Cartoonist Jen Sorensen said a solopreneur is a, “captain of an extremely tiny dinghy (boat).” The Urban Dictionary defines a solopreneur as, “An entrepreneur who works alone, ‘solo,’ running their business single-handedly. They might have contractors for hire, yet have full responsibility for the running of their business.” Does this sound like you?
Solopreneurship certainly isn’t a new concept, but its popularity has definitely grown over the past decade. Although the word “solopreneur” is easily interchanged (and confused) with the word “entrepreneur,” there are distinct differences. Both also share some similarities. Nevertheless, just like entrepreneurs, aspiring solopreneurs must possess certain characteristics in order to be well-fitted for the demands and lifestyle inherent in solopreneurism.
Are you a good match for Solopreneurship? Let’s look at some primary characteristics that most solopreneurs possess.
Solopreneurs by very definition go it alone and need no one else to motivate them or get them started. They may seek out advice or counsel, or learn from other sources. But solopreneurs are perfectly content going solo and handling all the chores that are part of starting and running a business. In fact, most solopreneurs prefer to handle the details of their business alone because they view it as their chosen journey to fulfillment.
Solopreneur Arman Assadi puts it this way: “We’re starting to wake up to the idea that there’s more to life than following the path that was laid out for you. We’re starting to wake up and get excited about ideas like loving the work that we do, and being able to contribute something to humanity, to your neighbors, even to your friend. Even if you help one person, people are feeling that sense of fulfillment that comes with it, seeing that it’s possible, and waking up to the idea that this is even possible.”
No one works harder than a solopreneur. Everything in your business depends on you. If anything is neglected, it’s because you neglected it. This includes all the details and boring tasks necessary to running a business, like invoicing, taxes, marketing, and paying the bills. In addition to doing what actually pays the bills, practicing your primary skill or trade that earns the majority of your income.
Entrepreneur John Rampton has a valuable perspective in Entrepreneur Magazine. He said, “While entrepreneurs can work harder than anyone they know, a solopreneur is a worker by his very nature. If a task needs to be done, his first thought is to roll up his sleeves and start working. For this reason, this new generation of freelance workers and sole proprietors have emerged, with professionals content to run a one-man shop with no intention of bringing another person on.”
Many solopreneurs launch their own businesses because they have a great idea that will fit into their chosen profession, or even an innovative twist that will disrupt the industry. Solopreneurs have that inner drive this makes them unwilling to surrender their idea to some company and allow it to reap the rewards of their creative thinking.
If it’s not a new idea, it could be the passion to leverage a marketable skill for your own benefit. Talents and skills that are in demand are ripe for solopreneurship in the current business climate. More and more, companies are realizing the benefits of contracting solopreneur freelancers to perform skilled tasks that they used to handle in-house.
Business advisor Meredith Wood offers this advice: “Whatever the case may be, you want to be sure that your great idea (or skill set) has the potential to move from dream to reality. Ask yourself: what is the differentiating proposition that will allow your business to stand out from the competition and remain viable long term?”
Are you ready to pursue a solopreneur’s journey? Need advice? Contact us at Solopreneur Solutions LLC.
What do you think it takes to become a successful solopreneur? Share your thoughts and opinions with us in the comments!
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