So we have all heard of Entrepreneurs but the reality is many entrepreneurs really act like solopreneurs at times – and to be honest many websites (and solopreneurs) seem to glorify the position but the truth is it only generally leads to an unsustainable business model and is unfulfilling.
What is a solopreneur?
Its an entrepreneur who tries to do everything themselves.
How can you spot one or know if you are one?
- Often seen taking on way too much and not focusing on what they do best.
- Working endless hours on their projects alone with no real support or shared office
- Their website and businesses are named after themselves
- They sometimes forget to eat or shower because they are so caught trying to keep up
- They are consistently feeling like there isn’t enough business or things are going to get better or easier right after “blank”
- They rarely ask for help or support
- They try and do everything from accounting – prospecting – billing – their websites – and copy – their social media – booking and an endless list of items.
Now I get it. I really do because for the longest time I myself was a Solopreneur.
In fact I would say that up until even very very recently I would have qualified as such in at least some aspects of my career. You see what I use to say to almost stray from this internally or attempt to rationalize my the reality was: “I work with others” as (solopreneurs do interact with clients or people) – but the truth was that that others weren’t part of what I worked on.
But let’s real talk for a second here.
To start your own business there is a whole lot of pride and guts and the most dependable person in the world to do all these tasks is yourself right? You are the person who can and will make this happen and you really know what is best for your business correct? If you could do it than you should – because it saves money right?
Is it really though? Are all these statements true?
Or perhaps the truth is you have a hard time asking for help – or at least in taking the time to slow down and examine what is happening with your business – life and big projects. Why should someone who is a solopreneur really consider teaming up with others?
The harsh reality is nobody has ever made it as a solopreneur.
(Even Han Solo Had Chewy)
That pun deserves a share on this post!
All the names of people we know today despite seemingly being satellites of entrepreneurs we look up to also have the world’s best and brightest working right alongside them. Steve Jobs – Elon Musk – Richard Branson – Oprah – Tony Robbins. None of these characters made it to the top just using their name and their own two hands and feet. They all created key relationships and partnerships with others which really enabled true success.
Let’s face it – we can build a much bigger pie to eat from if we are numerous people participating in baking it in the first place.
Everyone eventually grows wise enough to know that the only way to grow a business in this world is to team up with people who are wiser and smarter than you in their own domains and that for you to focus and grow and even be known you will need to end this Solopreneurship mindset you have.
But the question is how? So many Solopreneurs are out roaming the earth looking for more support but what is the best way to get it?
Here are 8 simple tips to exit solopreneurship:
I. Ask for Help & Help Others
The easiest way to get help on your projects is to not only ask for it but to help others as well. Win-Win scenarios lead to much more opportunity even from an individualistic perspective but I definitely challenge you to as a solopreneur to consider asking people to help out or join in on the action. This humbleness will go a long way into making you excel at what you do.
II. Identify, Reach Out and Accept Mentorship
A solopreneurs ego might sometimes stand in the way of being humble enough to realize that there are people in this world doing exactly what we are trying to do with more experience and success than us and we should as oppose to compete and adopt a scarcity mindset – instead actually reach out and ask for mentorship. Mentorship also can be for fields or areas that you might not be even focusing on but on helping you achieve other elements of your career or business life including even just a better balance with your personal relationships or your health and fitness.
III. Join Masterminds
Masterminds are a huge effective and efficient resource for being able to not only get some feedback on your ideas and challenges but also help others with theirs. If you haven’t heard of what Masterminds are visit our page on that here and consider joining ours. I have found Masterminds to be very valuable – and they are also quite flexible and easy to jump in and out of (don’t do such selfishly).
IV. Attend Great Events With Peers
Best way to find sidekicks in your superhero endeavours is to rub elbows with them at the best events out there. I find sites like Conferize very interesting for such but truth is there are tons of things happening all over the map each and every day of the year and all you need to do is show up – provide value and be honest about where you can use some support.
V. Hire Smarter People Than You
Collective wisdom says “if you are the smartest person in the room then you are in the wrong room” and I like to live by this myself. Now yes I know “smartest” is completely subjective but it isn’t the point here. What I’m saying is surround yourself with people who know more than you on a variety of topics and you will be surprised how much of that genius finds its way into your cranium as well.
VI. Relinquish Power and Responsibility
Surely the toughest thing on this list is the one where I tell you you should be giving away your power and executive decision rights to others because until and unless you do – others will not truly join your cause and treat it like their own. Giving up responsibility seems scary but its also liberating and allows you to carry less baggage and spend more mental energy and time doing the things you do best for your projects. At the end of the day – a plumber is best doing plumbing and not doing paperwork – so this same logic surely applies to what you do too.
VII. Adopt a Business Model with a Higher Purpose
This to me is a must in my books but perhaps is something you should consider in your story too. For me business isn’t just about making a stable income but really about changing the world or tackling something be it big or small and really having an impact. I believe ROI is better suited to be measured as “Ripple of Impact” versus return on investment and I believe the businesses that truly commit to this 100% actually get much better results in both versions of ROI in the long run as well.
Tangibly what this often means is that perhaps your business should operate under a brand – mission statement and ideals that are bigger than just you. It’s very hard for people to feel like they are truly a part of the team if the name of my company was “Marc Angelo Coppola Consulting” and thus by design I actually stray from that to better allow for scalability plus to really highlight that all of this isn’t possible without the team of awesome people I work with consistently.
Last but not in any way least is co-creation. What I mean by this is you know that moment where you have an idea and you want to tackle it? Well right after that moment perhaps you should consider not only the question of how should I do this but also – with whom should I do / share this with? I think – scratch that know this mentality goes a long way in making ideas come to life as well as better fleshing them out before they see daylight and thats a good thing.
End of the day you should invite others to be part of your big ideas – it will help them develop and will enable you to build real relationships and partners versus people who are kept at arms length from your ideas.