The Conundrum of Being a Solopreneur

The Road to Solopreneur Success. The Conundrum of Being a Solopreneur or What I struggle with most in my business. Read my story here only on DesignYourOwnBlog.com.

The Road to Solopreneur Success. The Conundrum of Being a Solopreneur or What I struggle with most in my business. Read my story here only on DesignYourOwnBlog.com."

This post is part of the blog tour for One Woman Shop’s Solopreneur Success Bundle,* a roundup of e-courses, e-books, and subscriptions designed to help you succeed in all aspects of your solopreneur business. Keep reading to learn more.

It should be noted that some links in this post are affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission if you purchase the bundle using my link. Read my full disclosure here.

What I struggle with most in my business

When I am asked why I started my online business, I usually tell people that I do it so I can eventually quit my job. My main motivation, besides connecting with and helping other women, is the ability to dictate my own schedule so that I can have more time with my family.

But building a business while working a full time job is hard to manage, especially when you have a family to take care of. Managing all those balls in the air without losing either your family or your business is an incredible task.

I have two big fears: One is that if I don’t work hard enough, my business will fail and I will never be able to leave my job and have the freedom to spend more time with my family. The other is that I will work so hard that I will not have a family left to spend that freedom with when I get there.

The latter almost came true a few weeks ago during our family vacation.

As many of you know, I spent about six weeks this summer on a redesign of my website. Then (because I’m crazy) I thought it would be a good idea to do seven giveaway posts in seven days immediately following the launch and preceding a two-week vacation. To top it off, I also had an article deadline due during the first week of said vacation.

I worked myself to the bone the first few weeks of August. I worked late every night and pulled an all-nighter the eve of the launch, which ended with me getting physically sick, complete with fever, chills and body aches. My body had had enough!

But I still had those seven posts to write, seven emails to send, and that article deadline. A smarter person would have told her audience that the seven days of giveaways would have to be postponed. In retrospect I’m sure you guys would have understood.

But what did I do?

I did them anyway. I stayed up late every night when I should have been resting and the next week I worked into the first five days of our vacation. On the last of those five nights, as I was fighting to stay awake to complete my deadline, my husband finally snapped. He’d had enough!

I really can’t blame him. He had been so patient up to then and I had totally taken advantage of it. I had promised him that I would not work on vacation and yet here we were five days in and I was staying up late to work again.

The Lesson

I’m happy now to say that my husband and I ended up working it out, but I learned a really important lesson this summer: it’s not ok to become so obsessed with your business that you sacrifice your family for it.

Building a business as a solopreneur is a delicate balance, especially if you’ve got a day job and a family to boot. Opportunities may be lost, but boundaries must be drawn. After that fateful night with my husband, I shut my computer off and didn’t turn it back on for five full days. I’m pretty sure I went through withdrawals at first but after a day or two it became liberating. It felt so good to unplug!

And guess what? The world didn’t end and neither did my business.

Since then, I’ve been working on drawing boundaries so I don’t burn out, get sick again or lose my family. It’s really hard not to work all the time, but I have to find that balance: my family and everything that I love depends on it.

What do YOU struggle with the most in your business? I’d love to hear your stories, share with me in the comments below!

Need Help Turning that Struggle into Success?

Earlier I mentioned that this post is part of the blog tour for One Woman Shop’s Solopreneur Success Bundle, a roundup of e-courses, e-books, and subscriptions designed to help you succeed in all aspects of your solopreneur biz. Your chance to grab over $1,600 in products (including my own ebook, Blog Beautiful!) at just $99 is only here from September 12 through 11:59pm EST on Friday, September 16, 2016! — learn more and get yours now!

The Solopreneur Success Bundle from One Woman Shop is back again and better than ever and STILL only $99! $1600+ worth of ebooks, ecourses and resources to help you succeed in your solopreneur business! Get it now while it's hot because it's only available through Friday, September 16!

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13 Comments

  • I totally understand this, Marianne. I don’t have a husband or children, but there are times when ‘work’ comes before friends and family and I do ask myself if it’s worth it ! But it’s all about peaks and troughs in the end. If you were in constant launch mode … gah – can you imagine?!

    • Marianne says:

      Ooh great point Razwana! There are definitely peaks and troughs and that’s good so that you can prepare yourself AND your family mentally when those peak times are coming. And no! I cannot imagine being in constant launch mode, yuck!

  • I know what you mean, Marianne! I’ve had the same problem in just finding time to do everything ever since I quit my job three years ago and decided to start my own handmade business (plus running a blog and two online stores).
    It was not easy because I had to learn everything from scratch and still is a continuous learning process that I sometime feel it will never end. I have to confess that I did too put my work in front of my family and even myself and I know that was not a good thing to do in terms of relationships and personal health.
    But then I realized that I get to dictate my own terms when in comes to managing my time and I’ve learned that the best thing you could do is set boundaries. And I’ve learned ways to decompress (music, essential oils,, salt baths, a balanced died helped a lot ) and ”forced” myself to take short breaks even when working on some deadlines, to just clear my head (while sipping a good latte and admiring the sky, for example). These short decompressing breaks were the hardest thing to do in the beginning, because we are so wired these days that we cannot simply disconnect. But I’ve slowly learned to truly enjoy my breaks and now I’m addicted to them! 🙂
    I guess finding a reasonable balance that works for you, your family and your work is the best thing to do, but finding your way to get there is the key.
    Diana
    Diana / Dreams Factory recently posted…DIY LArge French Clock / Tutorial Ceas Frantuzesc mareMy Profile

    • Marianne says:

      Hi Diana, I love this comment because you totally get it. I love the solutions you have found that work and that you have now found yourself addicted to your breaks. I hope I can get there! You’re right that finding the balance that works for you is the best thing. I’m still working on finding my way there and will share later down the line what I discover works for me.

      Thanks for sharing what works for you!

  • Oh no! Yes that’s a lot and no wonder you burned yourself out, but I could see how it can over-take you sometimes because I’ve done that before and sometimes you don’t realize it but you forget about the people that matter most. I know the feeling of trying to balance a full time job and trying to make a successful blog/business, family, friends and a life and it gets overwhelming.

    Good for you though to finally take your break and it does feel great to shut off doesn’t it? Glad to have you back and well and thanks for sharing something so personal reminds us we’re all humans behind a computer :).

    Lauren Baxter | Lovely Decor
    xx

    • Marianne says:

      Thank you Lauren, I really appreciate that. Yes, we are all human aren’t we? And we sometimes tend to forget that since most of us never meet face to face. It’s a huge balancing act and since you’re doing it too, I hope you got something out of my lesson that helps you too 🙂

  • Carolyn says:

    Girl! You were working in Key West?! I would have unplugged you sooner than Day 5! 😉

    Thank you for being authentic and honest with your post. I have the same struggles; I have all these business ideas but not enough time in the day to do them, spend time with friends and family, and take care of myself. It is the lifelong struggle of an entrepreneur! All we can do is keep adjusting and learning, and sharing our stories so others can learn, too.
    Carolyn recently posted…10 More Books I Wish I Read in Grad SchoolMy Profile

    • Marianne says:

      Hahaha Carolyn! No, actually we were all over FL and i shut down the computer just before driving into the Keys, thankfully! I’m so glad that I was able to enjoy the beautiful landscape!

      I think it’s something we all struggle with but never talk about unfortunately. Thank you for your support!

  • Kamela says:

    Fantastic post! I recently launched my first business and I can totally relate! Plus, I love the work that is involved with starting and being in a business. It’s addicting! Thank you for sharing and so glad that I discovered your blog via Pinterest!

    • Marianne says:

      Thank you Kamela! I’m so glad you found it too 🙂 So glad that this post is resonating with so many. I think it’s one of those things that few of us actually talk about. Btw, your blog is beautiful!!

  • Heather says:

    Hi Marianne,
    I completely get where you’re coming from. I’ve had holidays ruined thanks to client ‘crisis’ emails coming in on Day 1, the feeling that I just HAD to cram in another blog post or client work, or the worst one, a client calling while I was in France who then wouldn’t get off the phone for an hour until they had offloaded all of their stress onto me even though I told them I was on holiday!

    I now have to switch off emails coming to my phone, let voicemail take any calls from numbers I don’t know and, now the laptop is forbidden (gulp).

    This summer, for the first time ever since setting up my own business, I took the entire summer off. All 7 weeks school holidays. It was a bit stressful and the control freak in me did have to book a day of childcare so I could set up some automated bits and pieces but apart from that, our house was a work free zone.

    Best thing I’ve ever done (even though I’m now playing catch up!).

    Hope you’re feeling much better.
    Heather recently posted…41 Ways to Be A More Productive FreelancerMy Profile

    • Marianne says:

      That is so interesting Heather that you managed to take the whole summer off, but good for you! I can see how that would be stressful though, I have a bit of control freak in me too. I like your methods of not getting emails to the phone and I already don’t answer the phone when I don’t know the number. It’s just not worth being surprised, I’d rather listen to a VM first and know what I’m dealing with!

      I totally understand the catch up! I am still playing catch up after only being off for about 2 weeks!

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