What’s a Solopreneur?
The basic definition of a solopreneur (an amalgamation of the words solo and entrepreneur) is someone who sets up their own business and runs it on their own.
There are a lot of pro and cons to being a solopreneur and the kind of person you are plays a large part in determining if you can succeed as a solopreneur.
A solopreneur is not an entrepreneur. As a solopreneur, you’re everything in your business – quality control, operations, business development, accountant, human resources, driver, office assistant, cleaner, etc.
You’re responsible for making sure everything works & you’re responsible for the successes and the failures. You’re not interested in becoming a large corporation or selling the company down the line.
Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, usually have a lot of outside investment in their business. They have people running all aspects of the business while they focus on building relationships and growing the company substantially.
Neither is better than the other and there’s no competition going on. It all boils down to what fits your personality & what your plans for your future look like to you.
One of the reasons I escaped from the corporate world was because I no longer wanted to be part of a mindless corporation driven by nothing except profit.
There’s a growing trend of solopreneurs as more people are leaning towards becoming financially independent on their own terms. What makes for a successful solopreneur differs for everyone and can be subjective.
However the term plays out in your head, there are some basics every solopreneur requires before they get on the path to calling themselves a successful solopreneur:
8 Points to Consider When it Comes to Being a Solopreneur
1. Is making money your primary focus?
If your primary purpose for becoming a solopreneur is money, prepare to be disappointed. Yes, money is nice and we all like money. However, there’s a bigger picture here.
You found something you’re passionate enough about to go at it on your own. When your focus is on delivering to customers fired by your passion and commitment to your ideas, money is inevitable.
2. Self-motivation is key
You have to have enough passion, drive & focus to power yourself every morning. Only the stellar minded can leave a job that guarantees payment every month for one of uncertainty and guaranteed long hours in the beginning.
As a solopreneur, you will not make money all the time and if you do, it won’t be the same amounts. There are low & high seasons. You need to have enough faith in yourself and your ideas to keep going.
3. Do you like your own company?
If you don’t like working in large groups or prefer working alone, solopreneurship should work for you. It doesn’t mean you’ll stop interacting with people completely.
You still need to collaborate, form partnerships and network as required. However, most of the time, it’ll just be you in your quiet office doing your thing. A lot of people don’t like that and prefer the hustle & bustle of a noisy office environment.
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4. Can you multitask like a boss?
Like I said above, you’re everything in your business. For instance, You can’t start an online store because you like making knick-knacks then not want to do anything else except make knick-knacks.
There are many other things that will require your attention in order for the business to grow to the point where it replaces a full-time income. You should be able to juggle all these things effectively.
5. Automation & outsourcing
You can’t be a control freak as a solopreneur. There are only 24 hours a day and you need at least 8 of them to sleep. You will have to learn how to automate as much as possible and outsource the more mundane tasks.
6. Flexibility & adaptability
Are you flexible & adaptable? Sometimes, you will need to adjust along the way if something isn’t working according to plan. I did this midway through last year.
The awesome thing about this is you don’t have to get together a board or stakeholders to vet the decision. It’s all you, which means implementation is faster.
6. Time management skills
Time management is crucial as a solopreneur. Lost time is money down the drain for a solopreneur. It’s easy to get distracted by Netflix, sleeping in, mucking about and what not.
Creating a schedule of working hours, break times, etc. like a normal job is important. Otherwise, you will find yourself frittering away the entire week.
Your working hours are up to you. Morning – afternoon, afternoon – evening, vampire hours – early morning. My most productive hours are at night. I can work from 10 pm till 5 am without blinking an eye.
Becoming your own boss with no one to answer to can become intoxicating and lead to again, frittering away all your time.
You’d be amazed how quickly an entire day can disappear when you’re trying to get yourself going. Self-discipline is what will help you stick to the schedule above.
Related Content: What Happens After You Come Up With a Small Business Idea
8. Be open to learning
Never think you know everything because you’re running your own business. In fact, it’s the perfect opportunity to learn and soak up as much knowledge as you can from people smarter than you.
Where Can I Find Solopreneur Business Ideas?
So you’re thinking of becoming a solopreneur? Read my previous article on Coming Up with Small Business Ideas & Making Them Yours. It gives some great tips on where to find your idea and where to go on from there once you’ve identified it.
Recommended Reading for Intending Solopreneurs
If you’re looking to become a solopreneur but need some motivation or ideas to fund your plans, I recommend these books:-