From Solopreneur to Winning at Business
Being a solopreneur is often the first stage of business. Just like the term solopreneur implies, it's just you— running the business— 'solo'.
Starting a business takes a lot of courage, grit, and determination. As a solopreneur, you'll find yourself taking on a lot of roles because you don't yet have the financial capacity to employ people that will take the burden off you. Don't fret, it's merely a stage, and it's totally fine to adopt the solopreneur business model as you begin your entrepreneurial journey.
As your business climbs the hierarchy and starts to expand, you begin to mould into a full-time entrepreneur. Now, you may want to ask for the difference between a solopreneur and an entrepreneur. Simply put, an entrepreneur doesn't necessarily work alone. It could be as small as just a co-founder to work alongside him/her, and as many as a team of 5 to 10 (at least in the early stages). And on the other hand, a solopreneur has no partner at all.
However, it's not all bread and cheese. The reality of being a solopreneur requires you to survive against all odds, even in the most challenging of environments.
Take a Leap
An undying truth is that you can't be a solopreneur forever. As your business grows, expands, and attracts more clients (which is the ultimate goal of every business), you would need to scale up and employ a team to take the business to the next level.
According to Lawrence Ellyard— CEO of the International Institute for Complementary Therapists (IICT), leaping requires you to build your business with systems and automation. "If you can surround yourself with people who are more intelligent than you, who have skills that you don't have, then you can have a greater impact," he advises.
Lawrence has over 25 years of experience in the natural health industry and is a transpersonal therapist with several years of training and practice. IICT offers professional membership and insurance for every natural therapist, and Lawrence has been instrumental in developing the IICT's operations within Australia and internationally.
To successfully take the bold leap from a solopreneur to an entrepreneur, you need to have a growth mindset. You need to also devise ways to reach a larger audience and make more sales. In the process of this, however, ensure that your business is scalable and has a well-laid-out plan to scale before taking that leap.
To build a scalable business, your business needs to be able to run effectively and independently of you. That is, your business has to run smoothly without you in the picture. To make this work, you must ensure that you hire competent people who can work on their own with little or no supervision.
Work With the Right Team
An efficient way for your business to scale is by putting together a great team. However, it doesn't end there. It's more than that. You need to bring together a team that understands the mission and vision of your business, and that internalizes the core values of the business.
Because of this, you need to hire like-minded people. And as an evolving solopreneur, you should find a team that can buy into the startup mentality. And since you may not have enough funds to pay people for different roles, it's advisable to get people that can multitask, at least for a start. However, make sure not to overuse your staff. Moderation is of the essence.
Lawrence emphasizes the need to go above and beyond for your team members, and also work on your team culture. "Give praise, acknowledge, and celebrate your team members. At IICT, one of our core values is fun, so each quarter we make a point of doing something fun together as a team. We also have a CFO (Chief Fun Officer), she is the person who coordinates all the fun stuff we do together," he says.
With a great team spirit, your team will report more productivity
Bounce Back when you Hit a Roadblock
Failure is an inevitable part of the entrepreneurial journey. Whenever it happens, you have two choices— either you wallow in your failure and let it get the best of you, or you learn from it and use it to get the required experience.
In his opinion, Lawrence believes that— "the experience of failing fast and often is the idea that you need to keep trying stuff and keep messing up. And the truth is that you're either winning or you're learning. Fast failure is learning, but then, you learn what doesn't work. And later you can pivot quickly, and see what does work."
Entrepreneurs are like people who jump out of the plane and then assemble the parachute on the freefall. You don't know how it's gonna work, but you'll still have to work it out. You are constantly in the state of mind that it is possible. And that's incredibly powerful in business.
It is one thing to have passion, it is another thing to understand how to run a business. Eventually, you'll need to grow past the stage of running all the operations alone and build a solid team that would move the business forward.
No rush though, take it one step at a time and hold on tight. Soon enough, you're bound to win.