The unique struggles of a solo entrepreneur

Have we not been intrigued by the actions of those individuals who, at some point in their lives, decide to chuck their well-paying jobs and invest their life savings in an idea they strongly believe in?  Entrepreneurs are a hardy set of people who set the pace for the rest of us to follow.

‘The Solopreneurs Club’ is a set of extraordinary people within the group of entrepreneurs, which is made up of the elite “solopreneur” or the solo entrepreneur. We decided to query our good friend Bob, who is now a successful member of the club, about the why’s and how’s of it.

Bob has a way with his words and had this to say: “Considering the history of humankind, I find it rather unsurprising that many individuals with a great idea in their head and a raging creative fire in their belly should eventually decide to go solo–for me, it’s more about ‘when’ than ‘why.’

Me: “What’s the journey been like?”

Bob: “In my case, success followed early. But when I took time off to admire the view from top, it wasn’t exactly pretty. The top, as they say, can be a frightfully lonely place.”

Me: “Can you elaborate?”

Bob: “I mean, I often think that in my quest for glory, I may have neglected my family and ignored my friends by creating, albeit unwittingly, an aura of unapproachability around me.”

Me: “Was it all worth then?

Bob: “You bet, it was! We are all here for a purpose and I consider myself fortunate that I was able to follow my heart. The goal has always been to create a better future for my family.”

Me: “What do you attribute your success to?”

Bob: “Passion and hard work; luck, if at all, played a minor role at best. (Well, modesty and humility have never been Bob’s strong points!)

Me: “Now that you are a successful solo entrepreneur, let’s retrace your entrepreneurial journey. What advice–apart from a will to persevere and an ability to be single-minded in your mission–would you extend to someone who is about to embark on the same path as you?”

Bob: “Well, a good way–and the only way in my opinion–to understand a solo entrepreneur’s struggles is to look for ways to turn adversity into advantage. To sum it all up, most solo entrepreneurs go through the following moments of self-doubt:”

  • How do I create the right support system: This may sound daunting at first, but in reality it empowers you to hire people with passion and risk-taking ability; a good rule of the thumb is to hire people who believe in your vision
  • Am I upto the challenge: Always believe that you are, and no challenge is too big for you. Remember, every decision you make comes back to you–which, if you think about it, can only be a good thing. A business partner may actually cramp your style
  • Will access to limited resources be a constraint: The best way to learn about financial discipline is to have fewer resources than what is considered ideal. The ability to efficiently manage your resources is what prepares you for adversity

Me: Thanks, Bob, for your invaluable inputs.”

Bob: “You are welcome, mate. Remember, the solo entrepreneurial journey is a lot like trying to start a campfire on a damp and rainy night–you are thoroughly soaked to the bone, ravenously hungry, and uncharacteristically afraid of the unfamiliar surroundings.”

“But, once you get that fire going, you will feel a lot safer, and ready to take on any challenge that might come your way.”

“In short, solopreneurs of the world, never forget: all setbacks are essentially temporary in nature.”


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