What is a solo-preneur? It’s you as an entrepreneur just by yourself! When I was in high school planning my dreams and goals, I certainly did not see myself starting and owning my own business. It has been a crazy ride, and I’m so proud that I have made it 3 successful years. My business is still incredibly small, and very much a baby in business years, but I’ve managed to make more than I did working part time on someone else’s dime. Now it’s totally not a lifestyle choice that everyone can make, and it is most definitely NOT EASY. I cannot tell you how many people I know want to start up their own business, but seem to drain out their creative passion, or loose their business drive when they start up and realize you can’t go from 0 to a million overnight. My entire first year of starting my own business I only made $768. For an entire year that is ridiculously small. While that may pay your Netflix, Audible and/or Spotify subscriptions, it is certainly not gonna put food on the table in this day. As I was starting up my business, I was also working as a manager part time at a local fast food restaurant, my husband had just finished college, and I had just given birth to my first baby boy. While I’m sure my husband thought I was crazy, he was incredibly supportive of my ideas. In fact, before his teaching and guidance, I was designing on Microsoft Word. Watching me make our son’s baby shower invitation, he decided to lend his skills in teaching me Adobe Photoshop. From there I learned a lot from playing around on my own, to watching how-to videos on Youtube. Soon after my son’s birth I took the plunge and opened my very first Etsy shop!
While opening your own shop is certainly a worth while goal, you should learn some mistakes that I did along the way. Designing invitations I soon learned I could not make any whim or fancy myself, or a client/buyer wished and keep it in my shop. Copyright laws are very real, and while it is a great way to learn by mimicking other greater and popular designers, you want to be proud of your work as your own legal designs/products. Some great things to consider before you start is to take some intro business classes, read some experts advice on running your own business, be proactive in learning laws and licenses that can make your business more legitimate and professional. You should also take some time to really study yourself. Learn what your true style is, what you really want to accomplish with your business. It took me over my entire first year, with a lot of complications and hair pulling, to really look at what I was wanting to create, to come up with a true style for myself, and to come up with some great goals to help me grow and expand. After I sat down and really thought about the goals I could set for myself, and I started designing true to my own style my business boomed and I more than tripled my first years revenue. It was an amazing revelation to myself that I COULD do this. I had the power to by my own boss, to harness this amazing business sense I had developed and really grow in my own profession I had picked myself. Now just because I was growing at an accelerated rate all of the sudden did not mean my financial troubles went away and I became rich overnight. In reality it has meant longer hours of working, more learning about business laws, and taking time to expand my skills. Every single time I reach a new goal I have another road block, or another big decision to make. It can be scary, overwhelming and daunting at times. There are days when I can accomplish anything, and days where I feel like I’m drowning in a sea I made myself. I write this out almost as a way to remind myself of where I started and how far I still need to go. I don’t think you should ever be content at a certain point of business. I think as humans, we are vessels for learning, knowledge, growth, experiences, greatness, understanding, and so much more. I think it is so easy to fall into the trap of easy lies. “It’s so hard, I can just be proud of what I did” instead of “It’s so hard, but will be more worth it when I accomplish that next goal!” “I can’t seem to make this work, so I should give up now” instead of “I can’t seem to make this work NOW, but if I take the time to learn and grow, then I will get there soon!”
If you have an amazing idea, and you feel inspired to try something new like this, I want you to know it is worth it. There is an amazing empowerment that comes from working hard and reaping the rewards of your own success. I want you to also realize it is not and overnight fix. Your goals at first should be smaller, realistic and empowering. My first goal was to just make one sale. After that first sale, it turned into 5 sales, 10 sales etc. Before I quit my day job, my goal was to make $400 a month, roughly a little under what I was making part time. I’m happy to say that I now make more than I did working full time in the past, and one my new goals is to simply pay for a nice vacation every year. When you set your limits to realistic simple achievements, it empowers you to reach a little farther next time. It builds you up for more success, and helps you pave a path to a clearer direction for your business and ventures. This is really where my expertise starts to wane though. While I make decent money for a girl without a degree, who just decided one day to learn and start a business; I am definitely still a very little fish in the big world of business. My husband still supports the family, and he really has been the financial investor of my business all along. It takes money to make money unfortunately. It is another big thing we forget when we start, which is why I hope I put the appropriate amount of emphasis on learning all you can. I’m still learning every day! If you really want to make the leap into being a solo-preneur with me, I’d love to share with you some great wisdom and experts that can really stand on their own! If you’ve already started this awesome journey, I’d love to hear about your business, learn about your journey and cheer you on as you continue! Sometimes being a solo-preneur it gets extremely lonely, so don’t be afraid to reach out there to some of the amazing communities there are out there!
For starting a business, I loved reading and learning from these awesome ladies:
By Regina – http://byregina.com/creative-action-plan/#_a5y_p=4030009
Make sure you take a look around her entire website! While this article is one of my personal favorites, she is quite the well of knowledge and I’ve taken one of her webinars which was amazing!!
Beth Anne and Sarah from Brilliant Business Moms – http://www.brilliantbusinessmoms.com/
I’ve taken their social media classes and love it. They have an amazing blog and community to really help you accomplish your goals.
Dre from The Branded Soloprenuer – http://thebrandedsolopreneur.com/blog/
This is an AMAZING community, and she has some great and awesome posts that can help you get started. Sign up for a mini-course and learn even more!
The Rising Tide Society – http://www.risingtidesociety.com/
The motto of the RTS is “Community over Competition” which is something I have truly come to believe. An amazing resource RTS has is that they build groups all over the USA. Most states have a facebook group called Tuesdays Together. They meet each month to discuss what each month’s theme and focus is from RTS. You can look up your state group by searching Facebook for Tuesdays Together, and then your state or capitol.