TL;DR: Even as solopreneurs, we can’t do it alone. The doors to One Woman Shop membership are open until Friday, May 26th at 11:59pm EST!
One Woman Shops:
If you’re on our email list (you rock!) you got this note in your inbox last week. (That said, it might be worth another read!) If you’re not? Keep reading…
We’re nearly halfway through the year (whaaa?) and we have no doubt your to-do list might look like this: overstuffed — with stress levels that just might match.
This is when we remind ourselves that:
a. We can’t do all.the.things, every day.
b. Of what we can do, we can’t do it alone.
We have a few stellar suggestions for taming that out-of-control to-do list and reclaiming your time (point a) — but for the purposes of today’s letter to you, we want to focus on point b.
You might be wondering, what the heck do other people have to do with getting my work done?
Our answer: Everything.
We’re not talking about building a team or outsourcing. Yes, there’s a season for both those things — but one thing that’s always in style is having a strong community behind you.
Specifically, a community of people who get what it’s like to set up onboarding systems for clients, or to design nurture sequences to sell that product, or to build a business budget. A community that also considers putting jeans on “dressing up” — because, hey, they’re not yoga pants — and who has no shame in taking an afternoon nap or waking up to work at 2am because an idea struck.
Solopreneurship is a misleading term — because even as a company of one, we need to know there are other people out there who get it. Who can help us through it. Who have the expertise, insight, and honesty, we might not have at that moment.
That’s what we’re all about at One Woman Shop: Community. A tight-knit group of ladies who quickly become friends as they support each other on this winding road of solopreneurship.
Doors have re-opened to One Woman Shop membership. We’d love to have you join us before they close again on May 26th. All it takes is a brief application so we can both make sure we’re a fit.
After all, the Beatles knew best: In business, as in life, we all get by with a little help from our friends.
We sent this letter out to people who’ve considering One Woman Shop membership, but after re-reading it (and re-reading it) ourselves, we decided it might just be a message all of us solopreneurs can use. Here it is:
We’re about to get real for a second. (Okay, perhaps for a few minutes.)
We just finished reading Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes (talk about a powerhouse woman), and we stopped dead in our tracks when we got to her chapter entitled, Yes to People.
It was this excerpt from Ms. Rhimes, in particular, that made us pause:
“I don’t know if anyone has noticed but I only write about one thing: being alone. The fear of being alone, the desire to not be alone, the attempts we make to find our person, to keep our person, to convince our person to not leave us alone, the joy of being with our person and thus no longer alone, the devastation of being left alone.
The need to hear the words: You are not alone.
The fundamental human need for one human being to hear another human being say to them: You are not alone. You are seen. I am with you. You are not alone.”
Whew. (We told you we were getting real, right?)
Here’s why this matters so much to us:
Because on days when your client is giving you the runaround on that invoice, it can feel like you’re in this alone.
Because on mornings when the alarm’s going off and you just can’t make yourself get out of bed, it can feel like you’re in this alone.
Because on evenings when you’re working late into the night because you got an idea that you just can’t wait to get started on, it can feel like you’re in this alone.
Because when you land that first paying customer for the product you poured your heart and soul into, it can feel like you’re in this alone.
Because when you haven’t showered in three days and your hair is in a greasy knot on top of your head, but oh!, you finished watching the Gilmore Girls revival despite being in the middle of a launch…it can feel like you’re in this alone.
The greatest fear in solopreneurship often isn’t failure. It’s loneliness. It’s why, as leaders of One Woman Shop, we believe in community above all else.
Because no matter the curveballs clients, customers, colleagues, family, friends, random internet strangers, heck — LIFE — throws at you, you need people in your corner to tell you:
You are not alone. You are seen. I am with you. You are not alone.
Because it’s the truth, fellow solopreneur. You’re not alone. You’re seen. We’re with you.
And we’ve got a pretty stellar group of ladies who will tell you the same as a One Woman Shop member.
The doors are closing very soon, and we don’t want you to miss it. Because it’s time that you had the right people in your corner.
Little known fact: On this day, three years ago, a little lady named Cristina had an idea to create a community for female solo business owners. Thus, One Woman Shop was born.
Perhaps more importantly (this is a time when the egg clearly needed to come before the chicken), on this day a few more years ago than that, Cristina Roman was born!
And what a life that would begin for the business partner and friend who’s more recently become known as Peach.
Okay, so before I (Sara) go getting all nostalgic, I thought I’d hop right into one of Cristina’s absolute favorite things: food.
For those of you who don’t know her, she’s quite the chef, is diligent about her meal prep, and is constantly sharing awesome food pics over on her Insta.
(She’s also notorious for eating super crunchy snacks on our coworking calls, but we’ll leave that one for another day.)
So, at the risk of being completely cheesy, I thought I’d flip the script and write out a little recipe for the birthday girl:
Shut Up & Eat: A Birthday Recipe
1 part dance party
1 part exercise
5 parts coffee
3 parts wine
0.5 parts wifi
3 parts chocolate
1 part beer pong
1. Consume everything in moderation (which is relative, of course)
2. Dance party must take place to latin remixes of all of your favorite songs (yes, Bieber is allowed)
3. Coffee must be purchased with Cristina’s Starbucks account (Gold status, for life)
4. Wifi should be just enough to get by (don’t want to completely spoil her, here)
5. Recipe is best served with a side of cake (by the ocean, where possible)
In short, may this day be filled with everything you love, and more!
Happppppiest of birthdays, Peach!
PS – I could gush all day about how happy I am to call Peach my biz partner + work BFF (yeah, I went there), but instead of listening to me, check out what our members had to say last year — they think she’s pretty great, too.
Sara — AKA the Co-Head Honcho of One Woman Shop, resident copywriter, and “Mint” to me (Cristina, her business partner) — is celebrating her birthday today! Last year, I wrote a pretty darn accurate summary of Sara: “this girl is, well, the shit.”
But, instead of harping on all of her amazing qualities for the second year in a row (but you can still read them here), I thought we could all celebrate her in a new way, with a playlist. Think of it as a mix tape for the new generation.
Sara’s Birthday Jams
Sara: Here’s a playlist that encompasses so many things we discuss on a regular basis — remembering to Shut Up and Dance when things are stressful, celebrating our Freedom Song as solopreneurs, and never forgetting that I’ll Be There for You! P.S. Is it too late now to say Sorry for always getting Justin Bieber stuck in your head? 😀
As always, we want to help you see more success in your solopreneur biz. That’s why we’re launching our first ever Solopreneur Success Bundle — a roundup of nearly a dozen products, offered at an insanely steep discount for a limited time. We’ve been behind the scenes, working with passionate business owners to gather some of the best e-courses, eBooks, subscriptions, and more that will help you in growing, marketing, and streamlining your business — while staying sane. (It’s possible!)
Exciting, right? Even better: we want you to be a part of our launch! Here’s how:
Become a Solopreneur Success Bundle affiliate
The Bundle will be live from September 14-18 — and we want to get it in the hands of as many solopreneurs as possible. If you have a community that you know can benefit from the resources of well-known entrepreneurs, help us spread the word!
As an affiliate, you receive a 30% commission on any Bundles sold through your unique link. (The Bundle will sell at $99.) We’re going to make it as easy on you as possible — by providing copy, social media updates, and graphics.
To help promote the Bundle, we’re running a blog tour during Bundle Week! Each blog tour participant will publish a post on their own blog based on the prompt below; we’ll then promote the posts to our community via social media + in roundup posts each day on our site.
We’ll provide you with a text header explaining the blog tour (where you can insert your affiliate code), as well as graphics.
The prompt: in 400-800 words, tell us your story of The Road to Solopreneur Success:
What area(s) of your business do you struggle with most and what do you plan on changing? AND/OR What area(s) of your business are you excelling at most and how did you get there?
If you’re in, just send your written post to [email protected] by 9/1 to confirm your participation.
This just happens to be a week of birthdays — and not just any birthdays, but the birthday of our incredible founder, Cristina, and the birth of her incredible idea, One Woman Shop.
That’s right. Two years ago this week, Cristina was not only celebrating her birthday, but she was also dreaming up what would soon become One Woman Shop. We’ll be celebrating that tomorrow (and majorly paying it forward!), but in the meantime, we have one and only one thing to celebrate today: Cristina, AKA the founder + co-head honcho behind One Woman Shop, AKA Peach. (We <3 nicknames around these parts.)
Fast forward two years, and she's inspiring women all over the world to start (and succeed) in their solo business, she's constantly bettering her business partner (hey, that's me), and she's living out her location independent dream (tearing up the streets of Antigua, no doubt).
In the process, she manages to constantly make me -- and I'm sure others -- laugh:
Even when we’re puzzled over why Google Hangouts hates us:
Okay, okay, I’m her business partner — of course I’m going to say how awesome she is, right? Well, it’s not just me. You see, I reached out to our membership and asked them to help me build a Rainy Day File for Cristina on her birthday — and this is just a sampling of what they said:
I’ve been lucky enough to be part of the OWS community from the beginning. It’s been so inspiring to watch it evolve and to see Cristina’s vision come to life. She’s done an amazing job of building an active community, rather than a group of observers. – Amy Chick
Entrepreneurship often seemed unreachable and scary to me, but finding other women through OWS who are encouraging, giving, helpful, and straight up smart has made a world of difference. Knowing I’m not alone makes this crazy path I’ve chosen not just doable but enjoyable; thank you so much for investing in this community, Cristina! – Jill Hinton
The One Woman Shop is the reason I am still so passionate about my own business after 4 years. I owe my sanity to the OWS group; this group of women help me to find the love and answers I wouldn’t always have working alone. – Jill Dretzka
Being part of a community that is not afraid to share or help each other is what really motivates and drives me to move forward with my entrepreneurial goals. I love the valuable lessons I learn from knowing other women who meet challenges head-on and reach for the stars! Thank you for this, Cristina! – Tai Stewart
Happy Birthday, Cristina! Thank you for making One Woman Shop a thing. As a solopreneur, it’s so refreshing to have a safe place to connect with and learn from a community of others who get what it’s like to be one of us. I’m grateful that you made your dream a reality so we can all enjoy this playground. – Jennie Mustafa-Julock
Cristina has beautifully harnessed her skills and multi-passionate personality in the creation of OWS. I’m grateful she’s had the foresight, nous and persistence to make the community what it is today — along with her co-head honcho, Sara. The community is a flourishing place, thanks to the dedication of two great ladies! Happy birthday, Cristina. Revel. You deserve it 🙂 – Sara Moss
One Woman Shop has allowed me to make connections with several female entrepreneurs that have become paying members of Careful Cents services. So not only have I made awesome friends, I’ve also increased my bottom line, while still being able to offer advice and help for their finances. THANK YOU for starting OWS — I’m so glad I’m not alone! – Carrie Smith
…And they don’t even know how awesome she is behind-the-scenes!
With that, I say cheers, Peach — to another year of amazing adventures, inspiring work, and never-ending ideas to keep all of this interesting. (Oh, and all the Reese’s Cups + dance parties you want. You know, for support.)
While the organic reach of Facebook Pages has (drastically) dwindled, there’s one aspect of the social network that Zuck + friends have gotten right for your online business: Facebook Groups. To make the most of this fantastic tool for solopreneur networking and community building, we asked our One Woman Shop members for their #1 tip for utilizing Facebook Groups. Here’s what they said:
Be extremely selective on which Facebook groups get your time and attention and then show up consistently.
Be sure to read any policy documents, and do your best to stay on the right side of policies. If you’re unsure, reach out to the moderator. Also, focus on the positives whenever possible — even when you may be doing a critique, start with something nice to say. (Editor’s note: try the Hug Bump Hug!)
Be helpful + give advice. Sometimes it feels like people are sales-pitchy in groups, trying to offer their services or products. If you know how to solve a problem, walk them through it instead of trying to make money right off the bat.
Remember that everyone is in a different place and business isn’t one-size-fits-all. What works for you might not work for someone else.
– Cristina Roman
If you’re in a lot of Facebook groups, pick 2-4 that have the most value and focus on building a strong presence in those. Bookmark them on your Facebook sidebar and turn on notifications for them so you don’t miss any conversations.
Join them! Some of my client come from referrals, but A LOT come from entrepreneurial Facebook groups. Play nice. That means ‘following the rules.’ Those rules are usually there to make the group “unattractive” to people who are just looking to sell to the other members. The main purpose of most groups is idea-sharing & networking. Selling & collaboration is usually a natural by-product of that.
If you have a question, use the search function first! Often, someone else has already asked and gotten great advice. By tapping into the feedback that’s already been posted, you can help cut back on the same repetitive questions that are asked in the groups.
“Sara is one of those people who just ‘gets it’ — which is a compliment I reserve for very few people! Not only are her copywriting talents fantastic, but she blends creativity with logic in an effective way to serve as an amazing sounding board and business idea generator as well. In addition, Sara is extremely reliable and always over delivers. I’m proud to call Sara a colleague and a fellow solopreneur.”
None of that has changed in the past seven months, but what I didn’t mention — partly because it probablyyyy wouldn’t have been appropriate on a professional testimonial, but mostly because I didn’t fully know it fully at that point — is that this girl is, well, the shit.
For those of you who haven’t had a chance to get to know her, do it now. She’ll make bad puns with you, spontaneously put on Mint-colored sunglasses when you’re not paying attention to the video chat, and have fun using ridiculous hashtags in Gchats. She’ll entertain you with funny marriage stories (heyyyy Petey!), obsess over Serial, and listen to your singing (in Spanish).
She’ll also give you killer copywriting advice, ask just the right question to push your business forward, and cheer you on as you grow your solo business.
So, Sara, on your birthday here’s to more day-long Jam Sessions, freaking out over Mashable features, late night work sessions with chocolate, popcorn, and wine to get products #shipped, and maybe one day even meeting in-person 😉 But for right now — here’s to massages and roller coasters!
P.S. Sara — notice the double dashes? You’ve trained me so well 🙂 #doubledash