As a business owner, it is important to decide whether you want to be a solopreneur or an entrepreneur. Both are exceptional paths to meaningful work. But the skills needed and the areas of focus are not the same.
Solopreneurs have created a job for themselves. A job that they go to everyday and they fully intend to continue going to that job just like they were working for someone else. They clock in, work hard and clock out. They are also more likely to keep their business small enough to maintain personal control. They are less likely to hire employees or if they do the employee’s work is very much in a support capacity.
In the early stage of a business, entrepreneurs may also work their business like a job but the goal of the entrepreneur is to grow their business into one that no longer needs the entrepreneur to attend to daily tasks. Entrepreneurs plan to create jobs for other people and reap the rewards of their management skills as they gradually transition to trusted employees/managers and contract assistance (bookkeepers, etc.) who handle the routine aspects of the business. These are the business owners who dream of a business that operates effectively while they go on vacation, are building a legacy to hand down to their family or to sell for a profit and have the ultimate goal of earning even when they personally aren’t working.
I often meet business owners who want the end result of an entrepreneur but are approaching their business like a solopreneur.
Solopreneurs needs to work on ways to optimize their processes so they can maximize their efforts. They also need to evaluate which tasks are best to do themselves and which should be outsourced. Many solopreneurs wear themselves out by trying to do everything themselves when their time is best focused on what they do best, leaving other tasks to services or employees. Outsourcing services like bookkeeping, scheduling, answering calls after hours, etc. can be a good way to allow the solopreneur the opportunity to make more money with less stress.
Entrepreneurs need to work on ensuring that they can duplicate processes as they add staff. This means learning how to create standardize processes, hire, onboard and retain employees. They need to carefully consider the culture they want to foster at their organization, how to identify those who are a great fit and how to bring them along so that the business continues to become more and more self-sufficient.
Both need to work on fostering a mindset that helps them stay focused. They need to create a support team to help them when things get rough.
So, consider how you want your business to progress and the steps you need to take to get there. By beginning with the end in mind, you’ll be able to plot a course to achieve the reality that you desire. Then begin carving out time and resources to improve yourself and the way your business functions. It takes effort but the results are well worth the journey.