Which are you? Which is better for your business? Although not a new concept, perhaps the new word may just make you realise what type of person you really are in business.
There is always a point at which you believe it is right to make the leap from safe water into the turbulent rapids of self employment. It may be a change in circumstances or it may just be the way you feel the time is now! Either way, the day comes and we all leap!
If you have done your homework, your leap will be well planned. You will step from the relative safety of home/paid employment and begin working in a full-time capacity on something you have begun many months (possibly years) earlier.
When you make that step though, it is always alone! You make the decision and you walk out onto the worlds platform aiming to be the next star attraction. You become the decision maker, the delivery driver and the assistant all from day one. The jobs keep mounting and whether it is fixing the leaking tap or making a serious call to your next big client, you fill that role as you get your business to float!
As you settle in to long days working to cover every base you will find your rhythm. There will be systems you begin to employ, like reading email last thing at night or during lunch times. Your calling times will become regulated and you will fit in the odd trip to the shop to get some much needed food.
The next hurdle to cross after the money starts to drip in… when to build your team.
Growing Big or Comfortably Small?
Growth in business is the ultimate goal! Isn’t it?
Not always. I was surprised when I first met some colleagues who said they had no ambition of climbing the career ladder or making it to management. They liked the time they had with their families, the stress they currently had, they could deal with and there was only an ambition to be better in their role at that moment.
What was this crazy talk I was hearing?
Surely everyone wants to develop themselves to the next level. Isn’t that the goal for every person? It turns out there are different goals and values that people place their efforts in.
The definition for a Solopreneur:
a business owner who works and runs their business alone
This is the person who enjoys their own company, doesn’t often let go of the reins nor do they want to succeed to great heights of stardom! They are happy in their work and that is all there is to it.
Solo – preneur
As we can obviously see this term is part of the word entrepreneur and therefore the entrepreneur family. It stands to reason that someone who is going into business wants to make a success of their business, the only difference here is that they want to work on their own terms.
This is the solopreneur!
Every business person starts as a solopreneur, working quietly away on their own, laying the foundations that will support their business later down the road.
No one noticed that Bill Gates was working in a garage, developing a computer system. Mark Zuckerberg, worked initially alone on his ideas to develop a social platform. Sir Alan Sugar was just another market stall trader trying to make a living. Each had their own way of laying their foundations to build a business that would develop later on.
None of those people stayed solopreneurs. They all developed their businesses. They outsourced and employed and grew their business to support thousands of people. If they tried to keep it to themselves, they would not have developed into who they are today.
There must be some sort of different in the mindset of these two groups of people. The entrepreneur developing links and grows their business, the solopreneur, develops links and grows their business.
Is it based on trust?
Those who trust others to be able to match their own standards, will work with others. Many cabinet makers will work as solopreneurs because they have a specific standard they aspire to. They could easily sell and market their beautiful furniture and take others on to replicate their work. So why don’t they?
Their standards won’t allow it! They equally do not want the pressure to rectify problems and deal with lots of enquiries. It is more manageable being able to deal with 2-3 customers at a time and achieve high success in their field, than to market a product to 1000’s and be substandard.
This though seems a little unfair to the entrepreneur.
They also aspire to provide the best service and create the best products, so why would they not find the best people to do their work for them. That surely is the mindset of the Entrepreneur.
If you fit with a business you fly high. Your values are fulfilled and you seem to be in tune with those around you. Deviate and you won’t fit in, but the Entrepreneur watches out for that. They relish the ability to improve their work through others and they take on the role of shepherds.
Here then is the real difference!
It is the type of work that differs between the two.
Job Roles Change
As a solopreneur you can continue to do what you love. Your ability to turn wood, paint a portrait, bake, speak to customers one to one, or provide a simple solution to a complex problem are all still within your grasp.
An Entrepreneur continues to do what they love too, manage people. They enjoy seeing their ideas come to life through the work of others. The buzz of seeing a business taking off, with new projects and new staff is what excites them. Their normal day-to-day role differs from being hands on the shop floor to being a shepherd of people.
Who Will YOU Be?
Who you ultimately become depends very much on what you are aiming for. If you like making and solving problems for others and working closely with them, then there is no reason to stop doing it. No one says you have to expand any further.
If you like the thought of being more involved in the processes of business and move away from the mundane then – manage your flock! Grow and expand.
Both roles develop new markets and challenge each other, but both do so in a way which is personal to the way in which a business owner sees themselves.
We all start out as solopreneurs and develop from there. As we grow and our businesses develop, so too do our skills and ambitions.
When you no longer enjoy something you do for too long, you will find it harder and tiring work. Your ability to solve day-to-day problems will be inhibited and you will be doomed to failure.
Growing to the size of a conglomerate is not necessary for everyone, being content with what you do is!
It would be great to hear your thoughts on these two roles over on the Market Nosh Coster Facebook page.