The thing I enjoy the most about being an online business owner is this: Nobody can take away what I have built with SBI! - John Shank, SBI! member since 2003

65 Experts Share Why Solopreneurship Is a Grand Slam, And How to Avoid Striking Out

Written By: Mike Allton in How Solopreneurs Build Their Business | January 3, 2018

64 Experts Share Why Solopreneurship Is a Grand Slam, And How to Avoid Striking Out

If you’ve been in business for a while, you’ve no doubt run into the inevitable wall of self-doubt. That “Green Monster” looming in left field that taunts you with questions like…

Why are you doing this?

Just how are you going to figure this out?

The good news is, you don’t have to go it alone. Like a center fielder rushing over to back you up, you can learn from and rely on the dozens of experts who have contributed here.

We’ve polled over 60 solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, CEOs, bloggers, marketers and strategists. They’ve all offered their take on two key questions — one to remind and motivate you, the other to guide and mentor you:

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?
  2. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

You’ll come out of this article feeling reinvigorated and inspired, and with a few specific tips and action items!

If you’re wondering whether now is the right time to start a new online business of your own, these answers will serve to reassure you that this is a good time — a great time! And they’ll give you sound advice on how to avoid or overcome the most common obstacles.

Oh, put me in, Coach — I’m ready to play today;
Put me in, Coach — I’m ready to play today;
Look at me, I can be centerfield.

– John Fogerty, “Centerfield”


The State of Solopreneurship Responses

Diana Adams

Diana Adams

Founder, Adams Consulting Group, Inc.

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

You get to make all the decisions! And you are responsible for your own success as a result of those decisions. About a decade ago, my entrepreneurial mentor told me, “We are all where we deserve to be by the choices that we make.” That statement might sting, but it’s so good at the same time.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

This is a tough question. I’ve been a solopreneur for many years. I struggled with loneliness quite a bit in the first few years. I also had a tough time overcoming that overwhelming feeling whenever I’d think about all that needed to get done.

But, there’s one challenge that’s bigger than both of those.

The biggest challenge I’ve faced is learning how to choose the right client. It takes a certain confidence, experience and savvy to say no to people who don’t fit.

Whether they aren’t a fit because they aren’t in the right niche, or maybe they don’t have enough of a budget set aside for the project, or maybe they are energy vampires — there are times when it just doesn’t feel right.

Once I learned how to get crystal clear about who my ideal client is, and once I started saying no to those who didn’t fit — the easier, better, more fun and more profitable my business became.

Follow @adamsconsulting

John Paul Aguiar

John Paul Aguiar

Owner, Money Dummy Blog

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

For me as a solopreneur, the biggest benefit to me is time, free time to do things throughout the day that I want to do.

If I want to take a few hours off or a full day off, I can do that. The reason I started as an entrepreneur so many years ago was to have freedom to do things I wanted to do when I wanted to do them.

The income is nice, but having money but no time to enjoy it didn’t make sense to me, so my goal was always to set up my business in a way that I could walk away at times and everything would continue just fine.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

Again for me, the biggest challenge was having free time. Knowing I can walk away and take time off whenever I wanted sounds great, but the reality is, you have to have the right mindset to control all that freedom and not take advantage of that freedom.

To overcome this I would reward myself, I created mini goals and if I reached them, I would “allow” myself some free time.

For example: I’d say “if I get these 5 tasks done by Thursday, I’ll take Friday off”

That way I could enjoy that free time even more because I felt accomplished and didn’t feel guilty that I wasn’t doing work.

Follow @JohnAguiar

Kate Ahl

Kate Ahl

CEO, Simple Pin Media

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

The freedom to write their own schedule.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

Their business controlling them instead of them controlling their business. Setting goals and perimeters around what I will and will not do.

Follow @simplepinmedia

Angela Allan

Angela Allan

Founder, Mads Buzz

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

Being able to work remotely, anywhere in the world, for a range of clients the world over.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

The biggest challenge is regular income/clients who understand your worth/appreciate your skills. Currently, I am in the process of understanding and targeting more ideal clients.

The other challenge is being alone working a lot of the time, which is great sometimes, but when you need a sounding board or brainstorming for creative ideas, your dog isn’t always a good substitute for humans. Slack, Google hangouts and Facebook groups really help in that regard, as well as a good co-working space like T-rex in downtown St. Louis.

Follow @MissSoot

Mike Allton

Mike Allton

Author, The Social Media Hat

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

I will echo what many have said here, that Freedom is the biggest benefit of being a solopreneur.

But Freedom doesn’t always look the same, or mean the same thing to you as it does to me.

Freedom might refer to being able to work remotely and, therefore, from virtually anywhere.

Freedom might refer to being able to decide for yourself what you’re going to do on any given day. What you’re going to work on. And when!

Or Freedom might refer to having more control over the business, since it’s your business. You get decide what direction your business goes in, what clients you take on, and even when it’s time to do something else.

And for some of us, it’s all of those combined, and more.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

The single biggest challenge that’s unique to solopreneurs is lack of resources.

While most businesses would say they have fewer resources than they want or need, solopreneurs, by definition, are even more limited.

It’s just you, so there’s no one else who can pitch in if you’re crunched for time. No one else who can lend a hand if you’re unsure how to do something.

And no one else to help you keep up with everything that’s going on and changing in the world of online business.

The two solutions that I’ve encountered for this issue is to join a Mastermind and to join the Solo Build It! Community.

With a Mastermind, you’ll have a set of peers who are going through roughly the same life & business challenges that you are, giving you an opportunity to share and learn from each other in real-time.

With the Solo Build It! Community, solopreneurs are granted several benefits. They get to rely on the resources of SiteSell to research, prioritize, and distill the latest news and changes in the online business world. And they get to engage with thousands of other solopreneurs all going on the same journey.

Using these or similar methods, solopreneurs can find the support they need and not be quite so ‘solo’ after all.

Follow @Mike_Allton

David Amerland

David Amerland

Author & Speaker, DavidAmerland.com

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

Anything is possible. Quite literally, for the first time in history we can see that Passion, Perseverance and Purpose, when aligned, can move mountains. The traditional barriers that used to keep things locked into silos are down. If you now have a great idea, just go for it. Uber, AirBnB and Mendix are classic examples of what can be achieved.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

There is no longer linear progression in anything. The market is everywhere and virtually everyone. This makes it difficult to focus and find the initial kernel of people a brand or a business needs. More than that it also makes it difficult to see the opportunities presented and threats posed until it is too late.

The only way out of this is for solopreneurs to operate like the audience they target and the competitors they guard against: be everywhere and do everything. Work through your ideas and processes systematically but do it organically. Be ruthless, axe what doesn’t work and button down on what does. When time is the one perishable commodity you have, you need to use it wisely. Be selective with your efforts.

Follow @DavidAmerland

Jessica Ann

Jessica Ann

Owner, Jessica Ann Media

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

In one word: FREEDOM. I have the freedom to be myself. I only work with clients I absolutely love and admire, and I can work from anywhere in the world. I don’t have to fight through red tape, and I rely on my gut to make decisions.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

“The cobbler’s children have no shoes.” Consistency with my clients isn’t a challenge — but it’s sometimes a challenge for my business. I overcome this hurdle by publishing a podcast once a month. Yes, I know that weekly is the ultimate goal. But I can stay in my lane, and stay focused with high-quality, long-form content that’s delivered less frequently. That’s a big trend in content marketing now, anyway — I can see why!

Follow @itsjessicann

Jonathan Aufray

Jonathan Aufray

CEO, Growth Hackers

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

Freedom. In my opinion, the biggest benefit of solopreneurs is freedom. Why? Because they can travel, work from anywhere (Just need a laptop and Wifi) without having the hassle of going to work, having meetings or creating reports for team members or associates.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

The biggest challenge for solopreneurs is finding the motivation to keep going, especially when things get hard. When you are alone, it’s very easy to be demotivated or to procrastinate. Having a routine and sticking to it is a great way to overcome this challenge. For instance, you can dedicate 1 hour when you wake up to social media, the following hour to emails, etc.

Follow @GrowUrStartup

Kelly Baader

Kelly Baader

Founder, Godly MBA Academy

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

The freedom to create a profitable business that truly resonates with their tribe.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

While the bar of becoming a “solo entrepreneur” is relatively low, however as we grown…just like the E Myth book mentioned about the roles of “The Entrepreneur, The Manager, and The Technician” which entrepreneurs have to juggle with. As a former corporate executive, I am blessed to have the skillset and experience to plan+ lead + delegate, but I have seen many of my clients and others are struggling in these areas.

Follow @kellybaader

Alois Belaska

Alois Belaska

CEO & Founder, Friends+Me

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

Forgive me the expression, I can f*ck up my own way, nobody tells me what to do and possibilities limited only by my own imagination.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

Fear of failure and I’ve not overcome this challenge yet, and I am not sure I want to because it helps me to push more than other and gives me the edge.

Follow @AloisBelaska

Ryan Biddulph

Ryan Biddulph

Blogger, Blogging From Paradise

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

Solopreneurs today enjoy freedom. With the proliferation of online tools, virtual assistants and all manner of help, you can build a thriving solopreneur venture which helps you design a life of freedom more than ever. Resources await at your disposal. Tap into this rich library of apps and even more accommodating, helpful and generous collection of virtual assistants to grow your business into a successful endeavor.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

The biggest challenge that solopreneurs face in today’s landscape is learning how to delegate the lower energy tasks so that you can enjoy a life of freedom. While circling the globe, I typically put in no more than 10 hours daily, blogging-wise. This seems like a Herculean task to solopreneurs who regularly work 12-18 hour days. I learned a long time ago that delegating the dregs (stuff I wished not to do) to make room for stuff I loved doing, blogging-wise, was the easiest way to build a profitable blogging business while engineering a life of freedom.

Being the shot caller means making high energy, business-building choices and letting go the lower-energy, business-sapping choices that eat into your freedom. Learn how to hand off tasks to more skilled parties. Use free and premium tools to automate certain tasks, freeing up your time and energy. Trash certain business duties you have outgrown.

Make freedom your #1 goal to enjoy the benefits of being a successful solopreneur without running yourself and your business into the ground in the process.

Follow @RyanBiddulph

Rich Brooks

Rich Brooks

Founder, Agents of Change

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

The low cost of starting a business. From web design (Wix, WordPress), to server space (Amazon, GoDaddy), from education (YouTube tutorial videos, niche-specific podcasts) to finding help (virtual assistants, Fiverr), the barriers to starting your own business are lower than ever.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

Getting lost in the global marketplace. Because the barriers to entry are so low, your competition comes from all over the globe, not just around the corner. To overcome that, think local. And if local doesn’t cut it, think niche. Now think of a narrower niche. Narrower… still narrower… got it! It’s easier to fill a beaker than a bathtub, so find and focus on your beaker and fill it.

Follow @therichbrooks

Antonio Calero

Antonio Calero

Head of Marketing Services, AdEspresso

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

Work flexibility, not just in terms of working hours but also with clients. As a solopreneur, you can work on the time of the day where you perform best (in my case, evenings and nights), which allows you to reduce working hours while maximising results. You can also decide which clients to work with based on your own experience and ‘gut feeling’, which reduces stress considerably.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

Learning and outsourcing.

When working on your own, you need to keep updated constantly about what’s new in your industry, what’s trending, etc… which consumes a considerable amount of time that could otherwise be spent in other tasks. Working in a company this learning process is usually spread across different staff and departments.

Which leads to another issue: delegating tasks and outsourcing. In order to maintain a balance between productive and nonproductive tasks (e.g., learning, accounting…) it is important to delegate all those tasks that are not your core business to third parties. However, finding a good service provider is often a challenge, plus this adds costs to your business.

When I was a solopreneur, I created some processes for both of these issues. When it comes to learning, I tried to read blogs only from a selected number of websites (even if I’d love to read many more). I also learned how to identify highly skilled professionals in freelance websites such as UpWork.

Follow @acalerog

Karla Campos

Karla Campos

Founder, Entrepreneur Moms Club

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

The ability to make your own schedule and work from anywhere. It’s amazing what technology allows us to do. I remember working in offices before smart phones and everything took super long. Now we are connected to people worldwide and can make currency transactions with a quick push of a button.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

I have been talking to hundreds of business owners and they always mention life and work balance as a challenge. I agree: life and work balance can be a challenge as a solopreneur. I’m not sure if the word overcome is the right word, I think adjust is better. Life is always changing, especially with kids. I overcome by adjusting. Lately I’ve been really focusing on my health and fitness. It’s funny because I’ll be at my kids’ football practice walking the field and finishing emails at the same time. Not sure if doing the 3 things at the same time is balance. I might have to remove the emailing and enjoy the walk.

Follow @SocialMediaSass

Erin Cell

Erin Cell

CEO & Founder, Socially Powered

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

FREEDOM! One of the biggest reasons I became a solopreneur is because I was tired of being told what I couldn’t do & being on someone else’s schedule. I wanted to take control of my life, work the hours I wanted to, travel when I wanted, take a long lunch or whatever the case may be. I think many solopreneurs feel the same way. We are able to do what we want — when we want! I love knowing if I want to go on a vacation I can and the only thing I have to worry about is whether or not I have someone to watch my dog.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

The biggest challenge I see most solopreneurs facing is work/life balance. As much as I say freedom is a benefit, it is also a double edged sword. You can work when you want, where you want and it is easy to find ourselves working 15+ hour days on a regular basis. This is especially challenging in the beginning stages of building your business. There are so many things to do and you have so many ideas floating around it is easy to work non-stop.

The best way I have found to overcome this challenge is to be aware when you are starting to burn-out. Use your calendar to keep you on-track and focused with what you must complete in order to continue moving forward. Probably the most important lesson I have learned is to hire early & often. Get help on the things that aren’t your specialty. I was trying to do it all & failing to do a lot of things the way I should have in the beginning. I know, it’s hard to imagine paying someone to do something you can do (especially when you may not have a lot of money coming in to start), but in the long-run it will be worth it. It will most likely take you at least twice as long as it should & may not even be done correctly.

Follow @sociallypowered

Matt Cherry

Matt Cherry

CEO & Founder, Modern Social Magazine

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

The ability to dream, create, work hard and see your ideas come to fruition. Everyone’s idea of success is different. Therefore when you have freedom to implement your own ideas, design processes and realize successes (or failures) you still have the satisfaction of knowing you tried, gave it your all and did not sit on the sidelines and watch the game. You practiced, you played and regardless of the outcome, you win!

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

Balance. Not just work/life balance, everyone faces that challenge. But balance in allocating the appropriate amount of time to all facets of running your business. R&D, marketing, sales, social media, technology, customer service, design, bookkeeping, operations, fulfillment and so much more.

You’ll often find yourself spending a disproportionate amount of time on the things you like to do and not enough on the tasks that may be more challenging for you. Cold calls, accounting and educating yourself on the latest social media and marketing techniques can often get lost when you find yourself buried in the day-to-day operations that you are more comfortable tackling.

To overcome this paralyzing effect you have to change it up! You have to become more comfortable with time blocking your daily tasks on paper and sticking to the schedule. You have to start your day right, get up early and get some physical activity or spiritual positivity (Be Thankful!). Then, make a list!

If you only have a to-do list of 3 key goals daily you can conquer your list everyday and feel accomplished, happy and satisfied that you did your best for you today! And that’s all you can ask for. Go get’ em!

Follow @ModSocMag

Ian Cleary

Ian Cleary

Founder, RazorSocial

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

It’s not expensive to set up your business anymore. You can build a website for less than $100 (using a template), buy a relatively low cost PC and use a wireless connection and you can start getting business from all over the world.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

The challenge is that because it’s so easy to set up a business it’s a very competitive world out there. The solopreneur needs to think like a company even if they are one a person company. A company builds a brand and that’s what a solo entrepreneur needs to be build. A well respected brand will get more business and can charge more.

Follow @IanCleary

Heidi Cohen

Heidi Cohen

Chief Content Officer, Actionable Marketing Guide

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

One of the biggest benefits entrepreneurs have is the ability to set your work hours and location. This works well for people who have personal demands on their time that make keeping a regular job difficult such as raising children, caring for aging parents, or moving to be with a partner.

It also works well for people who have a difficult time thriving in an open work arrangement. It’s even better if your living arrangement provides a special workspace where you’re not disturbed.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

As a solopreneur, many things you take for granted as an employee disappear. Top of the list are steady income, paid time off and health insurance (Depending on where you live this can be BIG!). Further, don’t under-estimate the power of an established work routine, colleagues and the ability to escape your home environment.

Translation: You are responsible for keeping your work pipeline full. If you’re not an experienced sales person or lack an established network, this can be challenging and depressing.

Among the key factors to consider before leaving your current job are having a nest egg beyond your retirement savings, a thriving side hustle, and/or partner with health benefits.

Follow @HeidiCohen

Andy Crestodina

Andy Crestodina

Co-Founder, Orbit Media

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

Fast decision making. There are no committees, no managers to check with, no circling back to see what someone else thinks. The path from idea to execution couldn’t be shorter. Bandwidth is an issue, but at least a solopreneur can be nimble and move quickly when it counts.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

Community. The downside is the solo part. Although solopreneurs may work with clients a vendors everyday, they still may feel isolated and miss interacting regularly with a team. They key here is to get out. Find places to work where other people are around. Our recent blogging survey found that content creators are working in coffee shops and coworking spaces more and more every year. These places are filled with people who are working alone …together.

Source: https://www.orbitmedia.com/blog/blogging-statistics/

Follow @crestodina

Dorien Morin-van Dam

Dorien Morin-van Dam

Social Media Consultant, More In Media

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

The biggest benefit solopreneurs enjoy is freedom!

1) Freedom to work when they want to work. Setting your own hours, taking time off for family time and working as much or as little as you want when you want to is amazing

2) Freedom to work with whom they want to work. No need to ever work again with an exhausting colleague, a mean boss or a depressing office mate.

3) Freedom to work from wherever they want to work. Being able to work from home, form a coffee shop, from Europe, Australia or the USA.

4) Freedom to grow and implement changes. Solopreneurs aren’t put in a box. We can work on whatever it is we want to work on, whenever we feel like it. We can grow one, two or three areas at a time if we want to.

5) Freedom to choose. This is huge. Each day we have a choice of what we do. Each day is an adventure!

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

The biggest challenge we face is self-doubt. We see successful people around us who make it all seem so easy, especially thru social media as they often only show the good stuff, not the struggles.

It is hard to work without a team, without daily support and to carry the full financial burden of a family and business simultaneously.

I have overcome this challenge by building up a network, a virtual support team of other solopreneurs all over the world. I connect with them weekly in online mastermind groups, in-person at yearly conferences and through Skype calls when needed.

Don’t believe it if someone tells you otherwise. Every successful solopreneur is surrounded by a great ‘team’ of like-minded virtual colleagues who help each other.

Follow @moreinmedia

Adel de Meyer

Adel de Meyer

New Media Specialist & Speaker, AdeldeMeyer.com

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

The biggest benefit today is the lifestyle. You can choose and be flexible with family/work balance and make your own decisions about time management. Being a solopreneur in today’s digitally connected world you also have the pleasure of working with clients globally, so you can be very selective with the clients you choose to work with.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

Biggest challenge is the discipline and focus of good time and resource management. Because you don’t have to go to an office and work with a team necessarily all the time, you can get demotivated, lonely, off track or take on too much work and become overworked and stressed out.

One way I tackled these challenges is by setting up daily goals, keeping track of time spent on different tasks and breaking work into realistic daily completion goals. I also make the time to connect with peers in the industry, networking locally and working on collaborations to keep the motivation going and for getting that much needed human interaction.

Follow @adeldmeyer

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich

Found & Author, Spin Sucks

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

You are in charge of your own destiny. Want to take a sabbatical? You can do it! Want to work until 2:30 every day so you can be home for the kids? You can do it! Think strategically about what YOU want from being a solopreneur and then set yourself up for success.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

The biggest challenge is, of course, a steady income. They say “cash is king” for a reason. If you don’t have cash, you can’t control your own destiny. If you can’t control your own destiny, you may as well go back to working for someone. Just like you do in your personal life, save money every month. I aim for 25% of our monthly revenue to save. It makes things tight at times, but it works.

Follow @ginidietrich

Adi Domocos

Adi Domocos

Founder, Hot In Social Media

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

The difference between a solopreneur and entrepreneur is that the first one doesn’t plan to grow a team that can help him/her to grow his/her company. Meanwhile the entrepreneur wants to grow a team that can help him/her to build a big company around this team.

The biggest benefit today that a solopreneur enjoys the most is the possibility to grow a business exactly as he/she plans to do it from start to finish. Usually is difficult to build a new business from scratch if you have 2-3 partners that are not always in the same boat as you are.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

The biggest challenge today that a solopreneur is facing I believe is the capacity to know and to find solutions for a lot of activities that are not from your experience zone. You can overcome this new business challenge by outsourcing these tasks to other companies or freelancers that have a bigger experience than you, in different fields of activities.

Follow @AdiDomocos

Eric Enge

Eric Enge

CEO, Stone Temple

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

In today’s world there are so many different ways to market your services, that creative & innovative people can nearly always find a way to get the word out about what they do. Answering this from a different perspective, there is always the benefit of controlling one’s hours and work environment.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

It’s all on you. If the garbage needs to be taken out, you do it. If you have a difficult note to send to a client, you do it. But, where many solopreneurs struggle, and this is the most important one, if there is selling to be done YOU do it. You have to be good at this part of being a solopreneur, in order to survive and thrive.

Follow @stonetemple

Ken Evoy

Ken Evoy

CEO & Founder, SiteSell

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

Easy question – no contest!

The #1 benefit is FREEDOM.  It always has been, always will be. The advantage today is that growing your very own profitable online business has never been so do-able and low-risk. That does not mean it’s right for you, though…

Freedom comes with its downsides and challenges. Are you up to overcoming them?  Take this quick test…

Do you feel a strong rush at the thought of firing the boss?  

How about working the hours that you want?

Does building your own business, around a niche that you know and love, excite you?

YOU would be the one making ALL the decisions, big and small. Which niche? What format (blog, website, YouTuber, etc)?

If so, solopreneurship will set you free!

Let’s go nitty-gritty now, breaking life down to a typical, adult 24 hour day. The following numbers will vary – that’s OK because it’s the big picture that we need here…

– 8 hours sleep
– 2 hours of “self-maintenance” (eat/cook, bathe, exercise)
– 10 hours per day of work. Whether you are staying at home to take care of young children or working as an assistant to the CEO, the quantity and quality of these hours will vary (e.g., a CEO assistant won’t be doing any midnight feedings!)

That leaves 4 hours per day for you. In other words, you “own” only 4 hours out of 24.  

Even those 4 are usually spent on decompressing activities (“prime-time TV!”), if they are not consumed by yet more work-from-home, job-related obligations.  

Unless you love your job, that’s not freedom. Even if you love your job, is that enough?  

Does your cherished role of “CEO assistant” fastrack up the BigCo hierarchy? Or are you going to sell your life for a pension (which may or may not be there when you retire)?

Or consider the “job” of child-rearing…

Much more than just a job and as rewarding as it is, many also feel a need to move ahead intellectually, not to mention contribute to the family income. You may turn out wonderful young adults, but what’s left for you to do after that?

Whatever you’re doing now – if you don’t like the 10-20 year future that you foresee, you may be getting by, sure. But the experience of life should be much more than that…

Life is about being fully alive. Not in 20 years. Now! Gain control of a life that you love…

Solopreneurship delivers the freedom to live life on your own terms!

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

It’s not just the “challenge TODAY.” One might think, given that the “mass-market” internet is more than 20 years old, that its low-risk, easy opportunities have all been “taken.”

There is some truth to that. Failure rates are astronomical.

There is, though, a way to overcome the crowds of would-be solopreneurs. First, let’s look at the root of this challenge…

A solopreneur’s main limiter will always be TIME. By definition, there’s only one of you.  And we’ve seen how much your 24 hour day leaves for you!

If you don’t want to risk “quitting the day job” before your online business success is generating solid income, you’ll have to devote a good chunk of those 4 hours per day (and weekends) to your new biz.

We don’t advise quitting your current job, by the way. Devote every spare block of time to growing your own business until you see success. Whatever your choice…

TIME is your growth-limiting factor. The lack of viable opportunity due to “overcrowding” has hurt many solopreneurs in the past…

As more people came online, it did get harder to win at the more competitive niches.  For example, you could have won “travel” 20+ years ago. As large companies took that over, a business about London could have been a winner. Today, though, you’re best looking at niches like Cornwall (a region of the UK).  

Cornwall could never have sustained you 20 years ago – there were not enough folks online. What about today?

The sheer number of people online have made it impossible for solopreneurs to succeed with broad, super-competitive niches. But you can be THE presence in a niche that is small enough, yet still generates enough traffic to grow substantial income.

The following also point in your favor…

1) We’ve reached the stage where the number of websites has leveled off.

2) And social media enables individuals to reach folks more emotionally, person to person, than the employees of “BigCo” marketing departments (or worse, contractors).

Still…

There IS more to learn today than ever, so time is more of a factor than ever. There are just so many ways to go wrong (e.g., “Get Rich” products, or even well-meaning but incorrect information).

That, though, is what our flagship product, Solo Build It!, has always been about. We enable you to focus on your business by doing everything else for you (e.g., keeping abreast of online developments and updating our products, tools and articles accordingly. See here for more information.)  

The internet evolves constantly…

Whatever comes along (from RSS to HTTPS), we’ve been tracking and researching it. When the time comes, we release what you need (tools and/or strategies/articles) to help you maximize the business benefit in the least time possible. Which means you can leverage your time.

That’s why SBI! enables SBIers to outperform solopreneurs who use other products (e.g., GoDaddy, Wix, Wealthy Affiliate – where SBIers were 33X more likely to generate high-traffic businesses online, for example).

Bottom line: The only way to overcome today’s challenge is to choose the best tight niche and use tools that will help you generate solid income, optimize your use of time, and focus only on the key tasks necessary to rise to the top.

Good luck!  May 2018 be the year that sees you reach your goals!

Follow @SiteSell

Ben Fisher

Ben Fisher

Co-Founder, Steady Demand

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

Freedom and creativity are the first two words that come to mind.

The freedom to work from home, to live and die by the decisions that they make and the ability to chart their own destiny. Creativity can sometimes be stifled by partners and others in a traditional “job”; as a solopreneur you are free to express yourself.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

Scalability and lack of skill sets.

These two kind of go hand in hand. A lack of scalability is mostly dependent on the fact that there is only one operator in the business, or the lack of the willingness to outsource versus hire.

I have always had businesses that were scalable.

  1. Because I always choose partners that complement my skill sets.
  2. I know when to outsource.

Most solopreneurs are afraid to grow, yet also afraid to let go at the same time. If you truly want to grow then you need to overcome both of these obstacles.

Follow @thesocialdude

Peg Fitzpatrick

Peg Fitzpatrick

Author & Speaker, PegFitzpatrick.com

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

The world is your oyster! You have unlimited opportunities and choices as a solopreneur.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

You have to fine tune your ideas and focus in order to make everything work. You can’t do everything and be everything all at once.

To overcome the challenge, you need to decide what market or people you’re going to serve and stick with it. If you try to be too many things, people will have no idea what you do or how to work with you. Be focused and consistent and you can reach the right people.

Follow @PegFitzpatrick

Kim Garst

Kim Garst

CEO, KimGarst.com

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

The biggest benefit that solopreneurs enjoy is time freedom. If your child has a school play, you can choose to drop what you are working on and go focus on what’s important, in that moment. Traditional JOBs don’t always allow us to do this.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

As a solopreneur, one wears many hats and that can often lead to chaos if it’s not recognized and managed. The key to overcoming this challenge is to focus on your strengths and outsource your weaknesses. This can be a hard concept for solopreneurs that are just starting out but as soon as you can, build a team. If you don’t, you will quickly find yourself overwhelmed and down a rabbit hole with the many things that require your time and attention.

Follow @kimgarst

Mike Gingerich

Mike Gingerich

President, MikeGingerich.com

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

It’s got to be the freedom to be flexible. From working when you want, to working where you want, freedom to be and move as you desire is a huge benefit.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

I think the biggest challenge is sourcing.

To do large projects it does at times take a team or collaborators and so you need to be able to scale with other contractors and solopreneurs when needed. This takes time, relationship building and effort.

Over time I have developed rapport with key folks skilled in key areas and I can tap into that for needed work from them when needed. It’s all about relationships and maintaining the right connections!

Follow @Mike_Gingerich

Jan Gordon

Jan Gordon

CEO, Curatti

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

Job security has diminished over the years, and that trend will surely escalate. Enterprising, hard-working solopreneurs are better poised to react to change than established companies with a large infrastructure. The enterprising, smart solopreneur will be in far more control of their future than those who stick with enterprise employment.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

Simply, the biggest challenge is the ever-escalating pace of change. No solopreneur or very small company can keep up with all changes and learn everything they will need to keep up with those changes. This isn’t something that anyone can claim to have overcome as if it is in the past tense. We’ve come as far as we have by hiring the right people when needed, and entering into strategic partnerships. And if that gameplan must adapt to new challenges, we must be ready.

Follow @janlgordon

Carrie Gottschalk

Carrie Gottschalk

Speaker & Educator, CarrieGottschalk

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

There are so many benefits! Personally, I enjoy having the freedom to make my own schedule and work from anywhere in the world. I’ve even gone so far as to test this and have worked remotely from 10 countries this year. I also enjoy my clients. When you work for yourself you get to decide what it is that you’re good at, and who your ideal client would be. I’ve been able to niche down this year in eComm / Direct Response / Acquisition style of clients and I have the best relationships with all of them.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

The biggest challenge I faced this year has been feeling obligated to say yes to every opportunity. When you do that, you overload your schedule, which can cause a point of burn out. When you’re burnt out, you fall behind, and when you fall behind, you feel like there is never going to be an end to your work day. I’ve learned that not every opportunity is the right fit, and I’ve developed great relationships with other experts in my industry to refer leads out to. This has also helped with building relationships in the digital / social media community.

Follow @carriejessica

Ian Anderson Gray

Ian Anderson Gray

Founder, Seriously Social

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

Freedom with our time. We can spend quality time with our families and friends when we want to.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

Not having a regular income — or an income that can change considerably each month. I’ve focussed on generating recurring revenue that I can rely upon.

Follow @iagdotme

Holly Homer

Holly Homer

Blogger, Kids Activities

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

My favorite thing about being a solopreneur is that if I want to try something, I do. I don’t have to go to a boss and get approval or to a committee and explain myself. It allows me to test many more ideas and theories than if I belonged to a bigger organization.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

Scaling seems to be the biggest challenge when the businesses started with just one person. It has taken me awhile to find the right people and learn what I can/can’t delegate, but getting help has been extremely important in the quest to grow my online business.

Follow @texasholly

Christine Hueber

Christine Hueber

Founder, ChristineHueber.com

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

Freedom!

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

Sales. I overcome it by keeping my pipeline full using LinkedIn.

Follow @ChristineHueber

Sam Hurley

Sam Hurley

Founder, Optim-Eyez

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

The biggest benefit for me has to be FREEDOM. Ability to make my own decisions and simply be myself — privileges that are deeply appreciated, especially following years in employment.

It’s an amazing experience and I want as many people as possible to enjoy the same!

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

The pace of everything can be overwhelming at times — and that’s putting it lightly! Everybody is doing more. More content, more engagement, more scale. The key is to remain laser-focused on what YOU are doing and not let distractions ruin your stride.

Set your goals and make steps to fulfil them each day.

This is exactly the way of thinking I’ve applied to grow my solopreneur venture.

Follow @Sam___Hurley

Shep Hyken

Shep Hyken

Chief Amazement Officer, Hyken

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

Lifestyle. You work as hard as you want, or throttle back when you need to. You enjoy the benefit of being in charge and only answering to yourself and your customers.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

There is a point when a successful solopreneur must get help. Does that mean hiring an assistant or building a team? Not necessarily. The solopreneur must know where the resources are for him/her to delegate to a sub-contractor to complete special projects, marketing strategies and more. Many solopreneurs hold onto what they think is their responsibility for too long.

Follow @hyken

Mitch Jackson

Mitch Jackson

The Streaming Lawyer, Streaming.Lawyer

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

For me, the two most significant benefits are having 100% control over my professional and personal calendars and 100% control over who I decide to take on as a client or customer.

This flexibility has allowed me to coach my kids on the baseball and soccer fields and never miss a school play or function.

It’s also allowed me to be very selective when it comes to working with clients who have the type of matter I am interested in assisting them with, and who aren’t a pain in the butt to work with.

It hasn’t always been easy, but here’s the thing. This flexibility has allowed me to make the right long-term decisions years ago that resulted in the lifestyle I’m enjoying today.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

The buck stops on your desk, and your level of success is entirely dependent on what you know and do.

You are in charge of products, services, marketing, branding, networking, relationships, finances, and everything in between. Sure, I recommend delegating out as much as you can, but in the end, it all falls back on your shoulders.

Some people may think this is overwhelming, but frankly, I look at all of this as an opportunity to be unique and make my mark in the world. In the end, the downside is significantly outweighed by the upside. I’ve enjoyed being in control of my destiny over the last 30 years.

Follow @MitchJackson

Salma Jafri

Salma Jafri

Video Content Strategist, SalmaJafri.com

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

The wealth of free knowledge, if and when applied strategically and intentionally, can change your life. I believe that everything we need to know to build and run a successful business online is already available and usually for free. If solopreneurs can focus on one strategy and see it through, they can win.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

Visibility.

In a world where everyone’s competing for their voice to be heard, how do you stand out in a unique way?

I think the answer is going super niche and establishing a small, loyal following with the power of community. Then nurturing that community daily so they will become your strongest advocates.

I do this via exclusive member-only trainings inside my Facebook Group “Personal Branding with Video”. The content is exclusive and caters directly to their needs, so they feel invested in it.

Follow @salmajafri

Janet Johnson

Janet Johnson

Owner & Social Media Strategist, JanetEJohnson.com

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

I love that my commute is just down the stairs. I get to work from the comfort of my own home, there is no commute in winter traffic, I can work from anywhere and whatever hours I choose.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

I believe there are a lot of challenges with being a solopreneur. Many times I feel there is nobody to ask, besides Google, when I need help. If I have an IT problem, I am IT. If I have a question on my taxes, I am (or have been) the accountant. If I need to write something, I am the copywriter. We have to wear many hats.

How have I overcome these challenges? I belong to numerous Facebook groups and a mastermind with like-minded people so I can get help from peers. I hire help in areas that I should NOT focus on in my business. It is good to know and be aware of things, like accounting, but it is not the best use of my time to be doing it. Some things are better hired out!

Follow @janet_johnson

Michael Kawula

Michael Kawula

CEO & Co-Founder, Dinner Table MBA

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

See below. 🙂

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

Today, the benefits of being a Solopreneur are amazing, yet those same benefits can also be a solopreneur’s biggest challenge, when not managed correctly.

As your own boss, you have a ton of freedom and because of the wealth of information at your fingertips, your chances today for success are so much greater.

Think about all the resources you have access to today: online courses, webinars, podcasts, eBooks, online challenges, YouTube, communities like Reddit, Facebook communities, live broadcasts and so much more.

You’ve got real, proven, successful entrepreneurs who are sharing everything they know daily online.

I love this quote by Anthony Robbins:

“If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results.”

This is so true. You’ve got so many people sharing exactly what they do and how they do it, each and every day.

Just Google Gary Vaynerchuk, Michael Stelzner or countless other successful entrepreneurs and you’ll see they’re literally documenting on YouTube what they do each day for you to watch and copy.

This all sounds amazing, right?

Yes, but it’s also a double edge sword.

You’ve got Learners and then you’ve got Doers.

You’ve got to find a balance between when you need to stop learning and start executing.

Execution is the key to success and you’ve got to take your learnings and put them into action.

Don’t worry about perfection, all experts were once beginners.

Go Google the podcast, Masters of Scale by LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman and search for the episode with Barry Diller, on being an Infinite Learner. It’s a great discussion on how successful founders need to be infinite learners, but also doers.

One last caution.

Putting up content online and branding yourself an “expert” isn’t very hard.

Research those you decide to learn from and tune out the others.

I wish you great success as a solopreneur!

Follow @Mikekawula

Sameer Ahmed Khan

Sameer Ahmed Khan

CEO & Cofounder, Social Champ

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

I’ve never been a solopreneur. I always had my university friends as my co-founders. But I think the biggest benefit a solo entrepreneur can have is that they can move faster than a team in decision making.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

The biggest challenge solopreneurs face is staying motivated. Running a start-up is tough, there are bad days, lots of them, and in those bad days you need your co-founders to back you up and give you hope that it will be alright. It’s like having a family that understands.

I don’t think I could have overcome that challenge if I was a solopreneur. Luckily I’m not, I have my great university friends, Zohaib and Shakir, my co-founders, who are always there in my darkest of nights.

Follow @Sameerpeace

Anna Lebedeva

Anna Lebedeva

Head of Media, SEMrush

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

The biggest benefit for solopreneurs comes from all the access they gain to various resources, thanks to the digital age — access to various audiences from across the world, access to professionals and freelancers they can hire to take up some duties, access to promotion techniques and strategies unheard of before and so on.

Moreover, starting a new business — small or large — does not require a vast initial capital as it used to before. Thus, the fact that one person can easily open up his/her business whilst sitting on his/her sofa is quite impressive.

You can just set up an Instagram account for your hobby and start selling whatever it is you do to people from around the globe! So, yes, that’s huge!

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

Once again, if the digital age brings huge advantages, it also lead to even more challenges.

It is easier, of course, to know your competition, research what they’re doing and learn from their mistakes. But it’s also harder, then, to invent something different and stand out from all the noise coming from a generation of serial entrepreneurs.

Competition is immense, and the advantages technology like the Internet used to bring before are getting harder and harder to embrace, for things are getting more and more complicated.

The biggest challenge, though, comes with staying up to date with all the latest trends that impact many businesses, especially online businesses — techniques you’re using today can become obsolete in an instant.

So the race towards success may be shorter now, but it’s more challenging than ever!

Follow @DigitalAnya

Tim Lewis

Tim Lewis

Host, Begin Self-Publishing Podcast

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

The fact that it is relatively so cheap to run a business compared to the past, especially when you consider that so many of us can work from home, and home can be anywhere in the world.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

While business is cheaper than ever to run, competition for most sectors is actually probably more than for normal businesses. So you need to look for niches, unanswered questions and make sure your level of training is kept up-to-date while simultaneously not losing your focus.

Follow @stonehampress

Matthew Kaboomis Loomis

Matthew Kaboomis Loomis

Copywriting Solopreneur, Build Your Own Blog

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

I think the biggest benefit for solopreneurs today is the changing mindset or attitudes about the solopreneur: what we are and what we do is becoming less of a mystery, and more people are realizing the solopreneur is legit and we are contributing to society.

More and more companies are discovering the benefits of working with solopreneurs which is helping us (and freelancers, independent contractors, etc.) become more accepted and mainstream. This steady awareness is bringing with it more opportunities to connect, do business and make money for solopreneurs.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

I would say the biggest challenge facing solopreneurs today is loneliness. Technology enables us to work from home and connect with people all over the world.

However, we still need real human connection and feedback.

A few things I have done to help alleviate loneliness is to join local networking groups, make time to personally have lunch with friends and mentors, or just get out of the house once in awhile (at least). I know a few solopreneurs who work outside the home every day. If you cannot do that, just plan to visit a coffee shop at least once a week, or take a walk every day in your neighborhood and be open to saying hello to your neighbors. You never know where a conversation will lead.

Follow @MattLoomis

Alisa Meredith

Alisa Meredith

Content Marketing Manager, Tailwind

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

Freedom. The freedom to make their own hours, spend more time with their families and pursue other interests.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

Focus. Without someone defining goals for you and insisting on you meeting deadlines, it’s easy to become distracted. Particularly it is difficult to not spend all your time on client work and ignore the important task of building your business and making sure it’s going in the direction you want.

Having clearly defined goals for your business can help, but finding an accountability partner will help you stay on track. Better yet, a mastermind group that is as invested in your success as you are in theirs — that’s how to keep moving forward and avoid getting stuck in your own head.

Follow @alisammeredith

Steph Nissen

Steph Nissen

Director of Digital, StephNissen.com

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

Access to information. There is an incredible amount of information available through a simple internet search, or reaching into communities like local networking groups or social media. No one has to build a business alone, even a “solo”preneur.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

In the same vein of access to information being a benefit, it’s also a challenge. There is a great deal of conflicting information available to solopreneurs. It’s important to not overdo the hunt for information and go into “analysis paralysis.”

The best way I’ve found to overcome is to stick to 2-3 trusted sources of information instead of leaving the flood gates open for everyone to have an opinion of what my next steps are in managing a crisis, in obtaining new leads, in closing a deal, or in managing my finances.

Follow @stephnissen_

Charlie Patel

Charlie Patel

CEO, Triberr

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

Free access to knowledge and resources — Nowadays, you can literally immerse yourself in amazing knowledge shared by fellow entrepreneurs, brilliant how-to guides, companies that provide transparency reports, hundreds of SaaS (Software as a Service) tools to make your job easier, and so much more.

Don’t take it for granted.

Some of us had to go walk a few miles to the library, use the Dewey Decimal system to find books, and then actually read them to get access to 1% of that information. Then, we’d have to identify and forge relationships with people who knew industry experts in the hopes they’d share some nugget.

The time it took to gather the knowledge, people, and resources has been shortened tremendously, and such barriers are now virtually eliminated. There’s never been a better time to be a solopreneur!

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

Getting Shit Done!

We live in a digital world with too much information and noise. I type this with over 40+ tabs open in my browser, 7 teams pinging me on Slack, 4 spreadsheets open for analysis, Skype, FB Messenger, Twitter, etc.

These are all distractions which most people cannot manage effectively as they’re not formally trained or disciplined in execution. Mastering the art of getting shit done is the solopreneur’s biggest challenge. Eliminate the distractions, and progress is no longer elusive.

Follow @CharliePatel

Savannah Peterson

Savannah Peterson

Founder & Chief Unicorn, SavannahPeterson.com

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

Freedom. We have the freedom of choice. What we work on, when we work, where we work and what we wear while working are often in our control. How much we work is often a little trickier story, but for the most part we have autonomy over our schedules. Returning to solopreneurship two years ago, after a five year hiatus in product design startups, the ability to set a schedule that optimized my efficiency versus my timecard is priceless.

Furthermore, the ability to be a digital nomad. Solopreneurs can often work from anywhere with wifi, making time with family, or exciting exotic adventures, all the more accessible. It may make for some weird sleeping schedules to accommodate meetings, but the ability to travel is worth it.

Lastly, the ability to choose projects. Yes, we all have to take on clients “for the money,” but we can also do work that really excites us. We can get creative about how we engage new clients and take chances with startups. We can design our business and our day if we put our minds to it.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

Support. There’s very little attention paid to the “middle-class entrepreneur.” The ups and downs are the same as in a small company, we just have less of a direct network to share it with. The lows can be extra lonely and the highs are often celebrated solo, behind our laptop screens. It’s a gift to have our freedom, but it takes great inner strength to hold on to it.

I have a group of wonderful humans I refer to as “the nest.” The only rule of “the nest” is brutal honesty. We help each other out 1:1 in complete confidence and aren’t afraid to tell the truth about our businesses or personal lives. It’s essentially an advisory board of dear friends whom I compensate with an equally empathetic and strategic ear. These are the people I text when I need a boost of confidence before a negotiation. The people I call when I need a reminder I’m on the right path. And the people I celebrate the wins with. I love my nest. I recommend you build yours today.

Follow @SavIsSavvy

Amanda Robinson

Amanda Robinson

Owner, Social Savvy Society

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

Being a solopreneur shares the same trend as 😲 internet dating. In 2018 it is now more widely accepted and respected for long term potential compared to how it used to be. In other words, you are now being taken more seriously. 😉 The benefit? It is easier than ever to network, connect with, and learn from industry peers and professionals no matter where you are in the world. Take advantage of it! Your learning trajectory as a solopreneur has no borders through networking.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

The biggest challenge for a solopreneur is getting stuck in an information silo or rut. It is all too easy to get lost in the same content served up by an algorithm. It is up to you to diversify your knowledge and continual learning. Continually networking with new people across multiple industries is the best way to break the cycle and learn new information beyond the borders of your first degree connections.

Follow @shewakeboards

Ted Rubin

Ted Rubin

Strategist & Speaker, TedRubin.com

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

The biggest benefit is OPPORTUNITY. Welcome to the “Age of Influence,” where anyone can build an audience and effect change, advocate brands, build relationships and make a difference.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

The biggest CHALLENGE is that this is the “Age of Influence,” where anyone can build an audience and effect change, advocate brands, build relationships and make a difference. SO… everyone is your competition. Therefore, standing out by being YOU, building relationships, and adding value at every touchpoint is the key. Relationships are like muscle tissue… the more they are engaged, the stronger and more valuable they become.

Follow @tedrubin

Neal Schaffer

Neal Schaffer

Consultant & Speaker, NealSchaffer.com

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

Solopreneurs today have the advantage of both finding global resources that can help them with any product or service they wish to develop, manufacture, implement, or market, but also live in an age of social media which allows them to compete with larger entities through content, engagement, and community.

It’s a great time to be a solopreneur!

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

The biggest challenge today that solopreneurs — and really any small business owner — faces is the need to focus.

There are so many options in terms of hiring people or working with other services that can help grow our business, and being active in social media opens your notification bubble and email inbox to a lot of different communication.

The result is that you are constantly bombarded with information that might not be relevant for you to run a successful business, and therefore it is easy to lose focus on the final objective.

As former AC Milan and Japanese national team soccer start Keisuke Honda told my son and his teammates at a soccer camp, “Always keep your eye on the goal.” It’s common-sense but easy to forget in the noisy times of today, and is as appropriate advice for a soccer player as it is for a solopreneur.

Follow @NealSchaffer

Dave Schneider

Dave Schneider

CEO, Ninja Outreach

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

Technology has produced more apps for automation. So tasks that needed a dedicated employee to do it for hours can now be done faster or fully automated. Also, solopreneurs have more funding like raising through platforms such as GoFundMe, Kickstarter, etc.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

Technology, this double-edged sword, has also kind of lowered the barrier to entry to the industry. So there’s a lot more competition and they crop up so fast precisely because there are more avenues to help them do so.

Follow @ninjaoutreach

Ron Sela

Ron Sela

Growth Marketing Advisor, Ron Sela Consulting

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

Solopreneurs manage their businesses by themselves; they are ‘their own boss,’ among other things. Solopreneurship is a dominant force which is continuously expanding the career landscape. The existence of organic social media has leveled the playing fields of marketing. The expansion of social media benefits solopreneurs worldwide because it has effectively created opportunities for them that otherwise would not exist.

As solopreneurs compete with the veterans of their trade, they must put in the extra effort to reach and connect with the individuals who would be interested in their business ventures. Traffic is a significant consideration when marketing a business online.

Solopreneurs typically depend on loyal clients to grow and promote their businesses. With social media, they can directly target their ideal customers while building a fan base that will continuously return to their product or service.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

Solopreneurs have their own obstacles to overcome like any other professional. One of the biggest challenges a solopreneur will face is their budgetary constraints for their content production and paid advertisements.

Solopreneurs can overcome their hardships by using sophisticated and optimized advertisements (both organic and inorganic). These marketing advertisements (especially the inorganic ones) are relatively affordable and are useful in bringing visitors to your website.

If you intend on using remarketing for your website, you should know that it will trigger each time someone visits your website. Should that visitor leave your website without becoming a client first, the advertisements will target them, for example, on that visitor’s most visited websites in the space allocated for advertisements. This is designed to compel the visitor to return to your website and become a client. This technique helps establish brand awareness and ultimately pushes visitors to the bottom of your sales funnel.

Social media has demonstrated time and again that it is an effective marketing tool for solopreneurs. It is therefore essential to use social media to your advantage to the furthest extent practicable by utilizing techniques that will reduce your business’ operating costs while advancing your bottom line.

Follow @RonSela

Dennis Seymour

Dennis Seymour

SaaS Entrepreneur, SeriousMD

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

It has to be the freedom (allowed by today’s technology) and definitely the availability of knowledge that other people are doing it today. Back in the day when I started, there was barely any information online, you have to grind it out as you don’t know that it can work, you’ll feel like an island and you just have to take that leap and see what happens.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

It has to be the abundance of distractions.

Being a solopreneur, you will face a lot of things alone. You will tend to not delegate (as you might not want to hire even a VA) so most of the things, you have to do on your own.

Being an entrepreneur, it’s easy to get distracted with that shiny thing. It’s just built-in. If you let things distract you, you will get side-tracked and you will have a problem if you don’t realize it. Things just won’t get done.

In my case, I started taking notes and logging my productivity publicly on a Tumblr page. That kept me sane and in-line until I got to a “system” that fit with how I worked. Each person is different when it comes to productivity so I suggest that you find what works best for you. In my case, I minimized distractions by making sure I focus on specific times and giving myself regular breaks. I went deeper and improved it further after I found that worked for me.

Follow @Denseymour

Madalyn Sklar

Madalyn Sklar

Social Media Strategist, MadalynSklar.com

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

The biggest benefit for solopreneurs is the freedom to do your thing and shine. It’s scary going it alone but the rewards are huge.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

The biggest challenge is time management.

I’ve been working as a solopreneur for 22 years and I have to say managing my time is still the hardest hurdle I face.

What I do to overcome this is to write out a daily To-Do list every evening to prep me for the next day. I literally do not end my day until I’ve written it out. This allows me to start a new day knowing exactly where I need to focus my attention.

As solopreneurs, we will get pulled into a million directions. I work hard to stay grounded, focus on my list, and get the most important things done timely.

Follow @MadalynSklar

Dustin W. Stout

Dustin W. Stout

CEO, Dustn.tv

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

Being a solopreneur means you get to define your own destiny. You get to forge your own path. And you get to do all of that in whichever way makes you happiest.

To not have anyone else tell you what to do, where to do it, how to do it, when to do it, how long to do it, and with whom to do it… that is a freedom that I wouldn’t trade for any size paycheck.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

The biggest challenge that solopreneurs face is knowing how and when to delegate.

Personally, I tend to be a perfectionist, which makes it very hard to know what to hand off, and who to hand it off to. We have to understand which things matter most, and which things can be passed off so we can spend more time on the things that ONLY we can do.

Follow @DustinWStout

Michael Q Todd

Michael Q Todd

Founder, Crowdify

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

Internet, cheap air travel, increasing open mindedness to new ideas.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

Branding when the ability to brand yourself is free for everyone. Content both by subject and locality, responsiveness and sticking to message.

Follow @michaelqtodd

Christoph Trappe

Christoph Trappe

Storyteller & Strategist, ChristophTrappe.com

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

Biggest advantage: it’s much easier for solopreneurs to be nimble than larger teams. Also, they need less revenue to be profitable because it’s just them.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

Biggest disadvantage: if it’s just you, you also have to handle all the finances and miscellaneous tasks.

Follow @CTrappe

Andrea Vahl

Andrea Vahl

Author & Speaker, AndreaVahl.com

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

Complete control over your business. You can set your schedule, take as much vacation as you want and decide the direction you want your company to go.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

Complete control over your business. You have big decisions on direction and sometimes you head into an area that isn’t as fruitful as you might have hoped. It can be hard to pick what projects to work on. But having a mastermind group or team of people to bounce ideas off of can help.

Follow @andreavahl

Bella Vasta

Bella Vasta

Consultant, BellaVasta.com

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

Biggest benefit solopreneurs enjoy today is that the world is literally at their fingertips.

No longer are we limited to our physical geographic limitations. We can literally connect with anyone in the world for anything we need. If you need a user experience expert for your website places like Upwork can have you a bunch of great applicants in a few minutes!

This is not just a benefit for hiring and building our virtual support (and on the ground) teams, but also learning. There is so much that we can learn, surround ourselves by, and be supported. We have an abundance of access to all types of groups that speak to the true nature of our business and needs.

Solopreneurs are arguably living in the most accessible times ever.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

The biggest problem that solopreneurs have today is that the possibilities really are endless, which creates paralysis. Technology and the internet have allowed anyone, anywhere, with a wifi connection to make anything happen. So the possibility a solopreneur can do something is in their mind, while the actual HOW is overwhelming and confusing because there are too many opinions out there.

The challenge becomes the strength to block out all the noise and quieting one’s self to realize what they want and then how to make it all happen. Not to just follow the Jones’s. Social media makes business look like it all happened overnight or with this one magic course, when in fact it takes a lot of dedication and consistency to your craft.

It is a double edged sword with the possibilities being endless! What I have learned is that I can only get myself so far. I needed to:

  1. Determine what was really important to me and my family.
  2. Create my business to support that.
  3. Hire a team to help support the areas in my business I lacked or didn’t enjoy doing.

These three things have taken my consulting company to six figures while affording me more time than ever to be with my 3 year old and husband… which will always be my “real” job and my Why. 🙂

Follow @bellas_pets

Kim Vij

Kim Vij

Author & Blogger, The Educators Spin On It

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

One of the biggest benefits to is the ability to follow your own abilities and talents to unlimited potential, all while on your own schedule you’ve created based on your goals.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

One of the challenges you face as a solopreneur are distractions and becoming overworked when you’re the one doing it all. Setting up an editorial calendar, goals and having systems in place can help you manage your tasks and time to maximize your efforts for your business.

Follow @EducatorsSpin

Katie Wagner

Katie Wagner

President, Katie Wagner Social Media

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

The biggest benefit that solopreneurs enjoy is the ability to be flexible and agile. With a small operation, it’s easier to be responsive to the needs of clients or the changes in an industry. Because you often personally control all of the work, it’s much easier to ensure that everything is being done in the same way, following a system — and when that system needs to change, it’s easier to implement changes quickly without a large team that needs training and buy-in.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

The biggest challenge that solopreneurs face is that sometimes you operate your business in a vacuum. Without a larger team around, the only opinions you are exposed to are your own. You lose the benefit of bouncing ideas off of others or brainstorming. It can also be hard to wear all the hats in your business, and not have dedicated people to focus on certain aspects of the business. Your mind has to juggle all priorities and generate all the ideas and innovation to keep things moving forward.

The solopreneurs I have seen overcome this successfully have been able to build a network of advisors and confidantes to discuss business with — whether it’s a mastermind group, an organization like Vistage, or just other solopreneur friends. Those who are part of a larger community feel less isolated and have a lot more support.

Follow @KWSMTeam

Amanda Webb

Amanda Webb

Blogger & Speaker, SpiderWorking

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

We have challenging, rewarding jobs and control of our own destiny.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

Because we love our jobs we tend to tell ourselves and others that we should work all the time. This can work initially but it’s not a long term thing. You’ll get tired, you’ll burn out and then your business will suffer.

I’ve not totally cracked this, I can be found working into the night on occasions, particularly at busy times of year but it’s important to balance this with time off. I mark at least a week off each quarter on top of holidays to recuperate and spend time doing the other things I love. This means I’m recharged and ready to take on the world on my return. I also try and follow a strict schedule. I start work at 7 and finish at 7. That gives me time to wind down, sleep and spend time with my loved ones.

Follow @Spiderworking

Warren Whitlock

Warren Whitlock

Influence Architect, Top Line Revenues

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

Freedom to make a difference in the world.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

Constraints. I found freedom by optimizing the bottlenecks to expand capacity or offload focus through delegation and automation. Find the one thing with the most leverage and make it work better.

Follow @WarrenWhitlock

Sue B. Zimmerman

Sue B. Zimmerman

Founder, Sue B. Zimmerman Enterprise

  1. What’s the biggest benefit today that solopreneurs enjoy?

Have the freedom to work from anywhere and travel the world, while connecting with like-minded business owners and entrepreneurs who share similar values.

  1. What’s the biggest challenge today that solopreneurs face? How have you overcome that challenge?

Staying in one lane.

Being niche in a market is so important if you want to stand out as the go to person, influencer, expert or educator. You need to create a memorable business and brand, being 100% authentic and standing in your own truth.

I am well versed in all social media but I have stayed focused teaching Instagram Marketing to creative service-based businesses for over 5 years. I know that my target audience is primarily women 35 and older who want to make a difference in the world and leave a legacy doing what they love.

Follow @suebzimmerman

WRAPPING UP

…the biggest benefit to me is time…

control of our own destiny

make your own schedule and work from anywhere

Time and again, whether they used the word or not, these experts all agreed that Freedom is the single biggest benefit that solopreneurs enjoy.

So much so that out of 64 respondents, the word Freedom was mentioned 50 times specifically. In fact it’s the only word Christine Hueber used!

And that’s not surprising. Attaining the kinds of freedom described in these responses is exactly the appeal that drives so many to become independent solopreneurs. We’ve written about Freedom and Solopreneurship here on the Solo Build It! Blog many times:

More importantly, it’s a refrain we hear from our own customers over and over, as you can see in that last article.

“The number one things for us is the freedom. Being able to do what we want, when we want, and where we want.”Stephanie and Tobias Locsei, Solo Build It! customers since 2008.

Now, when it came to describing the biggest challenges, this is where we saw a bit more variety, typically due to each individual’s own experiences and personalities.

While many lauded freedom as a benefit, some pointed out the dangers of having too much freedom and not enough structure.

Others spoke of the overwhelm presented by today’s wealth of information, and other similar hurdles.

What I found most fascinating though was the solutions that many experts offered to these various challenges.

Some, like Madalyn Sklar’s evening ritual of creating a To Do List for the next day is brilliant and almost-universally applicable.

Others, like John Paul Aguiar’s idea of rewarding oneself with something like a day off, might not be as easily adopted.

While not every expert offered actionable advice, here’s a summary of the recommendations presented:

  1. Identify what your ideal client looks like and say no to those who don’t fit.
  2. Create mini goals and give yourself rewards for those you complete.
  3. Use online communities and real-life co-working spaces to create human interaction.
  4. Join a Mastermind Group or the Solo Build It! Community.
  5. Use your time wisely.
  6. Keep your eye on the goal.
  7. Focus on generating recurring revenue.
  8. Focus on one niche.
  9. Remove bottlenecks by delegating or offloading or outsourcing.
  10. Have a routine in place that can help you get through periods of less motivation.
  11. Don’t be afraid to get help when you need it.
  12. Use goals to keep you focused and free from distractions.
  13. Put safeguards in place to avoid burnout and maintain work-life balance.
  14. Keep adjusting as life and work continue to change.
  15. Recognize what you need to do to remain productive and avoid distractions.
  16. Create blocks of times for tasks and stick to them.
  17. Continually network with new people to diversify your knowledge.
  18. Follow a strict schedule and schedule time off.
  19. Identify and leverage tools to keep your sales pipeline full.
  20. Identify blogs and other sources of information to keep yourself abreast of developments.
  21. Focus on your strengths and outsource the rest.
  22. Create daily To Do lists the night before.
  23. Save money every month to help with fluctuating income.

That’s certainly a lot to consider! I encourage you to bookmark this resource and refer to it regularly. Also, as you read through each expert’s responses, if what they’re saying resonates with you, go follow them on Twitter and check out their own blog. It’s likely they have more to say that you’ll appreciate.

Finally, whether you’re considering starting a new online business, or feel like your existing business is stuck in a rut, Solo Build It! can help.

Solo Build It! is the world’s #1, most-effective online business-building platform.*

It is the only all-in-1 package of step-by-step process, software tools, comprehensive guidance, 24/7 support and “auto-updating” that enables solopreneurs to build profitable online businesses.

We condense the overwhelming and ever-changing complexity into one all-you’ll-ever-need, online business-building approach. Its 15-year track record is one of “solo success” at unmatchable rates and levels of success.

And the best part is, Solo Build It! is extremely affordable. Learn more, or talk with an Advisor today to see the possibilities for your business.

* That’s not just something we say, but a fact based on actual comparisons with other competitor systems. We measured the effectiveness of each platform, the rate at which its users or members are able to achieve high-traffic websites. Solo Build It! crushes the competition every time.

Mike Allton
Mike is an award-winning blogger, speaker, and author at The Social Media Hat, and Brand Evangelist at Agorapulse where he strengthens relationships with social media educators, influencers and agencies.

Join The Solo Build It! Community

Get the latest in best-practices and advice for your online business. Let each new article be delivered to your Inbox for free.