How To Grow Your Solo Business Without Overworking

Focus on these five activities if you want to make progress in your business without overwhelm and hustle.

Jenna Hellberg
4 min readApr 26, 2022
Photo by Michael Burrows on Pexels

Want to grow your solo business while reducing overwhelm, overwork, and the risk of burnout?

The most important shift you can make is to operate in a way that allows you to spend more time on tasks and activities that make the biggest impact — and reduce the rest.

These are the top 5 activities I see as the most crucial ones that make an impact for small business owners:

1. Take good care of yourself

When you feel well, you think more clearly and creatively, and can notice opportunities for improvement that you won’t notice when you’re exhausted or drained.

This is *suuuper crucial* for the longevity of your business, and if you stick to the basics you’ll already be doing well: sleep enough, eat mostly nutritious food, drink plenty of water, move your body throughout the day, and nurture your relationships. Anything beyond that is a plus.

2. Put your CEO/owner hat on

You need to have space in your schedule to do creative big picture thinking, evaluating, planning, problem-solving, and relationship-building.

These are tasks that don’t necessarily bring you an instant result, or that can’t be checked off a list, but they’re key things that boost your business forward.

If you spend all your day checking off to-dos, your brain doesn’t have the space for this kind of work — which is why it can be hard to shut your brain off once you step away from your work. You can feel pulled back to work late at night because your ideas won’t leave you alone.

It’s crucial that you make time for thinking, so that you can make good decisions in your business instead of just keep doing the things you’re doing out of default.

3. Implement ideas

Once you’ve been in CEO/owner mode, it’s also important to spend time taking action on those big ideas that would propel your business forward.

→ Maybe you had ideas on how to spend your time more effectively when you work with clients

→ Maybe you need to update your email sequences to match your current offers

→ Maybe you realized you could simplify your marketing strategy

→ Maybe you need to update your website to reflect the kind of client you want to work with

→ Maybe you want to start pitching yourself as a guest expert to podcasts

If something will save or make you time and money in the long term, it’s worth setting aside time for.

4. Marketing and sales activities

You want more people to be aware of your existence and to buy from you, so even when you’re busy with clients, these activities should be a priority.

But be aware: all the activities you do for marketing and sales may not be as crucial as they seem. The 80/20 rule states that 80% of our results come from just 20% of our efforts, meaning that there are opportunities for cuts and improvements in that remaining 80%.

I’ve got a free guide that helps you identify your most impactful marketing activities so that you can free up your time by decluttering the rest.

5. Deliver on your sales

Of course, we can’t forget delivering on your services!

Doing your work well (and on time) helps your clients be happy, and increases the chances of them spreading the word about you and your business.

How these types of tasks and activities will benefit you

Making time for the above will help you spend your time more productively as a business owners. On the other hand, neglecting these activities can have major consequences for your progress and growth:

  • If you ignore your wellbeing, it gets harder to have energy to think clearly and work effectively
  • If you ignore big picture thinking, you might end up spending time on a bunch of marketing and sales activities that aren’t fruitful to you, or doing your work in a way that’s not as effective as it could be
  • If you ignore your marketing and sales activities, you won’t have clients to deliver to once you’re done with clients

The good news is that when you give these more time and energy, you can let go of a bunch of tasks and activities that aren’t that impactful but just keep you busy.

Want to free up time inside your business asap? Start with the Instant Relief guide, which includes a 4-step exercise that helps you drop time-consuming marketing tasks without sacrificing progress. Grab it here.

Listen to the Building Balance podcast for weekly thoughts and tips around productivity, and work-life balance for solo business owners.



Jenna Hellberg

Helping small business owners make progress without hustle. Get my free planning guide that helps you prioritize impactful tasks: