How to be a successful entrepreneur without using your teamwork skills? Become a solopreneur! Electricians, creatives or founders: some people prefer to work alone. And, believe it or not, they are very successful. Read on and learn the 5 biggest pros and pitfalls of going solo – and how teamwork is overrated.
What is a solopreneur?
Do you know the difference between freelancers and solopreneurs? It’s not very easy to distinguish them. Like a freelancer, an entrepreneur who runs his enterprise all alone – not because they have to. But because they want to. Because they believe they are stronger on their own. Freelancers, on the other hand, are contractors: they are working ‘on their own’, but could just as well be working through an agency. Solopreneurs believe in their own strength and powers and create a brand around themselves. But what are the advantages of being a solopreneur?
The 5 Pros of Solopreneuring
Successful solopreneurs state several reasons for going solo – here are the big 5 of them:
- No fixed costs!
Depending on his line of work, a solopreneur has no fixed costs. A home that doubles as office, internet connection, a laptop, and maybe a car, that’s it. No employees to worry about – and no partners to share with.
- No responsibility!
A bad month? The business is taking its time to take off? No problem – or rather: my problem. A solopreneur is responsible for him and himself only. He is carrying all the risk by himself – which can be very liberating.
- No meetings!
No weekly or daily meetings and meet-ups, which tend to be inefficient time-eaters. Communication is key, though: even solopreneurs have client meetings. But they can do things like business decisions and have scrum meetings all by themselves. Whenever, however they want to.
- No disputes!
Humans have opinions. And humans working – or even founding – together tend to have conflicting opinions. Successful solopreneurs don’t have to spend their time disputing and fighting for their rights. The only conflict solopreneurs have to battle is the ones within themselves. And that seems like a huge advantage.
Summing up: life and work of a solopreneur means freedom. Financially, socially and in terms of time management. Many solopreneurs are free in geographical terms as well, living the life of digital nomads and travelling the globe. Others use their freedom to have it all, to balance family with a successful, fulfilling career.
Sounds good so far, doesn’t it? But before you ditch your team and go solo, please read on. Because solopreneuring is not as easy as it sounds. Let’s look at the 5 biggest pitfalls of solopreneuring. Because, let’s face it: can anyone really be successful without the help and support of a team?
The 5 biggest pitfalls of solopreneuring
Freedom is usually not a gift. Instead, it comes with a cost. Read on and learn the big 5 pitfalls of solopreneuring – and how to avoid them.
- No network?
As a solopreneur, you have to build your own network. Especially if you’re working from home you need to be careful not to lose yourself in, well, yourself. Going solo does not necessarily mean doing it all alone – and if it does, don’t isolate yourself. Try and find like-minded people. Preferably in real life, not on Skype. Create a network – it’s good for you and your business.
- No creative exchange of ideas?
Teamwork is more creative than doing it all alone. The more diversity in a team, the more creative it gets. Right? Wrong! In fact, we’ve got it all wrong: a recent study on teamwork proofs that brainstorming in a team is actually less creative than single brains storming their ideas on their own. Even so, creative exchange is important. We all learn from others, and successful solopreneurs know that. They might have their ideas and make their decisions on their own – but usually, they have someone to talk it all through.
- No (financial) backing?
A problem shared is a problem halved: this is especially true about the financial aspect of running an enterprise. For solopreneurs are not responsible for others – but nor is anyone else responsible for them. Entrepreneurs sharing the financial responsibility with a partner don’t have to shoulder it all alone. That leaves an empty shoulder to cry on if something goes wrong – and to pat if everything goes right.
- No growth?
Many entrepreneurs and freelancers start out as solopreneurs – with the goal to grow and hire a team or even become part of a bigger venture. Real solopreneurs, on the other hand, do the opposite: they have created their enterprise for themselves – and that’ it. Any business wants to grow, of course, but a solo-business can only grow as much as the workload can be shouldered alone.
- Less fulfillment?
We have read it time and again: social contacts make us happier, healthier and more fulfilled persons. Anyone working on their own, then, must be unhappy and less fulfilled after a regular working day. Right? Wrong again! This is true for most of us – but some people seem to be born solopreneurs: highly intelligent and creative people are happier solo than in a group. If you’d rather spend your evenings fiddling on your current idea than going to the bar, you might just be one of them – going solo might be the right path for you.
Whether you’re going solo or working in a team: all the best and good luck!