There are many reasons why people may hesitate to make a career transition to solopreneurship. Some common concerns that I’ve heard from people over the years — and some that I’ve personally experienced — include the following:
Will I be able to earn enough to make ends meet?
It’s easy to get caught up in the stories we hear on social media around tried and true methods for a successful launch or making your first $100k in under 60 days. The reality is that starting a business can be risky, and it may take time to begin generating a steady income. This can be a significant concern for those with financial obligations, a mortgage or single parents! Suppose you’ve been an employee most of your working life. In that case, you may be hesitant to leave your job because you value the security of a steady paycheck and benefits. All valid hesitations! Having a plan that includes various scenarios, cashflow planning, and broader external and internal factors affecting your business industry, along with a longer-term view, can provide more insight into your decision to make the leap.
Am I qualified to do this?
Many people may feel they need to acquire the necessary skills or experience to start their own business. While there is some truth to this, one of the ways we gain that experience is through doing. When I started my first business in 2009, I didn’t know how to build the platform needed to launch, nor did I feel confident about marketing my business. I learned on the go and gained many valuable skills that serve me well today. While having relevant qualifications or experience in the industry in which you plan to start your business can be beneficial, solopreneurship requires personal mastery, creativity, drive, and a willingness to take risks and learn from failures.
What if it doesn’t work out?
The fear of failure can be a major deterrent for those considering a career transition to solopreneurship. No one likes the idea of putting in a lot of hard work only to have their business fail. One of the ways I’ve helped manage my fears is to work on the skill of reframing. Rather than perceiving failure as a negative, reframing it as an opportunity to learn and grow has been empowering. Take small, incremental steps toward your goal, even if it means facing your fear of failure.
I feel like I’m alone on this journey.
Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals who can co-motivate and inspire you when you begin to waver is essential. Some people may not have the support of their family or friends when starting a business, which can make the process feel intimidating. Joining networking groups and entrepreneurial communities, finding a mentor or engaging an executive coach are all ways that can help you feel less alone.
Am I self-motivated enough?
Being self-motivated is an important trait for a solopreneur, as it can help you to stay focused and motivated when working independently. Self-motivation can be developed and nurtured over time, and you can always work on building it up. However, self-motivation can vary depending on the person and can fluctuate depending on the situation. Some people may need the structure and routine of a traditional job to be productive.
Consider working with a coach or mentor who can guide you in developing self-motivation and help you to build a support system that can keep you on track and motivated.
I’m nervous about change
Finally, some people may be resistant to change and may be hesitant to leave their comfort zone. Change can be difficult and nerve-wracking, but it’s important to remember that change can also be an opportunity for growth and development. I often say that you’re not doing it right if you’re not scared! One of my favourite ways to manage the anxiety of the unknown has been to develop a consistent meditation and mindfulness practice. Cultivating my emotional intelligence has also helped me develop a healthier perspective.
Making the leap to solopreneurship can be a big decision, and it’s essential to be well-prepared before taking the plunge. Addressing these hesitations is a great first step. With a bit of support and persistence, these hesitations feel more manageable as time goes by.