There is one truth about starting a successful solo business: you’ll need plenty of mentoring and coaching. The challenges and obstacles facing a solopreneur are much different from those facing an employee.
You’ll need to break the chains of your current lifestyle and eventually liberate from your 9-5 job. Doing it nilly willy won’t work. You’ll need to follow an action-oriented game plan to create the life of freedom you’ve always dreamed of.
Here are some useful tips from some fellow Solopreneur Ronins I’ve worked with and gotten to know very well over the years. These experienced soloprenuer have “walked the walk” of independence, learned the ropes, made their share of mistakes, and soldiered on to victory.
They are all “senseis” who’ve taught me a lot about what it takes to survive and thrive as a solopreneur.
This post was written by a guest contributor. Opinions his/her own.
MichaelFrey (Sensei_iaido.jpg) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Think like a business owner instead of as an employee
The hardest thing for a solopreneur to do is to learn how to think like a business owner instead of as an employee. There are a myriad of different skill sets required and the most important skills are marketing and sales.
In the U.S., business failure rate is near 80% within five years of launch and of those that fail 70% will be in the first twenty four months.
Solopreneurs cannot take a lot of time to focus on administrative tasks and product or service creation. Businesses must market and sell in order to be successful. The hard part is learning how to market the product to the customer through attraction instead of just hunting for sales. I recommend that any business owner, especially a first time business owner, build their foundation of their business on the following questions:
- What tangible values do your customers experience after they have bought a product or service from you?
- What problems did each tangible value specifically solve? Don’t be stingy here, there could be five or there could also be hundreds.
- Who are you specifically solving each problem for?
- How is your product or service a solution?
When you do this type of grueling work you will discover very quickly what business you are “really” in.
Don Purdum consults and coaches businesses on how to resonate and connect with their audiences through marketing and sales. I am an author, blogger and speaker. Don’s Website: Unveil the Web
Make sure you build your business around something you love
My best piece of advice is to make sure you build your business around something you love. You’re going to be living and breathing this stuff for years and if you don’t love it, you’ll never get past square one.
However, this needs a bit of explaining. I don’t love everything about what I do and I didn’t love everything about what I did when I started out. But I did love a part of it – and that’s important.
When I started to make money by doing one thing (web design for clients) I started to branch out into other things (creating courses for entrepreneurs). I found I could pivot my business towards things I enjoyed even more.
So, when you start out, make sure there’s one part of the business you really love and work to develop that part.
Rob Cubbon is an Amazon-bestselling author, online teacher, graphic designer and all-round good guy who wants freedom for you and success for your business. Rob’s Website: Rob Cubbon Dot Com
Learn to multi-manage your multiple tasks
Picture a solopreneur as an Indian Goddess with many hands. For me, it’s a symbol of multitasking, which I think most women bloggers are good at.
Define your tasks and determine whether you have the necessary skills to deal with them. Then you need to carefully plan your schedule, time your tasks, and distribute your work so that everything is taken care of because it’s only you who’s to work, as there is no one else to do it for you. (Of course, you could always get a VA to help you, and that would be a smart thing to do, if you can afford it.)
Learn to multi-manage your multiple tasks and team for producing terrific results in time.
Harleena Singh is a freelance writer and blogger. Quality is my forte, and fascination my domain. Harleena’s Website: Aha Now
Commit to a single strategy and execute
I work with many first time solopreneurs. No matter what niche they’re in, or what their solo business model, there’s always one thing I impress upon them.
That’s the importance of committing themselves to a single plan of action, a single strategy and a single business model. “Committing themselves” means that they need to stick with their plan by working at it consistently over the period of time required to make a meaningful assessment.
Solopreneurs, especially newbies, will tend to jump from one plan to another, this strategy then that, one shiny object after another.
They’ll start out determined to follow one path, but a few days later, they’ll hear about a “better” path to take. So they quickly abandon their original plans, and start in a different direction. Two weeks later, they’re off in a yet another direction.
Get a plan, work the plan, then keep your blinders on. Don’t even assess the results for at least 30 days. Keep your focus on the process, not the results.
Donna Merrill is a Blogging and Social Media Coach, Loving the life I live on the beach. Donna’s Website: Donna Merrill Tribe
Work on your soloprenuer mindset to win big
Working on your mindset is the most important thing by a long shot.
Most of us weren’t raised in an environment where we were groomed to become the powerful creators of our experience that we truly are. We have been instilled with lots of limiting beliefs, and our self-image is usually tarnished to some degree, based on taking as truth, and other negative things others have told us about ourselves. To realize the success you desire in the most joyful way, you have to identify all the potential blocks to it, such as worrying you won’t be able to be successful because no one in your family ever was.
To create the success you desire with the most joy and ease possible, you want to tap into the invisible support system that is the Universe. Do your best to work from a place of inspiration and not force, manipulation and fear.
What we focus on expands, and you want to clearly define what you want out of your business so you can be more deliberate in creating it. You may not know how everything will unfold exactly and that is cool.
Learn to trust your intuition. That is the connection with the ‘big’ you that knows exactly what you want and exactly how to get you there, even if you aren’t sure yet.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer, traveler, animal lover, student of the Universe. Kelli’s Website: Life Made to Order
Overcome the fear of failure
My Top Tip is this. NEVER EVER GIVE UP. Sure, there will be times when you think you are wasting your time. You will think that your dream is too big and unachievable. As my buddy keeps saying, “make achieving your dreams greater than your fear of failure”.
For the past decade my dream has been to become the greatest web developer in Birmingham. I may not be the greatest but I like to think that I am. I have clients all over the globe raving about my abilities. Hell I know of big design firms here in Brum that employ loads of developers that cannot boast a global client base.
Here’s a bonus tip: find something different from your peers and make it yours. Stop following and doing what others are doing. Change the status quo. Find something different to make you stand out head and shoulders above the rest.
Phillip Dews is a Blogger and ‘a Birder with Tweetybirds on the Brain!’ Phil’s Website: Phillip Dews Dot Com
What’s your Solopreneur story?
Need more soloprenuer mentorship, resources and tips? Check out my new book on Kindle: