When Going Solo Sucks and What You Can Do to Change It

February 2nd, 2011 by | Print

 If you’re like me, one big reason why you decided to become a solopreneur was you were tired of being tied to someone else’s vision … whether a boss’s or a partner’s.


You had a passion, a vision that no one else seemed to share with the same intensity, dedication, and desire that you did. So, why should you marginalize your solopreneur startup by having to answer to someone else, right?


But then, somewhere along the way, you got a case of the lonelies. You missed the energy, the brainstorming, the creativity that others contributed.


For the most part, we are social creatures. We thrive when we interact with other people. In business, interaction keeps our energy up, our competitive nature strong, our accountability in check, our focus laser-like, and our creativity pumping.


So as a solopreneur, what can you do to be part of a group without sacrificing your individuality?


Build your support system.


1. Loved Ones
Always start with your loved ones … and primarily your significant other. Nothing will drain your focus and motivation faster than a partner that is non-supportive. It isn’t that you need your partner to take an active role in your business, but you do need to know that they are willing to give you the time, support and space to accomplish your goals at a minimum. This may include your partner bearing the brunt of the financial burden until you become self-sufficient.


2. Mastermind Groups
If you aren’t familiar with mastermind groups, they typically consist of a handful of other entrepreneurs who have a common energy level and commitment to achievement. The group meets regularly (in person or online) to discuss everyone’s current projects, the problems they’re experiencing for achieving their goals and what they are committed to do about improving their situation. The other group members will share their perspective, provide their insight, and hold each other accountable for their action items. Often, members of a mastermind will pick a project or projects that they can work on together as a joint venture.


3. Networking Professionals
Hopefully, you have set a goal or networking with other solo professionals and small business owners. There can be people that you meet at live events or that you connect with in online forums. People you network with can be an additional source of feedback on your vision, your strategies and your tactics, plus they may become people you partner with on a joint venture or outsource some of your less-than-favorite tasks.


4. Mentors
Mentors give you insight, knowledge, and an additional level of accountability. They provide you with an example of what can be possible if you make the appropriate adjustments to your business model, strategies and tactics.


When building your network of support, you’ll look for people who fill the following 4 roles:

  • Motivators
  • Teachers
  • Partners
  • Cheerleaders

 

And here’s a key to remember: if you want to attract the right people to you and get them to invest their interest, time and energy into your vision you need:

  1. A clear vision
  2. A passion or your purpose and the people that you are helping
  3. Strengths and experience that support why your vision has the likelihood of succeeding
  4. Clearly defined, objective goals
  5. To give back
  6. Clearly communicate the previous 5 element to your support system

 

Being a solopreneur is an extremely rewarding journey. But if you are struggling along the way, invite the motivators, the teachers, the partners and the cheerleaders to get involved.


All the Best,


Doug Dolan
The Solopreneur’s Guide

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