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Solopreneur Wisdom: Staying Afloat During COVID-19



We read a lot about small businesses like restaurants and retailers being affected by the COVID-19 global pandemic.


But what about those solopreneurs out there? You know, the ones running their own show with no employees, with everything on their one set of shoulders to keep the revenue coming in?


As one of those folks, I can definitely empathize, and because of that, I wanted to share how three successful solopreneurs in my network are getting through a year that no one could have ever predicted. Being a sole proprietor already has its unique challenges, so I asked them to talk about their professional experiences this year, what's kept them sane, and any advice they can share with other folks out there in the same boat.


It is my pleasure to introduce you to Sarah Lazzaro, Marsha Warner, and Cindy Nash-Hooker!


Sarah Lazzaro Brand Strategist - Eight Foot Thinking


1) What were the biggest changes for your business in 2020 with the pandemic?

Honestly, client bandwidth and attention. All of my clients focused internally on their employees and themselves. They didn't have bandwidth to deal with outside partners.


2) What were the most effective tools, resources, etc. that have helped you stay afloat?

Keeping a regular rhythm has been huge. I still get up and work everyday even if I don't have client work at the moment. It helps me stay in that mindset and wanting to actively engage with clients. By keeping my normal routine it's made me available to clients as they've started to come out of their holes and focus more on their normal business routines.


3) What advice would you give to other self-employed individuals during this time where the future is so unpredictable?

Identify ONE thing you're really good at and focus on it. It'll give yourself and clients a clear path forward to getting and giving more work. Plus, by keeping your offerings more narrow you don't feel like you're chasing all the time which gives clients a sense of calm when they're working with you. As a generalist myself, I always want to be learning and offering up more and more ways I can help clients. But, what I'm really good at is storytelling. Whether that's from an overall brand perspective, communicating internally to teams, or to external stakeholders I connect dots really well. By channeling that strength I've honed my relationships with my clients and felt more confident in the possibilities I have to offer for prospects.


Marsha Warner Career Management Specialist - Career Factors


1) What were the biggest changes for your business in 2020 with the pandemic?

The biggest change I've experienced is being confined to remote-only coaching. I typically enjoy meeting clients in person and creating an engaged relationship. Now, that's happening over the computer.

2) What were the most effective tools, resources, etc. that have helped you stay afloat? Video communications software has been a huge tool during the last 8 months. I now spend hours on it each day. It's become an essential tool for my coaching practice. I can share documents with clients, and certainly can give them feedback on their web-presence as they prepare for virtual job interviews. I've also relied more on my website to attract/inform new clients. No more networking meetings.

3) What advice would you give to other self-employed individuals during this time where the future is so unpredictable? Believe in yourself and with confidence, articulate how your knowledge can bring solutions to new clients. Trust your knowledge. Know that your insights/knowledge/experience has value.

Cindy Nash-Hooker Leadership Facilitator / HR Consultant / Executive Coach - Gold Dog Consulting


1) What were the biggest changes for your business in 2020 with the pandemic? Mostly the uncertainty of where the work is coming from. When the pandemic hit, most of my work was cancelled, and then as organizations began to trust working virtually, my business increased. I have been facilitating virtually for several years, so this was an easy transition for me.

2) What were the most effective tools, resources, etc. that have helped you stay afloat? Obviously, video communications software for coaching, training and client meetings has been a foundation for my work the past eight months. In addition, I have a number of facilitation tools that work well in the virtual environment for teams.

3) What advice would you give to other self-employed individuals during this time where the future is so unpredictable? It is important to have more than one line of business. For instance, I mentor coaches, and I advise them that just being a coach may not provide the lifestyle or income they desire. So, have another skill that you can capitalize on.



Are you a solopreneur who has found ways to successfully adapt during the pandemic...or have learned valuable lessons? Please share your stories and/or tips in the comments!

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