sly : marketing

Top 3 Struggles in My Business

smile hand

I started writing this post in the kitchen. I wrote for about five minutes, and then, I tried to write in the living room, sitting on the couch with my MacBook Pro on my lap. I just couldn’t finish what I had started. So, I ended up in my bed, writing the final paragraphs. That’s what I do, when I just can’t get things done. I move, from place to place. I do it because I need inspiration, but most of the time, I do it because I need to get things done.

I Still Can’t Say No

I am still struggling with saying no. I have realized that one of the most important part of being a solopreneurΒ is that I need to say no to the projects that I just can’t do. Many times, it’s not that I don’t want to do them, the fact is that I just can’t. I’m alone, and I need to earn an income, and I need to get results for my clients – every single day. So, if I spend 1 hour in a meeting, or on a project that won’t earn me any money, that means that I need to spend 1 hour extra to earn enough money.

I want to say yes to everything. I really do. I wish I could.

What’s Wrong With Me?

I am not sure what happened. When I was a young kid, I could sit for hours, just staring at whatever I was watching. I could sit for hours and read books. And, I could think about a single detail for days. Now, it’s like I need to do many things at the same time. Sometimes, I feel like all I am doing is multi-tasking all day long.

I understand that when I am multi-tasking, I don’t get as much done as when I am focusing on a single task. It’s not only that I get less done, but the quality of my work is not as good as when I am multi-tasking.

But, multi-tasking is something I’m used to by now. And, I am having a real hard time focusing on one task at a time. It’s like trying to keep my hands away from my iPhoneΒ – I’m doing my best, but it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

I Keep Adjusting Things All The Time

I have been using all sorts of systems to help me stay productive, and finally, I’m using OmniFocus to help me stay on top of everything. The system is fantastic. But, what I’ve got, not a single system can cure. When I get out of bed in the morning, I have a list of tasks I should be doing. I am fairly organized, and I know what I should be doing. I know exactly how to do every single task in order to be as productive as possible. But, it’s like my mind is adding extra tasks and removing some of the tasks I’ve already added. I’m looking at my to-do list and I’m thinking; “nah that’s not right, let’s add this and let’s remove that.”

I keep adjusting things all the time. I wish I could just sit down, look at my tasks and projects and just do the work.

Your turn:Β What are you struggling with?

23 responses to “Top 3 Struggles in My Business”

  1. Jeevan Jacob John says:

    I haven’t tried changing the environment, but I do change the tools I use (it keeps me excited and avoids boredom/habituation). Perhaps I should give changing the environment a change. Maybe I could go and blog outside? I have wanted to do that for sometime now.

    Multi-tasking isn’t very efficient, I agree. And, that’s why I am working on a block based schedule (of course, I do “bypass” the schedule sometimes). I have “blocks” in which I can do think I like – reading, watching documentaries, cartoons and then there is work blocks – blogging, social media. Every now and then, I have special days (Like last week, I had 2 days dedicated just to blogging – I traded all other activities for blogging).

    Sometimes I do keep a to-do list, sometimes I don’t. For instance: I didn’t have a to-do list for the past two months. I just followed the schedule. But, yesterday I decided to get back to working with to-do lists πŸ˜€ And it went great.

    I like to experiment with things, keep them changing – keep life exciting!

    Anyways, good luck on confronting your challenges, Jens πŸ˜€

    • I have been blogging outside a lot, especially during the summer. I usually do the outline and the writing outside, and then I do the publishing and editing part somewhere inside. I write on my iPad or in an actual notepad (I use Moleskin). It works great, and it’s so much more fun to switch the environment. I feel that I’m more creative and that I am more focused.

      I have started using Omnifocus now, and it has helped a lot when it comes to time management and getting things done. I add everything into OmniFocus, and I schedule my days and I review every single week.

  2. Ed King says:

    Sounds like you know exactly where you need to be to focus whether it is writing or business, I seem to have a similar problem myself. I know for me I am best when I am being creative and working with the business side of my photography business it lacks my own creativity, I tend to find myself bouncing back and forth on projects just to keep my brain stimulated. I think it is working but I know it can feel overwhelming at times too!

    I think the biggest challenge is getting people to understand the value placed on my work, many people think you just point a camera and shoot a picture. There is so much more to running a business than that and people don’t always understand the value of work involved. This week I had a magazine inquire about an image, I asked what they usually pay for usage and the girl laughed. I know why she laughed because she was scouring the internet looking for someone who is just interested in having their name in print and not worried about the time or investment that it took to capture such a beautiful image. My resolution this past summer was not to de-value my work and only take on projects that paid the bills and was worth the effort, for some reason people seem to think you can pay the bills with image credit only.

    Wish you the best Jens and I look forward to following your journey !


    • Hi Ed,

      It seems that we’re having the same kind of issues. I have been thinking a lot about pricing lately, and it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. We have to understand the value of our work, and we need to get enough money to pay the bills. On the other hand, we need to be creative and build a brand. And, sometimes it’s hard to focus on the business and the money and at the same time, focusing on the fun part of work. I am only looking for projects that makes me smile. I don’t really want to focus on the money-part, even though I know I have to.

  3. Katherine Robertson-Pilling says:

    Hey, Jens! My friend Shelley Taylor put me on to your blog as she really likes is. And this post is such a universal issue these days. I struggle with the same things in my business. Been a solopreneur for almost 30 years now. Change is inevitable (if you’re alive). Life is change. And it’s evolving faster than ever. But it has to be made conscious or it chases you through your days. For me it’s helped a lot to have a framework for understanding my relationship with it, and that is something I call The Wheel of Creativity. Doing a free call today if you’d like to join us. Check it out on my website > Next Telecourse > Free Discovery Call. And don’t forget to breathe.

    • Hi Katherine,

      It seems that I have a lot to learn from you. I’ve been a solopreneur for less than two years. I’d love to be on the call, but I can’t make it today. And, considering I live in Norway, it’s not that often I can adjust to the time difference and be available for live calls πŸ™‚

      • Katherine Robertson-Pilling says:

        I know the feeling, Jens. I am mostly in England or France. So I time my calls accordingly (usually 6 PM ECT). FYI for the future. I’d say you’re doing a lot of things right, and there is always room for tweaking. Keep the faith! Stay in touch!

  4. Abhishek says:

    Multi-tasking works well for me. I guess it works differently with different types of people. There are times when I feel stuck in one task and would rather divert my attention to another task instead of wasting precious time in something I know would take a lot of time in figuring out. Of course I would only do this with every intention of going back to the unfinished work soon enough. I multi task to get a breath of fresh air in between tasks so that I won’t feel stuck or bored.

    • Sounds like you’ve found a system that works for you. I do multi-task a lot as well, but I don’t feel that I am focused enough on the one task when I am also doing other tasks at the same time. I get a lot done, but the quality isn’t always as good as I thought it would be.

  5. Sonia says:

    Great post because I have “ants” in my pants too. I thought I was the only one. I just set up a new home office because my man and dog like to “talk” to me when I am trying to write. At night is the only time I can really get anything done because there is complete silence.

    Once I changed where I was sitting, presto one thing conquered. Have you tried listening to “Rainymood”. Hat tip (Kristi Hines) for that one, I love it and it keeps me focused when there is too much “noise” around me. How does OmniFocus work anyway? You have to write a post about that.

    • I have never heard of Rainymood, but I just visited the website and it’s awesome. I will probably get a lot more done just by listening to that. The weather is like that all the time in Norway, so it’s a very familiar sound πŸ™‚

      OmniFocus is awesome. It’s very complex, so I’m still learning and doing my setup. I’ll write a post about it soon, where I’ll explain what I do with it and how I have set it up to get things done.

  6. maxwell ivey says:

    Hello; First, I am happy to hear that we both use macbook pros and we both get our work done wherever we can. When I have to completely concentrate like when I’m doing a new blog post, then I go to my room. However, I live with my family and our crazy dog, so sometimes this still isn’t a complete escape from distraction. When my mut of a dog penny wants to be petted, she can be very persistent. smile I should mention that I am blind and use voiceover on my mac, but I still have to work at focussing on tasks. There are quite a few jobs in running my site that aren’t very fun. Thanks for the honest open post. I look forward to future posts from you. Thanks and take care, Max

    • Hi Max,

      Wow. Thank you so much for visiting my site and commenting. I do my best every day, to keep up with everything. And, it seems that you are too. I believe that being open and honest is the way to go. This is how we connect with other people, and it’s how we can get enough feedback to learn what we should be doing.

      Thanks again.

      – Jens

      • maxwell ivey says:

        Hi Jens; And it seams like every day there is more to keep up with. I have to admit to being envious of those companies that can employ a social media ambassador. And if the sales ever get good enough, my first hire will be a driver. But that’s a blind thing. smile Honest and open is the only way to go. Its much harder for people to be disappointed or get mad at you if you were straight with them to begin with. And another friend of mine recently said that if the field of brokering amusement equipment has a reputation for dishonesty then being honest and above board in your dealings just makes you stand out from the crowd. And we are all trying to do that to be the recognized expert. thanks again for the post. Take care, max

  7. Jill Scott says:

    I always believe in the saying, “Always be learning and find your passion.” If you constantly immerse yourself in learning opportunities and keep an eye out for something that excites you- not just for the money- you will be successful.

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