A common misconception in society seems to be that being your own boss means doing what you want. When I say no to coffee dates during the day, kick out friends who drop in, or respond to questions about what we’re doing over the school holidays with “I’m working”, many people say “But you’re the boss!”
I think this misconception is also the reason many start up sole operators only last a couple of years in business.
I may be the boss and it’s true that this gives me the freedom to effectively do what I want, but as a sole operator I’m also the one doing the work. If I don’t work, the work doesn’t get done and I don’t get paid.
Sure I can whip to Toowoomba for the day for appointments but I have to make up that day’s lost work – usually on the weekend. I can take my daughter to the movies during the holidays – but I have to put in those ‘lost’ hours of work after hours.
Small business makes up 96% of Australian business – and 60% of these are non-employing businesses, so you can successfully run a sole operator business. But to succeed you have to move beyond that first rush of excitement about the freedom that comes with being your own boss and realise that success comes down to you, the support of your friends and family, and an ability to manage your time and set some boundaries both with your clients and your friends and family.
Being a solopreneur requires some basic traits: an ability to self-motivate, manage your time effectively, and be focused. Not everyone is cut out for solopreneurship – but when you can get it right it’s incredibly rewarding.
© Lyn Prowse-Bishop, http://www.execstress.com/