As a solopreneur, I bet there are certain projects you take on for clients because they’re nice people and the work is within your wheelhouse. But you don’t enjoy it. No matter how “good” you are at this work, it always takes too much time; you find yourself drudging through and feel used up and empty by the time it’s finally, finally done. Once you hit send on your wrap-up email and collect your final payment, you’re so exhausted that you can’t even feel good about the awesome job you did or the money you earned.
You believe you have to work hard to earn well, so you continue taking on these projects. You’re frustrated, but there’s more to it than that. Here’s the thing you might not realize: while you’re all wrapped up in this busy work, you’re leaving easy money on the table.
There is work you can do that you’re not only good at, but that is practically effortless for you. There’s a way you can deliver awesome value without wiping yourself out. Rather than working hard to earn well, you can work smart and earn even better. Here’s how:
Discover how you serve best
I recently introduced the game-changing concept of finding your expert style, which is how you naturally deliver value based on your personality and priorities. Being aware of your style (or, to be more precise, your unique combination of styles) allows you to structure your work in a way that supports your strengths—making it more enjoyable and sustainable for you as a solopreneur, and easier to evolve your business over time.
Focus on doing more of the work that gives you energy
You might be wondering, “What kind of ‘work’ can actually give me energy?” To help you understand this, I want you to think of a time when you gave attention and effort to a task that made you feel good. You were completely zoned-out, in your element and you may have even lost track of time—you were just so into it.
Perhaps you were brainstorming ideas with a new client for a project, doing research for an upcoming presentation, or hammering out a 1500-word blog post like it was nothing. It could also be a task that falls outside of your business—from a hobby or some other non-work project. While this may not be the literal task that you’ll focus on, there is an underlying quality about it that hints at what kind of work energizes you.
Spending more time on this work allows you to show up at your best more often. You’re able to perform at a high level for your people—delighting them with your mad skills, leaving them wanting more, and still having enough bandwidth to relish in your success.
"Rather than working hard to earn well, you can work smart + earn even better."
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