This is “Featured Soloist,” a feature that is published on Tuesdays at The Solopreneur Life.
The purpose of “Featured Soloist” is to give all of us a glimpse at how other solopreneurs operate their small businesses. This week we meet Nichole Bazemore, who is based in Atlanta. If you would like to be the “Featured Soloist,” please send me an e-mail, Larry@TheSolopreneurLife.com.
Name of solopreneur:
Name of business and city:
Simply Stated Solutions, Atlanta
Web site address:
Type of business:
When did you officially go into business?
Why did you start your own business?
I wanted to see if I could do it successfully. I never enjoyed working in traditional corporate environments and wanted to do something which would indulge my creative passions and natural gifts and at the same time, allow me to design my work around my lifestyle rather than the other way around.
What was the best thing you did when you were starting up your business?
I took four months off to read, research, sleep in, go to my son’s baseball games, and spend time at the beach. I cleared my mind of everything everyone said I was “supposed” to do and gave myself time to dream about and plan for what I wanted to do.
What is a mistake that you made that you have learned from?
For the first 10 months or so, I compared myself to every copywriter in the world. That’s a recipe for disaster. I downplayed my gifts, told myself I wasn’t good enough, and counted myself out. I’ve since learned to appreciate my gifts and focus my time on being the very best me that I can be.
What is your biggest current challenge in the business and what are doing to try to solve it?
Collecting late invoices. I hate playing bill collector. It literally turns my stomach. Luckily, I have a great bookkeeper who has taken on this task for me!
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
To be financially secure enough to be able to take three weeks off: one in the summer, one in the fall, and one over the holidays – to tune out the digital noise, decompress, and spend time being fully engaged and present with my son.
Where do you want to be with the business in five years?
Simply Stated Solutions is a springboard from which I plan to launch a career in public speaking and public service. I plan to run for political office, and I want to start an organization whose singular focus is helping college-aged men and women to make empowered lifestyle decisions around their self-image, relationships, finances, etc.
What are your main software programs?
Microsoft Word and Excel, Quickbooks, Basecamp, WordPress
What lifestyle choices have you had to make to stay in business?
I’ve made a conscious decision to not date right now. I’m using this season to focus on growing my business and parenting my 10 year-old son. Anything else right now would be a distraction.
What are your strategies for staying competitive?
I read, study, and try to avoid social networking and the internet at least one day a week. It helps me to re-center.
Do you need a second household income to support your lifestyle?
I am a single mother, and thankfully, my business is self-sustaining.
If your business should fail, what is your fall back position?
It won’t fail. If the commercial copywriting industry took a dive or I burnt out on the work, I would readjust and write family histories, documentaries, screenplays—even Twitter updates, if I had to! As long as humans have a need to communicate, there will always be a market for someone to tell their stories.
If you could start your career all over again, what would you do differently? Why?
I would tell myself to chill out, that there are no emergencies or last chances and all things always work out for your good. Everything I’ve ever done professionally has led me to where I am now, and I know without a doubt that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.
What’s your advice for aspiring solopreneurs?
“Do you.” It’s a colloquialism which means to do the very best you can without comparing yourself to your competitors. You can’t truly create if you’re trying to continually emulate and imitate everyone else.
Are you glad you became a solopreneur? Why or why not?
Absolutely. Working for myself has forced me to trust myself. It’s forced me to push through my fears and in the process, I’ve become bolder and more empowered in other areas of my life.