Being a business owner has its ups and downs, but one of the unique and sometimes difficult aspects to being a solo-preneur is the alone-ness of running your own business. While you get to be the one to make the decisions and craft exactly the business you want to create, it’s difficult for anyone who is not a business owner to understand the challenges that are inherent in being the sole person responsible for everything.
You are the one making all of the decisions, and typically doing most or all of the work, including networking, finances, client support, and the like. You may have a significant other or friends who encourage you and gives advice, professionals who take care of various aspects of your work, or employees that you trust to help you with some decisions. But ultimately, everything rests on your shoulders. And it can sometimes feel lonely and overwhelming.
Having a community of other sole-preneurs that are experiencing the same issues and concerns as you is invaluable to your well-being as a business owner. While they may have vastly different businesses than yours, the concerns, learning curve and responsibility of decisions are still the same. Most importantly, the ability to talk about something that is unique to owning your own business is priceless. No one else will understand like another solo-preneur.
The key to success as a solo-preneur is to find other like-minded business owners that you can discuss things with, that will stretch you and that will keep you accountable. Having someone in the same business as you is good for sharing like ideas and possibly co-marketing. But discussing ideas with a business owner who is in a totally different business is just as important. They will bring a diverse perspective based on their personal experience with their business and have an alternate way of doing things. They will also have different strengths than you, which may benefit you by getting ideas and processes that you may not have thought about, or aren’t sure how to implement.
Areas that a community of like-minded business owners would help you
- Creating accountability
- Setting Goals
- Sharing ideas
- Celebrating successes
- Sharing challenges and brainstorming solutions
There are several places to connect with other business owners, either in person or online. Community service organizations such as Rotary and your local Chamber of Commerce have a number of solo-preneur members and many activities to get involved in. Networking groups such as BNI are a great source of networking and referrals, but take a larger commitment of time and money that not all solo-prenuers are willing or able to spend. Business groups, whether in person or online, are often a great way of interacting with other solo-preneurs and being part of a community that will help you build your business, and share your ups and downs.
This interaction and collaboration with other business owners is key to feeling connected to a group of like-minded people that have the same ultimate goal as you – creating a successful business that fits your lifestyle.