In this first “Sunday Letter to Solopreneurs,” I’m going to share a bit about my intentions with HeartBased.io, along with offering some fun clarity about the “inputs” and “outputs” of thriving in both life and business. Additionally, my intention with the Sunday Letter is to, in part, document and share my journey of building this company.
There’s a beautiful opportunity here. First, these Sunday Letters to Solopreneurs are a gift for me to crystallize insights, ideas, and philosophies that add value to my journey; it helps me to focus. Secondly, for the Heart-Based Solopreneur who reads these letters, I hope it offers practical support and inspiration for your life and business journey.
These letters are free and will remain free; even though I consider a paid version down the road. If you are someone who values an energy of exchange and receives value from these free Sunday Letters, I simply and humbly ask you to help me get the word out. If you feel so inspired to do so, share the love by sharing these letters with those whom you feel would also find value.
My Life & Business Intention for HeartBased.io
For the past 14 years, I have been fully self-employed as a solopreneur, running a one-person business that offers a service that fulfills a societal need. Before this time, there were numerous attempts, which resulted in numerous failures that caused me to return to the job world. I was a terrible employee, because, it always felt like I was cutting myself short and stuck in some kind of game where I felt forced to be an employee – when that’s not really where my heart was.
I did enjoy some of these jobs and learned valuable skills that assist me to this day. However, as I learned those skills, I would come to a point where it was time to move on. There was no need to repeat a skill year after year if I wasn’t growing.
In the 14 years I have been a full-time solopreneur, quite honestly, 70% of that time was an absolute mess. To be more precise, I was an absolute mess. What’s quite obvious now is that this mess was a growth opportunity that I unconsciously avoided for many years. Even though parts of this growth journey were avoided, that didn’t mean I wasn’t growing. It just meant that I wasn’t growing as fast as I could have. Comically, there’s this adorable embarrassment I have about it. In one way, it seems realistic that where I am now, after 14 years, could have been accomplished in 3 years if I was a little more open and receptive. In another way, I am where I am now, with a wealth of insights and value to share because of the many struggles I went through. The excitement I have now about this insight and value outweighs any lingering embarrassment.
This brings me to my newest inspiration and business adventure, HeartBased.io. I intend to support people who, like me, were struggling but also deeply interested in sharing their heartfelt services with the world while also getting paid well to serve. In the past year, I kept seeing a problem pop up within my circle of friends: they were struggling big time to generate consistent income while trying to offer their services to the world. As I peeked behind the scenes of what they were offering and how they were going about it, it was painfully and joyfully obvious as to why they were struggling. Painful, because I understood the pain and frustration of that struggle, and also painful because I could see that their current approach had almost zero chance of succeeding. They were more in a state of hoping it would work, waiting for it to work, but not taking practical and smart business/personal growth steps to drastically increase their chance of success.
Seeing this problem and struggle was also incredibly joyful, to the point of being utterly adorable. Similar to watching a 4-year-old trying to tie their shoes but with zero knowledge about how to tie a shoe properly. The struggle wasn’t because they were dumb, or broken, or disadvantaged. The struggle was because of a lack of awareness about the shoe-tying process; … because of a misunderstanding that assumed their difficulty was evidence of them being, in some capacity, not enough. Their frustration led to conclusions like “I guess shoe-tying isn’t for me,” and they go find an easier flip-flop way of living, yet, that easier way isn’t really what they want. Really, they wish wearing shoes were a possibility because it allows them more freedom to explore the many terrains of life.
Without the proper guidance and support, it can take weeks, months, or years to properly discover an effortless and peaceful process for tying your shoes. Yet, with the right support and an openness to listen and learn, this problem can be resolved in a matter of minutes. This is funny, too, because for the child who is without support, as they fumble around with shoelaces, I can see them screaming on the inside, “This is going to take FOREVEEEER!” There’s the understandable, but wildly untrue, assumption about how difficult it will be. This assumption, when bought into and believed, only results in an unnecessary struggle. Furthermore, it makes impossible the opportunity of enjoying the growth process, and learning a new skill that helps you experience life in a more fun and adventurous way.
A Beautiful Simplicity
Life, being human, and creating a business all have a profound and beautiful simplicity to them. However, human beings love complexity. They love for things to be way more difficult than they actually are. I would suggest that, in large part, the imagined complexity is an adorable defense mechanism that helps us avoid moving forward and stepping beyond our comfort zone. We can spend so much time being busy but accomplishing nothing, so much time thinking and not exploring, and so much time trying to avoid failure rather than risking it and learning through direct experience.
It really is simple; but no, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. What’s simple is the process of growth, what’s hard is showing up. The good news, though, is that it’s supposed to be hard. Not complicated, but hard. It’s supposed to be a challenge, it’s supposed to be an adventure. What worthwhile adventure is there in life that doesn’t require facing your fears and moving beyond them? None. This is the opportunity of life and being human: to grow and experience a revolving door of adventures that lead you toward living with less fear. This is how you thrive in both life and business; it’s by embracing the reality of this journey and going on these adventures that ultimately result in less fear and more love.
Input / Output (.io)
Speaking of simplicity, the “.io” in HeartBased.io stands for input/output. What we have here, in the name, are Heart-Based inputs and outputs. Regarding being a solopreneur, the desired output of successfully sharing your heart-based offering with the world is, very simply, a manifestation of the proper input. This is 100% an ‘inside’ job. Whatever the output appears to be, it’s simply reflecting the current input. It’s a perfect mirror.
What I struggled with for years was trying to control the output, trying to force it to look how I wanted, rather than thoroughly understanding the input. In some cases, I ignored the input and just blamed the output. A much wiser approach would be to look at the output and allow it to teach me about the input.
Even though this is an inside job (inputs), having a clear vision of the desired output is required to optimize the input. Again, this is a struggle I experienced for many years, and I see others struggling with it as well, where there isn’t a practical and clear vision for what we would like to create or experience. This “Clarity of Vision” is a primary output that comes out of.
Playfully, and this might change, here’s what I see as the four primary (internal) inputs and outputs that influence the manifestation of my desired experience. Firstly, let’s briefly explore the desired outputs, and we will dive more deeply into them in future Sunday Letters to Solopreneurs.
In asking myself, “what do I desire to experience in my journey of being a Heart-Based solopreneur?” These are internal outputs, effectively, the inner human experience I’d like to have.
The four Desired (internal) Outputs
- Mind output / Clarity
- I desire to be mentally clear in who I am, what I’m doing, why I’m doing it, and how I’m going to do it.
- Body output / Energy
- I desire to be full of energy, as if the body was in full support of helping me reach my vision.
- Focus output / Progress
- I desire to make meaningful and trackable progress, where I can know beyond doubt that I’m headed in the right direction.
- Spirit output / Service
- I desire to be of genuine service, where my contribution adds real value and tangible value to people’s lives.
It’s helpful here to understand that these desired outputs become more obvious when I look at the painful and undesired outputs; which may be your current experience now.
The four PAINFUL (internal) Outputs
- Mind output / Confusion
- I feel painfully confused about who I am, what I’m doing, why I’m doing it, and how I’m going to do it.
- Body output / Exhaustion
- I feel drained, emotional, stressed, and lack the energy needed to fully show up.
- Focus input / Stagnation
- I feel stuck and unable to make meaningful progress toward my goals.
- Spirit output / Agitation
- I feel disconnected and overly serious, unable to contribute and serve in a way that feels light and playful.
The Four (internal) Inputs:
This is looking at what is required for me to have the desired (internal) outputs.
- Mind input / Awareness
- Awareness points toward a deeper openness to explore my experience of being human with more and more self-honesty, and, it speaks to what I allow into my mind.
- Body input / Health
- The body’s state of health, is only a reflection of how the body is being treated. If I take care of it, if I fuel it properly, it’s natural state of one of vibrancy and perfect health.
- Focus input / Direction
- To make progress, I need a clear direction and strategy. This means defining my goals and objectives and planning how to achieve them. I also need to prioritize and focus on important tasks while avoiding distractions.
- Spirit input / Play
- My natural state, beyond all the mind’s confusions and fearful illusions, is a state of curiosity, adventure, and helpful service. It’s essential that I approach Life and my work with this spirit, and find joy in the journey of growth and being of service to others.
- Mind input / Avoidance
- Avoidance points toward a lack of openness to explore my experience of being human with self-honesty, and will also involve being with blame, judgment, and guilt.
- Body input / Neglect
- Neglecting the body, mistreating it, or seeking temporary pleasures through poisons, all leads to a state of poor health, well-being, and a drastically suboptimal brain performance.
- Focus input / Distraction
- Being easily distracted, or focusing on unimportant and low-value tasks, leads to stagnation and a lack of progress. Often disguised and being busy for the sake of being busy, but not actually accomplishing anything worthwhile.
- Spirit input / Seriousness
- Approaching life and work with a lack of joy and playfulness (taking life both personally and seriously) leads to a life of agitation. In this ‘seriousness,’ my service to others is no longer a beautiful opportunity of human play.
Embrace the HeartBased Way for thriving in both life and business. This is what I intend to make clear, offering HeartBased support and helpful insights to bring clarity, focus, and profitability to your life and business journey (as a solopreneur). From my experience, I’ve learned that it’s 100% possible to succeed in this journey, and I’m saying that as someone who has wanted to give up on so many occasions. The growth journey has been simple but not easy, but unquestionably, worth it.
My heart becomes beautifully inspired when I think about sharing my journey with you, what I’ve learned and where I’ve failed, with the potential that it might assist you in sharing your heart with the world and getting paid well.
Asking for Your Help
For this to be successful, for me to serve in this high-value way, I know I cannot do it alone; it will be made possible through our (yours and mine) collaboration. In the spirit of that, I ask for your help. If you know any other current or aspiring heart-based solopreneurs who might enjoy this flavor of heart-based support, I ask that you let them know about HeartBased.io and the Sunday Letter to Solopreneurs.
Sending you a cosmic hug of support on your journey…