By Bond Collective Staff
Becoming a solopreneur and forging it on your own can be a thrilling experience. You’re making your own decisions and putting it all on the line for your new business. But it can also be a nerve-wracking experience for exactly those same reasons. That’s why we’re here to help relieve some of your anxiety.
The experts at Bond Collective created this list of the 11 best tips for solopreneurs so you can stop worrying and move forward with building your business.
Are You A Solopreneur?
Are you a solopreneur or an entrepreneur? The distinction may seem subtle on the surface — and many people use the terms interchangeably — but, underneath, the differences are quite profound.
The most basic definition of a solopreneur is:
A professional who starts a business with no intention of ever adding staff.
We can elaborate on that definition to make it even clearer:
A true solopreneur is a professional who starts and develops a business (with no employees) that is portable, scalable, and produces passive income.
So, the major distinction between a solopreneur and an entrepreneur relates to employees. That doesn’t mean you, as a solopreneur, have to do everything yourself — you might hire contractors or freelancers. But you still hold full responsibility for running your business.
While the presence or absence of employees is the key difference between a solopreneur and an entrepreneur, there are other variables that help widen the gap, including:
Solopreneurs don’t build the business with the intention of selling it
Solopreneurs are more about the work than the networking
Solopreneurs don’t want to be managers
Solopreneurs are content to run a one-person shop
It’s true that many entrepreneurs start out working alone, but their intention is to build a business with employees that they can eventually sell off to a larger company. Solopreneurs want to run the business by themselves and have no intention of selling.
11 Tips For Solopreneurs
1) Identify Your Desire
As a solopreneur, you’re going to spend a lot of time and effort on your business, so it’s vital to do something you enjoy. Find a business that strikes your passion and that you can see yourself doing for the long term.
Once you’ve identified your desire, take a moment to examine the reasons why you want to start a business. Do you want to be your own boss? Do you want to live a certain way? Do you want to harness a certain skill? The answers to these questions can reveal your true desire for becoming a solopreneur.
2) Find A Base To Work From
Working from your kitchen table or the corner coffee shop is fine at first, but it won’t simply won’t suffice long-term. You want an environment that is comfortable, inspiring, and provides what you need so you can focus on your work. A coworking space is the best option for solopreneurs at every stage of development.
3) Don’t Give Up
Becoming a solopreneur is fraught with challenges. But don’t let these challenges defeat you. If times are difficult, make it your goal to power through. There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.
The line that separates a successful solopreneur from an unsuccessful solopreneur is the ability to persevere through the lows in expectation of the highs. Believe that things are going to get better and don’t give up.
4) Surround Yourself With Like-Minded Individuals
Working as a solopreneur can be incredibly isolating. Over time, that isolation can have a profoundly negative effect on your motivation, inspiration, and focus.
Surrounding yourself with like-minded people — be they solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, digital nomads, or just business professionals — gives you the support you need to continue working at a high level. And don’t be afraid to ask for advice, vent your frustrations, or celebrate your successes with them.
A coworking space like Bond Collective is an ideal way for solopreneurs to find the support they need from like-minded business professionals.
5) Stick To The Plan
It doesn’t matter whether your business is at an all-time high or an all-time low, you should always stick to your original plan. Dips in profit or sudden spikes in income aren’t a sign that it’s time to pivot. They’re just the regular ups and downs of business.
Success is a series of triumphs and failures — a line on a graph with peaks and valleys. But what keeps that line pointing in an overall upward direction is your consistent effort.
6) Don’t Be Afraid To Pay For The Right Tools
As a solopreneur, you’ll depend almost exclusively on the tools you use every day. If you make furniture, that means saws, drills, and other construction implements. If you build apps, that means computers, servers, and routers.
Whatever type of business you embark on, don’t be afraid to spend more for the most-used tools. A good rule of thumb is to buy a higher-quality tool than you need at the moment. It will last longer, give you the speed you need to get the job done in a timely manner, and adapt with you as your business grows and evolves.
7) Automate Tasks With Apps And Systems
When you run your own business, you wear several different hats. You become the accountant, the customer service rep, the salesperson, and the lead coder. That’s a significant amount of responsibility.
Take advantage of the endless array of apps and automated systems available online and in the cloud. Even a simple time-tracking app can improve your performance, maximize your efficiency, and save you time so you can give your full attention to the tasks that really matter.
8) Benefit From Your Freedom
One of the main reasons for becoming a solopreneur is that you can be your own boss. That accords you a considerable amount of freedom in your day.
You are still accountable for the business you’re running, but you aren’t tied to a specific schedule. You can work when and where it suits you best. Take advantage of this fact and remember to make the most of your freedom.
9) Remember That Money Isn’t Everything
Money isn’t the end-all, be-all of success. Yes, you need to make enough to sustain yourself, but personal health, happiness, and relationships are equally as important.
While it’s vital to set goals for your income and measure the finances surrounding your business, it’s also essential to remember why you became a solopreneur in the first place. This can help you stay firm in your resolve to succeed and sustain you through the lean times.
10) Stay Organized
Organization is crucial for the solopreneur. You’ve got a lot to do and a short time to do it. There’s no room to waste time searching for documents or recreating the wheel every time you have to send an invoice.
If organization isn’t your forte — or even if it is — refer to our guide on How To Organize Your Desk For Maximum Productivity for tips on how to get organized and stay that way.
11) Be Patient
Being a solopreneur is a wonderful way to work. But because you’re working solo, your business might not grow as quickly as more traditional models. Be patient.
This, along with perseverance, is the foundation of success for solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, and anyone looking to grow a business in the 21st century. Remember why you set out on your own in the first place — core values, lifestyle choice, freedom — and give your business the time it needs to find a solid footing.
Coworking Space: The Perfect Work Environment For Solopreneurs
Finding the perfect work environment for your solopreneur efforts doesn’t have to be a monumental task. Reach out to Bond Collective. We can help you find a space that is tailor-made for your brand and image.
Tour our gorgeous office spaces in New York (55 Broadway, 60 Broad, Gowanus, Flatiron, and Bushwick) and Philadelphia (The Station House) to experience the best that modern coworking spaces have to offer. Then become a member of Bond Collective and take advantage of our coworking spaces, dedicated desks, and private offices to suit all your business needs.
To get started or to learn more about coworking space benefits for digital nomads, startups, remote workers, and businesses of all sizes, visit BondCollective.com today.