Updated: Mar 29
By Vickie Wacek, Executive Director of BNI Vermont
I was doing the dishes one day when it hit me;
I need to start my own business!
And not just any business – something I know, care very much about, and am good at!
Can you relate? Working day in and day out for someone else, and you suddenly feel (or felt) the need to break free and spread your proverbial business wings? Yes or No, many of us know someone who has taken the leap into self-employment. I lovingly call it My Circus, My Monkeys, because every day that I get out of bed, I know that the work ahead of me is created and sustained by my heart, mind, passion, and commitment.
These are things that all business owners have in common. But o
ur common reasons for being in business for ourselves goes beyond this list of ‘whys’. There’s also a collection of struggles that we have in common, which can be difficult for us to tackle on our own.
Take for example, the rules of running a business. I’m talking about
→ bookkeeping and taxes,
→ our online presence (website and social media),
→ setting up our business insurance(s),
→ our marketing, and for many of us,
→ finding, training, and retaining employees.
These are areas of being a business owner that are necessary, but not things that we’re always good at, or things that we like to do.
So we run into the first hurdle of running a business – outsourcing these things to other business owners who are skilled, and enjoy doing it. That means finding a website designer, a bookkeeper, a social media marketer, an HR consultant, and a business attorney. But outsourcing pivotal parts of your business can be very stressful. We may not necessarily care about our business insurance, but if it’s set up incorrectly, and we need it, we’re screwed! So knowing and trusting our subcontractors is critically important.
Another example of common business struggles is running into the creativity wall.
When we start our business, we’re busy putting the pieces together. We’re
→ choosing our business card layout and business logo,
→ setting up our phone and email accounts,
→ creating the widget or showing up to provide the service or install the product, and
→ telling anyone who will listen about our new endeavor.
However, a few weeks, months, or years into this process, we realize that we’ve backed ourselves into a creativity corner. We’re so busy doing that work that we have lost the opportunity to be creative, to dream, and to evolve. So having a group of peers surrounding us to help us see and reach for new opportunities helps us keep our spirit and passion alive.
And lastly, we also commonly run into the issue of scaling our business.
We spend years of passion and commitment to building our successful business. Then when it comes time to take the next step up, we struggle locating and installing the pieces necessary to establish that new level. Going from a team of one to a team of 3, or 7, or 15, always takes a testament of will. So being surrounded by other successful business owners that have tread this ground before you will save you a lot of time, effort, and unnecessary mistakes.
Do you see the common thread here? Being in business for ourselves is a journey of finding ourselves and establishing our vision. And with all of its joys and tribulations, it can be a lonely road when traveled alone. For many of us solopreneurs, the solution to many of the difficulties lies in not doing it alone. Reaching out and establishing a community of peers will drastically change our trajectory for the better. It will help us find trustworthy subcontractors, locate new opportunities, and scale our business when the time is right.
Do you know someone on this journey of running their own business? This is your opportunity to recommend a business group that will support them through the years to come. And if that business owner is you, and you’re ready to surround yourself with local folks such as yourself, get out there and find your team! Whether it’s a BNI chapter, a Chamber of Commerce, a Rotary Group, or a Facebook Group – just go do it! ♥