Systems Audit for Solopreneurs

My journey through burnout

One of my previous businesses involved running an Amazon FBA biz back in 2016, where I sold products on the Amazon.

It was making $20K per month and a decent ~60% profit.

On the surface, the business was successful.

But I was physically and mentally drained from working 90+ hours a week. (I also had a FT job at the time).

Then one day, while packing boxes to ship products, I started sweating and my heart was beating fast.

Anyway… I thought I was having a heart attack so I rang 911 and learned it was a panic attack.

Over the next few weeks, I felt exhausted.

All I could do was sleep. Often for 12+ hours a day… I had zero motivation to do anything and even quit my FT job.

My business and income plummeted.

But thinking about packing more boxes made me feel sick.

After talking to my doctor, he summed it up to burnout.

How did I get to this point?

Gear Animation

Prioritizing Your Systems: The Key to Sustainable Success

Looking back, it wasn’t the business that had driven me to this point but my lack of prioritization and 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."

Julie Isphording, former Olympian

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 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:

  1. Time-Energy: Balancing your workload with your energy levels to avoid burnout.

  2. Financial: Managing finances wisely to maintain a steady cash flow.

  3. Content: Streamlining content creation for efficiency and consistency.

Without systems in place, it's easy to get pulled into urgent tasks while neglecting what's essential for long-term success. Having structure prevents you from drowning in the day-to-day.

Let me explain...

I could've hired help to take the load off some of the busy work I was spending time on.

The problem?

I didn't have a financial system in place to tell me if I could afford to hire someone.

Not only that, but I didn't have a process for finding good help, creating a job post, interviewing, hiring and onboarding. That's a lot of work in itself!

I kept pushing it off, thinking I'd handle it tomorrow.

But tomorrow never came and it was too late.

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:

  1. Business Area: Walk through each area you're evaluating—Finance, Time-Energy, Audience, Learning, Personal, or Content.

  2. Rate it from 1 to 10: Be honest and rate your current situation.

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

If you get stuck or have questions, send me an email or comment below!

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