#26 5 essential consistency systems for solopreneurs

  • How I doubled my revenue every year for ten years
  • How to beat your own monkey brain for long term consistency
  • How to plan in years, act daily, without overwhelm
😍 Something I'm grateful for this week

Today I'll reveal the x5 consistency systems that helped me double my income from my one person business for x10 years in a row.

For 10 years I struggled to turn my side hustle into a full-time income.
I would set grand goals, with specific targets (usually monetary), inspired by figures from my latest favorite guru on Instagram.
I’d then set off at 100mph only to inevitably fail to meet my impossibly high milestones.

What the gurus don’t tell you:
Big lifestyle changes don’t happen in weeks.
You must keep yourself on the right path for a long time.

What I didn’t realize until much later….
is that despite failing to meet my goals,
I was inching myself in the right direction,
even if I was taking a few wrong turns along the way.

Looking back, I can see my revenue roughly doubling every year for more a decade,
but for more than 10 years my income was so low that I saw these figures as a failure, instead of a sign of success.

This is why modern obsession with grand goal setting is misleading.
Setting goals and targets without actions that take you there is nothing more than wishful thinking.

Setting grand, unrealistic goals didn’t help me change my life,
in fact, they only made me feel like shit for failing to meet them.

What changed things for me was when I stopped setting grand goals,
and started building simple systems instead.

Exciting Goals get me going.
Especially when you make them specific.
I’m always pumped up about taking them on…
But it is not long till the enthusiasm wears off,
I lose enthusiasm and seek some new goal to chase.

Systems won’t get my heart pumping,
but they keep me plodding on day after day,
Consistently chipping away at the boring stuff,
Until everyday actions compound into exceptional results.

Maybe you’re like Hormozi and you just “work harder”, “push through” or some other hustle culture BS.
But I want to have a life outside of work, so I use systems.

Small daily actions will have a far bigger impact over your lifestyle than setting grand goals chasing them hard for a week and in reverting back to the norm.

You do not rise to the level of your goals,
you fall to the level of your systems
– James Clear, Atomic Habits

This is how you win.
You just outlast your willpower,
And everyone else’s too.

By building systems for consistency
By focusing on doing instead of outcomes.
By doing the same stuff every day,
long after others have given up.

Today I’m going to show you x4 reasons why you need a checkin system,
and subscribers also get instant access to my x5-part solopreneur review template

youtube video thumbnail consistency review system

x5 part solopreneur checkin system..

Steal my complete template for daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual reviews.

There’s x4 reasons why regular reviews will help you grow to the next level of solopreneurship:

  1. Multiply your outputs
  2. Build momentum
  3. Hold yourself accountable
  4. Cultivate staying power
  5. Celebrate your progress

1 Multiply – Harness the power of the compound effect for a one-person business

Consistency and resilience are the key skills most people lack in modern times our focus has been eroded by convenience, distractions, and addictions.

We live in a distracting world.
Most successful people are just the ones who were willing to do things for a long time, even when it seemed like they weren’t working.

“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in 10 years.”
– Bill Gates

The important bit is sticking to them long enough for these tiny incremental gains to stack.
This is known as the compound effect.
To illustrate this consider the fable of the magic penny, which I first remember reading about in the Compound Effect by Darren Hardy:

Imagine you are given the choice of £100k,
or a magic penny that doubles in value every day.


The insane thing is that the earlier you start, the bigger the results:



Taking the £100k payout = Goal setting, hustling & growth hacks

Work harder, chase the money, and you shall get a little money in your pocket now. But that’s it.

The magic penny = Consistency and systems

Sacrifice now for delayed gratification. Work smarter. Spend time building systems and think long-term.
The payoffs are immeasurable and limitless.


Think this is all exaggeration and theory?
I wrestled with whether to post this publicly, because I find talking about money cringe.
But I think it’s important to illustrate this point.
So here’s my revenue for Design Hero:


A few things worth noting:
This is revenue not profit.
The magic penny in my business was me. I couldn’t keep doubling myself.
So I doubled my output by building effective systems.
But my time is now maxed.
I can’t make up any more of it so although growth continues, my doubling trend has ceased.

I can continue to increase leverage and revenue by charging more or doing less, but there is limits to this as well.
Where does this leave me?
With enough money. With free time to do what I want.

Looking back, I can now easily see my revenue roughly doubling every year for more a decade,
but at the time, most of these figures looked like crushing defeat to me.
for more than 10 years my income was so low that I saw these figures as a failure.
Only through the lens of time, do these become a sign of compounding success.

Compound Success = Choices + Habits + Time

2 Build Momentum – Become bulletproof to distractions

If you want to pursue the route I’ve outlined above,
You will need consistency.
You will need willpower.
You need staying power.

But even that is not enough.
Even if you think you’re on track, you are probably straying.

We live in a distracting world.
We are all infallible humans running with only a soft pink sponge to guide our actions.
Our monkey brains are outdated hardware not built for our modern environment.
Our brains suck at long-term thinking and constantly seek novelty:

“just try not to look at this banana! 🍌”

You looked, didn’t you?
You silly monkey.
Just by putting that line in a quote box, I introduced a novel element, so your eye is sucked towards the banana.
There’s my 15 years design experience finally paying off 🤣

The world is a distracting place.
This is why you need systems to stay consistent.

I’ve talked before about lifestyle design steering the trajectory of your life:
Make small changes for big results.
It’s the principle that underpins my whole coaching programme.
So I’m gently helping silly monkeys to go beyond the limitations of our biology,
and act more like the thinking, sentient beings that we are.

Now imagine sailing from New York to Scotland.
If you steer off by just 1 deg you could miss and hit Sweden.
This wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world…
For one, the weather is better in Sweden.

But if your goal was to sail to Scotland, then you’ve failed.
This is why boats have a compass.
Your compass is a self-checkin system for solopreneurs, that keeps you moving in the right direction day after day,
and to adjust your course on a regular basis.


3 Accountability – Always working on the RIGHT things.

There’s another reason why you need a checkin system:

Self Accountability

IN a 9-5 you have a boss breathing down your neck,
someone setting targets and deadlines you have to meet.
As a solopreneur you only have yourself.

There is a point in any project or endeavor,
Where you make quick gains at the start,
you feel like you’re winning,
then suddenly you hit the hump.

It’s like driving a car.
easy to get to 30 mph.
just a little bit harder to get to 60mph
much harder to get to 70mph

This is where most people give up.

Success is doing the same things up to the point where you lose momentum, then carrying on.
Carrying on until the next paradigm shift or breakthrough
every long-term project has multiple humps.

At this point, shiny object syndrome normally kicks in and you move on to something else and start again.
This system will help you realign with your goals and stick to the path

Your health, wealth and happiness
are largely determined by
the habits you repeat ever day
– James Clear, Atomic Habits

4 Consistency – Cultivate staying power

Hacks are easy consistency is hard.

Everyone wants to skip to the end,
It’s why supplements and diet pills always outsell the gym.
The latter takes effort and time.
Hacks are easy, Wisdom is hard.

Speed sells, so social media blasts us with content promoting speedy success.
You can see this reflected in the content we consume.
Attention economy would have you believe you can change your whole life in a few weeks.

No wonder people turn to hacks!
But there is no shortcut.
The truth is if you want you grow your own business, if you want true freedom, if you want to escape the retrace…
then it takes many years, often working hard for little reward.
This is when your review system steps in to keep you focussed on the doing instead of the outcomes.

5 Resilience – celebrate your progress

Resilience is the no1 skill most people lack for building something long-term.
Reviewing regularly helps you get stay on track for long-term plans.
But it also has a mental health benefit:
Growing a solo business is tough and it can often feel like you’re going nowhere,
You can look back on previous reviews to zoom out and get clarity on how far you’ve already come.

Writing things and saying things help you work things out in a way that thinking alone sometimes fails at.
Reviewing regularly helps you get clarity, adjust your behavior and stay on track for long-term plans.
It’s a form of journaling.

My internal review systems for consistency in a one-person business

Reviewing regularly helps you get clarity, adjust your behavior, and stay on track for long-term plans.
So here’s my system to stay on track so your actions compound every day.
I perform micro reviews and macro reviews.

youtube video thumbnail consistency review system

x5 part solopreneur checkin system..

Steal my complete template for daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual reviews.

Micro Reviews for a Solo Business

  • Daily Review – 5mins
    • I make sure that I’ve done my most important task.
    • I check how I felt about the day.
    • I remind myself of my weekly goal
    • I plan tomorrow
    • I check my daily habits (I use a phone app)
  • Weekly Review – 15mins
    • Set a weekly theme
    • Most important thing
    • next week

Macro Reviews for a Solo Business

  • Monthly Review – 60mins
    • Journalling Reflection questions
    • Business admin
    • Review marketing strategy
    • Review financials
    • Review team training
  • Quarterly Review – 60mins
    • Review big-picture tasks
    • Review schedule
    • Make sure daily actions align
    • Reassess priorities
  • Annual Review- (usually over a day or so, more abstract)
    • look back
    • analyze
    • reassess
    • clarity
    • Review life goals. a lot can change in a year.

youtube video thumbnail consistency review system

x5 part solopreneur checkin system..

Steal my complete template for daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual reviews.

x5 part solopreneur checkin system..
subscribe for instant access.

💡 Key Insights for solopreneurs

Success takes many years, often working hard for little reward.
It takes persistence, effectiveness and consistency.

Start small.
Repeat for a long time.

You’ll need a system to keep you consistently working on the right things for long periods of time.

🛎️ Daily reminder for solopreneurs

Compound Success = Choices + Habits + Time 

💥 How to take action in the next 5 mins

Add daily and weekly checkins to your schedule right now.

Picture of Nicholas Robb

Nicholas Robb

Founder, Design Hero
Author of Life by Design

Ready to...
Win your freedom? Put life before work? Grow a solo business? Redesign your life? Systemize your business? Gain back time? Quit the rat race?

Subscribe for simple systems for solopreneurs you can use right now to redesign your life, and build a 6 figure lifestyle business around it.