisions. So it’s been really interesting to get this look behind-the-scenes at how you can strengthen these intuitive abilities and use them to help others find new meaning in their life path.

What I’ve experimented with:

I had so much fun this week doing a business photo shoot with Sarah from Photography by SSV. I’ve been wanting to capture new visuals for my brand for a while now, and Sarah really is the perfect person for the job. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with — and I’ll be sure to share with you all very soon!

How has your week been? What are some of the challenges you faced this week? Any big plans for the weekend ahead?


Charlotte Ottaway

Charlotte is the founder of Web of Words. She helps solopreneurs and small business owners create real human connections online through blogging and social media. Her work has been published in Maclean's, Canadian Business, Zoomer, The Globe and Mail, The Huffington Post Canada and other Canadian publications. Better known by family and friends as Carly, she currently resides in Newmarket with her husband and fur-babe. To learn more, check out her portfolio at charlotteottaway.com and follow her on Twitter @charlottaway.

5 Comments Write a comment

  1. I love the story in this post, Carly! Modrobes were the best.

    I’m also struggling on how to prioritize things. I think when you’re starting out, everything feels like an emergency, needing all your attention right away. I’m slowly learning that unfortunately, I can’t do everything at once. And I do my best work when I give each project enough time to fully develop.


    • Charlotte Ottaway

      Haha thanks for the comment, Chris! I wonder if Modrobes will ever come back one day…

      It’s definitely been interesting to see how much my business has evolved in these initial months. But you’re right, best to avoid multi-tasking (especially when you’re working creatively), just have to find a way to take it one project at a time…


  2. So many….Oh so may hats !! Need a haberdasher to keep us outfitted !!


    • Charlotte Ottaway

      Hahaha I love it, Janice. Definitely agree with that. It’s so great to be able to connect on this stuff with local biz owners too. Sharing little experiences & advice along the way can really come in handy.


  3. Pingback: [BLOCKED BY STBV] TGIF: Solopreneurs, It's Time to Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone - Charlotte Ottaway

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