Long-Term Solo Pro Business Staying Power!

by Barbara Saunders

This week, Queen Elizabeth will be celebrating your SIXTIETH year as Queen of England What can Solo Pros learn from her?

Over here in the US we’ve followed the ‘Royals’ with a touch of amusement and a lot of envy. But we have to admit that they’ve got staying power – especially the Queen. She’s the head of the largest family business in the world. How does she do it?

A Few Royal Observations…

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born in 1926 and was not destined for the throne until her Uncle Eddy skipped off with his divorced mistress. She was only 25 when her father the King died. Back then it was decidedly a Man’s World PLUS World War II was in full swing. That’s a tough time to have to step into your own business. Most of us just got laid off a time or two (or four!).
Solo Pro Lessons from the Queen…

Step up and commit. When she was a young bride on her honeymoon, her father – the King – died and Elizabeth flew back home to take over the ‘family business’. She threw herself into the job completely. That wasn’t easy but she didn’t look for a way out or say she’s just rather go get a job where someone else had to make the tough decisions.

Get a mentor. Elizabeth realized early on that she couldn’t do it alone so she surrounded herself with mentors to guide her. In fact, her first prime minster is the only one that she calls by his first name because he helped her find her feet.

Build a team. As for most women trying to make it in a man’s world, she had monumental challenges to face. Elizabeth surrounded herself – and still does today – with a group of trusted, accomplished team members to help her get the job done.

Build a brand. True, the British Monarchy has been around for nearly a millennium – but the changes that have taken place under her rule have been epic. Elizabeth has seen the transition from radio broadcasts to space launches. It’s been essential to remain update and relevant in a rapidly changing world. She’s managed to maintain her ‘brand’ while keeping up with the times. To her credit, she doesn’t attempt to ‘fit it’ but rather bring her own unique brilliance to her station.

Be consistent. One of the greatest things about Queen Elizabeth is that she’s determinedly consistent. With global finances and events raging around her, she remains completely dedicated to her own course and being true to her ‘mission’. She’s aware of what’s going on, she’s does what needs to be done, but she remains completely who she is regardless.

Get out and shake a few hands. Even through she’s in her eighties, the Queen gets out among the people and shakes their hands and listens to them. For some of us, that may be the best lesson of all to take away.

Have your own sense of style. Here in the US we’ve grinned at her hats, but they are integral to her brand. She knows that. She’s completely unconcerned that we don’t wear hats over here. That’s her style and she sticks with it.

Next time you feel a little overwhelmed with your business and want to give up – ask yourself “What would the Queen do?”. She’d probably just get one with it. Of course, slapping a tiara on once in a while wouldn’t hurt.

Author Info: Barbara Saunders is a publication designer and has run a successful solo pro business for more than a decade. She is the Solo Pro Success Coach and the Director of the International Association of Self-Employed Communication Professionals and the Solo Pro Academy. She also hosts the Solo Pro Radio show everyday at 10am Pacific and 1pm Eastern It’s our mission to build community and help creative solo pros build and run successful businesses by providing support, innovation, tools, and strategies. Our goal is to liberate our members from the feast and famine cycle.

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