I gained a new appreciation this week. And that is the appreciation for those who’ve built multiple-six-figure businesses, ie. $200,000++ (note: I am not one of those people… yet!)
How did this appreciation come to be?
Well, I had a really good coaching call this week (I’ve been using a business coach for the last year and a half and highly recommend it – check out SG podcast episode 40 where I interview my coach Shawn (awesome guy, great coach and esteemed member of my weekly email list!)).
We realized that I’m starting to hit some hurdles and struggles that I hadn’t before, namely that if I want to keep scaling/growing, I need to start working more efficiently and leveraging my time better.
As a solopreneur, all you have is time to generate revenue. But if you’re spending all your time generating that revenue and servicing those clients/customers, then the only way to grow from there is to create more time or buy more time (via outsourcing, hiring, tech, etc.).
I’ve hit a point where I’m very proud of the financial success of my firm, but I want to join the multi-six-figure group – and I faced the harsh reality that it would be near impossible to do it alone. Realizing this has really made me appreciate those who have grown businesses to that size, even if it’s still a “small business” by most measurements (# of employees, office, etc.).
It’s also interesting to know that there are many “levels” to this solopreneurship journey, and each one has their own unique challenges. I see them as:
Level 0: just an idea or ideas
Level 1: pull the trigger on an idea and start to sell a product/service
Level 2: first sales made and starting to “figure things out”
Level 3: the snowball is rolling and you can support yourself comfortably – the business shows a lot of promise
Level 4: you’re doing awesome, more confident but at your limit. You need more resources if you want to keep growing
Level 5: you have a small team that is helping to scale the business, but adjustments have to be made as you go from 0 to X employees
I don’t feel justified in mentioning any more levels because I have no experience in level 5 or higher, but I go into a little more detail in this recent vlog:
The other thing I realized is that if you really want to explode your business, you need to be careful of shiny object syndrome. Or in our case, shiny business-idea syndrome.
Have you ever caught yourself in the middle of too many business ideas? Or projects to try?
Or different people coming to you with different ideas, and even though you know you need to focus on what you’ve got going on right now, they all sound like the next Amazon?!
I think the main reason it’s so common for solopreneurs is that we love trying new things, and also that most of us have misconceptions of building hugely successful companies.
To my first point, we wouldn’t be business people if we didn’t have the belief or confidence in trying new stuff.
But to my second point, and this is something I’ve been guilty of myself many times, is that sometimes we think “if I just try this new idea/business/thing, it will lead to success quicker than what I’m doing now”.
And that’s probably a line of thought we should extinguish from our minds right now.
Even if you were Bezos in the first year of Amazon, he didn’t have a smooth sail to billionaire island. Gates didn’t stumble his way into the Microsoft idea/opportunity and next thing you know, he’s got too much money to fit in one bank account.
Instead, they worked and grinded and hustled for years and years and years, overcoming more struggles and difficulties than many of us combined.
While it’s so easy to dream about finding that next opportunity or idea that will surely lead to great success (in whatever way you define it), think about this instead:
Why can’t you just make what you’re working on now into the next big thing? What if you shut out all the other noise and tripled down on what’s working for you now?
Because that’s probably what Bezos and Gates and Jobs and Zuck and whoever else did…
It’s very top of mind for me right now and thought I’d share to see if you can relate. For more insights, don’t forget to join my email list to get content like this every Friday right to your inbox!