Ian Wiedenman blog

I grew my company ITW Creative Works from a start-up to a thriving creative development agency through strategic business growth and strong client relationships.

What Keeps Me Motivated as a Solopreneur?

What Keeps Me Motivated as a Solopreneur?
Entrepreneurship Self-Development Business Management 15 min read 7 comments

Discover what keeps Ian Wiedenman motivated as a solopreneur, from the inception of Somiibo to the creation of multiple innovative projects like Slapform.com and StudyMonkey.ai.

The Beginning of My Solopreneur Journey

Ah, the sweet scent of freedom mixed with the unmistakable aroma of uncertainty—that’s how I’d describe the start of my solopreneur journey. Imagine this: one day, you’re comfortably clocking in at your 9-to-5, trading your hours for dollars, and the next, you’re plunging headfirst into the turbulent waters of entrepreneurship. For me, it all began with a simple idea: Somiibo.

Somiibo wasn’t just a project; it was my ticket to a world where my creativity could run wild, where I could break free from the monotonous grind. But let’s rewind a bit. Before I embarked on this rollercoaster, I was just like many people—juggling a job I didn’t love with dreams that felt just out of reach. It was the classic tale of wanting more but not knowing exactly how to get it.

Then came the eureka moment. I realized there was a gap in the market for social media automation tools that weren’t just effective but also user-friendly. That’s when Somiibo was born. With a head full of ideas and a heart full of hope, I dived into the unknown. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns.

Starting out was like learning to ride a bike—without training wheels and on a rocky path. There were times I questioned my sanity, wondering if I’d made the right choice. But here’s the thing: every setback was a lesson in disguise. Each hiccup, from coding bugs to marketing missteps, taught me invaluable lessons that no business school could ever offer.

And let’s not forget the countless late nights fueled by an ungodly amount of coffee and sheer determination. There were moments when I felt invincible, convinced I was on the brink of something revolutionary. Other times, I felt like pulling my hair out, questioning if I should just throw in the towel and return to the safety net of a conventional job.

But through it all, one thing remained constant: my passion. Passion for creating, for solving problems, and for making a difference. It was this passion that kept me going, even when the going got tough. And boy, did it get tough!

As Somiibo started gaining traction, I realized that this was just the beginning. The success of my first project fueled my desire to explore more avenues, leading to the birth of Slapform.com and StudyMonkey.ai. Each new project came with its own set of challenges and rewards, but the thrill of the journey remained the same.

Looking back, the beginning of my solopreneur journey was a rollercoaster of emotions—exhilarating, terrifying, and everything in between. But it was also the most rewarding experience of my life. It taught me resilience, adaptability, and the importance of following my passion, no matter how daunting the path ahead might seem.

So, there you have it—the humble beginnings of my solopreneur adventure. It wasn’t always easy, but it was always worth it. And as I continue to navigate this ever-evolving landscape, I carry with me the lessons learned and the unwavering belief that the best is yet to come.

Finding Motivation: What Drives Me?

You know, waking up every morning and diving into the world of solopreneurship isn’t always a walk in the park. Sometimes, it’s more like trying to herd cats—utter chaos with a sprinkle of unpredictability. Yet, somehow, I find myself eager and ready to tackle each day. So, what keeps me going? What fuels my solopreneur motivation? Well, let me pull back the curtain and share a bit of my secret sauce.

First off, the thrill of independence is a massive motivator. There’s nothing quite like calling the shots and steering the ship exactly where I want it to go. It’s a bit like being the captain of my own pirate ship—minus the eye patch and parrot, of course. This autonomy allows me to innovate and pivot at a moment’s notice, which is both exhilarating and empowering.

Then there’s the passion for my projects. Whether it’s working on Somiibo, Slapform.com, or StudyMonkey.ai, each venture is a labor of love. The excitement of seeing an idea come to life and watching it grow is indescribable. It’s akin to planting a tree and witnessing it bear fruit—satisfying and deeply fulfilling.

But let’s not forget the community. Yes, even as a solopreneur, I’m not entirely alone. The support from fellow entrepreneurs, online forums, and networking events is invaluable. Sharing experiences, swapping tips, and sometimes just venting about the day’s challenges can be a real battery charger. This camaraderie is a reminder that we’re all in this wild ride together.

Moreover, the quest for continuous learning is a significant driver. The ever-evolving landscape of technology and business keeps me on my toes. There’s always something new to master, whether it’s a cutting-edge marketing strategy or a groundbreaking tool. This constant learning curve not only keeps things fresh but also ensures I’m always growing, both personally and professionally.

And, of course, there’s the impact. Knowing that my work helps others—whether by simplifying tasks, solving problems, or providing value in some way—gives me a profound sense of purpose. It’s like adding a little sprinkle of magic to someone’s day, and that feeling is simply unmatched.

Lastly, the financial incentives can’t be overlooked. While money isn’t the primary driver, it’s certainly a nice bonus. The ability to control my income and directly reap the rewards of my hard work is incredibly motivating. It’s a tangible measure of success and a reminder that my efforts are paying off.

In the end, motivation as a solopreneur comes from a blend of independence, passion, community, learning, impact, and yes, a bit of financial incentive. It’s a dynamic mix that keeps the fire burning and propels me forward, even on the toughest days. So, here’s to the rollercoaster ride of solopreneurship—may it always be thrilling and rewarding!

Balancing Multiple Projects: Tips and Tricks

Juggling multiple projects as a solopreneur can often feel like trying to keep a dozen plates spinning in the air. One wobble and it seems like everything might come crashing down. But fear not! Here are some tips and tricks that have helped me stay on top of my game, even when my to-do list looks like it’s going to overflow.

First off, prioritizing is key. It might sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be amazed at how easy it is to lose sight of what’s truly important. I start my day by listing out all the tasks I need to tackle and then rank them by importance. The ones that are mission-critical get tackled first. This way, even if the day goes haywire, I know the most crucial tasks are already in the bag.

Next, embracing the power of time-blocking has been a game-changer. I carve out specific time slots for different projects and stick to them religiously. For instance, I might dedicate my mornings to working on Slapform.com and afternoons to StudyMonkey.ai. By focusing on one project at a time, I can dive deep without the constant mental switching, which can be absolutely exhausting.

But let’s not forget about the importance of delegation. Yes, even as a solopreneur, you don’t have to do everything yourself. Outsourcing small tasks or hiring freelance help can free up significant time for the more strategic parts of your business. This approach not only lightens your load but also brings in fresh perspectives that can be incredibly valuable.

Another trick up my sleeve is leveraging technology to stay organized. Tools like Trello and Asana help me keep track of project timelines, while apps like Slack and Zoom facilitate seamless communication with collaborators. These tools are indispensable for managing multiple projects without missing a beat.

Speaking of staying organized, I can’t stress enough the importance of setting clear, achievable goals. Break down large projects into smaller, manageable tasks and set deadlines for each. This not only makes the workload seem less daunting but also provides a sense of accomplishment as you tick off each milestone.

Now, let’s talk about something often overlooked: self-care. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and forget to take care of yourself. But trust me, burnout is real. Make sure to schedule breaks, get enough sleep, and take time off to recharge. A well-rested mind is far more productive and creative.

Lastly, stay flexible. The entrepreneurial journey is full of unexpected twists and turns. Sometimes, things won’t go as planned, and that’s okay. Adaptability is your best friend in these situations. Learn to pivot quickly and embrace change as an opportunity for growth.

For more insights on how I tackle the challenges of being a multi-project entrepreneur, check out this blog post. And if you’re curious about the power of adaptability, you might find this article quite enlightening.

Balancing multiple projects isn’t a walk in the park, but with the right strategies, it can be a rewarding and exhilarating experience. Keep spinning those plates, and remember, it’s not about perfection; it’s about progress.

Challenges and How I Overcome Them

Being a solopreneur is no walk in the park. Picture this: juggling multiple projects, each demanding your undivided attention, while a new challenge decides to crash the party uninvited. Ah, the life of a solopreneur! But hey, every cloud has a silver lining, and overcoming these challenges makes the journey all the more rewarding.

One of the most significant hurdles I face is time management. With so many projects like Somiibo, Slapform.com, and StudyMonkey.ai, it often feels like I’m a circus performer spinning plates. And let’s be honest, dropping one isn’t an option. To tackle this, I live and breathe by my to-do lists. Seriously, they’re my lifeline. But not just any to-do lists—I’m talking about meticulously planned, color-coded masterpieces. They help me prioritize tasks, set realistic deadlines, and keep track of my progress. It’s all about staying organized amidst the chaos.

Another challenge is staying motivated when things get tough. There are days when inspiration is as elusive as a cat on a hot tin roof. What keeps me going? I remind myself why I started this journey in the first place. The thrill of innovation, the joy of seeing a project come to life, and the freedom to create on my terms. Plus, I surround myself with a community of fellow solopreneurs and mentors who provide support and a reality check when needed. If you haven’t already, check out this blog post for more on how I embrace the solopreneur lifestyle.

Then there’s the ever-present challenge of innovation. Keeping my projects fresh and ahead of the curve is no small feat. It requires constant learning and adaptation. To stay on top of my game, I make it a point to allocate time for research and development. Whether it’s attending webinars, reading up on industry trends, or experimenting with new ideas, I’m always looking for ways to push the envelope. For more insights on how I keep innovating across different projects, take a peek at this article.

Of course, let’s not forget the challenge of wearing multiple hats. As a solopreneur, I’m the CEO, marketer, customer service rep, and janitor all rolled into one. It’s overwhelming, to say the least. My secret weapon? Outsourcing. Yes, you heard that right. I’ve learned to delegate tasks that aren’t my forte to skilled freelancers. This not only frees up my time but also ensures that the job is done right. Managing multiple projects while still finding time for myself is an art, and I’ve shared my strategies in this blog post.

Finally, the challenge of financial instability can’t be ignored. Unlike traditional jobs with a steady paycheck, the income of a solopreneur can be unpredictable. To mitigate this, I diversify my income streams. By having multiple projects and revenue sources, I create a safety net that helps me weather financial storms. For more on the importance of diversification in business success, check out this link.

Each challenge I face is a stepping stone, a learning opportunity that shapes me into a better solopreneur. And while the road may be bumpy, the destination is always worth it.

The Importance of Innovation and Learning

Innovation and learning are like peanut butter and jelly—they just belong together. As a solopreneur, these two elements are the secret sauce that keeps my business thriving and evolving. The journey of a solopreneur is far from a straight line; it’s more like an adventurous rollercoaster filled with unexpected twists and delightful turns. So, how do I stay on top of my game and keep my ventures fresh and exciting? Let’s dive into why innovation and learning are my best pals.

First off, innovation is the lifeblood of any business. Without it, things would get stale faster than a week-old loaf of bread. By constantly looking for new ways to improve my projects, I ensure that I stay ahead of the curve. Whether it’s developing new features for Slapform.com or brainstorming unique study aids for StudyMonkey.ai, keeping my creative juices flowing is crucial. If you’re curious about how I stay ahead of the curve with constant innovation, check out this blog post.

But innovation doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It requires a commitment to ongoing learning. Personal growth is something I take very seriously. Every new skill I acquire or book I read adds another tool to my entrepreneurial toolkit. It’s like being a sponge—soaking up knowledge from every possible source. From online courses to industry conferences, I seize every opportunity to learn something new. This not only helps me stay relevant but also fuels my passion for creating new projects. For more on what drives my passion, head over to this blog post.

Balancing multiple projects requires a lot of juggling, and sometimes it feels like I’m in a circus. Yet, by constantly learning and innovating, I can keep all the balls in the air. One day, I might be coding a new feature for Somiibo, and the next, I’m diving into the latest AI research for StudyMonkey.ai. This variety keeps things interesting and prevents burnout. If you’re wondering how I stay inspired while managing multiple ventures, you might find this article insightful.

Lastly, let’s talk about the broader impact of innovation and learning. They don’t just benefit my businesses; they also enrich my life. Every challenge I overcome and every new idea I implement brings a sense of accomplishment and joy. It’s a reminder that growth is not just about the destination but also about the journey. Reflecting on my experiences, I’ve realized that innovation and learning are not just business strategies—they’re life philosophies. Curious about the biggest lessons I’ve learned as a solopreneur? You can read all about them here.

So, there you have it. Innovation and learning are my constant companions on this wild ride called solopreneurship. They keep me motivated, inspired, and ready to tackle whatever comes next. And trust me, with these two by my side, the future looks incredibly bright.

Reflecting on My Journey: Looking Forward and Backward

As I sit here, sipping my umpteenth cup of coffee for the day, I can’t help but marvel at how far I’ve come on this rollercoaster ride known as solopreneurship. From the humble beginnings of launching Somiibo to branching out into a thriving business empire with projects like Slapform.com and StudyMonkey.ai, it’s been one heck of a journey. Let me take you down memory lane, and together, we’ll peek into the future.

Starting out, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I mean, who really does? There were moments of sheer panic, like when I realized I accidentally deleted a crucial database (oops!), and moments of pure joy, like the first time Somiibo hit 1,000 users. It’s these highs and lows that have shaped me into the solopreneur I am today.

Looking back, there are a few key lessons that stand out. First, adaptability is everything. In this ever-changing digital landscape, being able to pivot and adjust your strategies is crucial. I wrote about this in detail in my post on lessons on adaptability. Spoiler alert: it involves a lot of coffee and late-night brainstorming sessions.

Balancing multiple projects has been another significant part of my journey. It’s like juggling flaming torches while riding a unicycle – thrilling but a tad dangerous. However, with a few tricks up my sleeve, I’ve managed to keep the show running smoothly. If you’re curious about my secret sauce, check out my post on how I balance multiple projects without losing my sanity.

Innovation and continuous learning have also been my guiding stars. Without them, I’d be stuck in a rut, doing the same old things and expecting different results. From Somiibo to Slapform, each project has been a stepping stone, pushing me to explore new horizons. If you’re interested in how this journey of innovation unfolded, take a look at my journey from Somiibo to a thriving business empire.

But it’s not all roses and rainbows. There have been challenges, and oh boy, plenty of them. Each obstacle has taught me something valuable, whether it’s about resilience, patience, or just plain old grit. For a peek into the joys and challenges of expanding beyond a single project, you might enjoy this post.

Now, as I look forward, the horizon is brimming with possibilities. The future holds more projects, more learning, and undoubtedly, more coffee. My goal is to keep pushing boundaries, exploring new ideas, and, most importantly, enjoying the ride. After all, what’s the point of the journey if you can’t have a little fun along the way?

So, whether you’re a fellow solopreneur, an aspiring one, or just someone looking for a bit of inspiration, I hope my journey resonates with you. Here’s to looking forward with excitement and backward with gratitude. Cheers!


Follow my journey as a solopreneur, and my evolution from launching Somiibo, a single project, to expanding my empire with multiple innovative projects like Slapform.com, StudyMonkey.ai, and more