ENTREPRENEURSHIP / MAR. 07, 2015
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Why Solopreneurs Should Make Friends with Like-Minded Entrepreneurial Spirits

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Being a solopreneur isn’t easy and never has been, but the rewards of living this kind of lifestyle typically outweigh the difficulties that come along with it. One of the hurdles that many solopreneurs face is the fact that they are trying to start and run a business all alone. This can not only be discouraging, it can also lead to a "trial and error" style approach to things when they could be doing them correctly from the start if they had the proper guidance. This fact makes it very advantageous for solopreneurs to meet and partner up with like-minded individuals, especially those who have a greater level of experience.

Making Mistakes

Making mistakes is a part of business, especially for entrepreneurs. Like starting a business, there are times to make mistakes and times where such luxuries cannot be afforded. If you are young in your career and are on the brink of your first startup, then you have time to learn how to make lasting connections. The important thing is to learn from those mistakes and create a better business.

Learning to do things the right way from the start is a much better option. While there are tons of materials out there promising to teach you to become the next rich solopreneur, most of this information is unrealistic and possibly a scam. A better option for learning how to run your business as a solopreneur is to seek out and talk with other solopreneurs who have already been successful.

Getting in Contact with Other Solopreneurs

Probably the biggest hurdle to getting into contact with a solopreneur is getting him or her to take you seriously. If you’re just starting out, they probably won’t take much time, if any, to speak with you since you haven’t proven yourself. Before trying to get in touch with other solopreneurs, at least put forth enough effort in your own business to prove that you aren’t just a dreamer who doesn’t take action. (Many "entrepreneurs" fall into this category),

There are plenty of places to look for like-minded spirits. The three best places to start looking are: 1) Twitter, 2) Niche-specific websites, and 3) Offline industry meet-ups. To find fellow solopreneurs on Twitter, search for relevant hashtags, or those people who are always commenting on your favorite influencer’s posts. There are loads of websites out there that cater to entrepreneurs, but one of the best by far is YFS Magazine. Every young entrepreneur should have that bookmarked. Also, get involved in your local community by visiting local coffee meet-ups; these connections will likely be the most natural and lasting.

Another thing to remember is that you’re not going to be best friends with another solopreneur the first time you meet. Using an online meeting service for free will allow you to establish connections and introduce yourself. Hopefully, these meetings will evolve into something else, like a physical meeting at a coffee shop.

You can also meet fellow solopreneurs online by visiting various forums and chat groups. When doing this, be sure that you only go to places where legitimate entrepreneurs congregate, and not places that are full of dreamers who fall for get-rich-quick schemes. Those are the types of places that you want to avoid at all costs.

Partnering Up

Once you’ve begun to meet valorous solopreneurs, you may find that some of them have services or products that would benefit your business. You may also discover that your business is a good fit with theirs. This is a great opportunity to suggest a partnership. Just remember that you must bring something of value to the table if you expect someone to want to partner with you. When approaching them, always focus on what’s in it for them.

You should also keep in mind that business and friendship are two different things. There is nothing wrong with being friends with your partners, but when it comes to business, you have to be able to put that aside. You can’t expect anything less than a full effort on their part and they won’t expect any less from you, even if you are friends with them.

Two (Or More) Brains Are Better Than One

The best thing about partnering up with a like-minded solopreneur is the fact that you will both benefit from the insight of the other. You’ll find your partner(s) catching mistakes that you may have missed and vice-versa. This can also lead to greater innovations and improvements for your products and services as well.

Also remember that having a partner is a great way to stay motivated. Being self-motivated is a skill that is hard to learn and absolutely essential for being a solopreneur. By having a partner you will motivate one another to do your best and to always keep moving forward in your business. In the past, letting yourself down may have been acceptable, but the thought of letting your partner down can be an exceptional motivating factor.

Are you a solopreneur? What was your journey like? Let us know in the comments section below!

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