This is The Solopreneur Life’s “Featured Soloist,” the purpose of which is to give all of us a glimpse at how other solopreneurs operate their small businesses. Today we meet Monique Y. Wells. If you would like to be the “Featured Soloist,” please send me an e-mail, Larry@TheSolopreneurLife.com.
Name of solopreneur:
Monique Y. Wells
Name of business and city:
Understanding Time Management (brand, Getting over Overwhelm) – Paris, France
Type of business:
Training and mentoring in time management
When did you officially go into business?
I launched a solo consultancy in preclinical safety assessment in 2002. In early 2009, I began training my preclinical safety colleagues in time management as a means of keeping abreast of the happenings in the industry as a result of the recession. Though I enjoyed great success with my programs, I found the market to be too restricted. For the past two years, I have been developing a niche market for women solopreneurs and women who work from home. I am now enlarging this market to include men.
Why did you start your own business?
I have always been fiercely independent and am best suited to “march to the beat of my own drum.”
What was the best thing you did when you were starting up your business?
Before I even began my business, I established a network of colleagues for professional and emotional support.
What is a mistake that you made that you have learned from?
Unequivocally, my biggest mistake was believing that my expertise would be enough to allow my business to prosper.
What is your biggest current challenge in the business and what are doing to try to solve it?
The online expert industry is replete with coaches, and online marketing techniques are continually changing. I’m currently developing a local market in Paris to see if I can build a substantial offline business.
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
1. To host a live event in Paris next April.
2. To launch a membership program that helps solopreneurs and other professionals deal with overcommitment in business that is fueled by guilt.
3. To develop an affiliate program for my signature system on Getting over Overwhelm.
Where do you want to be with the business in five years?
I would like to earn most of my income via passive revenues streams. I’m considering a franchise for my signature system on Getting over Overwhelm.
What are your main software programs?
I use AWeber for written communication with my community, WordPress for my blogs, Skype for audiovisual communications, and Free Conference Calling for my teleclasses. I am not very “techy”!
What are your strategies for staying competitive?
Never stop learning, but be selective about what you learn and who you learn from.
If you could start your career all over again, what would you do differently?
I would learn more about business, and in particular, about sales psychology.
I began my solopreneur life as a scientist (a preclinical safety professional) with a business, not a business person with scientific expertise. Unless you are working in a boom market, this is a recipe for failure. Fortunately, I have always had multiple professional activities and these have helped me through the lean times.
What’s your advice for aspiring solopreneurs?
First and foremost, perform a through and honest self-evaluation to see if you are truly cut out to work alone. You need to have the ability to motivate yourself and to make decisions quickly (not rashly). You need to have the emotional make-up that allows you to embrace being alone. You also need to be confident in your professional expertise so that you do not feel the need to constantly ask others for their opinion on your work. If you don’t have these characteristics, then I’d say that you should remain in the traditional work force.
Are you glad you became a solopreneur?
This brings to mind lyrics from the song “Greatest Love of All” – “If I fail, if I succeed, at least I live as I believe…” I love the freedom to explore any and all possibilities that I can conceive and to channel my energy as I see fit. Because I am passionate about all the work that I do, the sky is the limit for me!