My path to solopreneurship was driven by a combination of necessity and a desire for self-fulfillment. I’d had a successful career in tech marketing strategy, working at companies like Intel and Gartner Group. But I was becoming tired of the cubicle 9-5 being constantly surrounded by people (I’m a natural introvert), and as the mother of a young son I wanted to spend more time at home with him. But could I afford to do so?
The realization came when I sat down one day to see how much money I was really spending on working for someone else: commute costs into the city every day, coffee and lunch, professional clothing, school before/after care costs, babysitting costs, and all the extra expenses we tend to incur for the sake of convenience when there isn’t enough time to do it all: takeout food, housecleaning services, dog walkers, salon services, etc. Despite a six-figure salary, the percentage going to all these extra expenses was still astounding. Clearly, I couldn’t afford NOT to work from home.
That was five years ago.
I’d love to say it was easy, and I quickly reached the same income as my 9-5. In truth, it was a lot harder than I’d expected, but more satisfying than I’d anticipated as well. I think the biggest challenge was knowing where to focus my time and energy for the maximum results, and not getting distracted by the next new shiny thing. When you’re working for yourself, new ideas and opportunities come up all the time, and it’s tempting to go after them. But each new project takes more time to mature than you realize. Focus is the friend of the first-time solopreneur!
In my next posts, I’ll go into more detail on ways to develop focus and scale as a solopreneur, what worked for me, and what is still work in progress, so stay tuned!