There are some key differences between solopreneurs and an entrepreneurs. Although the word entrepreneur is often used as a catchall, it’s important to understand how the two are often confused and overlooked.
Solopreneur is defined as a business owner who works and runs their business alone.
This encompasses freelancers and singular consultants.
Entrepreneur is defined as someone whose business has expanded past a singular person to encompass a team, outside consultants, etc.
Entrepreneurship is usually distinguished by an increase in risk—oftentimes financial.
Being a solopreneur is a very important stage of becoming an entrepreneur. It’s a phase of growth you can’t rush through. There are key lessons and important knowledge to gain during this stage of business ownership. One’s ability to traverse solopreneurship could very well be an indicator of their success as an entrepreneur.
There are some very crucial distinctions to note between the two—namely some mindset differences.
Here are five key mindset shifts to support solopreneurs in transitioning into entrepreneurs:
#1 From Control to Delegation
Nearly every solopreneur has a control issue. Solopreneurs work from the viewpoint of having to be the one to do every task for the business, because if not, who will do it? Their thoughts loop between, “What if it gets done wrong?” to, “No one can do it the way I will do it,” to “It will take more time to train someone to do this task, so I’ll just take care of it.”
Bringing on team members is a crucial step in entrepreneurship. Being a solopreneur means you have a limited capacity. Your business can never surpass your personal time, skills and resources.
In order to embody an entrepreneurial mindset in this area, one must move past themselves in order to see the bigger picture. Entrepreneurs understand the importance of delegation through leadership. They know that while someone may not do the task the same way, it’s not their job to control how it’s done.
Entrepreneurs make the commitment to train their team, even if it means extra time, energy and resources, because they know the long-term impact it will have on the business.
#2 From Hustle to Flow
Solopreneurs work more than anyone I know. They fully embody the hustle mindset where doing more means more income and more impact. Their thoughts are marked by, “I have to be working in my business constantly in order for it to run.” This translates into an addiction for never-ending work, no sleep and declining health.
Entrepreneurs understand the importance of not working.
They know stepping away from working is equally as important as being in their business.
#3 From Imitation to Creation
Solopreneurs create based on tried and true methods. They follow various thought leaders in an attempt to duplicate their successes. They look to others to guide their path with the thoughts of, “Well, this is how so-and-so made it. I need to copy their steps.” This often leads to changing strategies frequently based on which thought leader is in their line of sight at the moment.
Entrepreneurs forge their own paths. Yes, they may look to other leaders for inspiration, but at the end of the day their focus is on what will work for their unique journey, as well as how to optimize and enhance what’s been accomplished in the past. Entrepreneurs set their sights on revolutionizing and looking towards what’s possible rather than concentrating on what’s been done before.
Solopreneurs take less risks in pursuit of their business. It’s more of a sprint mentality because they tend to look at their situation from the now, whereas entrepreneurs tend to look at their situation from the future.
This is particularly true in terms of financial risks. Being a solopreneur is marked by thoughts of, “I can’t afford it.”
Solopreneurs tend to look at their business from a micro level, where as entrepreneurs look at their business from a macro level.
Entrepreneurs look at investments from a different perspective with an understanding that they are running a marathon. Money invested today may not yield a result immediately, but it will yield a result at some point, often even greater than they imagined. They understand the impact their decisions today will have on their next month, next quarter and next year.
#5 Working in the Business to Working on the Business
When a solopreneur looks at the tasks before them, their entire list is urgent and important. Everything needs to happen right now. Solopreneurs spend more time working in their business than they do working on their business. Their perspective is day to day, rather than the broader view of three, five or 10 years out.
Entrepreneurs are more adept at prioritization and focus on the bigger tasks that will create a greater impact on their bottom line, move the needle further ahead and do more uncomfortable things in pursuit of their goals. Entrepreneurs work more on their business because they understand how strategy is more important for their focus than daily tasks.
Begin looking at your thought patterns and your beliefs in each of these five areas to identify where you’re at in your journey. If you’re looking to make the transition into entrepreneur, begin to see where you can shift and expand your thinking to align with the entrepreneurial mindset.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.