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Surfing the solopreneurial waves (a lesson from aisle 4)
Demands in a solo business come in waves, sometimes with cascades of disruption. Ready to surf?
The other day I was roaming the aisles of our local Target, hunting down a baking ingredient. On my way to the flour, sugar, and vanilla aisle, I passed the area for school supplies.
It was ravaged. Empty shelves. Remaining items in disarray. Empty display cartons were tossed to the back.
I smiled to myself and thought, Yeah, they expected shoppers. But this looked like the remnants of a bargain-hunting tidal wave.
It’s the same way in our solo businesses, right? We plan our days, filling them to the brim with things to get done. We anticipate action and outcomes. Then something slams into our day, and everything falls apart.
For me, it’s the equivalent of sweeping an imaginary arm across my desk and clearing the surface in one swoop. Whoosh!
The alternative to boring
After years of working solo, I’ve come to recognize these disruptions for what they are: normal.
The upheaval in a solopreneur workday is a natural occurrence.
It’s part of what we signed up for when we joined this solo adventure.
And c’mon, be honest. If our lives were the standardized fare of grinding out a traditional 9-to-5 workday, we’d likely be bored out of our minds.
Beyond the common remedies
We recognize the recommended time management strategies to deal with these upheavals.
Build in a buffer zone.
Set false early deadlines, so you have a grace period if things go haywire (as they often do).
Have a backup plan.
However, none address the mental anguish that often accompanies such disruption. That’s the part that stings and lingers.
When my day suddenly goes upside down, I turn to a simple technique to reclaim my serenity: One breath.
The world disappears for those six seconds, and I can surf the wave of disruption. Then I return to face the upheaval, a bit more balanced and centered.
The next time you’re facing disruption — whether modest or catastrophic — try turning inward for one breath. You may find, as I do, that it softens the frustration and restores equilibrium.
As a solopreneur, chances are good you’ll have the opportunity to try this technique sooner than you expect.
See you on cleanup in aisle 4.
Pssst… your friendly reminder
For those of you in the USA who make estimated IRS tax payments, here’s your friendly reminder that the Q3 tax payment is due later this week (September 15th).
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See you next week. Until then, do a favor for a solopreneur you know and share this newsletter.