What’s a Solopreneur?

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so·lo·pre·neur

A person who sets up and runs a business on their own.

While the term “solopreneur” is relatively new, the concept is as old as commerce itself.

Picture an old world tradesman such as a blacksmith, cobbler, barber, or baker. These were often generational artisan craftsmen who had perfected the trade passed down through familial lines.

artisan baker old world solopreneur

They were not as concerned with building empires and monopolies as they were with taking pride in their work and being the best they could be for their customers.

These men and women were hard working, entrepreneurial in spirit, and placed a premium value on integrity in business. They built a name for themselves in their communities, and a heritage for their families.

Perhaps it was just one man or one woman, or maybe it was a husband/wife team or two siblings, but they operated largely in the “solo” realm. These were the original solopreneurs, and they paved the way for us today.

While we certainly have more technology and better tools at our disposal today, the concept is still the same for the solopreneur.

Whether we work out of a barn, a panel truck, a storefront, or a collaborative workspace, the definition holds true.

No matter if our tools of the trade are a pitchfork, a butcher knife, a clipboard, or a laptop, we have these common bonds:

We run lean.

solopreneur woman in a coffee shop

The very nature of the word “solopreneur” is fusion of “solo” and “entrepreneur”. The logical definition tells us that a solopreneur is one who starts and runs a business by themself.

Perhaps we outsource some things in order to serve more customers and operate efficiently, but the responsibility of the day to day operations falls on our shoulders.

The solopreneur doesn’t have a staff or a business partner. We’ll probably never be a corporate level company because of this, but that’s not what we’re after anyway.

We take pride.

seamstress solopreneur

The solopreneur places a high value on their product and their integrity in business.

We realize that there is no difference between “the company” and our name. If something goes wrong, there’s nobody else to blame it on. It’s not just “the company’s” name that is at stake. Our name is on the line, and that matters deeply to us.

If presented with the choice to have a bigger business, but compromise our product or service, we won’t do it. We exercise extreme ownership.

We go hard.

leather craftsman solopreneur artisan

The beauty of the free market (at least in America) is that opportunity is everywhere.

The solopreneur understands that at the end of the day nobody is going to grow their business for them.

If it’s going to happen, we are going to make it happen.

We’ll play smart, but we’ll also make mistakes and get knocked down. However, the solopreneur understands that ultimate failure only occurs when we refuse to get back up. So we rise up, learn from our mistakes, and we grow.

CONCLUSION

As a solopreneur, the nature of the business can lend itself to loneliness. It’s something that I’ve dealt with over the years. The best way to combat this is to stay connected with other solopreneurs that can support you, empathize with you, and challenge you.

The solopreneur life can be very challenging, but it is extremely rewarding. If you are hungry for ownership, disciplined, resilient, and passionate about serving others, you can build an amazing business and a beautiful life for yourself and your family.

What are some of the traits you’ve found to be common among solopreneurs? I’d love your thoughts and would value your feedback.

For reference, there are several other great articles explaining the traits of a solopreneur including this one: Entrepreneur VS Solopreneur

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