It’s freakin’ lonely.
A lot more than you think. Yeah, we can chat over Facebook messenger, we can share witty jibes on our Insta photos but man, that’s just snippets of time. Mere seconds. What about the rest of the day?! It’s 99% me talking smack with an overtly affectionate stalker (shes a dog but whatevs, still a stalker), and Timmy telling me every hour what the surfs doing. Like I care (I don’t. I really don’t babe.)
The word ‘solopreneur’ even sounds lonely. It’s all about doing it solo – which yeah, it definitely has it’s benefits for little ol introverted me. But leave it unchecked and boom, loneliness can wipe that smirking ‘I-work-whenever-I-want’ face right off.
I’ve had to manage that by making a conscious choice to be more social. Remember, I’m introverted so it doesn’t come easy. The best way I’ve gotten around that is hassle my friends for coffee dates, take some time out with Timmy and the when I’m feeling like a superhero, go to an event.
Oh, and a few rad ‘colleagues’ help too.
Being the boss of everything isn’t as good as I thought it’d be.
You literally have to make a decision for everything. EVERYTHING.
Working from home is SO overrated.
The flexibility to work whenever you want is unbelievable. But from home? Nah, overrated. You see the same shit every day. There’s no escaping. Plus when your partner works from home too it’s like ‘umm, I love you but gimme some space FFS’!’
I even have an office, which I share with Timmy, so at least I have a space to go to. But it makes it harder to have an on-off switch with work. Because the office is always there, just beckoning you every single second of the day.
Colleagues would be kinda nice.
To bounce ideas, trade lame jokes, chat about things, you know…have a work Christmas party. I thrive working alone but I still miss having one or two close colleagues nearby.
When you’re working at a day job, you always have at least one person to report to. In the health industry, we always had a clinical supervisor, who’s role wasn’t to be your line manager but to mentor you through working with your caseload. It’s not until you leave that you realise just how valuable it is.
Mentors matter. Every single solopreneur needs one. If you don’t, hire one. Stat. Like me.
Time becomes a love/hate relationship.
You want to work in less time but ‘there’s so much time and I love what I’m doing so I’m just going to do it ALL.THE.TIME’.
There’s always more to do. And that on-off switch just does not exist anymore.
It’s tough getting dressed.
Wearing your pyjamas all day in the home office sounds like the dream doesn’t it? HA. It is, until you realise how much you smell, how oily your skin is, how badly your hair needs a wash and that you should probably wash your pyjama pants once in awhile.
You start to feel like a slob. You definitely look the part but then it crosses the feeling territory. Then it hits you: ‘Oh fuck, I’m such a slob”.
*I’m ashamed to say I’m writing this dressed like a slob…it’s one of those days.
I think this is one reason why I’m over the home office – it’s hard to dress up when no one is really going to see you. I try though – the days I rock an outfit and some BB creme, I feel like a fuckin’ fashion blogger. Out comes the camera and it’s selfie galore. Then I actually get some really great work done.
The friends vs. prospective client dilemma.
So, are you like a budding client or are we just friends?
This is super hard when you’re a service. I tend to surround myself with other solopreneurs because frankly, I like the way they approach life. Conversations are always fun, intelligent and a little crazy. The good kind. But alas, I also tend to work solely with solopreneurs. That fine line between friend and prospective client is a tough one to navigate.
You become your own worst enemy.
As in your head becomes your worst enemy. It’s like self doubt thrives in silence. And it’s fuckin’ annoying.
I’ve managed to master this but in the early days, this was a tough nut to crack. The solution? Getting a mentor and becoming part of a mastermind. Whatever you do, don’t do it alone. Get those thoughts OUT of your head.
The comfort zone becomes a little too comfortable.
Growth happens when we get a little uncomfortable. So when you finally get into a place that feels nice and cosy, we tend to stay there. Then wonder why we’re not generating new business or seeing our business uplevel.
Even though there’s a not-so-fun side to being a solopreneur, I wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s the best job and having two dogs for colleagues isn’t that bad.
I get to meet the most brilliant people who have the sharpest minds and out-of-this-world ideas. And you will too.
You’ll get to craft a lifestyle that suits you and your family.
You’ll become empowered to make some seriously cool shit happen.
You’ll become a woman who inspires others to do something about their own lives.
Believe me, it’s not a perfect, glamour-filled life, but it’s worth it.