More than at any other time in history, the Internet has given rise to the romantic image of the solo entrepreneur laboring away in isolation only to hit it big with huge rewards on the Internet. While the solo entrepreneur image captures the imagination and fires dreams of independence, the solo entrepreneur is a myth. Nobody succeeds in any business all on his own.
Admittedly I came out of a career in brick and mortar businesses. For six years, I owned my own small business before becoming a consultant. Now I am a solo entrepreneur or solopreneur. I published an ebook on Kindle, and I have a blog plus articles on Yahoo! Contributor Network and other online publications. I know from experience, the solo entrepreneur is a myth.
If you labor under that idea, run from it and find some sanity. There is just too much to do and too much to know in today's society to be able to do it all yourself. In theory, the solopreneur does administration work, marketing including website, shipping, customer service and any product production. By trying to do it all yourself, you only hobble your ability to march into your dream future.
The Reason Solopreneurs Need Help
You can with effort minimize the use of outside help, but at what cost? There is too much to learn - time learning is time away from doing something that brings you in money. The reasons you need help are these:
- Limited expertise
- Limited time
The most successful small businesses and solo entrepreneurs are those who recognize these limitations and, as quickly as their budgets allow, replace themselves on tasks others can do for them.
Everyone Gets Basic Help from Others
First off, you already have help in your life and in your business so be grateful for those who free you up to do what you do well. Among these are your normal merchants who supply the products and services you need to live, like grocery stores and utility companies.
How and Where to Find Help
There are a few other ways to get the help you need so that you are not trying to go it alone.
- Find a couch you trust then join the coach's membership program for ongoing help and encouragement.
- The SBA (Small Business Administration in the U.S. has two excellent resources for small business owners: SBDC (small business development centers) and SCORE
- Community programs, like Pasadena Art of Small Business Survival
- Libraries, especially ones with business reference departments
- Forums and online communities
- Buy pictures and images from stock photo sites
- Use consultants for procedures and systems you need as you grow - Use part-time help, piecework or virtual assistants
While you might like thinking of yourself as a solopreneur, going it alone limits growth. Focus on those tasks that only the owner or an executive can do, like strategic planning, negotiating alliances and promoting the business' growth. By hiring helpers and developing a network of people to brainstorm with, you'll find being a solo entrepreneur doesn't have to be lonely. In fact, it can be an enjoyable as well as rewarding experience.
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