I’ve been following Scott Anthony who blogs on HarvardBusiness.org, and he calls the period we are now living “The Great Disruption”. I like this term, because this period of economic difficulty is more than a slowdown, a recession or a depression: it is a complete collapse of all of the ideas we have taken for granted about how we live, trade and prosper.
To succeed as a solopreneur in this chaotic age requires more than hard work, it requires new attitudes, new ways of thinking. Here are ten attitudes to adopt in order to prosper in these uncertain times.
1. Declare Your Independence
Set up your life and lifestyle so as not to be dependent on any one person, client, revenue source or situation. Focus on minimizing your debts, so that you are not a slave to the bank or credit card. Diversify your income sources so that you are not a slave to any one client or job. Clean up what you are tolerating so that it no longer holds you back. Simplify your life so that you are not a slave to the whims of others. Declaring your independence means making hard decisions and taking action so that your independence is meaningful and practical.
2. Ignore Conventional Wisdom: It’s All Wrong Anyway
A major cause of the current turmoil is that people thought they had it all figured out, that by following the “conventional wisdom” they could beat the odds. In reality, if you do what everyone else does, you will get the results that everyone else gets. What’s so cool about today’s situation is that you now have the freedom to act differently, because there are no charts for where we are heading. Those who succeed in this transition time are those who are willing to risk it all to invent a new future.
3. Cozy Up to Chaos
The more you try to hold on to the secure and the familiar, the harder it is to hold on to, because the secure and the familiar is disappearing. The rate of change continues to accelerate. Events halfway around the globe can impact you right here. Accepting that chaos is the new normal, that you cannot predict what will happen around you tomorrow, and set up your plans to adapt quickly to new situations.
4. Get Digital
If you’re not online, you’ll be in the bankruptcy line. The Great Conversation is happening right on the Web. Get your website up, start your blog, create a professional Facebook presence, get on Twitter, join the discussion! Connect with authors, leaders, role models and peers who you respect and who inspire you. By plugging in to the global meeting of minds, you will get great ideas and join forces with other forward-thinkers and doers who also want to succeed.
5. Express Your Personal Brand
Your personal brand is not just a slogan, it is a message that inspires people to improve their own lives. Stand for something that people value, and use it to stand out from the crowd of “me-toos”. People are looking for leaders, for new ideas, and are attracted to people who take action.
6. Be The Center Of Your Own Network
Your network determines your net worth. Build a strong network of personal contacts who know who you are, what you stand for and where you are heading. Invest in your network by helping them succeed also. Find out what are their dreams and goals, what they offer and what they want, and invest the time, effort and money to help them.
7. Be Selfish: Take Care of Number One
If you are not feeling great, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, it is very difficult to create the results you want. Hold yourself up to high standards in your fitness, your surroundings and in the relationships that you have. Make “being healthy” part of your job description. The healthier you are, the more you can help others.
8. If You Want More, Give More
The natural response when times are tough is to cut back, retrench, think and act small. By doing the opposite, by being generous, open, helpful, charitable, and supportive, you will attract attention and gratitude. You become more valuable to the people around you, and you will be rewarded with clients who value what you offer and who are ready to reciprocate.
9. Know Thyself
Prospering in the Great Disruption means that you need to have a strong internal guidance system: to understand who you are, what is the impact you want to create around you, and what drives you to action. Plunge into personal discovery and development and be willing to ask yourself the hard questions. The stronger your internal compass, the better your ability to navigate through uncertainty and difficult times.
10. Live Your Passion
Make sure you are doing what you love, and do it first because you love doing it. Life is too short to spend it doing The more passionate you are about the positive change you wish to create around you, the more you will attract clients who value who you are and what you offer, and who are willing to commit their time, energy and money to you… no matter what condition the “economy” is in.
The reality is that this is a great time to focus on becoming stronger, smarter and more successful. The momentum you create now will give you a strong foundation to build success, no matter what happens in the future.
Focus on your Higher Purpose, and you will succeed in accelerating your Vision from Passion to Profit, no matter the economic conditions!