What many people don’t realize when they start out on the solopreneur journey, is that they are pioneers. There are more solopreneurs today than ever before because the power of the internet has transformed the way we do business. It has given us all access to more powerful tools, more resources, and a platform through which to reach billions of people.
The problem? This is uncharted territory and many people have no idea how to thrive in these new circumstances. How do you get the most out of your brain? How do you stay on task? How do you avoid burning out? Especially when you are filling every role in your one-man “organization” and all the responsibility is on you!
Interestingly, sometimes you can enhance your brain function simply by focussing on the right thing or changing the way you think. For the solopreneur wanting to get more out of their working day, this can have profound implications.
Let’s start with some examples of how simply ‘reframing’ a situation can help you to accomplish greater cognition.
The example that comes to mind is the aforementioned hypothetical ‘limit’ of working memory, which is set at 5+/-2. Regardless of the new interpretation of working memory, this limit still exists, likely as we struggle to hold that information in the mind’s eye and focus without losing track of it.
So, how do you get around this? One novel solution is something called ‘chunking’. It sounds gross but it’s not like that… Basically, chunking means that you combine multiple numbers into a single number or a single semantic ‘chunk’. So for instance, 2 and 3 actually become 23. This way, you are actually remembering fewer numbers.
How to Increase Creativity
Another interesting example of changing the way you approach a subject is to overcome the ‘cognitive bias’ known as functional fixedness. Functional fixedness describes an inability that many of us have to instantly see all the applications for any resource. We see a tool as being an item used for a specific job, rather than something that can be used in a variety of ways.
So, for example, if you are given a hammer, you might think of that hammer as something to drive nails into the wall. Thus, you might not think to reach for it when trying to pry open a window. Because it is ‘labeled’ as a hammer, it is harder to think of it outside of that context as a wrench. The result is that you become less resourceful.
Again, the solution is to reframe the situation and change the way you ask your brain to operate. Instead of thinking of tools and resources like tools, try to ask yourself what raw materials you have available to you. So rather than a hammer, you have a hammer and a piece of wood, some metal, and a stick.
Suddenly, the options increase.
This is just another example, but it’s one that has direct consequences for solopreneurs: when trying to find a creative solution to a problem you are facing, consider how your approach might be limiting the options that you see before you!
You can also learn a lot about a business by surrounding yourself with experts and making sure to seek professional advice. This might mean using a consultant, or it might just mean consulting with a commercial lawyer regarding the legal elements to make sure you aren’t going to upset any laws.