The myth of ‘going it alone’ as a solopreneur and why connection matters

You dreamed of going it alone. You left behind the nine-to-five grind, the office politics, and the perpetual frustration of being told what to do by a boss who just didn’t get it. You went boldly forth, set up your own business. Now you’re a solopreneur, charting your own course.

But guess what? It’s still tough. Maybe nobody told you that, ironically, going it alone requires surrounding yourself with people and making connections. Because the truth is this: Nobody succeeds totally by themselves. How do I know? Because as a business coach and Kajabi online course creator, I work with many self-employed solopreneurs – plus, I am one myself!

Successful solopreneurs understand the importance of surrounding themselves with like-minded people, other solopreneurs and freelancers who understand the unique challenges and triumphs of this journey. Here’s why connecting with your fellow solopreneurs is essential for your success.

Why you need a community to ‘go it alone’

Your friends and family may want the best for you, but they most likely do not understand what you do. They are looking through a different lens, one that often doesn’t relate to your entrepreneurial aspirations. Therefore, when you turn to them in times of doubt or need advice, they may inadvertently pull you back.

You see, when people want what’s best for you, they often project their own desires and fears onto your situation. For many, the idea of a steady salaried job is the pinnacle of security and success. They might not comprehend why you would take the leap into self-employment, and their well-intentioned advice might not always align with your vision.

On the other hand, when you have connections with other freelancers and solopreneurs, you get the encouragement and support you need to stay in the game. Because sometimes being successful in business means sticking at something for an extended period of time before there’s a breakthrough. Your fellow solopreneurs understand the grit and determination required for this journey.

Dealing with challenges

Discussing business challenges with friends or family can be frustrating if they don’t understand your world. You might find yourself having to explain the intricacies of your industry, and the advice you receive might not be practical or relevant.

Being isolated with your own thoughts can be destructive as well. You can get caught in negative spirals of thinking, doubting your decisions and losing sight of your goals. Your community of fellow freelancers can not only relate but also offer valuable insights and new perspectives. They have been there, they have faced similar hurdles, and they can share their experiences and strategies for overcoming them.

You need people who get you and understand your world

Connecting with other freelancers and solopreneurs means building relationships with people who ‘get it’. They comprehend the late nights, the hustle, the rollercoaster of highs and lows, and the exhilaration of landing a client.

These connections provide a sense of camaraderie. They celebrate your successes, no matter how small, because they know the effort it took to achieve them. Celebrating successes is not just about patting yourself on the back; it’s hugely motivating, giving you the drive to keep going and striving for more.

Tribes: It’s all about connection

Seth Godin, in his book “Tribes,” offers a powerful insight into the importance of community and connection. He writes, “Most organisations spend their time marketing to the crowd. Smart organisations assemble the tribe.” In the context of solopreneurship, this means that it’s not about chasing after the masses or trying to be everything to everyone. It’s about building a tribe of like-minded individuals who resonate with your message and values.

Tribes aren’t about stuff. They’re about connection. It’s not the quantity of social media accounts, WhatsApp groups, or email subscribers that matters; it’s the quality of the relationships you have within your tribe.

Humans need community, for our emotional health. We need connection, a sense of belonging. We are not built to thrive in isolation.

Ann Napolitano

How to build your tribe or community

Now that we’ve established the importance of having a community of fellow solopreneurs, let’s explore how to build your own tribe.

1. Join networking groups

Pay to join, as it is a worthwhile investment and can be tax-deductible. Networking is not just about selling yourself; it’s where you make genuine connections. You might not like the idea of ‘networking,’ but once you’re in a room full of other self-employed people, the entrepreneurial spirit is contagious.

2. Start your own group

Think of the other freelancers you already know, such as bookkeepers, virtual assistants, web designers, social media managers, and more. You can start your own group, either in person or virtually. You could hold monthly round tables on specific topics, such as the opportunities and threats to business posed by artificial intelligence.

3. Reach out to offer help

Don’t wait for others to make the first move. Start reaching out to offer help directly – whether it’s a guest blog post, a podcast chat, or any other form of collaboration. These are all ways to start relationships and build your tribe.

4. Join a coworking community

Not only does this help with feelings of isolation, but you can also make connections and build relationships with other freelancers. Coworking spaces often host events and workshops where you can meet like-minded individuals.

5. Consider a business coach

Some business coaches offer group coaching sessions where you can connect with other participants outside of the sessions. This can be a valuable opportunity to learn from others and build relationships.

Remember, don’t stay in your bubble, getting overwhelmed, lonely, and stressed. As the saying goes, success shared is success multiplied. Building your tribe isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s a must-have for any solopreneur seeking long-term success and fulfilment.

The myth of ‘going it alone’ as a solopreneur is just that – a myth. 

So, embrace the power of connection and surround yourself with those who understand your journey – you’ll find that going it alone is not so lonely after all.

Photo: George Milton

James Hanberry
Verified Coach
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James Hanberry is a marketing specialist and coach helping well being professionals, mentors, educators and content creators build their businesses online. Email hello@jameshanberry.coach or book a free consultation here.

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