Why Being A “Solopreneur” Is B.S.

I can already see the angry mob of freelancers and one-person business owners with pitchforks and flaming torches rounding the corner in protest. Solopreneur

 

But before you stick it to me, I hope you’ll stick with me and read on.

 

How Do You Define “Solopreneur”?

Surprisingly, Urban Dictionary has a straightforward, no-nonsense description:

 

“An entrepreneur who works alone, ‘solo,’ running their business single-handedly. They might have contractors for hire, yet have full responsibility for the running of their business.”

 

It’s that second part of the definition and its contrariness to the first part that has me thinking we might sometimes apply the wrong mindset to our solo businesses.

 

We Do Very Little “Solo” as Solopreneurs

The phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child,” applies in some way to us as solopreneurs, too. We’re adults, of course, but our businesses are constantly evolving. They have to or they won’t survive.

 

We’re faced with ever-changing…

  • Technology for communicating, collaborating, and executing administrative tasks.
  • Client needs.
  • Competitive pressures.
  • Economic conditions.
  • Tax and accounting laws.
  • Business regulations.
  • Personal and professional highs and lows.

 

I guess if you’re a super solopreneur you can leap tall buildings and keep up with all of it on your own, but the rest of us need help from a variety of other people and businesses.

 

We learn to do business better with the help of…

 

  • Tax specialists – You might not need a CPA, but a professional tax preparer can ensure you’re following the rules and not missing out on any deduction opportunities.
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  • Lawyers – Tip: I have membership to LegalShield Pre-Paid Legal Services which, for a low monthly fee, gives me access to an attorney whenever I have legal questions. You might want to check it out.
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  • Bookkeeping specialists – While I retain my own books in Quickbooks Online, I had an expert help me set up my company accounts and every few months I schedule time with her for a checkup. She usually finds one or two things I should have entered differently. If you’re keeping your own books, how confident are you that all is correct?
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  • Business advisors – You can save yourself from going down a wrong path by simply tapping into the honesty and experience of other professionals. Whether through a formal mentoring program, mastermind group, or by simply turning to someone you respect and trust, you can get affirmation and avoid pitfalls by sharing your challenges and asking for advice.
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  • Competitors – You heard me correctly. None of us can serve everyone. Not all clients or projects are the right fit for us. I value my relationships with other writers for many reasons. Among them, the ability to refer prospects to someone else who has the capabilities and capacity to take on projects that I cannot.
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  • Project partners – As a freelance writer, I alone can’t always serve a client’s needs. Sometimes they need website design or print design work in addition to the content I produce. You’ve probably encountered similar situations in your business. We sometimes need professionals in complementary fields to fill voids in projects.
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  • An Assistant – I realize not all solopreneurs will either be able to afford one or absolutely need one, but a helping hand can alleviate some administrative pressures. When your amount of billable work for clients has expanded and you find it difficult to keep up with other business tasks, you might consider an independent virtual assistant to help you. My assistant, Rose, has been helping me since March of this year with research, proofreading, and other odds and ends. I don’t know how I managed without her. With her help, I don’t feel pulled in as many directions,  and I’m better able to focus.

 

Striving For Success as a Solopreneur: Don’t Go It Alone

So while you and I call ourselves “solopreneurs,” we depend an awful lot on others. I don’t really believe being a solopreneur is B.S., but we should never lose sight of how much easier we can achieve success if we get help from others.

 

By Dawn Mentzer
Another Insatiable Solopreneur™ Post

 

My Solopreneur Sanity Saver: Help At Last!

My last post focused on what solopreneurs should consider when exploring bringing on a freelance assistant to help them keep up – and keep sane! So it seems appropriate to take a moment to introduce my new freelance assistant, Rose Boettinger. Even before we started working together, Rose took the initiative to demonstrate her value by pointing out (tactfully of course!) a sneaky typo that previously eluded detection on my website. As you’ll read later in this post, Rose found me via the Lancaster Chamber website and proactively reached out to me via email. I instantly admired her go-getter attitude. And, as fate would have it, I was in the throes of several “at capacity” weeks where I struggled to find time to catch my breath. Long story short: This was meant to be!

I hope you’ll join me in welcoming Rose! She will be assisting me with some research, proofreading, and administrative responsibilities. Note that Rose is seeking a full-time or part-time position that will put her exceptional writing and proofreading talents to work. If your company or one that you know is seeking someone with her skills, I encourage you to reach out to her on Linkedin, or you can ask me for an introduction.

Anyways, enough from me! Without further ado…

Here’s a note from Rose Boettinger, freelance writer/personal assistant, to tell you a bit more about herself and her aspirations…

I found Dawn on the Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce website while searching for potential job opportunities. Rose Boettinger - freelance writer, proofreaderWhen I came across her information, I took it upon myself to check out her website. As a less experienced freelance writer, I thought it well worth my time to explore the ins and outs of a more established and professional freelancer. While reading her biography, I learned just how involved in and dedicated to her work she is and I felt the need to contact her firsthand. I wanted to see if I could do anything for her to lighten her load, tedious work so that she could spend more time collaborating with clients, giving them even more time and attention they deserve.

I was surprised at just how casual and friendly her response was. It’s often difficult to get a grasp of someone’s personality or how they mean to interact with you, especially over the internet. Not with Dawn. Ever since the first email I received, it has been easy to tell that she puts her heart into every word she writes. She is incredibly down-to-earth and such an easy woman to talk to.

Before I began freelance writing, I attended Millersville University of Pennsylvania where I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a Concentration in Writing Studies. While attending the university, I worked at the campus writing center, assisting students with the many steps of the writing process—brainstorming, thesis development, proofreading, etc. That was by far my favorite experience while furthering my education. During the last semester of my senior year, I was an intern at an internet marketing company where my eyes were first introduced to the world of SEO. I spent much of my time there filing client information, proofreading, and blogging.

 In the future, I plan to find a company that will allow me to use my experience with writing and proofreading to help expand the business and create more satisfied clients. I will also publish a best seller.

I’m very excited to have the opportunity to assist Dawn, and I can’t wait to see where it takes us. – Rose

______________________

By Dawn Mentzer

Another Insatiable Solopreneur™ Post