‘Solopreneur.' That word sounds cool, doesn't it?
I am a solopreneur!
Doesn't it sound better than having to say I am ‘self-employed without employees!'
Because it's derived from the French solopreneur sounds even better, it has more flair and subtlety.
But let's put linguistics aside.
It's not about that.
What is a solopreneur?
An entrepreneur is somebody running a business who might also have some employees.
With a solopreneur, there's no doubt.
You work alone.
Without any employees.
Working alone means you have a lot of freedom.
Freedom to decide where you work, when you work, how you work, when you lunch, when you take a break, what you want to do and even for who you want to work.
And you get to choose where you want your ‘office' to be.
My office is in a cozy corner of the living room of our house.
Others work in cafes or on the beach!
I don't have to commute (a real plus).
If I want to follow a sports event on TV, I don't have to ask anyone's permission.
(I love watching Wimbledon and the Tour The France).
When the sun shines I walk into our garden to relax or read a book.
My contacts usually don't require me to be somewhere in person.
The internet (Skype, e-mail, etcetera) makes it easy to reach out to others.
I can reach the whole world!
I don't even have to be in the same time zone as my clients.
The only thing I sometimes find troublesome is to make sure I don't accept too much work.
If I work on my website planning and flexibility in doing or not doing stuff isn't a problem.
When I work for third parties, for instance doing a translation job, planning can sometimes be tricky.
I only have 24 hours a day and as a solopreneur, I don't have employees to delegate to.
That being said I wouldn't want it any other way.
I worked for a bank and an insurance company before and quite frankly I am glad I'm out.
Now I work on my conditions; I have time and peace of mind to do volunteer work and take care of myself mentally and psychically.
(I am doing a course in English history at the moment, and I love cycling through the countryside if the weather permits).
Overall I feel happy with what I do.
I have new things to discover, new skills to develop and wander around in virgin territory and bubbles of creativity.
Jack of all trades, master of none
Every solopreneur has to think about his or her unique selling point.
If you work for a company you are usually hired because you have qualities that fit perfectly with the vacancy that needs to be filled.
Because your qualities fit well with the requirements for a particular job, you can start working with that confidence in that company.
If something falls outside your competence, there is often someone else in the company who knows how to handle it.
As a solopreneur, you often need to be “a jack of all trades”, a person who is good at fixing things and has a very good broad knowledge.
A master of integration, an individual who knows enough from many learned trades and skills to be able to bring disciplines together in a practical manner.
Sometimes being a generalist is ok if you are an entrepreneur.
For other solopreneurs being a specialist in what you offer why people come to you.
Every solopreneur must take a good look at himself.
- What am I good a.
- What are my strengths.
- What are my weeknesses?
- Where can I find opportunities that fit my skills.
- What are potential threats in my line of business.
I see this as a great opportunity, because I will be challenged to go outside my comfort zone, and do what it takes to get the job done.
This doesn't mean I have to do everything myself.
There are many things I simply dislike.
Like filing tax returns.
If I have to do that myself I feel lost and hopeless.
I those cases I'll approach others to help me out.
It's just not worth the aggravation.
I'd rather spend my time and energy on my qualities.
After all developing these qualities and finding hidden qualities is the main reseason why I become a ‘solopreneur' in my profession.
It is not always easy being a solopreneur.
Some solopreneurs will have to close their doors because they where unable to keep a sustainable income or for whatever other reasons.
Sometimes life gets in the way.
It is often make-or-break when you work for yourself.
But if you feel you are on the right track here are some tips that might come in handy.
So that you can continue with what you prefer to do.
Know who you are doing
More than ever, it is essential to keep an eye open for what is going on.
Not only as far as customers are concerned but also for yourself.
It is your job to check your motivation, passion, and enthusiasm.
But the customer must also be heard, seen and above all understood.
It is important to find a right balance between your passion and the customer's wishes.
This balance between following your passion and focusing on the wishes of the customer is not always easy to find.
As long as you set realistic goals, learn from your mistakes and celebrate the small successes, you'll continue to enjoy your work.
You can not do everything yourself
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, so it is important that you know yourself.
Arrange help or cooperation when needed.
Look for people in your area who can help you with tasks that you can not carry out yourself.
If you are a good salesman but do not know anything about building a website?
Then find a web builder to take that job off your hands.
That costs money, but you save a lot of time.
And who knows, maybe you'll find new business partners in the process.
Are there certain skills you want to learn?
Then you can always choose to follow a course.
Perhaps you discover a new talent within yourself.
As a freelancer, you determine your future and therefore also which knowledge and skills you are going to refine and which not.
Perhaps you choose not to develop new skills or learn new stuff as a freelancer.
If you opt for the latter, there is a chance that others will catch up with you and hurt your business.
3 out of 4 self-employed people take this responsibility seriously and invest time to continue to develop themselves.
The most important motive for these solopreneurs to continue learning is the increased opportunities it gives.
You do not want to stay behind, do you?
Continue to develop yourself as a freelancer
Use the right tools
Having a good overview where you are heading and where you are standing now is one of the most important characteristics that an entrepreneur must have.
Doing the right things at the critical moments is essential to keep your business vital.
So make sure you plan all your tasks and appointments well, then you will never be surprised.
To keep track of your tasks, you can use one of the many online task managers available.
To keep appointments on all your devices, Google's calendar is very useful!
Then you can also link appointments to files and your e-mail.
Process everything in files, then you will not lose anything!
Process the assignments you receive or give diligently and record them in documents.
The start of most assignments usually takes place in a conversation with a company or another entrepreneur.
It is crucial to document the outcomes of such a conversation somewhere.
Whether it concerns concrete figures, a proposal or a follow-up conversation, everything can be recorded and this is certainly recommended.
Ideal for this are the Microsoft Office programs (Excel, PowerPoint, Word, etc.) and Google G Suite (documents, spreadsheets, etc.).
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To your success!