By AK Fielding
At one point or another, as owners of our own businesses, we all confront bumps on the road. Finding roadblocks on the path to success is not unusual for any business, but creating mountains out of molehills that prevent you from succeeding as a solopreneur is indeed a problem and deserves an honest and closer examination of your motivations.
The Top Reasons You’re Failing As A Solopreneur (And What To Do About It)
1. No Passion
Are you passionate about what you do? It is important to remember that there is a difference between liking something and being passionate about it. Don’t believe me? Think about the colors pink and red. Both colors may signify something that is pleasing but only one represents a sense of deep, unquenchable passion.
If you are passionate about being a solopreneur, you will think of your business at every moment. You will think about how to make it better. You will think about how to make it grow. You will think about how to make it more effective. You will think about what you would be doing if you no longer could have your business—and realize that you would be lost. That is passion. Do you have passion?
God has blessed you with a unique talent, what will you do with yours? Will you be the fool who hides it or the wise one who invests in their talent?
2. The World
There are days when it is just easier to find something safer, and simpler to do, you know, do what others want, make what others want to buy. Or how about putting your dream on the back burner altogether? The consistency of a paycheck in a horrid economy is enough to put the brakes on the most resilient solopreneur. As is wallowing in self-pity because no one seems to be interested in what you have to offer. It is, after all, the world’s fault that you are unsuccessful, right? Wrong. If you are waiting for the world to define you, then you are already lost. Go back to point #1, where is your passion?
Every solopreneur breaks down. Give yourself a minute. Then get up, shake it off and get back to your passion. Remember, you serve the One who has conquered it ALL!
3. Unrealistic Comparison
Ah! Yes. The constant need to compare yourself to others. Why do we do it? What is this deep need to compare ourselves to others so we can meet the “standards” of society? And always come up short. Get depressed. Then repeat the cycle. That about sums up the pattern, no? Yet, we continue to do it every day.
Unfortunately, the absurdity to compare ourselves to others is not limited to only our personal appearance. As business people, we often compare the success of others to our venture—and again, almost always come up short. The problem is not that you are looking at the success of another solopreneur to improve your own business, the problem is that you are only looking at their success to see the failure in your venture.
Switch it up! Instead of looking at your failures that are bound to depress you further, try to find moments of accomplishments in your business. Sure, look at the success of the other business, for the learning experience. Find out what makes them successful as a solopreneur and as much as you can, apply the ideas to your own business plan. Do not emulate the other business to the point where you lose your own identity. Instead, try to incorporate winning ideas from the other business and streamline them into your own.
If you are an artist, for example, look at other successful artists. How did they begin? What do they do to be successful? Take it another step further, find an unrelated business and find out what makes them successful, then apply the concept to your plan. You will notice, no matter what type of business it is, most successful businesses have similar factors in common. These are what I call the golden nuggets that you want to glean when you study, not compare, your business to others. We will discuss more of these factors in a future article.
Are you one of those people who love to read, talk, discuss, verify, think, think, and think because you want to learn everything and anything to help your business become successful? Well, STOP! It is wonderful to do all these things—I happen to be a person who dabbles in all of the above—but at some point you have to do.
Remember, the Nike slogan, “Just Do It?” Well, it turns out that there is something to it. Don’t get me wrong, you should do all you can to learn about your business and engage with others, but when these activities have taken precedence over the process of practical application to your business, then you are no longer learning but procrastinating. Procrastination is nothing more than excuses for what you do not want to do. More specifically, procrastination is an ugly vice and it is keeping you from achieving success now. Did Jesus procrastinate? Why are you?
Educate yourself about how to run your business then take a leap of faith. Without making the commitment to do so, you will never get to the next rung in the ladder, no matter how much you have learned. The time to succeed is NOW!
5. Your Circumstances
You are tired. You are depressed. The bills need to be paid. The roof is leaking. You don’t have enough money. You don’t have enough time. You will never sell anything you create. The kids need to be taken care of. Your mother-in-law is coming for a visit—for 2 months. There are no resources for you in your town. Your spouse is not interested or supportive. You are scared. You are alone. Sound familiar? Only one question: Where is Jesus?
Ground yourself in the word of God. Every time you get hit—and you will—go back to His Word. It should be the central focus of your universe, always. You are not alone. You are not a victim of your circumstances. You are the image bearer of God. You are capable. You are strong. You are wonderful. You have something of substance and value to offer to this world. Remember point #1. Find your passion. Now go and give it your ALL!
Your Attitude About Running Your Own Business
If you are frustrated because your business is not succeeding, begin by taking a closer look at your attitude towards your venture and being a solopreneur. Are you still passionate about your idea? Are you blaming the world for the lack of growth your business is experiencing? Are you constantly comparing other, more successful businesses with your own and coming up short? Are you being lazy or giving up because you think it is pointless? Are you using your circumstances as an excuse to not give it your all? Don’t misunderstand me, we all have things that come up, issues that require our time and energy, but if you are making excuses for yourself, then it is time to find out why and these top five areas are a great place to begin.
AK Fielding is a historian, artist, writer, illustrator and homeschool educator. Her articles on American history have appeared on the Journal of the American Revolution, Illinois Heritage Magazine, Hoosier Heritage Magazine, new media publications, and her Blog. Her art has appeared in galleries and national and international publications. For more information about her art and books on American history, please visit: http://trehanstreasures.com/.