This is the 3rd and final in a series from guest blogger, Jessica Fox, on her life as a solopreneur
When I’ve had to say ‘no’ to a project because of my existing work queue, it’s like a knife in the heart. In those moments, I toy with the idea of contracting another writer’s help.
Then I remember what it was like when I had employees and owned a now-closed bridal shop. I never, ever want to be responsible for another person’s income again.
However, not all of you will be gun-shy ex-entrepreneurs like me, so how do you know it’s time to grow? Ask yourself the following questions:
· Are you spending a lot of time completing administrative tasks?
· Are you working more but making the same amount?
· Are there tasks that have gone uncompleted (such as marketing or networking) because of a time deficit?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above, chances are it’s time to think abut what’s next.
As a solopreneur, there are a couple ways you can go about taking your one-person business to the next step, but what it really boils down to is the difference between solopreneurs and entrepreneurs.
I really like this breakdown on Entrepreneur about the differences between the two, but basically it’s about what motivates you. For solopreneurs, it’s about doing work they enjoy. While entrepreneurs feel the same way, it’s also about building a team to which they can delegate work while they focus on growing the business.
Knowing into which camp you fall impacts how you take things to the next level.
For example, I welcome new projects and clients, but don’t have dreams of developing a team of skilled writers so that I can take on more and more projects. I’m content to help businesses find their written voice myself while working toward my childhood goal of becoming a published fiction author. While I don’t want to grow in the traditional sense, I would like to dedicate more time to do the work I enjoy and less to taking care of things like billing and marketing. In my case, outsourcing administrative and marketing tasks to a virtual assistant is a great solution.
Managing is what marks a difference between the solopreneur and entrepreneur. Back when I owned a bridal boutique, taking the big step to hire sales staff and a manager enabled me to focus on running and marketing my business. Instead of working with every bride, I handled purchase orders, balanced the books, networked, and more. However, with that growth came with the responsibility of paychecks, employment taxes, and being a mentor to my team. I missed working with the brides all the time, but loved watching my staff develop into seasoned bridal shop pros.
Whether you continue as a solopreneur or take the path of an entrepreneur, both journeys offer opportunity, risk and reward. There’s no rule that says you can’t be both at one time or another – after all, our priorities and lives change. The best advice I ever got was from my mom: follow your instincts and you can’t go wrong.
Jessica Fox is a freelance writer currently living in Los Angeles, CA where she writes as much as possible to feed her increasingly voracious horse-habit. You can find her on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/gtmochi ) or Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/jessequestrienne/).
We'd both love to hear your about your own challenges with entrepreneuship.