Flying solo in business is such a cool thing:
You can operate it small, independent, flexible, with minimum costs and maximum profits…
Who wouldn’t give that fancy opportunity a try!
But once you’re in it, things are not small and neat at all.
Your to do’s soon outgrow your capabilities in both, time and know-how.
And each day you face new solopreneur challenges that ask for urgent attention but end up in the monster queue…
Are you just not cut out for solo entrepreneurship?
What is it that successful solopreneurs have that you lack? Are they smarter or simply more talented?
They just have something in place that you don’t:
The right equipment.
A solopreneur survival kit, so to say.
One part of that survival kit are fine tuned habits that help successful solo entrepreneurs to keep moving when things get tough.
The other part – which we will focus on in this post – are all the tools that support your habits, boost your productivity and protect you from falling into common traps of flying solo.
There are tons of handy tools available. To avoid overwhelm, I limit the scope to those that help me the most to stay on track and work effectively as a one person business.
focus@will is an awesome tool to protect you from distractions while you work. In short, it’s simply some music you listen to. In detail, the collection of music you can choose from is scientifically engineered to increase your focus and make you less vulnerable to all the distractions around you.
It’s become a habit for me to turn on the music for all my writing and almost all the other tasks I do. The outcome is amazing: I zone in on “work mode” much faster and stay in that efficient flow much longer. It feels like I sit in a shielded cocoon where nothing and no one can disturb me from getting things done.
You can try focus@will with a 2-week free trial. After that, it’s $9.95 per month to cancel anytime.
2. iA Writer
If your business is driving a solopreneur blog with lots of writing, iA Writer can make your writing experience a lot more fun and efficient. It’s a simplistic but stylish plain text editor that turns your screen into a distraction-free writing zone.
Professional writers love it for its ease to handle markdown and for its export options to HTML, Microsoft Word (.docx) and PDF formats. And, the documents can also be shared as drafts to your WordPress website.
My favorite feature is the “focus mode,” where everything dims except the sentence you are writing on. Perfect to immerse even more into your writing.
Everything you write is autosaved. You can organize all your documents in the iA Writer library.
I have tried many writing apps until I found this one to be my one and only. You can get it for iOS ($3.99), Mac ($9.99) and Android (free).
Trello is what turns all the multitask-juggling of my one-woman-show from “mission impossible” into doable.
It’s a checklist-driven system you can use to proceed tasks from to-do to done. For all your topics you can create own boards and “pin” cards to these boards with your checklists, comments, attachments, labels and due dates.
Since I’m often a bit scatterbrained, this tool is my lifesaver cause I never forget important steps/tasks, even at very hectic days.
And once your business is at a stage where you decide to build a team or outsource certain tasks, you can co-work on your boards with your team.
I use the free basic plan which I find perfectly good.
Social Media can be both, very useful AND very harmful to a solopreneurs business: It’s the No.1 distraction in the online business space!
The challenge is to feed your social media channels with excellent content on a regular basis without running into the entertainment loop that breaks the rest of your workday.
Buffer is a great tool to treat social media as your business, rather than your distraction tool. You visit Buffer once a day to schedule all your posts on all your channels, and you’re done.
Depending on the best times to post, you can make individual posting schedules for each of your channels – very effective! And you get some cool stats about the performance of your posts too so you can improve your postings.
I am using the Awesome plan which is perfect for a solopreneur’s needs and charges only $10 per month.
Visuals have a tremendous impact on people’s attention and decision making. If your content needs to be awesome, so do your visuals!
Canva is an absolute great-stuff-galore tool for designing your featured images, banners, call to actions, logos, ebooks, etc. You can choose a custom dimension or pick a given template of popular design types for social media posts, headers, documents, ads, etc.
Once you’ve chosen a format, you can move on with a wealth of pre-given icons, illustrations, shapes, frames, fonts, etc. to add to your design. Especially people with no design skills are grateful for all this inspiration they find to get rolling.
Almost all pre-given designs and elements are customizable, so you can align them with your own brand’s colors, fonts, etc.
Everything you create is automatically saved so you can easily re-use it as a template for future designs. This helps a lot to keep up some “rules” for the general look and feel of your designs and your brands overall consistency.
And the best part: it’s absolutely free to use!
Thoughts are great, but often they get out of control, wander their own path and leave the topics we want them to engage with.
And far too often, we follow our mind’s tendency to wander and ramble through our day, doing all kinds of stuff but not what we are supposed to for making progress in our business.
The best cure for this unfruitful behavior is to capture the thoughts and ideas that come up in your head to pay attention to them later.
Evernote is a perfect tool to get things out of your head and into your idea pipeline. All the “ever notes” you make are synced between your computer and your mobile. You can organize them, add reminders and even share your notes.
I just love using this free tool. It protects me from getting sidetracked, and the same time I can make sure I don’t miss out on something “genius” going on in my head!
Are you equipped to face the solopreneur challenges?
The challenges we face are all different. Some solo entrepreneurs fall victim to distractions, and others get stuck by perfectionism.
The most important step is to realize what your weak points are which break your daily flow to grow. Once you’ve decoded your struggles, you can pick up the habits and tools that shield and boost your hard work.
What does your solopreneur survival kit look like?
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you.