The Problem With Solopreneurs

buisness growth buisness strategy growth solopreneur Oct 14, 2022
singular tree on a beach
As someone who has herself been a solopreneur for more than 25 years, and have spent the last 3 years supporting thousands of sole proprietor business owners I can tell you I say this with a whole heap of LOVE...


Bear with me a moment while I explain why.

The majority of us set up ventures based on need. Our own needs yes, be that financial, lifestyle, or status related, but also the need we see in our industry or niche, the very thing that our businesses set out to help contribute towards solving.

The majority of us are hardworking, grafters, willing to give things a go, willing to work long hours, willing to work outside of our zone of genius and to put blood, sweat and tears into our ventures.

AND, further to this.

The majority of us care far too much what other people think about us….and therefore our business, and we let this too often stop us from taking brave and bold jumps towards what we really want.

Sound familiar?

Now notice I said majority and not all as there are always exceptions, but the truth is, it is very rare that I find a sole business owner who doesn’t hold themselves back by one of these above generalisations.

In the early days of setting up a business these things might drive us, but after a while it is easy to become burned out, disillusioned and even angry at not really seeing a proper return on investment.


tree and man walking up hill


As sole business owners, there is often a huge cost to running our business:

  • Literally the financial running costs of our businesses which need to be met each month in order to break even
  • The hours we put in each month working in and on the business, plus the hours we spend thinking or stressing about it
  • The hours we are not working in a secure paid job…and the benefits and career progression that comes with employment
  • The cost to our physical and mental health, and to the time we don’t get to spend with loved one and friends

However, the cost which I think is most difficult to justify when business isn’t growing as fast as you’d like, is the cost of lost opportunity or missed potential.

YES this is totally unquantifiable and hard to pin down, but we feel it the deepest as solopreneurs, making the perceived failures or shortcomings of our business feel like they are personal failures and shortcomings…the boundaries are so blurred. So perhaps this is about capacity building, creating enough resource in your solopreneur business, that you are able to remove yourself ever so slightly from the highs and lows of the entrepreneurial journey.

Building up…

  • Financial Reserves
  • Leverageable Assets
  • Stores of Energy
  • Knowledge Banks
  • Support Networks

man sat in a tree


The one resource that is more challenging to stockpile though is time, and that’s the kicker. Solopreneurs often feel like they are running out of time or living in some kind of time warp…hanging onto the past or living for the future.

That sense of “have I missed my shot” or “have I left it too late” plagues so many business folks, but the ones carrying the load 100% by themselves, I believe they feel it the most, which is where collaboration, partnership and community can really support the solopreneur and of course scaling their business effectively, so they no longer have to do it all alone.

It reminds me of the John Donne poem ‘No man is an island’ about how human beings are connected to each other, and how important that connection is for the wellbeing and survival of any individual.

We don’t need to do it all.

We don’t need to operate as a one-person band.

We are often stronger when we build something bigger than us.

So maybe it is time?

The business growth consulting division of Oakwood Management headed up by Julie Creffield works with small to mid-size businesses in a no nonsense way to support them on their growth journey. 

Helping founders, and CEOs to spot and fill the capacity and knowledge gaps in their business, and to help them leverage their best assets when it comes to making the most of future growth opportunities as they arise.

Our NEW Lifestyle to Legacy programme is for entrepreneurs who are serious about scaling their business, but know they have gaps in their knowledge (the how), are perhaps lacking a bit of confidence (the who they are to do this), and haven’t really explored the full extent of the opportunity (the why).

The programme has a small cohort size, and is delivered in engaging online sessions with full resources, and 121 support and consultancy. This is not an online course, rather a bespoke coaching, training and mentoring solution.

If you’d like to find out whether you are a good fit, email [email protected] to receive a PDF brochure outlining the content of the programme, and the costs. Or why not book in a call and have a chat direct.

The first cohort of this programme starts next month.


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