Working from home, making your schedule and doing something you’re passionate about sounds like a dream, right?
Unfortunately, as you might have guessed, these things are often easier said than done—and no one knows this better than a solopreneur.
9 tough-to-tackle truths about the life of a solopreneur
For a little background, solopreneurs are people that start and run businesses single-handedly.
These individuals have domain over every part of their operation, from raising capital to delivering their product or service, which gives them an unprecedented amount of control.
Again, as you might have guessed, although this sounds pretty awesome, there’s more to it than meets the eye.
“Solopreneurship gives you an awesome opportunity to pursue your passion, but has its challenges, too” says Rory Witt, Founder & CEO of DigiMar, a digital marketing agency that Witt launched initially as a solopreneur.
During the four years Witt has run his company, he’s learned something that’s rarely talked about among aspiring and established entrepreneurs alike—a lot of the time, starting your own company is anything but glamorous. As a matter of fact, there are things about being your own boss that are the downright worst.
Although talking about the troubles that you can find in any field isn’t fun or very exciting, it’s critical.
By learning about these tough-to-tackle truths, you’ll be better prepared to embark on this journey.
To help you in this pursuit, listed below are nine truths about the trying life of being a solopreneur.
In addition to acquainting you with these truths, this article will also share some successful coping techniques that you can use to overcome these obstacles when they arise.
1. You’ll certainly need to take risks
Regardless of the topic—seriously, this can be applied to everything from a couch to a relationship—you love comfort.
Doesn’t sound like you? Have you ever had trouble getting out of your comfort zone? If you’re honest with yourself, the answer to this question will likely be yes.
Taking risks and chances in life makes humans feel uncomfortable, even if they have a desire to challenge the status quo or make a change.
In and of itself, this isn’t a bad thing, but it’s also a tendency that’s not serving in all situations—especially if you want to start a company.
If you want to be a solopreneur, the fact of the matter is that you absolutely will need to embrace uncertainty and take risks to get your business off the ground, both of which will make you feel uncomfortable at times.
Regardless, if you really want to find success, you’ll need to find coping methods that help you push forward.
2. Staying focused
If you work in a conventional office, you have a team with whom you can work with to stay on task.
Outside of an office, however, this is often far from the case.
Whether you start your company from a home office, garage or a rented space, you’ll probably find that you’re more easily distracted than you would be at an office.
With no scheduled breaks or co-workers around to help establish a routine, it’s easy to fall prey to distractions that can end up derailing your whole day.
If you want to run your own successful company, you’ll need to create an environment and mindset that allow you to stay focused so you can further your business instead of your personal to-do list during operating hours.
3. Mentors can make or break you
It seems ironic to claim that solopreneurs need mentors, but it’s very true.
Without someone to bounce ideas off of and receive guidance from, starting your own company will be near impossible.
Furthermore, without the right mentor, running a successful company will be much more difficult—making finding the right mentor all the more important.
4. Wearing multiple hats is hard
There’s a reason traditional companies have employees that make up several departments.
No single person can be an expert at everything.
One individual can split their time between various roles while they start a company, though.
As you start a small business, you’ll be responsible for everything that’s required for operating—from marketing and selling your product/service to delivering it.
This pursuit is certainly not easy, but with a little online research, every solopreneur can learn the basic knowledge and skills they need to get their company started and moving in the right direction.
5. Time constraints
Watching tasks on your to-do list pile up is stressful, especially when they directly influence your livelihood.
When you run your own company, you’ll face the hard truth that there’s never enough time to get everything done, which is overwhelming, to say the least.
Luckily, if you learn to prioritize effectively, you can circumnavigate this common struggle.
6. Remembering your value
If there’s one thing humans desire more than comfort, it’s self-confidence.
According to Aakash Waghmare, Entrepreneur & Founder of ShouterVILLA.com, “Being confident about your strengths helps you draw courage and resolution when the going gets tough in life.
It helps you to keep things in perspective and back yourself when everyone else says that the task ahead is nearly impossible to complete in the stipulated time.”
One hard truth you’ll face as an entrepreneur is questioning your own worth and potential.
Starting a company is anything but straightforward, and the struggles that you face along the way may leave you feeling like you’re not well-suited or capable of jumping the hurdles that it takes to succeed.
Instead of giving into these thoughts, entrepreneurs like Waghmare remain focused on their strengths so they can continue moving forward when they face adversity.
7. Staying lean
When you start your company, you’ll probably have a hard time staying lean, but not in the way that you might think …
In entrepreneurship, the word lean is often used to describe a startup that is simple and efficient.
When you feel overwhelmed by all of the requirements that rest on your shoulders, you might want to bring on extra people or change your strategies, but both of these pursuits can actually end up wasting your time and adding intricacies to your company that aren’t necessary.
Remember, fat is easier to prevent than to trim, and although prevention might feel overwhelming and difficult, it’s well worth it in the long run.
8. Generating income
People that start their own companies often feel so passionate about their offerings that they are shocked—and sometimes even a little offended—by the preliminary demand they experience.
This dichotomy is troubling, but it’s not one that you need to give too much attention to.
As long as you continue to follow passion and spread the word about the value of your product, you will be able to increase your demand over time.
9. Burn out
After reading the eight hard truths above, you might feel that you’re already “behind the ball” when it comes to entrepreneurship.
In moderation, this is a good feeling because it’ll give you the drive you need to get things done.
In excess, though, this feeling can be detrimental and lead you to become overworked and burned out—two things that might stop you from pursuing your goal.
Instead of struggling to do everything all at once, prioritize, stay on top of what needs to be done and give yourself breaks so you can progress in a way that’s positive and sustainable.
Starting a company is hard work, but as entrepreneurs Rory Witt and Aakash Waghmare know, if you can overcome the tough-to-tackle truths that are inherent to solopreneurship, you can secure a career that’s full of meaning and success.
What do you think? Do you want to become a solopreneur? Let me know what you think by leaving your comments below!
For more business and entrepreneurship tips, subscribe to our weekly newsletter and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.