Early one Saturday morning in February, after a day-long One Woman Shop strategy session the day before, an idea-inspiring Google chat was sent:
“You know you’re a solopreneur when… you have an idea for an e-course on Friday night, and by Saturday morning your Google Doc outline is at 12 pages.”
(That’s how we roll at OWS.)
In that moment, it hit us: how many times a day do we do things that are so recognizable to every other One Woman Shop running a solo business, but completely foreign (and slightly nuts) to everyone else?
For the next few days, we went back-and-forth non-stop, sharing our “You Know You’re a Solopreneur When…” moments. (Side note: YKYASW doesn’t make for the best acronym.)
Then, we opened the floor to our fellow One Woman Shops via our mailing list, Twitter, and our members-only Facebook group -- and the responses came flooding in.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy, fellow solopreneur -- here are the things to which only a One Woman Shop on the crazy, ambitious, up-and-down rollercoaster that we call solopreneurship can relate. Prepare to laugh, nod in agreement, and maybe even cry a little -- but rejoice that it’s not just you. We’re all in this together. (Cue High School Musical.)
You know you’re a solopreneur when...
...you wake up in the middle of the night with a brilliant idea and must start working on it immediately. Even if it is 3am.
...your best ideas come in the shower or in your dreams -- then you struggle to remember all of the genius details when you’re back at your computer.
...you love the concept of outsourcing but are having trouble letting go of your baby.
...you’ve called your business your baby.
...you’ve referred to your “online business friends” way more than once and have to explain to people that meeting up in person really isn’t gonna be weird.
...your significant other or best friend becomes your unofficial business consultant -- whether they want to be or not.
...terms like “solopreneurship,” “passive income,” and “list building” are part of your normal vocabulary -- and often provoke blank stares from your family and friends.
...the prospect of leaving your house both thrills and irritates you.
...snow days no longer exist because your studio or office is your home. (Oh -- and weekends and holidays aren’t a guarantee, either.)
...your yoga pants collection outnumbers your dress pants, putting on jeans counts as getting “dressed up” for the day, and the thought of dressing in business casual clothes is pretty darn exciting (as long as it’s not too often).
...you have a call at 2pm and your voice cracks when you get on Skype... because it's the first time you talked out loud that day. (Thank goodness it’s not a video chat, because… hair.)
...you walk into a cafe and immediately check for wifi and outlets.
...you end up eating breakfast and lunch in that same cafe because you can’t drag yourself away from work long enough to relocate.
...you’ve unintentionally skipped lunch on more than one occasion -- and not realized it until 3 or 4pm.
...you “hold it” for way too long because you want to finish “just one more thing” before stepping away, even for a two-minute bathroom break.
...you’re both happy and overwhelmed by the constant flow of new ideas you have (and, of course, there’s a Google doc or Evernote dedicated to each and every one).
...you’ve spent hours -- when you should be working -- googling “how to be more productive” and “productivity tips.”
...you’ve listed the pros and cons of about 50 different e-courses, conferences, and coaching programs and talked ad nauseum about the need to “invest in your solo business.”
...you commonly debate MailChimp vs. Aweber, WordPress vs. SquareSpace, and Canva vs. PicMonkey as if you have a personal stake in them.
...you can recall the HEX codes for the colors in your brand faster than your own social security number.
...you love seeing how other solopreneurs structure their days, and think “yes! I’m not the only one who drinks four cups of coffee per day.”
...you whip out dozens of pages of content in a few hours when you’re inspired, but it takes days to write a 500-word blog post when you’re not.
...the last day of the month means wrapping timesheets, sending out invoices, and checking in on your books.
...the UPS/FedEx person knows you by name.
...your first thought when you meet someone who has never used Skype or G+ Hangouts is: "How do they meet with people?”
...you think in multiple time zones and are rarely 100% sure of what day of the week it is.
...paying quarterly estimated taxes makes this whole business thing feel like it’s not worth it...until you realize you can go to a 10am yoga class or even work from anywhere if you want.
...you think, “I would NEVER date a solopreneur. We’re crazy!”
But perhaps the thing that’s most indicative of being a solopreneur?
You no longer dread Monday mornings.
And that, fellow solopreneurs, is how we know this solo-business gig is all worth it.
What’d we miss? Let us know in the comments below!
A huge thank you to Razwana Wahid, Susan Shain, Jennifer Lopez, Sierra Elmore, Jennie Mustafa-Julock, Katie Radke, Jennifer Vitale, Sara Moss, Martina Weiss, Julia Sydnor, Jessica Maceda, and Faye Kirwin for contributing!