Sometimes I’m so busy focused on what I’m doing with my own business—both the wins and the challenges—that I don’t know what’s going on in the world around me. I find that there’s comfort in knowing that others share the same frustrations (and successes) as I do as a micropreneur. So I asked a few of my contacts what their micropreneur struggle has been. Do their answers ring true with you, too?
Being a One-Woman Show Is Lonely
For the first few years, I found it hard to not have a team to bounce ideas off of and brainstorm with. When presenting campaigns or projects to clients, I always felt so confident with my ideas when I received positive feedback from co-workers. Once on my own, I lost that and had to just go with my gut and work it out on my own. Luckily I am still connected to old colleagues so when I really need it, i’ll shoot them an email. For the most part though, I do what feels right and it turns into a success and a happy client.
Commitment Is a Scary Thing
Ivana Taylor, Publisher of DIYMarketers.com, found that really acting like a business owner and committing herself to her company were an early micropreneur struggle:
The first challenge I faced was actually committing to being my own business. As a micropreneur you can also think of yourself as a freelancer. But the day that you decide that you are not going to take a job is the true day that you are a solopreneur.
I had this challenge as well, but I quickly realized that people tend to respect you more if you operate as a business, and not a freelancer.
Your Head Can Only Fit So Many Hats
We’ve all heard that metaphor of entrepreneurs wearing many hats. It’s absolutely true! I think we can all agree with Kimberly Crossland of The Savvy Copywriter, LLC:
The biggest challenge has been wearing so many different hats. In addition to being a writer, I also have to be a professional accountant, web designer, and human resources guru. It’s overwhelming, but leaning on other experts (usually other micropreneurs) for help with these areas has made business quite a bit smoother both for me and my clients.
Growth Isn’t Always the Best Path
Brenda S. Stoltz, CEO, Ariad Partners, LLC, says the toughest micropreneur struggle for her has been the decision to grow or not. While many of us assume that growing our businesses is automatically the goal, it really depends on what motivates you and what you want out of your business.
I knew how to grow; for me the challenge has always been do I want to grow? For me, growth comes naturally, it’s what I do for a living — I grow businesses. However, when I really looked at my why —why I’m in business — it has nothing to do with a big business or more money. It’s all about doing what I love but keeping things flexible and family-oriented. I needed to be big enough to support a strong team of experts to help a small number of clients, but not so big that I was working morning, noon, and night on the business. Knowing the “why” behind what drives you and the reason you started and stay in business, is critical to making the decision on whether to grow or not.
It’s Hard Being Creative
None of us can churn out award-winning ideas 100% of the time, and without a team in place to share ideas with, sometimes creativity gets stifled. That’s when Rhonda H. Smith of Your QuickBooks Coach turns to her mastermind group of four other micropreneurs.
Our group follows a very specific format where each person is allotted a set amount of time to ask for help on their challenge. Just knowing I will be going to the meeting forces me to tune in to exactly where my head is; I may need help with new marketing ideas, dealing with a difficult client, or I may need a suggestion for a new graphics designer. Whatever my need, the mastermind group always comes through. It is amazing how inspired and uplifted I feel after sharing and listening over coffee for 2 hours. The following month we start by updating everyone on the progress we’ve made on the previous month’s challenge.
There Aren’t Enough Hours in the Day
Who couldn’t do with another set (or 12) of arms to help get more done for our businesses? Niki Robinson, President of Posts By Ghost had to learn the hard (and slow) way how to get everything done without having a meltdown:
When starting out as a micropreneur, I had huge problems with efficiency. When you doeverything, you need to figure out how to get everything done. Eventually I hit a point where it seemed I couldn’t possibly do it all. I wish I’d known then that implementing systems and standard processes as soon as possible could’ve saved me from a heck of a lot of long-term headaches. With every new system I implemented (namely cloud accounting, CRM, and project management solutions), I couldn’t believe how much time I freed up — and more free time means more time to connect with new clients. Yes, implementing any new system takes time and adjustment, but once you put in the work up front, you’ll be amazed how much time and energy you’ll save and you’ll still be able to keep on top of everything.
Editor’s note: this was originally written for AllBusiness.