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The CSpreneur

As a Customer Success Manager or Leader, how do you run your "book of business"?

I've been following a lot of "solopreneurs" lately and it's been making me think a lot about how my behaviour with my customers and teams changed over the years. What's starting to become much clearer to me is the number of parallels between great customer success management and running a solo business.

You might think I'm about to tell you to shut out the rest of the world and ignore everyone so you can focus on yourself; it's the complete opposite. Solopreneurs are probably the best "people people" out there (they have to be to survive) and what sets them apart is how their behaviour ends up helping others.


The solopreneur:

1. Understands accountability

They show up every day without excuses and focus on creating value - because if they don't, nobody will. There's no safety net to catch you when you're on your own, so you're not only looking to create value for today, but for tomorrow as well (and every day after that).

2. Lives in the present

They don't procrastinate - they understand the highest priorities at any given time and deal with them first. Ruthless prioritisation is their #1 habit and it's what stops them wasting valuable time on "busy work" while real fires are burning or opportunities are passing them by.

3. Invests in themselves

They are often incredibly generous people who share a lot of their knowledge for free and have philanthropic goals. But at the same time, they know that if they don't treat their health as a critical priority, they won't achieve their goals or be able to help others.

4. Prioritises learning

They listen without personal bias, talk only when they know they're adding value, read the room to better understand their audience, and invest heavily in self-education to defeat impostor syndrome and develop total confidence that their knowledge and skills have real value.

5. Avoids perfectionism

They live by the Pareto principle ("perfect is the enemy of good") and are prepared to take many small risks (imperfections) to avoid the biggest risk, which is doing nothing. They're also very good at avoiding comparison with others, which is the enemy of learning from others.

6. Understands their market

They don't waste time selling to people who won't benefit from their product. This starts as a very time-consuming learning process, but in the same way they cut "drainers" out of their personal lives, they know that eliminating bad fit customers helps all of their other customers.

7. Has resilience

They're not easily defeated when something they know has value doesn't work the first few times. They iterate, learn, and repeat until it's growing and then automate the stuff that works so they can spend their time on the stuff that needs improvement. What don't they do? Quit when it gets hard.


Are you a CSpreneur?

If you're in a CS role of any sort, its highly likely that applying the attitude, skills and knowledge of a solopreneur will get you closer to the actions and results that your customers and your management want to see from you. It doesn't mean becoming a "lone wolf" - solopreneurs are typically social, generous and invested in their community, and you should be too, especially with your customers and your team.

Think about what will happen when you show up every day with the best version of yourself that you can be on that day, ruthlessly prioritising the things that matter, prioritising "done" over "perfect", and ensuring you're always a value-driver, never a liability. You do this by being present and making the best decision you can about the best thing you can do in this moment.

Be a CSpreneur with your book of business. You're there to create value. Act like there's no safety net. Do the things that matter. Ignore the things that don't. Everybody wins.