It's Always Something

Terri Lonier

Lately I've been hearing complaints from soloists about interruptions in their work day. "I just got a call from a potential new client," one sighed, "and I have so much on my desk already, I don't know what to do." Another said, "I sent out that email blast announcing my new program, and now I have all these folks I have to respond to, and I don't have the time." In both cases, I wanted to jump across the phone wires and shake them by the shoulders and say, "Hey, get a grip. This is a good thing. People want to hire you!"

Their distress, I believe, arises in part because both of these situations were not specifically planned, and were not on their calendar or To-Do lists. But stay in business long enough, and you realize that there are three types of activities that generally cross a soloist's desk each day:

1. Work scheduled for a specific timeframe.
This is the work you know about in advance, can properly plan for, and complete on a schedule that is sane. While we all love to be able to create this structure, it is often outside our control. Client demands, other commitments, and additional contingencies often make this scheduling unrealistic, if not impossible. When this type of work is on the books, seasoned soloists enjoy doing it, knowing how rare it can be.

2. Work arising from outreach.
This is work that's welcome, but you may not know when it might arrive. When marketing efforts generate interest, soloists must be willing to rise to the occasion and complete the last step in the sales cycle, often within a tight timeframe. No whining allowed. After all, this is what you were hoping for, right?

3. Work that arrives unexpectedly.
The third category is work that comes by phone or email, out of the blue. It often arises from marketing momentum you have established, and may come through a personal referral from a former client. While unexpected, experienced soloists welcome these opportunities because they represent sincere interest -- someone has taken the time to reach out and contact you.

All three of these varieties of communication are common in the everyday life of solo entrepreneurs. The trick is recognize that they all represent opportunities. Some may be more planned than others, but all should be welcomed.

-- Terri Lonier, Founder,
This article first appeared in the Working Solo newsletter:

Copyright 2010, author retains ownership. All Rights Reserved.

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