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What I've Learned About Success, Solopreneur Style.

1.       Show up. Seriously, just showing up to do the work of working hard to succeed means you are already two steps ahead of where you were yesterday.

2.       Stop dreaming. But don’t lose your dreams…just put them away for a bit while you get on with the act of working hard towards the dream that drove you to…well, dream.

3.       Social Media is Not Every.Thing. It’s too easy to think the curated narratives we see on social media are true indicators of success or reality. By now I think most of us realize they aren't. And they shouldn’t be.  

4.       Christmas music cures a lot of woes. Having a bad day? Feeling a little out of sorts? Turn on some Christmas carols. I can practically guarantee you will at least smile, if for only a minute.

5.       Screw ups? Yeah, count on them. We all have screwball days where nothing we do is right, and we feel like we’re letting folks down, mostly ourselves. Remember, it’s just one day. Tomorrow will be fresh and new.

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6.       Pressure rarely makes anything happen. Well, except maybe in cooking. But in business, pressure just creates a lot of steam that inevitably, will need to be blown off. And just as inevitably, that will likely not end well. (See #5)

7.       Quitting time matters. Sure, working late and hustling has its charm, but so too does knowing when your day is over, and letting it be. over. Don’t be afraid to quit when it’s quitting time.

8.       Own your shit. And learn how to do it with grace, equanimity, and humor because nothing earns respect more than seeing someone take responsibility for their behavior without judgement or hysterics.

9.       Let go of envy. There will always be people and brands that are stronger, wittier, or more successful than you. So what? Keep your focus where it belongs—on your biz—and don’t look at the success of others as anything other than what it is: hard work paying off.

10.   Make peace with who you are…and aren’t. And don’t worry if you can’t be everything to everyone because that’s not a key to success, it’s a ticket to anxiety. Far better to narrowly define what you do, offer, create, make, or produce and do that thing really well than to try and do anything half-assed.

11.   Bonus round:  office snacks—make sure you have them!  Even though I work out of a small home office, I still make certain that I’ve got honey wheat pretzel twists in my pantry or a bowl of fresh cut fruit chilling in the fridge for when the afternoon snack attack hits. And it goes without saying that happy hour? Yup. I’m ready for that, too. Maybe too ready.