I don’t know if anyone of us is a true solopreneur. After all, you have biz buddies you can talk to about business. And if you’ve spent any time in Facebook groups, you know that there are others out there with the same struggles and frustration.
But on a day-to-day basis, it’s easy to feel SO alone. No one really knows what’s going on in your business or behind closed doors. I’ve put in an effort to show you some of my own person struggles here with these personal posts. There are some definite ups and downs to going through this business journey as my own boss.
Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love it. On the rare occasion that I think, “Maybe it would be easier in a traditional job,” I immediately think of all the bonuses I get from owning my own business.
Here are some of the biggest highlights (and lowest lowlights) of being a solopreneur.
Up: Make your own schedule
I love being able to pick and choose the hours that I work. Early mornings are my favorite because that’s when I’m really on my game, but I have days that I don’t get started until 10 a.m. I’m available to take my daughter to the dentist without having to ask a boss for time off, and I’m often playing catch-up on the weekends (by choice, people).
Down: At the mercy of others’ scheduling and planning
On the downside though, because all us business owners can make our own schedules it can be a challenge to find times to meet. Some people I’ve worked with don’t work certain days of the week or they’re on the other side of the world, which I can totally appreciate but time zones and schedules can be tough!
Up: There’s no limit to the income you could make
When you’re the boss, the only income limit you really have is your own. I don’t need to be the next 7-figure business owner, mostly because I know how much work that would be. I’m happy in my current growth state and know that when I’m ready for more, I can put my business on that trajectory without having to ask anyone for a raise.
Down: Selling, selling, selling
On the other hand, I hate feeling salesy. And since I’m the face of my business (and the only one who does the client work), it’s up to me to sell my services and products. Which usually means establishing relationships with others and creating content. And occasionally making a move to actively sell. I love the relationships part, but don’t like selling.
Up: You can work at home
I might brag too much about being able to work in my pajamas. I live in my sweatpants and tank tops and being able to take a nap in the middle of the day. There’s no commute, unless you count the few steps from my bedroom to my office, which means I save on gas and wear and tear on my car.
Down: Never leaving the house
Right now, my daughter is the one who gets me out of the house the most. Her school is too far away for her to walk and there’s no bus service. So until she’s 16 (just over a year away!), I have to take her and pick her up most days. I fear that when she’s driving (and, gasp, away at college), someone is going to have to come over and drag me out of the house a few times a week!
Mission and Vision
Up: Change directions on a dime
I recently went through a little shift in my business—not a big one, but a shift nonetheless. I made the shift because I knew it was what my clients needed in order to get the results they want. If I had been in a traditional 9-to-5, I’d have to jump through hoops to affect change in the business. And even then, I’d have to convince someone else that the shift was needed. As my own boss, I see the need and I make it happen.
Down: ALL the ideas (that won’t stop)
Unfortunately, that also means that ideas are constantly flowing through my head. And I want to do everything. And I usually try. But not every idea is a good one, something I try to tell myself as I jot down the next idea on my ever-growing list.
Up: You can do what you want
I was a rule-follower until I was in middle school. Since then, if someone tells me what to do I’ll usually do the exact opposite. I like to make my own rules and I like to take care of myself. As a business owner, I can do that. And if I do the wrong thing, there’s no one to blame but myself.
Down: No one to help make decisions
On the other hand, sometimes it’s nice to bounce ideas off of someone. Someone who has a vested interest in my success. Since I’m single, I don’t have a significant other who I can talk to about my business. Sure, my mastermind group has been a huge help with talking through decisions. But it doesn’t feel quite the same as if I had a partner who was in it with me.
Up: You learn SO much—about yourself and business
Business owner or not, I’m not the same person who started freelancing 10 years ago. But as a business owner, I know I’ve grown in my independence and confidence beyond what would have been possible if I still worked a regular job. Plus, I have a better handle on my finances, know more about politics and have strong opinions about both. I also have learned where my strengths and weaknesses are in business and in life.
Down: There’s SO much to learn
But the thing is, the learning never ends. There’s always a new tool that can help me do business more efficiently. Best practices change. Technology shifts. My clients have new needs. There’s always something new to learn, and I’d honestly have it no other way.
So what do you think? What are your biggest ups and downs as an entrepreneur? And would you change anything? (Not for the world!)