Five Traits of Successful Solopreneurs
Getting to the top of your game requires self-discovery
The term solopreneur isn’t new, but its meaning is more relevant today than ever before. More people are beginning to leverage technology with their unique skills, personal interests and resources to create a second or third stream of income.
The supply of plug-and-play systems that make it simple to make money with a smartphone or computer has increased tenfold in the past twelve months alone. There are now unlimited opportunities in our modern, global, sharing economy to express your creativity, share your passion or do something you enjoy while getting compensated.
Typically, a solopreneur’s income is a direct result of his or her skills, personality or presence. In other words, if you’re a solopreneur, your business doesn’t operate without you.
Solopreneurs come in many shapes and sizes. Some might be professional speakers or podcast hosts, whose business depends on his or her unique delivery of content. Another could be a highly-skilled metal craftsman with an online portfolio and Instagram account showcasing his or her talents. There could be one teaching piano lessons from home while clients find, book and pay for lessons with an app.
Regardless of the gig, solopreneurs share on thing in common:
They harness the power of online commerce to grow a business based on how they can personally add value.
A solopreneur does not become successful overnight. Getting to the top of your game requires self-discovery, honing a skill, practicing a sport or talent or acquiring a resource to monetize.
If you’re a solopreneur on your journey, chances are you have more than one of the traits below. If not, you will soon enough Personally, I failed my way to success. I wouldn’t take any of the failures back. Each one was a lesson, and those lessons made me better.
1. YOU KNOW WHAT YOU WANT
You are always asking yourself what you want. You can see it. You probably have it written down. You know where you are going, and you think about it all day, every day. It excites you, and you enjoy the daily actions that get you closer to that goal.
Last year, I had the privilege of meeting Hugh Hilton, a founding partner and current managing director and CEO of Alvarez & Marsal Capital Real Estate. During our conversation, he said, "If you don't know where you're going, you’ll never get where you want to go.”
It's so true. I didn't know where I wanted to go for a long time. This was because I wasn't entirely sure who I was. I found that the more I looked inside myself, the more I understood myself, and the more I could get clear on what I wanted. The key was looking inside myself. I found that it actually wasn't more money or more success I wanted – It was freedom.
I now know what motivates me: Being able to do what I want when I want. A bucket full of money or a free trip around the world? I'll take the latter, please. Knowing this shifted my life. When I saw with laser focus what I wanted, I began to get it.
2. YOU ASK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU ACT
Before you act or make a decision, you ask yourself if it will bring you closer or further from your goals. If it brings you closer, you do it. If it won't, then you don't.
As I pursued my dreams of growing my online business, there was a lot of uncertainty. I wasn’t exactly sure what it looked like, but I knew that if I continued my search for knowledge, stepped outside my comfort zone and faced obstacles head-on, I would figure it out.
With each new choice, new opportunity, new invitation, I began to ask myself if it was in line with my goals and values. Running things through this filter helped me make better, faster and more meaningful decisions while drowning out the noise and distraction of what everyone else wanted me to do, buy or participate in. Remember, if you’re not steering your ship, there are plenty of people who will steer for you.
3. YOU SURROUND YOURSELF WITH OTHERS WHO ARE CRUSHING IT
My friend always says, “Show me the 10 people you spend the most time with, and I’ll show you your future.”
Spend time with those who bring you joy, build you up, entertain you, make you laugh, hold space for you to be you, inspire you, teach you, want the best for you and have your back.
When you're feeling good, your energetic frequency is higher, which causes your output or productivity to flow effortlessly and with higher quality. As a solopreneur, your authenticity is your "it-factor." The amount of time you spend in a positive emotional state will be directly related to your success. This is the Law of Attraction at work.
4. YOU EMBRACE NOTORIETY
You’re comfortable with people knowing you. A solopreneur must wear many hats and form many relationships. The fact is, as a solopreneur, you want people to know you. Your business is your brand. It is your personality, your craft or your skill, and you want people to know about it. The more people who know what you do, the more business opportunities you will have.
5. YOU HAVE A MENTOR
The most successful solopreneurs didn’t magically or suddenly get good at their craft. They honed their skills over many years and worked with mentors and coaches to become the best.
A business grows as much as its leader does. Having a mentor to navigate the emotional ups and downs of solopreneurship helps you see the lessons, make sense of them and use them as fodder for upward momentum. If you don’t have a coach or mentor, get one now. An investment in yourself is the best investment you can make.
If you’re still on your journey, you must be willing to look at yourself honestly. You should be open to feedback that is hard to hear. You get that from a coach. We don’t grow when life is rainbows and butterflies. We grow when things are tough, and we have to evolve, see things differently, eat some crow, face a fear, or confront someone we love. Those are the moments you must draw from your core, your inner Knowing, your intuition, that’s where your highest potential lives. And that’s where a mentor or coach helps you go.
Holly Morphew is a Denver-based, award-winning financial coach, entrepreneur, speaker and founder of Financial Impact. As a certified financial health counselor, student loan counselor and accredited financial counselor ®, she works with companies and individuals with the core belief that anyone, regardless of where they begin, can achieve financial freedom and peace of mind.