Last week, we released The Solopreneur Sanity Handbook -- a 94-page guide to getting shit done and living your life as a one woman shop. But we didn’t just pull the idea for this massive undertaking out of thin air. In fact, despite us saying we worked on the Handbook for months, it’s safe to say it was actually years in the making. Here, we share that story -- with a lesson that you can apply in your solo business.
The roots of the Solopreneur Sanity Handbook
For the past few years, One Woman Shop members have received access to a 16-week e-course on productivity, created by Cristina back in the day. Actionable and pertinent at the time, the course was well received and a valuable addition to the solopreneur arsenal. But over the past year or so, we’ve discussed revamping this course in order to make it more up-to-date, more comprehensive, and more...us.
As part of the re-creation process, we knew we had to take a good, hard look at what we were working with and the gaps we felt needed to be addressed. So when Sara pulled up several Google Docs, chock full of notes from a course she had been writing with the working title Solopreneur Sanity and shared the content, we knew we had the makings of the NEW AND IMPROVED (just kidding, we’re not an infomercial) offering for our community.
And the rest is history.
Just kidding -- the “rest” is months upon months of brainstorming, organization (with brief moments of wondering if our brains would fall out of our heads from too much spatial maneuvering), writing, and design decisions. Not to mention hanging out in the different phases of content creation:
- This is awesome.
- This is tricky.
- This is shit.
- I am shit.
- This might be okay.
- This is awesome.
From both of our experiences and from peeking into the lives of our members (we’re not creepy, we promise), we knew that we wanted to take the best of both creations (Cristina’s original course + Sara’s new outline) and combine them into something that addressed all elements of solopreneur sanity -- not just productivity hacks and not just self-care activities.
After all, we think both of those areas are essential for running a sane, efficient solo business -- which is why we discuss concepts like reframing your mindset toward self-care, the scientific benefits of meditation, and mental tricks to snap yourself out of obsessive thought loops right alongside creating processes and automating, managing your content system, and tackling inbox overwhelm.
Because if you have the greatest app ever for managing your emails but your PITA clients won’t stop emailing you asinine questions, you won’t be running the best biz possible.
Likewise, if you have all the right layers of accountability in place, but you’re mentally and physically exhausted, you’re probably not going to win any awards for “most fun solopreneur/ girlfriend/wife/friend to be around.” (And your accountability partner most likely won’t feel much reciprocity coming from you, either.)
But without us questioning our original content and asking how we could uplevel it -- then taking a large step back to really evaluate what we were working with -- we wouldn’t have realized this gap, and we wouldn’t have been able to create what we did.
Evaluating your own content to find the gaps
We encourage you to ask yourself the following, like we did: What can I do to uplevel my current offerings? Can I:
- Add bonus content?
- Release a new edition?
- Revamp the content based on what I’ve learned over the past few years?
- Ask my community for testimonials (and then post them on social media, on my website, and in my emails to my list) to revive the product?
- Bundle it with another product of mine or someone else’s for maximum impact?
On the flip side, we urge you to take a look at your repository of offerings and consider laying to rest the ones that are nothing but a constant source of guilt or shame for you. Not every product needs to be revived or kept on your virtual bookshelf. Some are like a night of eating nothing but chocolate -- amazing while it lasts but probably shouldn’t go on forever. If you and your community have evolved beyond them, it’s time to kiss them goodbye and put them in the Google Doc tomb for safekeeping.
Asking ourselves these questions -- and being honest with our answers -- is the process by which The Solopreneur Sanity Handbook developed into your go-to guide for both mindset shifts and action steps toward a saner, happier, healthier you -- both the “you” running a business and the “you” running a life (as if they’re mutually exclusive). And we couldn't be happier with the result.
And since we’re full of encouragement today: We encourage you to pick up your copy of The (brand spankin’ new) Solopreneur Sanity Handbook, inspiration and action for finding the intersection of productive and sane to maximize your time working so you can maximize your time living. Ready, set, sanity!