The Solopreneur’s Best Temporary Income Strategy


The Solopreneur’s Best Temporary Income Strategy

When I exposed the best-kept secret of woman solopreneurs – that they often don’t draw an income – a host of wonderfully honest conversations ensued. Women wrote to me privately, they commented on threads, and they stopped me in the street to talk. Each woman said that she thought her situation was unique and that it was hard to admit she wasn’t drawing an income.

Many thought they were failures and everyone else was doing just fine. The article, The Woman Solopreneur’s Best Kept Secret, had clearly struck a chord.

The question, of course, is how to change this. There are many ways, one of which is to get a job, at least for a while. Many have tried this, and some have succeeded. Some even manage to keep their business ticking over in slow-mode while they do it.

It may feel like a failure to get a job, but it depends on how you frame it. To ensure you don’t lose your confidence along the way, or your commitment to the business you want to run, here are some tips that will keep you standing in your power while you do what is practical and necessary.

Whether the job is part time or full time, short term or long term, these tips will help to make it a positive and empowering experience:

1. Think of yourself as your own employer, whether you are in your own business or in a job.

This is a matter of perception. Whether you are working as a solopreneur or as an employee, you can consider yourself your own employer. You do this by choosing where your income comes from, and sometimes it will be from a job. For me, making the choice where my income comes from, and staying on the front foot with that choice, allows me to feel empowered and strong.

2. Be your own best manager whether you are in your own business or in a job.

I have long been an advocate of managing yourself in a profound and benevolent way. Having weekly meetings with yourself, and managing your work-life balance, income, support strategies and progress ensures that you stay on top of what is needed to stay healthy, happy and financially strong.

It might seem tempting to give up weekly management meetings with yourself if you are an employee, but it is as important to keep that practice going when you are in employment. Even if you have an assigned manager in your job, that doesn’t preclude you from being your own best manager. You need to keep an eye on your goals and progress wherever your income comes from.

3. Consider your employer as a client who pays you a retainer.

Instead of throwing your hands up in horror at the thought of getting a job, consider employment as a way of making ends meet with a steady income. Consider your employer as a client on a retainer. This changes the dynamic. Instead of being passive (which is tempting as an employee), you are actively taking the position to meet the goals you have set in your management meetings with self.

4. Think of your job as paid training.

I first heard this idea from my husband when I was new to Australia and was considering finding a job rather than continuing with the consultancy I had in South Africa. He said it was paid training, and that I would become familiar with how things worked in Australia while being paid to learn.

I learnt a great deal from that job. I learnt how not to run an organisation (long story) and how to work effectively with clients in Australia (I had some great colleagues). What was important was that I kept a daily record of whatever was new to me – systems, processes, ideas, conflict resolution tactics. It was invaluable when I went solo again.

5. Treat your job as paid networking and lead generation.

Every contract is an opportunity to network and generate leads. A job is no different, and while you don’t want to steal business from your employer, you can build your network while in the job. Instead of generating leads which is an ongoing task in your business, you will just meet people while going about your daily business in your job. Networking will be part of your ordinary activities, and those people can be part of your ongoing network. This is a serious plus.

When you get back to your business full time again, if you choose to, you will have gained experience, insights and contacts. And guess what? You will have been paid to do it. What a win.

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  • Valerie Orton

    Great ideas Rosemary. I like your thinking! Best wishes, Valerie

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