What’s Your New Year’s Business Resolution?

  Focus The pressure to make a new year’s resolution is certainly a good excuse to carve out some time from our hectic schedules to do nothing but think about some things we would like to improve or modify in our behavior, habits, and relationships.  The top spots are usually reserved for stuff like diets and exercise followed by things like spending more time with family and other very useful and noble causes.  But what about your business? Read more

How to stand alone – successfully

Justin ShelbyBeing a solo practitioner or entrepreneur is a demanding career choice. One wholly carries the full weight of success. He or she is responsible for every aspect of the business and remembering every detail on the to-do list. Then, you must be reasonably good at, well, everything!
The good news is that technology can help. Sophisticated applications that integrate all aspects of a business – previously only within reach of larger firms because of cost – are coming downstream at affordable prices and are often customized to various business types. Read more

Time Savers for the Solopreneur

Have you ever wished there were more than 24 hours in each day? Do you often feel like you ran out of valuable time with nothing to show for it? As a solopreneur, you quickly find that time is one of your most valuable and irreplaceable resources. Time becomes more than just an abstract concept to help structure your day, it becomes a type of currency which you can seldom afford to throw away. As your business grows, it is important to identify time ‘sinks’ and inefficient processes. Identifying and avoiding wasteful behavior (hello BuzzFeed!) will help streamline your day and allow you more time to spend on what’s most important: your clients. Here are a few tips to help organize and reclaim your day: Read more

When to Change Fields

Last weekend at my son’s beach soccer game, a child on the other team punched one of our defensive players in the back so hard he dropped to the ground. The referee missed the foul and subsequently, the other team scored a goal. Angry shouting erupted from the sidelines where players and parents were demanding justice. Furthermore, the attacking child’s mother made a scene once her child was being yelled at as well. Sounds fun and healthy for the kids right? This experience reminded me that this, like many many other instances is the critical moment, just like many in your business when a leader must make a critical choice quickly that might involve some sacrifice for a higher cause and a better long term outcome. In this case, the coach of my son’s decided on the latter. He evaluated the brewing storm, the negative impact it could have on the children, and called the game, quickly asking his players and parents to leave the field and simply focus on the next game. Read more

Five Ways to Get Referrals

There are few more powerful things in the arsenal of a ‘solopreneur’ than a loaded referral. Today’s consumers are inundated by commercials, online ads, and clever marketing campaigns— many of which are difficult to measure and become irrelevant in a matter of days. Unlike most of these marketing tactics, the power of the referral has stood the test of time and is in no danger of extinction.  There is no doubt about the value of the referral, but how to get them? Here are five ways to get people to refer your business: Read more

Five Steps to Simplicity

Have you ever had one of those days when most of the plates you’re spinning in the air come crashing down at your feet? You know, the days when you accidentally show up to an appointment that was rescheduled last week, create and send payment request to Bob for services provided to Joe? We have all been there, it’s not hard to trip and tumble through all of the small details that keep your business alive and running. It’s time to pause, get things in order and simplify. Read more

Is the Solo Entrepreneur Ever Really Out of Office?

With the sun finally on our cheeks and the freezing wind at our backs, it is time to embark on spring break vacations. Mobile in hand, we entrepreneurs and business owners push quickly through security only to find that all gate power outlets are occupied and that the free wifi provided by the airport is painfully slow. “How am I supposed to get work done?” you think to yourself. The response you will receive from family and friends? Stop working, put up an out of office message. If you are one of the growing 17.7 million self-employed independent workers in the U.S., you know the out of office message struggle all too well. Because you are constantly on the move, adapting to client schedules and requests, you don’t have an office—so how do you claim to be ‘away’ when your ‘office’ (your mobile phone), is tucked comfortably in your back pocket? The traditional out of office reply coming from an entrepreneur begs the question “are they really away, or are they ignoring me?” Read more

Being Busy is not a Winning Goal or a Strategy

This is a great perspective on the role of work inside the bigger goal of a happy and healthy life. It really captures the essence of what we are trying to do with Artichoke by giving independent service providers the ability to work smarter not harder. To earn more and improve quality of life, new tools are needed that have been designed for the independents from the ground up. Tools that enable the self employed therapist, stylist, or trainer the ability to thrive. Every day that we work on Artichoke, it is with this single goal in mind. By delivering easy to use tools that help service providers get organized, get booked, and get paid a new bread of independent service providers emerge who are healthier and wealthier. Read more

“A” Players Can Be People or Technology

This is a great article. “Are you the smartest person in the room?  Let’s hope not.” The parallel to the self employed sole proprietor working alone is not being afraid to find the right tools that do things better than they can do themselves. “A” players on your team include people and technology. Used properly, technology is just like having an army of A” players on your team making you look great. You’ll be making more money and having more fun along the way. Read more