Coworking

How to Overcome the Perils of Solopreneurship

Martin Gruszka | February 21st, 2019

A lonely cup of coffee with Office Evolution logo.

A solopreneur is a business owner who works or runs his or her own business alone. A solopreneur, however, is not the same as an entrepreneur. The entrepreneur engages traditional forms of business-building, including the hiring of employees. But the solopreneur chooses whether to grow the business with contract agreements or outsourced providers rather than the standard model of employer/employee.

Being your own boss, setting your own hours and not having to deal with difficult bosses – what’s not to like? It might sound like paradise, but it isn't. A number of studies over several years have suggested that solopreneurs suffer from worse mental and physical health than their employee counterparts.

It doesn’t have to be that way. If you identify the biggest pitfalls of being a solopreneur and develop strategies to cope – you can retain your mental balance and be successful. Here are some of the most common stressors facing solopreneurs and some tips on how to manage. 

 

Isolation

It’s right in the title – solopreneur.  You will be alone.  A lot.  If you are coming from a traditional office job, you may find the change startling.  One or two days telecommuting out of the office is not a good barometer as to whether you can handle it or not.  Remember, as a solopreneur it’s you.  Just you. You will need to make a deliberate effort to fight isolation.  Fortunately, here in  Herndon, there are ways to combat this issue. 

Utilizing a coworking space here in Herndon is a common solution to the isolation blues.  You get your own space, away from home distractions, yet are a part of a larger community many of whom are solopreneurs or freelancers themselves.  Kind of the best of both worlds. 

Joining networking groups or community organizations is another way to retain your social skills and combat the feelings of isolation.  For more tips on how to fight the solopreneur isolation blues, check out this article from Entrepreneur.

 

Financial uncertainty

Perhaps the most significant stressor for most solopreneurs is worry over making enough money to pay the bills. Incomes can be inconsistent as clients/customers don’t always pay on time.  The lack of a guaranteed, timely paycheck can be daunting, but there are a few things you can do to mitigate financial insecurity.

 

  • Make sure you have a diversified customer base so that if you lose a big customer for any reason, you'll lose part but not all your income.
  • Create some savings so you'll have a financial buffer if things go wrong.  It may seem obvious, but unless you allocate a set percentage each month or quarter to set aside – most likely it will never get done.
  • Have a realistic spending plan.  Worst case scenario everything.
  • Finally, create some sort of contingency plan for what you'll do if your income dries up.  What’s the fallback? The idea is to create some mental calm because you'll know what you'll do if the worst happens.  Like a mental safety blanket. 
 
If you are concerned about the impact the cost of coworking will have on your finances, do consider that all of the coworking services offered by Office Evolution are offered on a month by month basis.  This makes access to our professional office space, co-working business lounge, and technology a variable cost as opposed to a fixed cost liability.  When business ramps up, scale up to our Professional Bundle, get access to discounted meeting rooms, and office space.  When things slow down, scale down and maintain a professional Business Address, while developing new clients.

 

Unpredictable workload

Worrying about a lack of work is one thing but having too much work can be equally challenging.  How will you get it all done? This is where managing workflow comes into play. By establishing ongoing relationships with clients or customers you can better predict the ebb and flow of work. This will help ease your financial worry and allow you to schedule your time better.

There are also a plethora of time-saving apps and services that can greatly reduce your administrative time.  A virtual receptionist can save you time and money by taking a lot of the grunt work off your plate. Also, there are helpful apps that allow you to organize and manage a number of tasks from your phone see 25 Best Small Business Apps of 2019.

Finally, keep in mind that one advantage of being a solopreneur is that you can always say no to a particular job or task. Better to refuse work than to substandard work because you are overloaded.  Know your limitations, and you’ll be a lot happier.

 

The inability to turn off work

Many solopreneurs report that they're not really able to take vacations: Even when they're away at the beach, they find themselves pulling out their laptops. And if they don't, they still find that work occupies most of the space in their heads.

Taking a vacation – a real vacation where you limit your work engagement – is important.  Numerous studies point to the mental and work benefits of taking a vacation.  Inc has an excellent article detailing the benefits and importance of some time off.

I can hear you now, “Sure buddy, easy for you to say!”  Well, think about this, if you don’t preserve your mental and physical health you will burn out.  As a solopreneur, there is no burnout.  Everything depends on you.  You can’t afford it.  Take the time off to refresh.  You will be better for it (and your loved ones will appreciate it as well.)

 

Check out how Office Evolution Herndon can help you defeat the solopreneur blues with a comfortable, professional coworking space featuring private offices, address and mailbox service, virtual receptionist and much more.  Affordable plans to meet almost any budget.  Call 703-454-0191 today to see how Office Evolution Herndon can meet your business needs.

 

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Office Evolution Herndon -- 205 Van Buren St. Suite 120 Herndon, VA 20170

In the shadow of Dulles Airport, Office Evolution Herndon keeps you in the center of the action without the long commute. We're just a short hop on the Toll Road from Ashburn, Chantilly, Sterling, Reston and other nearby communities. When the new Silver Line Metro Station opens, you'll be within a 10-minute walk. Right now, there's ample parking.

Outside the office, Office Evolution Herndon is an excellent location for work or play. Walk to the Worldgate Centre for premier shopping, movies, and dining. Get lunch at Inchin's Bamboo Garden, or head to Reston Town Center. Opening March 2019.

Topics: Solo Practitioners Coworking