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Boom or bust? Finding help at every turn of the soloist cycle

Today marks my first month as a member of team Flying Solo and I’m delighted to report, I’ve already found you to be a very helpful bunch with a great sense of humour.

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First case in point: the eagerly shared Marloes De Vries Illustration posted to our Facebook page last Wednesday, depicting the boom and bust cycle of freelance writing. Amanda Vanelderen’s tongue-in-cheek plea to the tax office to offer deductions on soloist essentials like wine, coffee and snacks gave us a giggle, with Jayne chiming in with her thoughts “Ugg boots, yoga pants, and Netflix are not negotiable.”  Oh the panic sets in when the working status quo shifts too suddenly! The negative self-talk that predictably occurs in those moments can be ridiculously unnerving; ditto the impact it has on your general wellbeing.

One of the biggest wellbeing buzzkills is insomnia, unluckily I identify with that unfortunate group of people who,  when stressed or busy, sleep fitfully until 3am before attempting to solve every problem I’ve ever had.

If the feeling of being too busy to sleep resonates with you right now, you have my full sympathy. But you might also benefit from listening to the sage advice of Debbie Eglin, of Productivity Hub, who was Robert’s guest on the Flying Solo podcast earlier this week. Debbie’s an expert in helping people get organised when they feel like they’re buried in life.

She told Robert how important it is for soloists to be okay with “dropping one of 50 plates” that we’re always spinning: “We are small business owners and we have a huge job right there and we also generally have families and children and this is all taking part of us, our energy and our time. And there really are only so many buckets we can fill. We can’t be expected to put everything into every bucket every day…Productivity is about balancing things but being smart about it.”

"One of the biggest wellbeing buzzkills is insomnia, unluckily I identify with that unfortunate group of people who, when stressed or busy, sleep fitfully until 3am before attempting to solve every problem I’ve ever had. "

Next mention is Vanessa Emilio’s outstanding post on fraudulent chargebacks where she gave an easy-to-read and comprehensive definition of the risk and included fantastic tips detailing how to protect yourself.

Here’s a highlight: “Ensure your refund policy clearly states the steps a customer needs to take to return any item. This should include that they must send the items back with tracking confirmation and that they are responsible for the item until it is acknowledged as returned to you.”

Lastly, a mention of the excellent and considered advice via our Flying Solo forums. This week I enjoyed the conversation around forum member @mckenna’s request for feedback on the website for her brand new business. Like this excellent suggestion from @gowebgomobile: “Add a Facebook pixel to your site so you can target people who have already shown interest in your shop. Even $5 per day on FB ads can bring in some highly targeted leads that you can market to in future. (Make sure you don’t just send marketing emails, mix them up with info and tips for your target market). This is not an instant strategy, it takes a bit of time to get targeted people through your sales funnel.”

A welcome to new members

Before we come to  the end of this week’s wrap I’d like to welcome our new members TechTidy Consulting, Podcast VAAllsorts Workwear, Setting Up Shop, BusinessCo Hosted PBX. And a hearty great to have you still with us to renewing members Gumboot SolutionsIndustrial Engineering Solutions Pty Ltd and Pawprint Dog Training.

Continue the conversation

So how are things feeling at your place as we mark the end of another week; are you looking more like the freelancer with too much, or too little on her plate? Regardless of where you’re at, I’d love to know what items will top your to-do list for next week and I hope to hear from you in the comments below.

Lucy Kippist

is an experienced Australian editor with experience in writing, podcasting radio and television, with previous senior editorial roles at News Corp news.com.au, Kidspot and Kinderling Kids Radio. In her current role as editor of Flying Solo, Australia's #1 website for solo business owners she is pursuing her passion for women in the small business space. Connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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