Banish Business Failure in 4 Easy Steps
Becoming a solopreneur is a dream for many budding professionals, but some still view it as a pipe dream. You can be successful in a solo enterprise – if you take the right advice. If you’ve been longing to go into business for yourself and chase your business dreams, know that you’re not alone. Becoming a successful solopreneur is an exercise in diligence, patience, and ingenuity. Follow these rules of solopreneur success:
Planning Is Your Friend
Establishing a successful solopreneur enterprise requires a clear mission and vision. Take a step back and invest some time in a planning session before you dive into business. Entrepreneurs tend to be driven by innovation and a jumble of ideas, but jumping headlong into the foray can be a recipe for disaster.
Grab a cup of coffee and plunk down in your favorite chair or coffee shop and map out your business plan. What direction do you want your business to go? What is its central purpose? How will you specifically achieve your intermediate and end goals? Do you have a plan to quantifiably chart your progress? One of the worst things you can do is be halfway through your first year of business and realize that you lack any clear direction or focus.
Realize You’re Not An Island
You may have gone into solopreneurship to make a go of it alone, but just because it started that way doesn’t mean that you should be alone all the time. Sure, being an entrepreneur can be a lonely lifestyle: you’re plugging away at long hours while your ex-coworkers are unwinding over drinks.
It’s not beneficial to completely isolate yourself. Join a professional organization where you can connect with like-minded individuals at events. Keep a list of names for people you can call on for freelance work once you’re settled into business. Outsource things like bookkeeping and maintaining your website so you can focus on what’s important.
Celebrate All Successes (and Stop the Comparing Game)
When you’re part of a massive undertaking such as a solo career, take the time to revel in all of your successes, great or small. An endless game of self-criticism will only lead to burnout. Another trap that entrepreneurs fall into is the senseless game of comparing themselves to others. Keeping your eye on the competition can be beneficial, but only to a certain extent.
Focus on your own goals and vision, and let the rest play out naturally. Don’t think about your success solely in terms of the amount of money you’re making. Consider your amount of personal fulfillment and how you’re reaching others. When you have a good day, celebrate it with a glass of wine or a conversation with a friend. If you’ve hit a slump, acknowledge it, learn from it, and move on.
Whether it’s being true to your brand or keeping your promises, consistency is the thing that separates the successful solopreneur from the unsuccessful ones. Keep your branding consistent, and align yourself with strategic partners that align with your unique company values. Your customer base will value your steady practices and will trust you in turn.
Solopreneurship is a worthy undertaking, but it’s not without its risks. As long as you stay true to yourself, balance your priorities, and reach out for help, the rest will fall into place organically.