Solopreneur Systems Audit
Scorecard Included (so you don't burnout)
As I carefully packed another box, my forehead became a temporary canvas for trickling sweat. My heartbeat morphed into a Jumanji-like drumbeat, indicating an onslaught of anxiety I could no longer ignore.
An odd, tingling sensation surged through my upper body.
As if an invisible current had lit up my nerves.
Fearing it was a heart attack, I phoned for an ambulance.
"Nope," they said. "A panic attack."
Even though this happened 7 years ago, the aftermath is hard to forget.
Over the next few weeks, I found myself in bed, enveloped in sleep for 12-hour stretches. My business and revenue began to plummet in tandem. Just the thought of packing another box made my stomach churn.
After a conversation with my doctor, the diagnosis was clear: “Burnout.”
How had I gotten here? My Amazon FBA business was doing well. Generating $20K in revenue each month with a nice 60% profit margin. If you’re not familiar with Amazon FBA, it’s basically a service Amazon allows one to outsource order fulfillment.
I’d built this business starting off doing retail arbitrage. Buying low and selling high. And then transitioning to buying directly from vendors.
On paper, the business was relatively successful. Yet here I was, physically and mentally exhausted.
Prioritizing Your Systems: The Key to Sustainable Success
In retrospect, it wasn’t the business that had driven me to this point but my lack of systems. I had poured my time and energy into growing the business, but with no time, energy, or financial systems in place, I was running on empty.
"Set your priorities. The rest is just pebbles and sand."
Perhaps you've heard the story of a professor who demonstrated life's priorities with a jar, rocks, pebbles, and sand. The rocks symbolize what's most important, and the pebbles signify smaller yet essential tasks. The sand? That's just the minutiae.
Here's how this applies to business:
Rocks: Key tasks like refining your product or building partnerships.
Pebbles: Tasks like managing social media or replying to emails.
Sand: Distractions that consume time without providing value. In my case, my business got swamped under a tide of sand and pebbles, leaving no room for the rocks.
Prioritizing Your Systems
Here are three core systems that I found essential for most solopreneurs who create content online:
Time-Energy: Balancing your workload with your energy levels to avoid burnout.
Financial: Managing finances wisely to maintain a steady cash flow.
Content: Streamlining content creation for efficiency and consistency.
Knowing Your Position: Simple Solo Scorecard (Audit)
Knowing where you stand is crucial in preventing the sand from burying you like how it buried me. This is where an audit can assist. Here's a simple guide to performing an audit:
Business Area: Walk through each area you're evaluating—Finance, Time-Energy, Audience, Learning, Personal, or Content.
Rate it from 1 to 10: Be honest and rate your current situation.
Evaluate Your Rating: Reflect on why you've assigned this rating. Are you tracking expenses and revenue accurately? Are you managing time and energy effectively? Do you understand your audience's needs?
Identify ONE Improvement: Determine one practical action you can take to improve your rating.
After you've conducted your audit, don't aim to do everything at once. Start small. Pick 1 - 3 areas you can improve. Your challenge, should you choose to accept: Conduct an audit of your business.
In the upcoming week, we'll delve deeper into these systems. I’ll share the ones I use now. Including how I’m building out my Content system.
If you get stuck or have questions, send me an email or comment below!
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