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Recently, an acquaintance learned that I had my own business and asked me, “Are you a doer or a seller?” I had to explain that as a solopreneur, I’m both, plus HR, IT, and finance. I’m the mail room, the marketing department, and the one who chases you down if you don’t pay your invoice on time. (30 days, people! Come on!)

Here’s what I do in a typical week:

A One-Woman Show

  • I approach potential clients and follow up on leads.
  • I help clients and potential clients figure out what they need and how I can help.
  • I design studies, choose methodologies, and work with fielding vendors to negotiate pricing.
  • I write proposals, selling clients on all the great work I want to do for them.
  • I develop questionnaires and explain why a particular approach is best.
  • I oversee fieldwork and monitor quotas, incidence, and survey length.
  • I moderate focus groups and interviews, while juggling input from clients.
  • I use data to tell stories that inform my clients’ actions.
  • I hire and manage field vendors, note takers, transcribers, analysts, and any other freelancers or contractors that I use.
  • tweet, blog, and network.
  • I write pieces for academic and professional journals.
  • I teach Questionnaire Design on Skillshare and at the University of Michigan.
  • I do my own bookkeeping (thank you, Freshbooks!) and pay invoices from my vendors and subcontractors, and all the bills for the expenses associate with running my business.
Wow. No wonder I’m so tired!
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