A letter from Jackie:
I recently read this article about the challenges of entrepreneurship (and, yes, its joys…but more about that later).
[Y]ou have chosen the path less taken, the path less understood and the path most pockmarked with pain. Much of the time that path is a complete slog, and your job, on occasion, is simply to slog it out.
Ouch. Sounds awful. And, for some of us, it might hit a little close to home. What’s especially painful about this article though is that it’s primarily geared towards traditional entrepreneurs—you know, the kind that lease a storefront and hire a bunch of employees. Now, that may not sound like much fun if you’re like me—a SOLO entrepreneur. You know who you are: Freelancers. Independent contractors. Artists. Home-based businesses. And while we may not want to mess with all that brick and mortar, the reality is that starting a traditional business has a built-in benefit: other people.
The entrepreneurial path can be especially difficult for solos. The traditional business wisdom that’s out there doesn’t apply to you, and because YOU ARE THE BUSINESS it can sometimes feel like you’re alone in the world. Like no one else gets it. Like you can’t turn to anybody.
The good news?
You aren’t. They do. You can.
That’s why we offer these free Better, Smarter, Richer symposiums at the CLIMB Center here in Portland several times a year (and the next one is coming right up on Jan. 29th!) The reality is that 78% of businesses never hire employees. Do the math: zero employees = solopreneurs. Lots of them. We need to start banding together, supporting each other, and helping the world face the new paradigm of work in this country.
People feel such relief when they come to the CLIMB Center and realize that they aren’t alone. We’ll discuss what makes your business model different, what makes it beautiful, and what you can do to make it thrive.
Now back to that article I mentioned at the beginning. The lovely thing is that joys of entrepreneurship that she discusses DO apply to solos:
You have a hard job. But I promise you, no matter what direction your company goes, it will be meaningful, and you will matter. Because what you do, even in failure, matters. …You are the one who will herald the next generation… And you are the one who will keep the lights on. Being vulnerable and keeping that sense of honesty is what makes you an entrepreneur. It separates you from the corporate world and makes you fallible—and also, heroic.
You ARE great and you DO deserve to stand out. Join us at the CLIMB Center on the 29th and learn how.