Navigating Solo Entrepreneurship with Diamond Drip
In our 29th episode, Sofie is joined by Diamond Drip, a Business Advisor and Life Enhancer, to discuss being a solopreneur and shares insightful tips for those embarking on the journey of building a one-person business. Through engaging anecdotes and her distinctive expertise, Diamond underscores the value of collaboration versus competition. Furthermore, she imparts valuable guidance to empower fellow entrepreneurs in pinpointing their niche and enhancing their time management.
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About the Guest
Diamond is a Business Advisor and Life Enhancer located in Maryland, USA. She has a background in Visual Communications, Digital Marketing, and Alternative Wellness. Diamond supports seasoned solopreneurs who have the gift and the knowledge, but lack the systems and structures necessary for sustainable scale.
Oftentimes, her clients are also up against mindset challenges rooted in fear and overwhelm, maybe even a little bit of imposter syndrome. By partnering with Diamond, clients experience remarkable transformations where they leave each session feeling the support of an accountability partner that’s rooting for their success. This feeling is further extended by the community of Solopreneurs that she supports who believe in Collaboration > Competition.
Sofie: Hello everyone and welcome back to Claim Your Potential, the empowerment podcast. I’m your host, Sofie, and for this episode, we are joined by Diamond Drip to discuss how to be a solopreneur.
Diamond is a Business Advisor and Life Enhancer in Maryland, USA. With a diverse background in Visual Communications, Digital Marketing, and Alternative Wellness, Diamond brings a unique blend of expertise to her work. Her mission centers around empowering seasoned solopreneurs who possess the knowledge but seek guidance in establishing essential systems for sustainable growth.
Diamond also recognizes the significance of addressing mindset challenges prevalent among her clients, ranging from fear and overwhelming and imposter syndrome. One of the hallmarks of Diamond’s approach is her belief in collaboration over competition where she fosters an environment where collaboration reigns and everyone benefits from shared experiences and knowledge.
Please welcome, Diamond Drip. Thanks so much for being with us today, Diamond.
Diamond Drip: Thanks for having me Sophie. I’m so honored to be here.
Sofie: It is such a pleasure to have you on. I would love to start our episode with hearing a little bit about your journey and how you became a solopreneur and business advisor.
Diamond Drip: Yeah, for sure. So for me, I turned to entrepreneurship out of necessity. I had just signed a twelve-month lease for my first apartment with my daughter who was 3 at the time. And as I was bringing in the U-Haul boxes, I got a phone call and they basically told me that the job that I thought was going to bring me the security that I needed to afford this lease, yeah, that wasn’t happening. So I was told that I would be, you know, eligible for unemployment but I looked into unemployment and it really didn’t meet the needs of what I desired at that time. So I did like Uber and Grubhub and I realized that I was doing a lot of work. I still had to worry about taxes and self-employed wasn’t where it was at so I figured, you know, if I’m going to have to worry about taxes anyway, then why not start my own business. And so that’s really where I got my start about four years ago and it’s been a journey not could lie. There’s a lot of spaghetti testing. There’s a lot of trial and error. There’s a lot of trying to see what will work for you and learning when it doesn’t and after three years of, you know, going in alone, lone woofing it – I’ve came across sales training where I met my mentor and since then things have really just been looking up. It’s an honor to have such support as an entrepreneur because it’s a very lonely – Um, it’s a very lonely path, unfortunately.
Sofie: Yeah, thank you so much for sharing that with us. I think it’s definitely something that I know I’ve felt many times – um, and I know a couple other people who are in the entrepreneurship track and are working on starting their own nonprofits, their own businesses and – and yeah, it’s – it’s a very lonely feeling because there’s just a, so much stress that comes with it first and foremost and also, it’s a very different headspace that you operate in compared to when you’re not an entrepreneur just because you wear so many different hats at one time and it can be a very overwhelming feeling. And speaking of different hats as a solopreneur, you wear so many different hats and I’m curious, how do you manage the various aspects of your business, such as that visual communications, digital marking, alternative wellness, your business strategy; all of that – all with one person?
Diamond Drip: Oh, the answer is very simple. I do not. I have an assistant who helps me with some of the things that I consider – so there’s two types of tasks when in business. There’s the high value task, which is like meeting with clients coming up with strategy. And then there’s like the low value task, which is like answering repetitive emails or posting to social media, scheduling out those posts. Like you come up with the content yourself of course because you want to be authentic to your brand and you want your brand to be authentic to you but the actual, you know, getting on buffer and uploading the pictures and uploading the captions – that can be done by someone else. And so I utilize or am utilizing my assistant in a better way these days. It was a little hard at first, trying to figure out what to delegate, but once I kind of got into the rhythm of what I’m doing within my business, it became easier.
Sofie: Yeah, I have had that feeling a few times, especially when you get help and it’s almost like you don’t want to use them because you’re so used to doing everything yourself that it’s just – “wait I don’t want to use my assistant; I don’t want to use my other team members because I know how to do this. You know I’ve been doing this for so long by myself. I know I can do by myself – wait, no I can’t that’s why I brought new team members on. Hold on, what?”
Diamond Drip: Pretty much.
Sofie: Exactly! And I just realized for anyone that’s listening to this that is not aware of the phrase solopreneur, would love if you could explain that phrase a little bit Diamond and what that means to you?
Diamond Drip: Yeah, so for some people when they think of entrepreneurs or the word CEO, they think of like that big wig who’s in an office just like telling people what to do because they’ve like made it at this like boss level but not everyone is an entrepreneur is that vision with a team and an assistant even. Some people are just them. So for example, a health coach who is helping people get their diets right but they don’t have an assistant. It’s just them and whatever tech app that they’re using. That’s a solopreneur because as a health coach they have to be responsible for their billing. They have to be responsible for the customer service. The actual like coaching piece. They have to be responsible for marketing and imagery. Like they wear all of the hats but it’s just this one person.
Sofie: Yeah. I think that’s – that’s a great definition there and – and I liked your example in explaining a solopreneur because I know when I first came across the term, I was very unfamiliar with it. But it happened to be that where I was in my nonprofit at that time, when I came across the word, I realized, oh my gosh – I’m a solopreneur. Oh, this makes a lot more sense now when I explain what I do and how I do it. So definitely I’m a big fan of that word I think it’s – It’s fun and it’s a great way of trying to provide almost a sense of context or some sort of context to when someone talks about what they do for work. Especially if they’re in that entrepreneurial headspace, it’s very helpful for our listeners to know what we mean when we talk about it. Speaking of solopreneurs, you work with so many in your capacity as an advisor to them and I’m curious, what is the most common struggle or pain point that you see with the solopreneurs you work with?
Diamond Drip: Yeah, the most common pain point that I see is just that they’re trying to get visible. They know that they need to be on social media, but they’re not really sure what that looks like. They think that they have to put on this like persona in order to please the algorithm. And you have to post every day twice a day and again, when you have other facets of business to focus on like the actual customer service piece, like head of marketing, is an actual job that you can hire at someone’s company and that’s a full-time job. And this one person is trying to do all of these full-time jobs. So again one of the biggest struggles that I’ve seen them is getting visible because they’re trying to do so many other things that something is going to fall through the cracks. And so for me, an example that I – I like to use simply because I do have a degree in visual communications – like the graphic design part was easy for me. Like sure, coming up with a bunch of posts at once, using chat GPT a little bit to come up with some quotes that maybe I wouldn’t have found on my own. But what was happening was because I was cramming like thirty posts into four hours, like just trying to bang them out. They weren’t the highest quality posts and so quality authentic content is what’s going to get you those eyeballs on social media. Not the animated text posts wishing you a happy Monday or whatever it is that you’re doing just so that you can say that you post it twice a day. So getting visible and being true to like what matters to you, that’s where a lot of my clients struggle.
Sofie: Yeah. I think it’s something that I see a lot of people especially in the nonprofit space, and I’m only speaking from that lens because that’s the environment I know –
Diamond Drip: Um, yeah.
Sofie: But so many people, especially in the nonprofit sector who are working on starting their own nonprofit, it’s not sad to see but it’s hard to see so many wonderful organizations with these impactful missions with forty-seven followers on Instagram.
Diamond Drip: Yeah.
Sofie: I mean – we’re definitely not where we want to be either as a nonprofit in terms of follower count and I know that some people listening to this are like, “why do you care so much about follower count,” but to your point there on, you know, it’s about just people being able to see you. And unfortunately, that follower count comes into it and that follower count as you said is tied to the content that you create. And so the more creativity that you have with that content, the more engaged people become, and – and hopefully that leads to more people following and it’s not good to hear but it’s comforting to hear that, you know, we’re not alone in dealing with that that. Almost everyone especially in that, you know, starting out on that brand new venture phase is struggling with visibility. And I think that’s comforting to – to hear, especially, you know since I pretty much just was in a meeting a couple hours ago, kicking myself for the lack of visibility that we have. I was like, “oh my gosh, I don’t know how we’re going to do this.” So it’s good to hear that it’s – it’s not just us and I think a lot of our listeners that are in that space can find comfort in that as well.
And this ties into my next question because I feel like in the entrepreneurship world, there’s so much competition and part of what you say Diamond is you value collaboration over competition and that’s such a unique approach because you emphasize that community is key. And so could you explain why this philosophy of collaboration over competition is so important to you and how it can actually benefit your clients?
Diamond Drip: Yeah. I believe that collaboration over competition is really important because when you take – and this is like one of the things that I say, when you take your ego out of it a little bit because really – competition ego comes into play a little bit, but when you take your ego out of it and you see it from a place of like serving and just getting to know the other person then you have no idea what doors may open for you or for that person. If you’re just closed off because, “oh they’re in the same industry as I am or oh they have the same title as me,” then you’re not able to build those strategic partnerships or those referral partners.
A perfect example of this is I had a one-to-one with someone and he has coined the term and hashtag reclaim your premium. And he went over a very in-depth explanation of what exactly he does as a insurance advisor, which is not the same as a broker because he did go into detail on that as well, and he did a really good job and so when my aunt was talking to me about how expensive her prescriptions were even with Medicare and AARP supplement, I reached out to Nick. That’s his name and I was like, “hey Nick, I don’t know if this is in your wheelhouse. But this is what’s going on with my aunt, can you help?” And he needed a little more context. I gave it to him and it ended up being a situation where because Medicare was involved, he actually had to refer me to someone who worked specifically with Medicare. Had Nick not embraced the collaboration over competition with this other person, then he wouldn’t have been able to, I feel, strengthen our relationship because that shows me that you’re not selfish. That just because you can’t help, you still want to help and so if you know someone who can help, you’ll refer them. And so I think that if all kind of solopreneurs, even entrepreneurs, even just really anyone embrace this mindset of collaboration over competition, who knows what kind of things could open up opportunity wise.
Sofie: Absolutely and thank you for – for sharing that example there. Yeah, I see so much power in – in just growth and so much power that – that collaboration has on growth. Especially not just as, you know, an organization or a business, but as people. Right? Exposing yourself to, you know, different perspectives to different expertise to people who’ve been in the sector ten years more than you or ten years less than you because there’s so much that you can learn from each person and so, you know, absolutely. I – I loved that – that was part of your bio and that previous conversations that I’ve had with you, that’s always been something that I’ve just seen in your overall approach to everything, is that collaboration over competition. Right?
You’d rather, you know, help someone out to make sure that they’re not making the same mistakes you are or to, you know, provide your expertise because you know that hey there’s something valuable I can add to this conversation rather than, you know, that constant competition for well, you know, I want to be ahead in in, you know, the business advisor space and you’re also in the same field as me and, you know, what there can’t be two of us and you know, I’m going to not help you because whatever, whatever, whatever. So definitely something that resonated with me there. I think something that’s more of a specific question here. I feel like many aspiring solopreneurs really struggle with finding their niche and their target audience and so what advice do you have for them in defining their unique selling proposition and really identifying their ideal targets – basically how do they get focused?
Diamond Drip: Yeah, of course. It’s really just this one thing. You want to focus on the people who you want to affect the most change in. So for me, when I look at my ideal or my perfect prospect dream client. Ideal client. There’s so many different words for it. I think about who is it that I know I can help and when I really did some soul searching it was someone like me. It was someone who is very organized and they are disciplined and they might have some challenges holding them back in my case, my bipolar two depression held me back for a really long time. It – it affected my mindset. It made me believe limiting beliefs that I had about myself and about the things that I had been through in my past. But once I overcame that obviously I started getting visible and I started to talk about it as a part of my journey because I know that I’m not the only one whose depression might be debilitating.
So for me when I think about the person who I want to infect the most change in, it is a woman because I like saying things like the sisterhood and tribe of women and all of those fun things. I do have a couple of male clients, but I love the – the sisterhood embrace. So it’s a woman who is in their like early thirties up to fifties because I know for myself, I use a lot of tech. I use a lot of AI. And once you get past a certain age, you become a little more technology averse. So I know for my perfect client, they’re not going to be in that older age bracket. So it’s a woman, they’re in their early thirties to late fifties and they have a vision. They have a message that they want to get out into the world. They just don’t know how to do it and even when it comes to like, simple things like people say all the time, “you should just be authentic,” they overthink what being authentic means so much so that they don’t act. And so those are the people that I really love affecting change in because they have a message. They just need a little, what is the guarding term – is it pruning?
Sofie: I think so yeah.
Diamond Drip: They just need a little bit and so you know they have the stuff there. The discipline, the organization, the commitment to getting their message out there. They just don’t know how or where to start or what that means for them specifically and so I hope them with that.
Sofie: I think that what you said there I’m – I’m thinking about that strategy process of all right, who’s our target audience and who do we want to affect change in. And I think that’s such a fantastic way of looking at it. All right think through, you know, who you really want to have the most impact on. Maybe it’s someone like you and where you’re at in your life. Or maybe it’s someone – you want to do it on someone that was like you ten years ago and you want to change their life so that maybe they didn’t have the same path that – that you had. And I think that really connecting that as you were saying, makes it a lot easier to be authentic or makes it a lot more – I guess authentic to be authentic. I don’t think – I don’t know if that makes sense but –
Diamond Drip: Yeah, no, it does.
Sofie: – it’s coming from a more authentic place when you’re giving out advice. You’re putting out content around, you know, the services that you provide. Really being able to connect it to who you are, what you’ve been through, where you’re going, the people and the experiences that you’ve – you’ve had, absolutely. I think that that’s such a great way of – of figuring out your – your niche and how to identify your target audience. I’d love to kind of bring us into a well-being space here for a moment because I know with solopreneurship, there’s just so much juggling of everything. Of work, of personal life, of work encroaching on your personal life and so how do you prioritize self-care and maintain a healthy balance between those professional commitments and your well-being?
Diamond Drip: Yeah, so I have a tool that I work with my clients to implement. It’s one of the first things that we do. It’s called the freedom calendar and there’s a freedom schedule that goes along with the freedom calendar if you really are that, you know, attention to detail person. And so basically what the freedom calendar does is it looks at your entire month. It breaks it down into four weeks and what you do is you identify the critical distinctions of when you’re working in your business versus on your business because that’s super important. A lot of us feel like we’re – we’re turning our wills oftentimes as solopreneurs because we’re like answering emails and then we’re on a Zoom call and then we’re doing some admin because this landing page needed to be corrected and then we’re on social media getting back to people because we know that’s important and by the end of the day we’ve done a bunch of stuff, but the things that we really wanted to accomplish that day maybe got put to the side for another fire that came up and we had to put out.
And so what the freedom calendar does it allows you to give yourself a little self-compassion and a little self-grace because for example, I’m looking at mine right now and so on Tuesdays on here I have yoga, networking, and JV chats, training and tailor learning because those are the things that as long as I got those done today, then I can breathe knowing that I accomplished something because if I’m going to yoga that means I’m building community because it’s open to the public. If I’m joining networking calls, that means that I’m creating joint venture partners and possible referral partners. If I’m going to training that means I’m up leveling not only my personal development but also my business knowledge from the mentor that I hired and then Taylor, that’s my daughter. Of course, I want personal things on there too. She isn’t with me all week, so when she comes home, I want to make those learning experiences and fun experiences something that are memorable for her. So if I do the other three things that were on the list, then it should be no reason why I can’t spend time with her. And not only does it plan for the distinction of when you’re working in your business versus on your business, but it empowers you to designate days off. It is one of my favorite things or has been one of my favorite things this summer to just take a Friday off. It’s already planned and go to six flags with my daughter and ride rollercoasters. She’s not tall enough for all the ones I want to get on, but that quality time that we spend together where I just unplug because we’re at six flags…she loves it.
Sofie: Yes, oh my goodness. I had a giant smile across my face there. First off that was so cute. Second of all, I think that that is such a great way of being able to plan out that downtime. I think a trap that I’ve fallen into a lot and I think a lot of other people – not even just solopreneurs but so many people who are working or in school, fall into that trap of, “oh I don’t have any time for myself. There’s no way for me to make time for myself because I’m just so busy all the time. I just – I can’t go to that cooking class that I really want to do because I just don’t have the time. Or I can’t go and take that master class that I want to do, I just don’t have the time. And I love that strategy of actually breaking it down and saying, “you know what I’m going to make the time to do this because I’m looking at my calendar, I see this block of time, that it’s after hours. I technically shouldn’t be working anyways or don’t really need to be working anyways. So you know what, I’m going to designate to have a cooking class every Tuesday at seven o’clock. I’m going to do this until I get sick of it.” And I think that is – sounds so simple yet is so hard for so many people to do because we make those excuses of, “oh I don’t have enough time in the day or I don’t have enough time to – to have time for myself.” But the truth is you do. It’s about making the time, moving some things around, blocking it off in the calendar and, you know, setting that boundary. Right? Of, “hey, I need to do this for me and so I’m going to do this and I’m going to make sure that I have time to spend doing something that I love or I enjoy.”
Diamond Drip: Yes. Yes, exactly.
Sofie: Exactly, amazing. I’d love to connect everything together, Diamond, with a key takeaway for our listeners. So what is one thing that our listeners should take away from this episode?
Diamond Drip: Yeah. I would say to just give yourself a little grace because the moment that I learned how to do that, everything changed for me. I stopped being so hard on myself. I stopped just a lot of things and one of the – one of the quotes that helps me kind of find solace and the chaos of being an entrepreneur is this quote, “comfort and growth can’t coexist.” Every time I get overwhelmed about all of the things that are on my plate, they’re good things. Like they’re not bad things. Like today we’re doing this interview, tonight I have a summit, Thursday I have a workshop. Like they’re good things but when I get overwhelmed, I remind myself that comfort and growth can’t coexist and I take a deep breath into that because I know that if I’m uncomfortable, that means that I’m growing, that my business is growing and that allows me to just kind of like, “okay, okay, we’re growing. Okay. Let’s just relax a little bit.”
Sofie: Yeah, oh I love that. Yes, oh my goodness. The amount of times I’m going to need to tell myself that – for sure I think, yeah absolutely, it’s just one of those again – it’s a trap we fall into or just like oh but, you know, it’s stressful to be uncomfortable. It’s stressful to – to try and grow. It just – it stresses me out and – but there’s so much growth when you get comfortable with the uncomfortable and you understand that you’re not going to have that growth unless you, you know, take a chance and try something different or unless you, you know, change your strategy a bit or – or take time to – to grow as a person. So absolutely and for our listeners that do not want to stop hearing your amazing wisdom, which I am loving right now, how can our listeners connect with you?
Diamond Drip: Yeah, for sure. So everything that you ever want to find me on is Diamond Drip. But if you want a specific place diamonddripconsulting.com has a link that you can hop on my calendar with if you want to do a leadership level up. It’s a 30-minute free call where you bring your biggest business challenge and we’re actually get you some insights on how you can move past it and get unstuck. And that also has all of the links: LinkedIn, Facebook. All of the things.
Sofie: Perfect and also, I will have all of your links in the description box for this episode. So for all of our listeners you can go down to that episode description, check out how you can connect with Diamond, and find a way to talk to her because she’s amazing. I love our conversations so absolutely take advantage of those links and connect with her and Diamond, thank you so much for coming on our podcast. It was such a pleasure speaking with you.
Diamond Drip: It is awesome every time I speak with you Sophie, so it was awesome being here. Thanks for having me.
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