You dreamt up the perfect business. You built it. It became incredibly successful and things were going swimmingly. You were loving the solopreneur life without a risk or care in the world. Then your business grew larger than you ever imagined and suddenly you found yourself making sacrifices. You started sacrificing time, you started turning down opportunities that left money on the table, and you began to feel the overwhelm. A friend of yours mentioned that you should build a team or hire out some help. You thought about it but the risk of building a team terrified you so you continued to keep working hard as a solopreneur and tabled the idea. Sound familiar? Let’s dive into the risks of building a team and how to navigate them.
The Pressure to ‘Take the Risk’
First things first…if you don’t want to build a team..don’t. You should never let anyone convince you to do something as significant as building a team if you are not emotionally or financially prepared to do so. Building a team involves the employment of others. If you don’t think you want to be responsible for the leadership and employment of a team; that is ok. If it truly is not a fit for you and your business model then run! You don’t want to be full of resentment over something you never wanted to do so stop reading right now and go do something else!
Now..for the rest of you who find yourself on the fence. You talk yourself into and out of the idea of a team often. You lay awake at night thinking about the idea only to wake up and think the opposite. This is for you!
Fear of Taking the Risk
If you are worried about taking the risk and feeling the internal tug of war over whether or not you should, you are likely grappling with our not so nice friend, fear. Fear can cause you to view the decision of building a team through the lens of ‘risk of building a team.’ This means you are often posing those “what if?” thoughts and entertaining all of the ways building a team could go wrong. “What if” thoughts are an easy way to get caught in the tunnel that really never ends. Exhausting!! It is within this mindset that two things are happening. You are choosing:
1) NOT to focus on all the positive things that could happen when you build a team, and
2) NOT to see all the risks associated with staying a solopreneur!
So Where Do You Go From Here?
We always talk about the incredible benefits of building a team because we have seen it change people’s lives over and over again!! We’ve watched solopreneurs venture into new territory and come out the other side changed– in the best possible way! They find themselves making more money, having more time, and ultimately happier. We, of course, want this for you which is why we LOVE to talk about it all the time! You’ve likely even read our blog about being ready to build a team and our blog about affording a team. This blog however will focus on the risks of remaining a solopreneur. So let’s get into it, shall we?!
Risk #1: You ‘own’ your job, but…you also own ALL the other jobs and task within your business.
Don’t get us wrong, it is incredibly exciting to have a business and call it yours but we also know that running a business is no easy feat. There are many moving parts that all need to work together and in a timely, seamless fashion in order for things to continue running successfully. This means acquiring and managing clients, staying on top of the administrative work, keeping up on the legal side of things, keeping your financial books in order, and so much more! You also have all of the activities of running your business on your plate and your plate alone. Forever. Whether you are good at all of those tasks or not, they are ALL yours.
Risk #2: You do ALL the work, and ONLY get paid WHEN you work.
Read that one again. YOU do ALL of the work and you ONLY get paid WHEN you work. Phew, that is a lot to think about. That to-do list must be incredibly long. Whether you are great at every task on that list or not, it is yours to tackle and you will only be paid for the time that you work. This can quickly turn into a mentality that exchanges time for money rather than living your dream! This can also greatly get in the way of life– both planned and unplanned– which leads us to risk #3.
Risk #3: Your income is 100% dependent on your availability (and willingness) to work.
What happens if you want to take a vacation? Stay home sick? Visit a friend for coffee? Daycare closes? Hmm, risky. No work, no money. No money, no…well….you know! In fact, you don’t make any money when you don’t work for any reason. Life is incredibly unpredictable and when you are the only one in charge, you run the risk of losing money when you aren’t able to do the work (whether you planned your absence or not). This can easily lead to unhealthy work life (im)balance if you aren’t careful.
If you are the only one working, you can only tackle one task at a time and you can lose a lot of momentum when life calls! In addition, you won’t have anyone to hold up your business if a family emergency were to occur. Now we hope this were to never happen but life, as we said, is incredibly unpredictable. In an emergency situation, we know you’ll want, need, and choose to be with your family (as you should!!) but who is to run your business and ensure you have a job to support your family through it if you are doing it alone? It is a lot to consider and quite risky!
Risk #4: Your income is 100% dependent on your ability to perform well.
Social media graphic creation, writing copy, constructing Pinterst pins, designing an email funnel, keeping finances in order, adhering to legal policies, hosting discovery calls, taxes, outreach for new clients, all of it is on you. Perhaps you aren’t strong in the graphic design department or maybe you despise writing copy and it takes you wayyyy too long to draft a blog. Maybe you’ve never built an email funnel before or you get anxious when it comes to all things finance.
It is ok to not be gifted at everything– you’d be hard pressed to find anyone that is! But when you are a solopreneur, you hold yourself back in the areas you are not yet highly skilled. This is the same for the tasks you need to pour into but really don’t have the time for. And then there’s the tasks you need to do but absolutely don’t want to. When you don’t have a team to delegate work to, it all sits on your to-do list and sooner or later you tend to mess up on something that takes down your business. Talk about a major risk!
Risk #5: If you’re able to generate a lot of opportunity, you ultimately burn-out in the work of serving your clients.
You can be the most amazing marketer in the world but it won’t matter if you don’t have the bandwidth to support all of the clients you bring in. You can utilize every waking hour, take only working lunches, put off self-care, and turn down all opportunities for a social life but even that won’t help if you are generating more opportunity than you can support. Your clients WILL notice that you are overworked because you are sure to make errors when you’re balancing it alone. This means, you will either lose or need to turn down work because you simply can’t support it all. On top of that, the poor work you will complete will result in negative reviews and less clients in the future. Not exactly the outcome you were hoping for; right?
Risk #6: If you continue to generate ‘just enough’ opportunity to serve clients, you end up getting bored serving your clients.
You won’t be happy just barely making it because the truth is, you can only take on so much if you are doing it alone. At the end of the day, you end up closing your business and going to work for someone else (again). Isn’t that why you left in the first place? To break free and start something new? That isn’t really the plan you had to walk back to the life you intentionally left with good reason.
Risk #7: Become lonely and stagnate as a business.
As a human species, we are designed to crave human connection. Yes introverts, even you!! If you are always doing everything yourself, you will quickly find that you don’t have anyone to bounce ideas off, to provide better ideas, to cover for you when you just need some help, and to support you when you need it most. Solopreneurs often feel a great deal of ‘aloneness’ because they don’t have anyone to walk through the challenges with and they don’t have anyone to celebrate the successes with. In addition, you begin to stagnate because your business is unable to get new ideas and you fail to keep up with the market until it gets to the point where your services are no longer what your ideal clients are looking for. You risk running into a dead end.
Weighing the Risks
Still think there are risks in building a team? Or are you realizing that the real risk lies within staying a solopreneur? If you truly desire more for yourself and wish to have a business that will grow and flourish beyond your wildest dreams then it is worth dropping the fear you have, adjusting your mindset, linking up with those that can invest in your growth and support you, and face the “what ifs” you’ve been entertaining. It will be the greatest trade you ever make!
STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?
We know that there is a lot to sift through when determining what is best as you are building your team! If you are finding yourself with more questions than answers, please reach out to The Abundance Group! You can find us on Instagram @theabundancegroup.