Being a beginner at something can feel awkward and embarrassing. And those are hard feelings to feel. But they are the inescapable growth pains that come with learning, developing, and becoming better at something.' - says Peter Bregman
Being uncomfortable while learning is a path, yet we struggle with that feeling ALL THE TIME. When You are solopreneur 'owning learning' is a key to your success. I learned early that without new skills, I am not moving up the ladder of survival. Yeah, I say survival - I am still working on my success story (though who knows what success means).
I am 'working horse' as some say I tend to be so into work that I push my business on a third shelf. Trying not to see anything that upgrades my growth. This is where I am learning to be uncomfortable and step up. Don't get me wrong - I am obsessed on learning new technical skills but I avoid anything that involves the ones that is hard to upgrade and takes time (plus emotions). Yep, I am talking about soft skills: collaboration (finally to outsource my work), communication (during the networking events or simply calling people), being strong minded (and stand up for myself when client is not worth my time or nerves), etc.
These are the skills that are vital to have in order to work on daily bases and thats where I lack patience.... apparently, I set up not the right programme in my brains... though I have all the confidence I need when I am employed. With my business I struggle a lot.
Being uncomfortable is facing the truth. You need to squeeze your butt and just do it. No one will do it for you. You are scared to say 'No'? Well, it's about bloody time to say it and see what happens next (thats what I say right before I say 'yes', eventually). But this Year I did said 'No'. It is a small step for someone but humongous in my mindset.
As solopreneur You will be the only one who is responsible for your growth. And it's a scary and sometimes lonely moment. But the second you will see how much you can do, you will start 'owning your growth'.
I focus now particularly on my weaknesses. I read a lot, listen to podcast that talks about my issues, focus on mental health and possible reasons for my behaviour. It's a hard and for sure uncomfortable journey of the size of an elephant but I know I need to do it.
How can you help Yourself?
1. If its all about the budget (most of the time it is) - check the skills you need know. With my issue I do not need money, just my dignity is therapy, I guess :D but with technical skills is much easier. There are hundreds of channels to chose from in order to learn, as an example, video editing, food photography, graphic design, etc.
I started from Youtube channel. Yep, that was my school for all the programmes I run now. There you can learn aaaa lot!
How to know what do you need? Well, it really depends on your business plan, communication strategy, etc. If you are food blogger - you will need to learn about photography, editing, apps that help you out, light, etc. Or if you are consultant, you may need to learn graphic design, business writing, etc.
When you are ready - outsource to someone who can do it faster!
I don't have time to learn' - I hear. You will need to find. During my first year after I started my business, I spent early morning, lunch time, weekends, and nights getting myself on track: final cut pro, photoshop new features, adobe premiere, etc.
2. As everything changes so fast, find a solution for yourself that helps you to save time. As an example, maybe you do not need to have Photoshop programme (to be honest canceling that programme seems more expensive than using it). There is such platform as Canva.com (there are more like this apps but this one so far seems to be the most efficient). You can build your brand and graphics for your communication, printed materials, videos, etc from a scratch. It's free but I would recommend to invest monthly and get out of it maximum.
3. But I am not creative. How can I learn creativity!? Well, it's going to be uncomfortable but it's doable! What about mood boards for some inspiration - on Pinterest (which can be a great tool for your marketing too).
Several weeks ago I did a pinterest board with the name 'lioness', yeah, I know cliche but Jeeeeeez snail button I need some daily inspiration to get work on my 'learning path'.
This is where we land on point 4. How to get motivation?
Most of solopreneurs are working during the day for companies and their business is more like side hustle and to get more income. Your motivation is YOU, your family, dreams, etc.
On my 'lioness' mood board (which is private) I share my dreams, what I want to have, to feel, to be, to look, etc. It's a mix of reminders to myself that I can achieve my dreams I just need to focus while I can now.
It's simple. I don't want to regret.
So, my little beasts, I hope I inspired a little bit not be scared to get into that uncomfortable zone. And hey, you are not alone. I am in the same boat as you are.