Good Sunday 🌞!
A warm welcome to the 20+ new subscribers who joined me recently 👋
👨👩👧 If you're familiar with what I usually share, you know that family is my #1 in life. Avery is now 6 months old and we're starting to go on weekend playdates to meet other babies. It is important to surround ourselves, even babies, with the right people 😄!
📚 I spend more time learning about different ways to run online courses (self-paced & cohort-based). I see potential in my Building in Public course (which opens for August cohort now) and I want to continue to improve the course experience. If you have experience, love to chat.
✍ And you know, a month ago, I said that I’d send this newsletter from every week to every 2 weeks. But as I reflect on this change, I realized how much I miss the feeling of gathering my thoughts and sharing them. So I’m thinking to getting back to sending every week 👀 I feel that it makes me a better person.
A few things I want to share this Sunday:
- Think through why things are happening
- Don’t follow best practices
- When to outsource
🌷 Think through why things are happening
I was having a chat with my fellow Twitter good friend, Marie, and I was telling her how I feel that people are a lot more mindful and self-reflective these days. Right when I said it, my inner self started asking:
“Is the world changing? Is it because of COVID?”
10 seconds later, I realized the truth ... I purposely surround myself with these people through running Public Lab. The majority of the people I meet are self-driven entrepreneurs who value authenticity, transparency, reflection, and going slow!
It is very easy to think that the bubble we put ourselves in represent what's happening in the entire world, but obviously you and I both know it is not true.
Are you in a bubble? What are you doing to see different world views?
❎ Don’t follow best practices
I’ve always known that best practices are just things that work for whoever publish them. We should never take them too seriously without adding our own context. So this piece from (another) Marie resonates with me.
But even knowing so, I still often fall into that trap of doing what works for others.
I’ll give you an example. For my community, Public Lab, I am offering a similar experience to other communities: forum, onboarding, AMA events with guests … Ok, same shit.
Obviously it works well, but I’m feeling that Public Lab lacks its own identity. My community represents helping entrepreneurs get out there, then how can I design an experience that does that?
If we all follow best practices, we are all cookie-cutters, and it is really really hard to stand out.
This is why I plan to do an exercise with myself to figure out how I can tweak the experience to do the right things, not follow best practices.
Do you think it is time to think through whether you’re forming an identity for what you do or are you simply piecing together best practices from everyone else?
🛰 When to outsource
My latest software subscription is a piece of accounting software. BORING!
I know. But being a nerd for keeping things tidy, I know I better set things up now to avoid headache later.
A solopreneur's challenge shows up: should I pay a monthly fee to outsource bookkeeping and accounting to a company or should I do it myself?
Here’s how I think about it, obviously not everyone agrees.
1) Smart entrepreneurs build system to buy time to do more meaningful things. They don’t do every single tiny tasks themselves.
2) I prefer to know how things work before outsourcing it. I want to know exactly what they’re doing for me and I want to design it my way. After all, I’m the one who’s going to run this business. I believe founders should try to learn a bit of everything.
3) It is better to outsource when there is significant volume of work. Otherwise, time is just wasted on communication. If I can handle all my monthly bookkeeping in half a day, it is better than paying + dealing with an external party right?
My plan is to set up the system first and I can always hire a part-time to do specific tasks in the future. I'm not keen on outsourcing too early and staying in the dark. Maybe I'm a control freak?
If you’re a solopreneur, how are you handling it right now? Keen to learn!