The 2 Worst Reasons to Become a Solopreneur

Living the Life of a Solopreneur

The Right Reasons to Become a Solopreneur

There are many wonderful reasons for deciding to go the self-employed route and use your expertise and skills in your own business rather than working for an employer. With over 22 million solopreneurs out there in the U.S., there are obviously some very real benefits that draw people to start their own solo-businesses:

  • The flexibility that comes from setting your own work schedule.
  • Having control over who you’ll work with.
  • The ability to accept assignments that will give you professional fulfillment and reject those that will not.
  • The freedom to pave your own professional development path.
  • Doing work that you enjoy and which gives you personal satisfaction.

The Wrong Reasons to Become a Solopreneur

But then there are also the wrong reasons for going into business for yourself.

Becoming a Solopreneur Because You Don’t Like Working with Others

If you’re sick and tired of dealing with other people and think that being your own boss is the way to go, think again. Sure, as a solopreneur, you can often work independently and don’t need to deal with daily office politics, but you still need to get along with people.  In fact, it’s even more important for you to hone your interpersonal skills as you work with clients with unique personalities and expectations. And if you’re like me and not only work with your clients, but also with your clients’ clients, you’ll have as much – if not more – interaction with others professionally.

Becoming a Solopreneur to Get Rich

While you can make a good living as a solopreneur if you work very, very hard and know how to manage your time, market yourself effectively, and nurture your client relationships, don’t expect to become filthy rich. Not that it can’t happen, but it’s unlikely. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011 Nonemployer Statistics (which includes data about businesses with no employees), just 10% of solopreneurs had annual receipts of over $100,000.

Think Before Starting Your Solo Business

So if you’re considering leaving the boss and the 8-5 office behind, be sure you do some soul-searching first. A solopreneur lifestyle offers tremendous opportunity and satisfaction both personally and professionally, but first you need to be honest with yourself about your motives. Do it for the right reasons!

by Dawn Mentzer

8 comments on “The 2 Worst Reasons to Become a Solopreneur
  1. Tim Allen says:

    When I entered the Air Force, I made a pros-cons list which led to a very clear-cut decision. I imagine the same exercise is necessary for evaluating motives for making the leap to solopreneur. I’d love to see a future post from you about your primary motivation pros and cons list which led you to your current chapter in life.

    Thanks for sharing! It’s great food for thought.

    • dawnmentzer says:

      I didn’t know you were in the Air Force, Tim. Thank you for your service! Deciding to join the military was a huge decision – and I think your exercise of listing the pros and cons would be very helpful for anyone thinking about going into business for themselves. As requested, I will schedule a follow up post with my pros and cons list. And I’ll definitely give you credit for inspiring the post idea. Thank you for your always insightful comments here!

  2. I would make an addendum to the “get rich” part: in my accounting practice I see a LOT of solopreneurs who think that owning a business gives unlimited freedom to do whatever you want, when you want. They get upset when they find themselves dealing with things like taxes, insurance issues, needing to hire employees, government red tape, dealing with suppliers, chasing after customers for payment, etc.

    I tell them that owning a business does bring a lot of freedom but there are also responsibilities that come with it. I also tell them that owning a business is like having kids. Not every day is necessarily happy-happy joy-joy with kids but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it!

    • dawnmentzer says:

      Hi Jason! Thanks for sharing what you’ve run into at your firm. It’s fortunate for your clients that you take the time to explain the realities of running a business. There’s much more that needs to be tended to than a lot of people anticipate. Like you said, not every moment is joyous or triumphant – but it’s the struggles and effort that help make the rewards all the sweeter.

  3. Ghaaaa! I see this all the time…people starting businesses because of what they’re trying to get away from. No more boss, snarky coworkers, rules, yadayadayada.

    All the wrong reasons.

    • dawnmentzer says:

      Ha, ha…yep, Marcus, the “escape plan.” Definitely not the right reason to venture into the realm of the self-employed. Even when you’re your own boss, there are people to answer to, plenty of rules and regulations to abide by, the occasional difficult personality to appease, and the list goes on! Thanks for your comment!

  4. I just love it when I come across insightful and relevant (for me) posts of this nature. This coming from an individual who’s literally been debating this very subject for several years. Leave the “normalcy and comfort” of my 8-5 or follow my dreams and let my passion become my work. It’s a difficult decision. I’ve made it, and I guess that there is no “right” time, really. Just getting all my ducks in a row if you will. A big thank you for the relevant article.

    • dawnmentzer says:

      Nice to meet you, Gary! Thank you for reading my blog and for connecting with me across our social media channels. Congrats on making the decision to start your own business! I saw from your Twitter profile that you’re passionate about racing – is your business focused on that industry as well?

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