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Advice on Being a Solopreneur

I just sat in on a panel this morning at the annual Women’s Leadership Conference produced by Women in Periodical Publishing. Having previously been a speaker on how to be a consultant, I wanted to see how this panel would differ since it was all about being a solo practitioner as a journalist, i.e. freelancer, called ‘solopreneur’ on the panel.

Here are the tidbits shared by the four panelists that I wanted to pass along:
– Most work really does come through referrals or people met directly in person
– Setting personal boundaries is important (like work hours, sleep time, family time, etc.) to keeping sanity and balance
– Make a business plan; make a marketing plan and revisit both often
– Set a rate and aim to stick to it (even when paid by the word as writers, compute how long that roughly takes to write)
– Pro bono work or opportunities that cost money sometimes are still worth it because they can pay back in other ways (networking, perks, education, exposure, etc.)
– “Sometimes you make art, sometimes you make soup” meaning that sometimes you need to work for pay or write not at your best to get jobs done, but sometimes you will make excellent compositions, and it’s important to accept that as reality
– Always start with vision first, set strategy second, and employ tactics third

Speakers: Heather Boerner, writer & editor; Grace Hawthorne, co-founder ReadyMade and consulting associate professor, Stanford Design Institute; Lane Wallace, founder & editor, No Map. No Guide. No Limits.