Solopreneur is a Dirty Word. Yes, I said it.
I keep hearing people introduce themselves as a “solopreneur” and I wonder to myself, “do they really know what they are doing?” I can’t imagine that they can do anything very well, because they are wearing too many hats for too brief of a time to really put any quality time into anything.
What’s a Solopreneur?
Before we get too far, let’s define “solopreneur.”
The solopreneur is basically a business owner who does everything on their own. They, as an individual, are the business, functioning as a ‘company of one’ and single-handedly working for the business, running the business, meeting all its costs and enjoying all the profit. Though they may occasionally outsource work when in need of assistance, they are essentially a one-man band, employing no one but themselves.
Too Many Hats
What are you good at? I mean, what are you really good at? Is it Inventing? Digital Art? Composing? Motion Graphics? Marketing? Sales? Organization? Management? Accounting? Investing? Gossip? Law? If you are a “solopreneur” you must be good at all of those things and more. But, I can guarantee you, you aren’t so good at all the things that need to be done. You are mediocre, at best, at many of the skills required to run a successful business.
Sure, you can hire people (or use that sexy term “outsource” to make yourself feel better about it) to do some of the things you aren’t as good at. But is hiring the right move? What if you don’t have enough cash? How do you know you are getting the best quality work/product from them? Are you getting a commodity-quality product when your business is on the line?
Stop Trying to be a Solopreneur
Here’s an idea: Stop Trying to Do it Alone! Partner with others, collaborate with others. Find other entrepreneurs that are good at things you aren’t good at. Create a company that shares the vision, the wealth, and the burden across multiple individuals.
When you pay someone, they aren’t invested, they aren’t as dedicated, they aren’t as enthusiastic about your business as you. They are trading time for money. They aren’t a part of building something amazing like you are.
When you invite someone to be a part-owner of your company, you give them a reason to be passionate and dedicated.
Who’s going to put more effort into making your business a success? Someone you paid, or someone who also owns the company?
“But, if they own part of the company, then I will get less money…” Is that really true? It seems to me that you will have a greater opportunity for growth if you collaborate. Teams of people can achieve much more than individuals. Even Makers.
Makers Need to Collaborate Too
Makers have the most drive to “go it alone” because they’ve been burned so many times; because they really struggle to do their best work as employees. Makers have ideas and inventions and passion about things. So, they create, alone in their world, making amazing things. They need to collaborate with others to make sure that the world will get to enjoy the things they create.
Even Movers fall into the trap of thinking they can conquer the world alone. This is born out of our lone-hero mythos that pervades our culture. But, it is patently false to think we can do it alone. It hurts you, it hurts me, it hurts our society when we try to make it on our own.