Not everyone thrives in the office environment and more people are turning away from traditional work structures and choosing to become independent workers. In our last post we looked at the rise of the solopreneur, how they differ from other types of independent workers and how they contribute to the workforce. In this post the benefits and potential pitfalls that solopreneurs might encounter will be examined.
- The most obvious rewards of being a solopreneur are having complete control of their business’s destiny and earning all the profits from it. The work is theirs alone and they are free to realize their own vision and be their own brand, they have total creative freedom. Solopreneurs can change and grow their business how they want without having to worry about partners, shareholders or anyone else. When they do need to work with others on a project, they have the freedom to choose who to work with and are not forced to continue a working relationship that doesn’t suit them. Being a solopreneur is a dream come true for anyone who likes to be in complete control.
- For solopreneurs there is no end to opportunities to learn and grow in their field or in business savvy. Most start out slowly, perhaps with their businesses as side-gigs to their day job or because they couldn’t fit into a traditional career. Starting out as a solopreneur requires little to no funding to get going so it is easy to take a chance. Once their business is up and running, solopreneurs can compete in the war for talent completely on their own terms, finding their niche and studying new techniques or methods that they are interested in. They can learn and grow in their field however they choose, without a boss or company getting in their way. Not only do solopreneurs have an opportunity for endless growth in their area of expertise, they have the chance to learn about business practices too, such as: outsourcing, organization, marketing etc. For lifelong learners, choosing to be a solopreneur can fulfill their curiosity and thirst for new knowledge.
- Solopreneurs have the ability to live to work (not work to live) by making their own passion project their career and taking it wherever they want as they learn and grow in their role. Solopreneurs also have the freedom to work when and where they choose, outside of an office and office hours. It is a position in which crazy workaholics can thrive without worrying about any coworkers to slow them down, or where perfectionists can take a little more time to do the job perfectly without worrying about slowing their team down. It is also great for people who need a high degree of flexibility in working hours, suchs as parents, caregivers, or people with unpredictable health conditions.
As an added bonus to the control, growth, and freedom that solopreneurs enjoy, 70% of independent workers claim that their work style is better for their health than a traditional work structure. With all that control, freedom, flexibility and potential health benefits, what’s not to love?
The Burden of Having Sole Responsibility:
- As a one person business solopreneurs may have all the freedom they need but they also shoulder all the responsibility for the entire operation. They bear full responsibility for any and all failures and they are the subject of total liability if things go wrong. This can be overwhelming for some people, they burden of sole responsibility may be too much to bear.
Lack of Structure:
- Along with the freedom to work when, where and how one chooses, the lack of structure can cause some solopreneurs to work at a fast and furious pace in order to grow their business, which can lead to burnout. Ambition is a good thing but without some structure to reign it in workaholics can not only risk their business by burning out early but they also risk their own physical and mental health. For some individuals a lack of external accountability in the form of a boss and looming deadlines can lead to procrastination and stagnation, and ultimately business failure if they cannot hustle to get new clients or meet agreed upon deadlines with the clients they have.
No Business Know-How:
- Some talented creatives, who would be a great asset to the independent workforce, may find the prospect of dealing with business side of being a solopreneur difficult and the learning curve too steep and may end-up giving-up before they get their business off the ground.
- The traditional office environment provides a chance to interact with others and problem solve in a team environment. Without coworkers to feed off of or brainstorm with, solopreneurs can sometimes get stuck in their work and find working alone isolating and uninspiring. As much as working with a wide range of personalities can be annoying, sometimes those character differences in coworkers can lead to inspiration and innovation, some people really thrive under the sense of shared goals and teamwork. For those who do best when bouncing ideas off of other people, solopreneurship might be really hard and lonely.
The rewards that solopreneurs can gain sound pretty good, but the risks are intimidating. In our next post we take a look at how to succeed as a solopreneur and avoid potential pitfalls. If you already think the rewards far outweigh the risks and are ready to give being a solopreneur a try, start working on your profile in order to attract new clients at SageGroupy, the freelancer’s friend.