When can I say "no" as a solo entrepreneur?

What can your customers really expect?

The boss calls after hours and the customer makes herself known, while we actually wanted to concentrate fully on our work. On Sundays, we quickly send an email from the couch and even on holiday we are always available. But why is it like that – and does it have to be like that?

Where does the urge to be available come from?

We don’t always have to startle like meerkats and immediately check when someone intrudes on our email inbox. Let’s face it: we often enjoy the distraction. It’s an easy way to procrastinate on the sly. We also want to please our clients and superiors because we want recognition. We want to be service-oriented and good service providers. But aren’t we the same when we focus on our work?

FOMO – Fear of missing out

Another reason for our urge to be constantly available is four letters: FOMO – the fear of missing out. It is the fear of missing out. FOMO is the term psychologists use to describe one of our deepest fears. If we are not available, not constantly scrolling through social media, then we might miss something, no longer be up-to-date. Our urge to always answer the phone and respond to every email immediately also stems from FOMO. It lights a fire under our butts and almost never lets us rest.

Instead of facing our fear, we get angry at the rude email writer who obviously doesn’t know it’s Sunday. But instead of looking for the responsibility in others, we can also ask ourselves: Why did we check our e-mails again? After all, it is Sunday…


No matter what: You are the boss of your life. You always have the choice and the possibility to influence the situation yourself. Is it OK for you to answer the phone outside of your office hours? Then go ahead. If not, you can set limits – and simply not answer the phone.


There may be projects where you have to be available – even after hours. But you can also make it clear that this is your commitment and that you like doing it – but it is an exception that you like to make as a service-oriented person.


This makes it clear: You need rules – for yourself. Think consciously about what is OK for you, what is feasible and what would take you out of concentration or free time.


For example, when is it really necessary for you to be available? And for whom? Set limits for yourself and your clients and make it clear when you are happy to be there for others.


Sometimes it can be useful to consciously switch off the phone and the inbox. Deep Work can help to complete projects in a more focused and efficient way.


Think about where the boundaries are between your private and professional life. Especially when you work from home as a freelancer, the boundaries quickly become blurred. Allow yourself to really have a break from work.


How to deep work

Freelancers in particular often find themselves in a dilemma: no one is watching their backs, so they can work freely and creatively – and procrastinate to their heart’s content. The catch: output and thus hourly wages are steadily decreasing while we mindlessly scroll through social media instead of working productively.

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How to create a persona

When you’re building a blog or relaunching a website, it can sometimes feel like you need a crystal ball: What language style is right? What interests the audience – and who is the target group? Personas can help you get to know your target group better.

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