Or chocolate. Nobody wants to eat just one piece of chocolate. We might do it, because good health dictates it, but we don’t really want to. We want to eat the whole darn box.
One is by far the loneliest number. As soon as we have one of anything, we are almost compelled to go out and get another one. One of something is rarely satisfying.
And having one—and only one of us—to be with day- in and day-out, our own opinions, our own thoughts, our own same old, same old, nagging, condescending, even sometimes not so nice inside voice to keep us company all the time as our only companion…well- that’s enough to depress even the happiest of people.
One—all alone— is just plain sad.
Besides that, it’s boring. I don’t care who you are, after awhile, you are going to get boring to yourself if you are your only company. Humans need other humans. We were created for companionship. A mouth and two ears were created for a purpose after all.
Is it any wonder that a large percent of solopreneurs close their doors within the first few years? Even with a sound business plan and marketing strategy, many new business owners find themselves unprepared for the drastic shift away from human companionship that had been part of working for other companies and in previous jobs.
Being the chief boss, secretary, janitor and bottle washer all by yourself leads to a pretty boring conversation with your paper cup at the water cooler. And the loneliness and isolation is the least of your worries.
Jack of All Trades, Specialist of None
In a larger company, if there is a job to do, there is a specialist assigned to do it. Need some numbers crunched? Call the accountant. Need to create a brochure? Walk on over to the marketing department and have a chat. Floors need washing? No worries, the janitor will slip in after you turn off the lights for the day. When you come back in tomorrow, they’ll be nice and shiny. Just like magic.
Want to be a solopreneur? Better buy a mop. And learn to do some accounting. And dream up a clever marketing plan because you’re gonna need one.
Think you aren’t a solopreneur because all you do is manage a household and take care of the kids?
Hold it right there. You have the hardest business of anyone in the world. What I’m about to say applies to you too.
And luckily, there’s a better way to manage all of these lonely businesses.
The Magic of Multapreneurs
Not Multipreneurs. Those are a different breed of people crazy enough to want to own several of their own businesses all by themselves. They aren’t even reading this. Frankly, they don’t have the time. No, actually the word Multapreneurs doesn’t exist at all, I just made it up. I think it needs to exist, so I created it to stand for that wonderful experience when a group of Solopreneurs band together to lend their support and expertise to each other in the areas that they specialize in. Together, they can beat both the loneliness and the difficulties of not being an expert in all the areas that a small business owner needs to excel at.
The concept of being part of a Mastermind or small group of like-minded individuals has been around since Napoleon Hill and is a proven method of success in any kind of business venture. Yet for some reason, the mindset of the typical Solopreneur is one of stubborn pioneer determination to succeed alone at all costs, often leading instead to the ultimate failure of both their emotional health and their business dreams. The idea of reaching out to other small business owners to ask for help, or admit that they don’t know what they are doing, or worse even, that they might be failing and need rescuing is almost unthinkable in the minds of many creative, individualistic small business owners. After all, they set out to create their OWN dream. Not anyone else’s. How in the world would anybody else possibly understand?
Nothing New Under the Sun
The dirty little secret about small businesses is that there rarely is very little that is new or different about running a very small business. They all have similar challenges to face, similar struggles, the same worries that keep their poor owners pacing the floors in the middle of the night. No matter what the creative widget might be, the dreams, the hopes, the fears and the adventures feel just as grand, just as terrifying, and just as thrilling. Finding a group of other Solo and Small Business Entrepreneurs to share ideas, brainstorm, help educate in specific areas of expertise can take a stressful experience and turn it into one of support, enlightenment and fun that will bring that sense of adventure and accomplishment that you signed on for in the first place.
The Golden Multapreneurs
This will be the first time they hear themselves called this, but Deb and I have been part of a group of people exactly like this since last fall. We were lucky enough to become part of Christine Kane’s Gold Mastermind group, a group of extremely dedicated and talented solopreneurs in varying enterprises. Each one of them are gifted in their own unique area of expertise and we share our talents, our time, our energy and support to help each other, encourage each other and build each other up along the way. With the power of GOLD behind us, all of us are greater than the individual businesses that we embody. There is no way that we could grow and accomplish what we are all doing this year alone without the emotional support and knowledge that the Gold group brings to each other. The synergy is absolutely amazing.
The Power of Some Versus One
If you are feeling the drain of the lonely solopreneur, or even if you are the lonely mom stuck at home craving any adult interaction at all, finding a support group of like-minded peers is the solution. Look around, send out feelers. Ours meets on-line in a Google group and then meets in person a handful of times a year. A different one I have been in met once a month in person. Another one met weekly. How often will depend on the group. The only thing that really matters is that you get one.
Nobody needs to go through this alone. Frankly, it’s just too difficult. So, do yourself— and your business—a favor and create a mastermind of Multapreneurs. You will be SO grateful that you did!