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Recently, my wife quit her job and started her own coaching and consulting practice, Alexasia Coaching & Consulting, to guide people on their personal journey of liberation and to realize a sense of freedom and truth. Like most solopreneurs, she is passionate about her purpose and fully committed to succeeding by doing what she loves. I was so impressed with her ability to problem solve and multitask on her own, but it also made me realize how challenging the solopreneur experience can be.
While all solopreneurs are entrepreneurs, not all entrepreneurs are solopreneurs. For example, when I was building Lumanu, I had a team of investors, advisors and associates that I could rely on while my wife served as CEO/CFO/CTO/CMO, all in one package. I have engineers to help develop our product, but my wife’s product is herself. Not only is she the founder and creator of her company, but she is solely responsible for the production and delivery of her services. Comparing their experience to mine opened my eyes to how many privileges I have experienced as a venture-backed founder.
Related: 4 Differences Between Solopreneurs and an Entrepreneur Who Works Alone
With more than 41 million American adults Solopreneurs currently working as solopreneurs, many of whom are in the creator economy, will continue to be a driver of future commercial success. In the last year alone, YouTube overpaid 30 billion dollars for solopreneur creators. And that’s just one company. But how can solopreneurs maintain this momentum?
1. Access tools tailored to their needs
One of my wife’s greatest assets is her time. But to make the most of the time she has available, she needs technology and tools to help her—and her business—thrive. One of her favorite tools is kajabiwith which she created her website and developed and sold online educational courses to target customers. canvas was another indispensable resource that helped her design compelling content and materials from scratch—from ebooks to graphics. A major advantage of such tools is that solopreneurs can use them to meet multiple business needs and optimize the number of apps and platforms they have to visit on a daily basis.
2. Make sure personal and business finances are kept separate
My wife spent a lot of time trying to find the best type of business bank account. She had to navigate an endless number of ads, sponsored content, and pay-to-play to get there, but she knew that having the right financial setup was critical for budgeting, expense tracking, billing, and accurate financial reporting. She ended up using the Lumanu app to manage her billing, payments, finances, and commercial banking.
3. Take care of your physical health
Getting health insurance as a solopreneur can be extremely difficult. While there are new regulations that are said to make it easier, solopreneurs often only qualify for individual insurance, limiting the types of HMO plans to choose from. And if you miss the open enrollment deadline, you can go up to a year without coverage. One solopreneur I know even postponed her marriage time so she could get health care!
Also see: 12 things great about being a solopreneur
As the creator economy continues to thrive, it will be important for companies in this space to provide health benefits for creators and solopreneurs alike. platforms like substack Offer a health insurance stipend to writers using the platform and earn $5,000 per year. And I think over time we’ll see more companies extending that benefit to their customers.
4. Prioritize emotional well-being
The work life of most solopreneurs can be lonely and isolating. Inevitably there are ups and downs in running a business, but having resources to handle the downtime is crucial, especially for solopreneurs. Whether that means taking a class, starting a fitness routine, or joining industry or professional groups, it pays to prioritize mental health.
5. Build a community
One of the most important things solopreneurs can do is network, but that’s easier said than done. For example, if I spend time networking, I have an entire team to keep things going, but the hour a solopreneur spends networking is one they don’t spend working directly in the business. How can solopreneurs best balance the need to expand their communities while driving business?
The good news is that there are a variety of great professional networking platforms out there. In addition to LinkedIn, platforms like discord and Reddit can help solopreneurs build stronger networks and connect with communities of like-minded people in a fun, non-judgmental environment. By networking in this way, solopreneurs can more easily access business building resources and even potential clients.
Related: Community is the best corporate culture
I learned so much watching my wife in action. Aside from the differences between our two trips, the most important thing I learned is that everyone has their own process to start a business. Not everyone follows the same playbook or business planning process, and it’s important to respect the path you choose. Whether you choose to go solo or not, as long as you have passion and determination, you have the power to make a positive impact in the world.