It seems that in the 21st century we have a dearth of control. We struggle to exert control over our careers, our household budgets, and our work/life balance. We can easily feel as though we have ceded all autonomy over our lives and if we’re not careful we can find ourselves feeling like anonymous worker drones, sacrificing our personal well-being for the good of the hive. Hive here means the huge conglomerate that employs us and represses our wages to insulate its own profit margins. For many, the idea of breaking away and starting their own businesses is the ultimate way to exert control and take their lives and their livelihoods into their own hands. These solopreneurs find creative ways of monetising their skills and experience without the overheads and staffing issues that come with running a conventional business.
It’s a romantic notion, but it’s also one that has propelled many talented and hardworking people towards success and away from a job that stymied their creativity, skills and talents. However, in their zeal and passion, nascent entrepreneurs can easily fall victim to issues that can cause them to burn out within 12 months of operating.
Solopreneurs Trying to Do Everything on Their Own
Working for yourself doesn’t have to mean working alone. While solopreneurs don’t have employees in the traditional sense they can lean on third-party contractors and outsourced service providers to improve their operational efficiency and deliver better quality to their clients. Yet, despite the inherent advantages, many don’t. Remember what we were saying earlier about control? It’s not uncommon for new solopreneurs to become control freaks who are very particular about doing things “their way”. Yet, this can often create as many problems as it solves. This mentality can prevent you from seeking help out like IT support, digital marketing agencies, and other outsourced assistance. These entities can not only make your life easier but save you money in the long term, too.
Spending Too Much Time Alone
It’s easy to go overboard on the solo part of being a solopreneur, especially if you’re working from home. Single solopreneurs, especially, can go days without seeing another human face. And while they make work best alone, nobody is best served by living a solitary existence. Solitude can afford you focus and clarity, but it can also rob your life of its colour. Try and get out, meet and be amongst people, even if it’s just meeting a friend for lunch or taking your laptop to your favourite coffee shop once a week.
Trying to Do Too Much Too Quickly
Solopreneurs are hungry for success and can take on too much too fast in the hopes of achieving that success quickly. They can neglect to set working hours or stick to them. They can take on too many clients in their early days. They can overextend themselves and make promises that they can’t keep. Not only can this lead to exhaustion, but it can also lead to missed deadlines and broken promises, none of which is a formula for early success. Be the tortoise, not the hare.
Solopreneurship is a wonderful way to exert control over your fortunes and your finances. But it can also prove a detriment to your mental health if you put the needs of your business ahead of your needs as a human being.