Just what is a Solopreneur?
I don’t think the word has quite made it to the Oxford English Dictionary yet but Solopreneur is a pretty important word in my world.
It means that you are “A person who sets up and runs a business on their own.”
It means that you do everything for your business – from the marketing to the cleaning and everything inbetween and that doesn’t even touch on the thing you’re actually supposed to be doing in your business – you know the stuff you get paid for!
I have been a solopreneur for about a decade now – first as a photographer and for the last couple of years as a coach.
And honestly, I thought it was going to be easy. I thought it was going to give me the lifestyle I dreamed of without having to put in too much effort. I was ready to work but not kill myself for my business!
After all, I saw loads of overnight successes – people who just seemed to arrive in my inbox one day being this massive superstar and they didn’t appear to have put much effort in. Why did I have to??
I knew what I needed.
It was just to get in front of a few people and then word would spread and I’d be this amazingly busy business woman all whilst being a great Mum, wife and having an immaculate house next to the sea so I could wander out of my door and feel the water on my feet…
I was wrong.
Being a solopreneur is a tough TOUGH job at times. You have to know what you’re doing in every little detail of your business.
The jobs of a solopreneur
- do the thing that you get paid for
- be your social media manager
- design and implement your website
- create content for your blogs
- be a branding expert
- run your accounts
- answer all calls and emails within 5 minutes or risk losing the business
- work 24-7
- clean your office
Whilst you’re building your business from scratch, you literally have to do all of those things or spend money you haven’t earned yet paying someone else to do them for you.
And on top of all that, you have to stay sane enough to be able to cope with the stress of it all, work through any mindset crap that’s thrown your way whilst building a business, AND be able to come up with great business ideas and concepts that are actually going to make you some money.
Worse of all, you’re doing all of this on your own so you have to motivate yourself to push yourself further every single day…
I’m not going to lie. Anyone who tells you that you can build a successful business in 30 days is full of sh… rubbish. It’s simply not that simple!
What to do?!?!
What do these successful people do that help them so much?
They get help. And I don’t say this because I’m a coach for solopreneurs. I say it because it’s what I did to get two businesses off the ground and up and running.
There are loads of ways you can get help:
- Online courses
- Watching a million YouTube videos
- Reading self-help / business books
- Mentorship / Coaching
- Talking it through with people who have been there
- Joining groups of like-minded people
- Journalling / Self-Reflection
- In person events
- Seminars / Webinars
- Audio Programmes
- Reading blogs
Where to start
I’d highly recommend doing ALL of the above. Find the ones which work for you and stick with them…
If you’re just thinking about setting up a business of your own, then research is key for now. Write down your idea and go out there and talk to people about it and see what they say. Do an online questionnaire and pop it in some groups to see what your ideal client thinks. If there’s call for it, you know you’re on to something.
Having confidence in the service that you want to provide is a absolute essential foundation to starting your own business and something that a lot of creatives I know get wrong. It’s not about what you want to provide, it’s about what your clients wants to buy. There’s no business if you don’t have clients.
If you don’t know who your ideal client is just yet, make one up but think of a type of person that you want to work for and go from there but don’t just aim to help everyoneor anyone because you’ll end up helping noone.
write everything down
I cannot stress this one enough. Write down all your ideas and thoughts and fears and worries and challenges because if you keep them all stored in your head, you’ll forget the important things and you’ll fill your mind with crap that will just overload you! Get it all out on paper and allow your mind to be free of it. You know it’s there for when you need it and if you don’t, it was just taking up brain space anyway.
go for it
Once you’ve got your idea and you’ve done your research, now’s the time to start going for it. Need a website, go build one, there’s loads of cheap hosting out there and great templates that you can use to make it look professional without having much of a clue.
Get out and tell people about what you do. Network. Call people. Email your friends and family and let them know what you’re up to. If this throws up some awkward feelings, you know you have some mindset work to get through. Challenge how you’re feeling and why. Really delve deep into who you are as a person so that you can understand why things are stopping you from moving forward.
Don’t try to be perfect. No-one is when they start. You don’t have the media or marketing team behind you. Just be honest with people. Tell people you’re starting and they will get behind you and support you along your journey.
Don’t judge yourself. You’re starting something new. It’s time to get off your high horse and allow yourself to be a beginner again. An amazing book for helping with this is Mindset by Carol Dweck.
You’ve got this! I promise you that the biggest thing that will stop you from making a successful business for yourself will be you. Your fears and worries will get in your way and paralyse your thinking and your actions. STAY STRONG!
Believe that it’s possible, take action every day and you’ll get there.
All the best, Ali x