Discover more from Terri Lonier’s Working Solo
Door closes, window opens
Managing your inner Babbler is a core skill of solopreneur success. What phrases fill your self-talk? Champion or critic?
Like most solopreneurs, my early years of working solo were a roller coaster filled with the elation of wins and the stomach-dropping falls of disappointment.
I can remember doing a happy dance in my office after landing a new client for my fledgling consulting business. But I also remember the feelings of numbing defeat caused by serial “not interested’s, no, not this time” — and the worst: “We chose someone else.”
One loss is particularly vivid. It was a big contract on a topic where I knew I could bring value. It would have sustained my company for six months or more. I had multiple conversations with the buyer. Then the decision came: they selected a duo of two guys with Ivy League degrees to do the contract.
Of course, not surprising, especially for the late 1980s.
But within a week, another opportunity arrived. It was a much better fit. And it led to my consulting with Apple for 12 years.
That’s when I learned the mantra: Door closes, window opens. You see, if I had won that earlier contract, my time would have been all booked. I wouldn’t have been available to do the work with Apple. So that first “no” paved the way for a big “yes” to another opportunity.
Success is an inside (your mind) job
Sustaining emotional balance may be our most difficult — and most important — job as solopreneurs. When we’re working independently, it’s up to us to be cheerleader, guide, and champion for our business.
A big part is self-talk. Humans all have an inner voice that chimes in throughout the day. I call it managing the Babbler. (If you think you don’t have a Babbler, yours is now saying: “Voice? What voice? I don’t have an inner voice….”)
Taming your Babbler
In speaking to thousands of solopreneurs, I’ve discovered that we can be pretty hard on ourselves. We’re often more strident taskmasters than we would be with any other employee.
To tame your Babbler, begin by actively listening to your self-talk. What common phrases emerge? What’s the tone?
Once you’re aware of your Babbler’s tone and messages, it’s time to actively program some positive self-talk phrases.
Door closes, window opens is my go-to phrase when disappointment hits. It tells me: This setback means that another, better opportunity is on its way. I’ve seen it play out so many times in my own solopreneur career, as well as that of many others.
Yes, it still stings when something I wanted doesn’t come through. But over the years I’ve discovered that the later opportunity often leads to a better outcome.
Here’s to windows opening in your solopreneur journey.
Until next time, go make something happen —
Have you had doors close and windows open in your own solo journey? What positive phrases fill your solo self-talk? Please share them in the comments so we can inspire each other.