Solopreneurship is a fast-growing trend in today’s digital workforce. Any dictionary that chooses to include and define this term labels it as a entrepreneur who basically runs a one man or one woman ship. They don’t have, need or want any employees.
Obviously, this workforce trend fits very nicely into the laptop lifestyle so many millennials and gen-Yers dream of: The ability to work from wherever in the world you want, conceivably whenever you please.
Freelance jobs of all kinds fit into the solopreneur model including: writers, bloggers, designers, consultants, customer service reps, interior designers, architects, and many more.
Why become a solopreneur?
Pay in many traditional positions is going up for some, mostly to accommodate with inflation. However, when one considers the time commitment that’s required of them in a traditional job, for low to moderately average pay, the idea for working for oneself starts to become very attractive.
Solopreneurship as a career is an idea worth exploring because the demand for self-motivated, skilled people is on the rise. There are plenty of opportunities that solopreneurs can consider in order to attain their own definition of success.
However, before you embark in your solopreneurship journey, it’s best for you to know the pros and cons of becoming a solopreneur before plunging yourself all-out into it.
Pros of Being a Solopreneur
1. Flexibility and freedom
For most, this is the most desirable positive to working as a solopreneur. You can get up at whatever time of day you want, and begin working whenever you like. This also means that your personal schedule doesn’t have to revolve around your work as it does with a traditional job. You’re essentially beholding to no one, other than your clients, and that can be offset by aligning their expectations with your desired work schedule.
2. You’re contributing to the economy
While a solopreneur may find themselves quite often chastised for not contributing their fare share to the economy by directly hiring a whole gaggle of employees, they do contribute to the economy by generating work for others. Freelancers invariably cannot complete every aspect of all the projects they take on, meaning they need to hire skilled people to fill in the gaps.
3. You’re only limited by the level of demand you place on yourself
There are so many cogs in the wheel of a traditional company that can hinder the type of work you do, and the compensation offered. For instance, a designer working for a firm is limited by the sales staff’s ability to generate leads. Then, if your manager doesn’t see your unique talents, you can be stuck doing work that doesn’t offer you any sense of completion.
As a solopreneur, you control how many customers are coming in. You decide what kind of work you want to do – and how much of a workload you’re willing to shoulder.
4. No office politics to deal with
Dealing with coworkers, their drama, their professional limitations and so on, can get very frustrating. Especially for those who prefer to keep to themselves or who just want to get their work done for the day and move on without dealing with the office politics that are so often forced on all who work with a team. Solopreneurship is the ultimate reprieve from this problem.
Cons of Being a Solopreneur
1. Solopreneurs won’t always have someone to lean on
As a solo entrepreneur, you’ll face challenges that require quick thinking, smart decision making, patience, and the ability to execute quickly. Without coworkers who understand the unique challenges you have to overcome every day, life as a solopreneur can get very lonely.
The same applies to situations when you have an overwhelming workload to deal with and nobody close by (such as in the office) to help you with such hurdles.
2. Competition can be tough
There are likely several solopreneurs out there already doing what you’re doing. Some who’re more skilled, some more disciplined, some better at marketing, etc. Differentiating yourself isn’t easy, it will take time to get your own slice of the market pie.
Customers need to see you as offering something different from the next guy doing the same thing you do. The competition isn’t going away and marketing your business is all on you.
4. Times can get tough financially
Even if you’re the hardest, smartest worker in your space, there’s never any guarantees you’re going to get paid for every project you do. A solopreneur often won’t have the budget or free time to take delinquent customers to court when they refuse to pay.
The same goes when things get slow in your chosen discipline. If buyers stop buying your product, your life as a solopreneur can get pretty scary when it comes time to balance your cheque book. This issue can be offset by one’s ability to adapt and pivot with the times, perhaps creating multiple income streams in order to insulate yourself from such market changes.
Working as a solopreneur will never be easy, especially when starting out. However, facing the challenges that come up will give you the confidence and skill necessary to succeed in circumstances where most others would give up.