“What’s the Best Thing You Did When Starting Your Solo Business?”

I was asked recently, “What’s the best thing you did when starting your solo business?” The answer that came to mind is the same one I would give today: The best thing I did was jump into it full time. It’s a decision that fit my circumstances and personality, and it got me off to a strong start.

Circumstances
Marriage drove me into the solopreneur life. I was the managing editor of a daily newspaper in 1993, and my wife and I married in September of that year. My schedule at the newspaper was grueling: noon to midnight (at least), five or six days a week, and the pace of my days was all-out, with tight deadlines. On days off, I was worn out and felt like a slug. My wife basically had 9-to-5 hours, so it became clear that my schedule was not going to be conducive to a healthy marriage.

Because my job was so demanding, beginning a solo business by doing work on the side wasn’t an option. I could have found a less demanding job, done things on the side and built my business gradually, but that idea did not appeal to me.

It was two months from the time I decided to go into business until I left my newspaper gig. During that time I did prep work: developed the outline of a business plan, decided on a name for the business, purchased a computer and a printer (not every household had computers back then!) and set up an office in our home.

I also contacted my professional network; through those connections I landed an ongoing project that I began in December when I opened for business.

Personality
Personality also played a big role in deciding to make a clean break. When I take a strong interest in something or decide on a course of action, I throw myself into it. When I take up a new hobby, I devour every bit of information that I can on the subject. That’s probably not the best way to travel through life, but I am hard-wired to operate that way.

It was like that in 1993, too. As soon as the business idea began to take shape, I sensed that my best thinking was going into the new business, not the newspaper. The situation wasn’t fair to my employer; I wasn’t comfortable with that, which only accelerated the process of launching the business.

What’s the best thing you did when starting your solo business?
Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Comments

  1. says

    Nice post. I found you because I just did a search on Estes Park CO as my wife and I and three kids are leaving for there tomorrow. Funny how search can lead you to like minded. I too have just embarked on my solo gig. I’m two months in and like you I went full steam ahead. I have one paying retainer gig that at least covers my insurance and utilities. I love the freedom and the fact I can pick up my things when I want and take my kids and wife on a vacation. We are staying at the YMCA as well. Perhaps we’ll run into you.

    The Taback

    • Larry Keltto says

      Scott, thank you for saying hello! Amazing that you will be at the Y! Perhaps we will see each other.

      Cheers,

      Larry

  2. says

    Great post! I love your insights and I’m on track with your thinking. This is my first week as a full time solopreneur so my stories are limited. But I think the step I took, deciding to make this my career, was the big step that changed everything. This first week has been an adventure, but I have loved every minute of it. I remember working the corporate gig and hating most days. But now, even when no business is coming in, I’m still being productive and playing by my own rules. I don’t really think I’d want to go back to the corporate world again. Thanks again for this excellent post. I will be sure to read again.

    Arnold

  3. Larry Keltto says

    Hi Arnold:

    Congratulations on your decision to be a solopreneur! What types of products/services are you providing through your business?

    Larry

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