There are so many things you need to know about when you’re a solo entrepreneur:

You need to know about copywriting, marketing, sales, pricing, business models, finances, SEO……to name just a few things 🙂

You don’t have to know or do everything yourself, of course.

But when you’re a solo entrepreneur, it all depends on you.

YOU are the one who decides what you need to know, what you don’t know yet, and where to get the information you need.

As a result, a lot of entrepreneurs are constantly looking for information and inspiration. (Including me.)

This quest for knowledge brings pearls of wisdom and necessary facts.

But…it can also result in information overload.

Recognize any of this?

  • Your inbox is overflowing with ezines and newsletters you must read sometime;
  • There’s a stack of unread books waiting for you;
  • You’ve purchased at least one online program or home study program you just didn’t get around to work through yet.

I don’t have the overflowing inbox.

But I do have 15 unread books on my bookshelves (ouch…didn’t know the exact number until I started writing this article…).

Plus 5 online programs I did not completely finish yet. (OK, I’m lying. Didn’t even start on 3 of them. Ouch again.)

So don’t worry if you recognize it as well. You’re in very good company 😉

The main reason we’re gathering too much information is because we think we don’t have enough knowledge yet.

There’s so much to know and so much to learn that we never feel we are done.

In a way, that’s true.

There is always something else or new to learn.

But that doesn’t mean that what we know now is not good enough. And drowning ourselves in information only leads to feelings of overwhelm (‘I have so much to do!’) and guilt (‘And I’m not doing it!’)

So how can we deal with this?

How do you decide what you do or do not need to know? And what do you do with the stuff that you still want to read or study?

Here’s the solution:

The first thing most people do when they are confronted with a problem is to look outside for answers and help.

Let’s say you worry because you don’t have enough clients, and you think that’s because you don’t know enough about marketing.

That’s when you start collecting newsletters, books and programs about everything that has anything to do with marketing.

Before you know it, you’re drowning in information. But you’re still not getting more clients.

So what should you do instead?

The solution is to go within.

The first thing to do when confronted with any kind of problem or challenge is this:

Take time to be alone and go inside: to reflect on the core issue you need to solve.

You need to know what the REAL problem is before you can find the REAL solution.

That’s why you ALWAYS have to do your inner work first.

If you don’t, you won’t find a solution that works.

These powerful questions help you get to the core of your issue:

  • What is the hidden benefit of holding on to your problem?
  • What is it you don’t have to do or dare?
  • What do you secretly gain?

Some examples:

  • The hidden benefit of not having enough clients could be that your schedule won’t be so busy and you have plenty of time for yourself (an attractive hidden benefit if you value your freedom above all else);
  • The hidden benefit of having money problems could be that you can’t lose what you don’t have (sometimes the thought of having money and then lose it again seems more scary than not having any money at all);
  • The hidden benefit of playing small could be that you’re not visible, which might feel safer to you than being well known in your field.

Hidden benefits ALWAYS have to do with fear.

And they RARELY make sense once you take a good look at them.

This week’s transformational action:

Take some time to do the inner work on an issue that’s been bugging you for some time now.

Ask yourself: what is the hidden benefit of holding on to this problem?

Once you know the REAL problem, you can find the REAL solution.

Then you can decide what information you need, who can help you and what advice to take.

Work with that, and dump everything else you don’t need or like anymore.


© 2013 Brigitte van Tuijl


Enter your email to get FREE weekly (ish) updates on doing business & life YOUR way: