I don’t believe in this solopreneur garbage, er… stuff/idea?!?
You think I’m crazy? Let me tell you why…
First things first, why in the world would anyone in their right mind ever want to work solo? Anyone who is a successful entrepreneur knows that there’s no solo in success.
I can feel ears burning and sense cheeks getting red – don’t hate – just listen for a minute. I’m not here to make you angry, trust me on that one. I am here to make a point and frankly try and sway any hopeful solopreneur adventurers into a more sustainable, scalable way of running a business as a plain, old entrepreneur – sans the solo.
What is a Solopreneur?
By definition: a one person business. No employees, no team, nada, zip, zilch with the exception to the occasional contractor, I’ll touch on that a bit later. Solopreneur, by mere definition, is a recipe for disaster. (Unless you have some great information to convince me otherwise.)
Here are three solid reasons why I am convinced that flying solo isn’t going to get you where you really want to go (unless where you want to go isn’t very far…)
Disaster #1: Solo vs. Team
Solo: alone, solitary, by yourself…. loner vs. Team: a group of people with a full set of complementary skills required to complete a task, job, or project.
If that isn’t enough to convince you otherwise then maybe this will:
Why would someone venture into the crazy world of business alone? Is there some kind of million-dollar award I don’t know about that accompanies a self-proclaimed solopreneur? Is there a badge of honor for working alone or a hall of fame?
Regardless, it just seems like the first step into a very miserable, short-lived venture. Not because I think that being a socialite or life of the party is the only way to go, it has plenty of drawbacks too. But seriously, please consider this:
I understand working alone. I do a lot of that when I’m writing, brainstorming, planning. My home is my office – I love it that way. I however, am no solo. Although I’m often ‘alone’ while I work, it’s the team that’s behind me that makes my business what it is. I can’t imagine how much my business would suffer if I thought I could do it all by myself!
Look, it’s an adventure when you step into the world of entrepreneurship for the first time or the fiftieth time. It’s the world of bootstrapped success and failure. It hurts and it heals. It crushes and builds. It’s a whirlwind and to make it a successful one, you have to be able to leverage the resources you have – no matter how non-existent they seem to be – to build a solid foundation if you really want to taste success.
What About the Contractors?
Job-to-job contractors aren’t a team. Contractors are GOOD. Don’t misinterpret. They are fabulous for some things, but nothing, absolutely nothing takes the place of a good, solid long-term assistant or team member. Whether they are part-time or full-time, it doesn’t matter, as long as they are integrated into your business for more than just a temporary job. Think of the time and money you spend searching for the right contractor, the resources you use to train them on what you want and the products they create and then leave you with no real long-term investment, little support and you have to start all over again every time you hire one.
Maybe you feel like you can’t afford the extra labor, I say you can’t afford not too.
If you’re choosing contracting just because you don’t think you can afford someone long-term then you’re doing yourself a disservice. Again, not because contractors are bad, in fact they are very good in the right place and time, but because you owe it to yourself to invest more in your business. Piecing and patching things together isn’t the way to start.
You need at least one person who is dedicated to be your right hand, go-to, get-it-done assistant. It will completely alter your productivity level in a very good way. You shouldn’t try and shoulder everything until you feel confident enough to hire someone. That leads us into the second disaster…
Disaster #2: Burnout
Do you really want to be a work-a-holic? Did you know that getting a business off the ground doesn’t require your attention 24/7? It will require attention 24/7, but it doesn’t always have to be yours! I started my first business in 2004. I tried to solo it – it was the stupidest thing I have ever done. After eight months of slave labor and being afraid to leave my business for more than 30 minutes at a time I realized that something had to give. I hated my business. I hated my life and I seriously couldn’t think straight at that point anyway. I was completely overwhelmed and my business was suffering.
Enter a great friend and smart risk-taker, John Jonas. He showed me what I could do with a team. He helped me realize that it wasn’t about hiring later, when I felt I could ‘afford it.’ It was about hiring now so that I could get things done and grow the business. Fortunately I took his advice out of desperation and moved forward to get help from outside, even though I felt totally trapped and strapped.
With his encouragement, I got help. I ended up hiring three part-time assistants. My sanity returned. My productivity level shot through the roof and we sold the ailing business for a chunk of change 18 months later. It was definitely worth it.
Disaster #3: Your Investing in Yourself
It sounds counter-intuitive, I know. But if you want a business that’s scalable AND profitable, you can’t invest everything in yourself and yourself in everything. Not only will you burnout, but you’ll also start to become disillusioned. When the only insight in your business is you, you start to spin the wheels, not in a good brainstorming kind of way.
The ideas get stale. Growth stagnates. You aren’t producing like you could be.
Wagering on your own ability to successfully run a company alone is a big gamble. It’s a lot of pressure, unnecessary pressure. Don’t ‘put your eggs all in the same basket,’ by over investing in you and your superhuman ability to get everything done to run your business successfully.
Give yourself a break. Cut yourself some slack. Get someone to help you so that you can focus on the revenue generating aspects of your business, not just floating it while it runs you into the ground.
So to wrap it up, you’ve got to have a team to avoid burn out and grow your business.
You agree, right?
Unless of course you like pro bono work and never ending work weeks, then maybe solo is your style. Just don’t cut yourself short because you think that solo is the only way to go until you ‘make it big.’
Make sure to tap into the complete series from this week. I’ll give you tips, assignments and information that will get your marketing on the right track. You can access the complete series here.
Now get out there and MAX that opportunity to grow your business and empower yourself. Send me your questions Twitter: @weMAXthat or #MAXthat
I dare you
Are you strapped for cash? Are you solo only because you don’t have a hope in the world to afford a team? No worries, I get it. Here is how I started my first team. It’s affordable, it’s long-term and it’s awesome. John will teach you everything you need to know to make it work for right around $15 a day. I know it’s real; my team is living proof. You can learn more about it right here –> Hiring Genius: How to Hire the BEST Virtual Assistant for less than $15 a day.