(post by guest-blogger Starla J. King, Big Fish 2009-10)

I usually love being a solopreneur.    

Except for those times when the solo feels more like alone and less like independent, strong, on my own, and free.

I’m in one of those times right now.   After longing  for more alone time to focus on the work of my heart/soul, I finally have it… and I feel… well… alone

Quick background:  I co-created, co-own, and co-manage a small-scale landscaping business with my business/life partner.  This year, she and I also worked side by side (literally!) for 5 months, fulltime.  Now that it’s summer season, a slow time for landscaping, I have switched my focus to my solopreneur work and business, and my partner is back to consulting in the corporate world. 

This is what I wanted… really really wanted… so why am I not bursting-at-the-seams energized??

Part of it is that I physically spend most of my day alone. (The cats, in this case, don’t count.  Their respect for my entrepreneurial vision is lacking, to say the least. )   As a writer (and borderline introvert), I often need to have alone time, but at some point the solitude becomes a risk of diminishing returns. 

Part of it is that the vision for my new business, OutWrite Living, is still being formed so it’s mostly my vision – not a shared vision yet.

Part of it is that I get lost in To Do list tasks, hoping to find satisfaction and validation in checking off “accomplishments”  while my collaborative thirst stays unquenched.

So… what to do? 

If I had a session with my Big Fish business coach (Nancy Duncan) scheduled for this week, I’d talk this through with her.  Coaches are wonderful for things like this!  But since we aren’t scheduled until next week, I’ve done some self-coaching instead.  The results?  It’s time for me to: 

  1. Write this blog post so I have to address the issue head on (thanks for the space, Lorin!).
  2. Change my DBR (Daily Business Ritual) to meet my new “connection” needs.  This week instead of having my second cup of coffee at home each day while mentally/emotionally preparing for the day, I will go to a nearby Starbucks (or Panera or Caribou Coffee, etc.).  Just being around other people (even if not interacting) usually helps jump-start my energy, so it’s time to be intentional about that.  Now if I can just avoid the baked goods…
  3. Expand my networking to include potential intellectual and visionary collaborators – not just potential clients or “do”ers.   I have always gotten energy from somewhat cerebral conversations, so I need to bring that back into my work life.  For example, I’ve recently been enthralled by Arnold Mindell’s writings around process-oriented psychology… and possible inclusion of some of those ideas in my new business vision /services.  It’s time to get connected to the “process work” world for possible collaborative insights and “brain work” with like-minded individuals.   And who knows, I might find a member of my Dream Team through this.  (See Lorin’s recent blog post for more about creating your Dream Team).
  4. Re-commit to monthly face-to-face and weekly phone meetings with a colleague / friend / co-conspirator.  (Rebecca, are you reading this??). 
  5. This week, make my daily intention the same for the entire week : Connected.  Surrounding myself with the expectation of being connected in everything I do will keep me open to attracting and seeing those opportunities.  It’s like one of my favorite Big Fish principles“Give energy to that which we want to grow.”  So as of this moment, I shift my attention away from Alone and toward Connection.  (See Lorin’s blog post about setting daily intentions.)

You see, this whole solopreneur thing (or any entrepreneur venture) isn’t about how much any one of us can do alone.  It’s about starting something on our own then sustaining and building it with a myriad of help, support, connection, collaboration.  

True, solos can be beautiful, AND so can duets, trios, quartets, and an entire choir.  Who will your business “sing” with?

(post by guest-blogger Starla J. King, Big Fish 2009-10)

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