You’re Focusing On The Wrong Thing – What to Stop, Change and Start Doing to Make Progress

A one-person business can be overwhelming. You're the CEO, the marketer, the support ​rep, the apprectice - all in one person. You just escaped the dreaded 9 to 5, and before you know it, you're working 5 different jobs and there's not even free office coffee.

This episode is specifically for solopreneurs. We'll discuss what you need to do to move your business forward without wasting time, what you should stop doing, what you could do differently and what are the key things you definitely should spend your time on instead.

Ready to take your one-man show to the next level? Listen in!


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What You'll Discover in this Episode:

  • How to not fall into the solopreneur trap a.k.a working more than ever before, on areas you don't even enjoy or resonate with.
  • How you can "move the needle" in your business and increase your revenue if you're working on your own.
  • What ​you're currently working on that you need to stop doing comletely to avoid wasting time and resources away from the really important tasks.
  • How really successful entrepreneurs like Gary V​aynerchuk ​get away with ​super simple branding and "dull" logos (and why you shouldn't worry about such things either).
  • Templates, automation, outsourcing - practical steps to spending less time and effort on everything that's not making a real difference to your business.
  • What are the things you may not be working on, but you should start doing to get the traction you want.
  • How do you know what you should do and what you shouldn't? Test questions you can always ask yourself to determine if you're just wasting time.
  • The perfectionist trap: how to accept if things won't be perfect without your involvement.
  • Many tips, advice, and resources so that you can change direction right after this episode!


Test Yourself!

If you're a new solopreneur, chances are you spend a great deal of your time working on things that aren't even that important compared to everything else you know your business needs.

I challenge you - try to apply our advice to the way you operate your business for 24 hours and then come back to this post and leave a comment on how it felt.

As always, we're happy to get any feedback, questions, tips and stories in the comments below or leave us a voice message by hitting the green button below:

See you next week with another action-packed episode!

About the Author Alexandra Kozma

Alexandra is a traveling marketer. When she is not editing podcast episodes or writing blog posts, she's out there exploring a new city. She's the creator of the Morning Mindset daily mindfulness journal.

  • Jack Griffin says:

    Hi Shane & Hannah, I left a voice message but did not want to get too long winded. This freebie guide really opened my eyes:
    It tells me the things I should NOT be doing at the phase I’m in with my business. It tells me the things I MUST be doing. And it forces me to be honest about what phase I’m in with a few METRICS for each phase. Zero revenue from my digital assets means I am still in Kim’s LAUNCH phase.

    I’m a recognized authority in my area. I have a monthly column in the top magazine for racing sailors and their fans. I have been an expert commentator for VIP guests at the past 4 America’s Cup regattas. I get hired to do keynote talks for business meetings. And I generate ZERO revenue from my highly praised website and newsletter.

    Your podcast 28 is very valuable, but you need to go deeper and help solopreneurs face up to what stage they are in and use THAT as the key to figuring out what TO DO and what NOT TO DO.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you for your comment, Jack! We’ll try to cover some of these topics in future episodes as well. :)

  • Thanks for the Potcast, sounds like you speaking to me. One thing i want to ad to consider is, that using your own name for your business, might not be a good idea in the long run, because when the time come that you want to sell your business, it will be difficult. Like Frank Kern said: ” I can´t sell my business, because i am the business.”

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you for your comment! Yes, personal branding isn’t great for the resale value of a business. For most people, I don’t recommend building a business with the purpose of selling it, though. It’s a good thing to consider, but I would not let that get in the way of building a powerful, personal brand.

  • Mr.DX says:

    I really enjoyed this.
    I am curious how to I determine the value of what I want to outsource? Shouldn’t that be an important factor?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      That’s a good question, yes. The only way to truly determine the value of any activity in your business is by doing it and seeing how it affects your KPI.

      At the simplest level, the question is: does this bring in more money than it costs? If no, stop doing it.

      Revenue isn’t the only KPI of course, but especially in the early stages of business, it’s not bad to be “greedy” like this.

  • Bart says:

    Please have these pidcasts transcribed.

    Listening to a podcast really takes Ip to much of my time and per your advice I stopped listening at about 13 min before the end.

    The big problem with the podcast and in fact with any podcast is, I can’t scan the text and skip forward in a meaningful way. I can’t just stop reading and take a moment to process the info. I can’t jump forward or backward to interesting parts.

    The podcast thing is a really Ineffective way to access information, for me and many others and not a good use of my resources.

    Please consider to have the podcast transcribed. You will defiantly reach a broader audience in a way more time efficient way.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Bart,

      We already do have most of our podcasts transcribed.

  • Hey Shane & Hanne! This episode was fantastic, I had to recommend it to all the solopreneurs and bootstrappers in my circle! On my side, it made me think twice about how I’m spending my weekdays. I tried to outsource the outreach for content promotion, but after a while, I decided to do it myself again. Which was probably a wrong decision cause it violates the “if it’s done 80% good enough with zero time spent it is a great win.”

    Over the last year, I found out that by not outsourcing my social media I was spending twice the time I imagined for the task. Maybe I had to post on LinkedIn. The problem is, we’re human beings, and it’s tough to go on the homepage of a social media and not to check messages and notifications, which then results in 30 minutes-1h more spent than expected.

    Thank you for the episode and keep it up :-)

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you, Angelo!

      You bring up a very important point: we tend to underestimate how long it will take us to do stuff. So we might think “I don’t need to outsource this, it only takes me about 2 hours a week!” but in reality, it’s taking a whole day.

      And regarding notifications and distractions: my recommendation is that you eliminate all notifications from your life (yes, all of them). Most people nowadays think that’s impossible, but once your life is notification free, you’ll quickly realize that you aren’t missing anything important.

      Also, put your phone out of reach and out of sight and turn it off when you want to focus. Trying to do focused work while your phone is in sight or in reach is like trying to stick to a diet while staring at a plate of donuts.

  • Raul says:

    Thanks for this great new podcast! Yes, when you see a successful company and what to imitate what they do to be successful, you find that they are doing everything (all social media, many products, …), so it is so difficult to find the path to follow. So one may feel dizzy after some time and your execution min guide comes very handy. So I like what you say. What to do? Focus. On what? On revenue. How to do that? Chosing two or three tasks on what you are good at and impact directly on revenue. Please let me add two more things, and recomend a book. The importance of having an “scoreboard” or a “google spreadsheet” to track the results of both revenues and tasks done, and the importance to update it weekly or monthly. Here I think that there is a lack in the market of sofware for doing that planning graphically. Excel is too boring, so now I am trying some tool as Power BI Desktop (that is free and amazing) but a bit too complex.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      What’s your book recommendation? :)

      I agree that tracking both your input and the KPI/result is very useful.

      • Raul says:

        Sorry about the book. I was recommended it when starting with Business Intelligence analysis (few weeks ago). Probably you know it, as it is a best seller. The name is “The 4 Disciplines of Execution” by Chris Mc Chesney and Sean Covey.

  • Eddy Baller says:

    Good podcast. Made me realize how far I’ve come. I don’t tinker with things on my site and have hired various people to handle different jobs in my business.

  • Karen+McCamy says:

    Shane & Hanne,

    Excellent information once again! :-)

    Thank you so much for listening & addressing the needs of us solopreneurs!

    You lightly touched on a frequent cause of “working on the wrong things” (yes…I’m guilty of this one!); one of the common causes (besides legit overwhelm) is **avoidance** of what we really know we should be doing! I’ve not read the book “Eat That Frog” but I have heard it recommended by lots of sources! One of the best antidotes for me in countering this procrastination is sitting down and analyzing just where the problem is: WHY am I continuously avoiding the particular task. I’ve discovered that it’s nearly always because I have some un-addressed questions about how to proceed with the task…

    As far as handling social media posting, I highly recommend Buffer. They have (last I checked) a solopreneur-friendly FREE plan. It’s great!

    Your advice has inspired me once again to get on with what I *know* I should be doing! In my case, it’s creating website content (using Trello & Bento-Box Thinking!) to build my traffic and my list (Thrive! Yay!) :-)

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