“Solopreneur.” Though the word looks and sounds highly solitary, being a solopreneur is hardly that! Yes, you’re solely responsible for your business, but that doesn’t mean you’re an island. Solopreneurs need other professionals – and they often need to function as a part of a team. Many projects that solopreneurs land have several moving parts and require the skills and talents of other professionals in addition to those that they bring to the table. For example, I regularly find myself writing for projects that also have website designers, developers and SEO experts involved at the same time. You’ve probably run into plenty of similar situations in your field.
That’s precisely why honing your ability to work well – and productively – with others can be a solid way to establish and differentiate yourself from other solopreneurs who offer similar services.
Key skills to perfect – and capitalize on – as a solopreneur:
- Collaboration – Seeking and giving input and feedback when working with clients, colleagues and vendors strengthens business relationships and makes all projects go more smoothly. By showing that you’re considerate of others’ thoughts and suggestions as you proceed in your work, you’ll find that people will begin recommending you, not only for expertise in your field, but for your collaborative nature as well.
- Coordination – Working with others to complete projects demands organizational skills. Though you can’t know everything about everyone else’s piece of the overarching body of work, you should have a good handle on who is tackling what and when. Getting the project to the finish line successfully and on time could depend largely on your capacity to coordinate your efforts with those of the others involved.
- Cooperation –Getting along with others is imperative as a solopreneur. Sadly, I’ve talked with more than one wanna-be business owner who shared that they wanted to become a solopreneur because they have a hard time getting along with others in the workplace. Reality check: If you find it difficult to play nice with others, you won’t last long as a solopreneur. A reputation of operating under the mantra “my way or the highway” will get around and prevent you from both getting and maintaining clients.
You will definitely experience moments of solitude as a solopreneur. But when your plate is full with work from clients, expect to operate less like a one man band and more like a tight end. Although it seems contradictory, solopreneurs need to step up their capacity for teamwork to get – and stay – in the game.
Your turn! How has teamwork fallen into your work as a solopreneur?
Image courtesy of PinkBlue / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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