As you know, we’re evaluating some other industries because the tech scene has been quieter lately. Luckily there are plenty of other industries in short supply of talent, so I consider us lucky.
Cold calling and emailing in business
But doing this kind of outreach and research means lots of cold calling and cold emailing – which can be tough when you’re first navigating how to start a business or your new business.
And if there’s one thing you learn the hard way when doing cold-anything, it’s getting used to rejection.
And by rejection, I mean sending dozens of emails or making dozens of calls, and not getting anywhere.
Maybe no one responds. Maybe no one is interested. Maybe no one thinks what you’ve got is a good idea. It’s a lot of maybe’s.
To remove any of the sugar coating, it just kinda sucks.
When you’re learning how to start a business or own business, the best quality you can learn or build as a solopreneur is being able to shake it off and keep going. I’m not the best at it, but it gets easier with time.
Because what most people don’t realize, especially when starting a solopreneur small business, is that rejection is inevitable. Even if you build a very successful business, not every client or prospect or person says “yes”.
It’s another reason why social media sucks, because we see the “overnight millionaires” but don’t see the 10 years of struggle and rejection it took to get there (unless you’re watching the fake gurus who are overnight solopreneur “millionaires” with rented Ferraris… but I digress).
Anyway, all of this is to say, business and outreach and sales can really suck, but if you shift your mentally to accept it’s just part of the process, it’s easier to stomach.
Not every day in business is a bad one
With this in mind, it doesn’t mean every day is a bad one. For example, today (Thursday – because you’re reading this in the future) was a good and interesting one.
I figured I’d use it to give you a sample of what some of my days are like. This one in particular I felt is worth sharing because it was eventful, fun, productive, etc.
Part of the reason I really enjoyed it is because it included a handful of interesting calls, including:
- my daily 10am checkin with the Visto team, where we discuss how our previous day went and what we’re working on today
- a call with a podcaster in Romania who wants to have Canadian solopreneurs on his show to discuss how business is done in Canada (and ways to immigrate here). Intro was made through a friend who suggested me as a guest
- a virtual networking event with other Canadian co-founders that led to a good intro (access to this through a Slack group I’m in for Canadian founders)
- a call with a foreign recruitment company as we evaluate another industry and source of talent for our Canadian clients (introduced to them through a mutual connection in BC)
- a call with a Canada-based tech company interested in using our immigration software
- a call with a colleague-turned-friend to catch up and ask him about his experience in that certain industry we’re exploring (got some good advice)
In between it all, I managed to get some good work done too – although days with a lot of calls make it hard to block off big chunks of time to do deeper work.
But I find that as the CEO, I do less deep work and more managing, strategizing, emailing, calling, etc. As a business owner, there’s always more to do than there is time to do it.
That’s why it’s important to have a team you trust, and to delegate as much as possible. It’s one of the most difficult things for solopreneurs and small business owners, but also one of the most important if you want to scale.
Another day in the books, and don’t forget what Steve Jobs always said: if you wake up, look in the mirror and don’t like what you’re about to do that day – for a few days in a row – switch up what you’re working on (or who you’re working for).
Note: that is NOT a direct quote.
But it’s the gist of what he said.
In any case, I hope this gives you a bit of an insight into what my days are like as a solopreneur and CEO of a small business. If you’re thinking about how to start a business, or are in the early stages of a new business, hopefully this gives you a better idea of what to expect.
Have a great day, keep grinding, and if you want to follow along on my journey even closer, make sure to join the email list.