The Wipeout Crashing Course for Solopreneurs

Bodysurfing Wipe out

Our paths cross with solopreneurs everyday. Some of these entrepreneurs set out from the beginning to do business on their own. Others are finding themselves solo after partnership break-ups. From experience, both types are on a set course that leads to difficult surf ahead.

This is a crash investigative report offering possible suggestive adjustments that may just help to wipeout these future events.

Suggestion #1: Look to incorporate a “not-so-buddy” buddy system

Just look at the cover photo of this little post and the reasoning behind “not-so-buddy” is crystal clear. A “not-so-buddy” buddy would strongly advise you that heading into this wave on a boogie board isn’t the brightest option. A “buddy” buddy though, who is often your spouse, or your investor, or your employee, or the boogie board salesman, has other incentives in a variety of areas to lend support to your somewhat poor judgment.

Of course, you’re a solo artist so you lay out all your reasons why it makes sense to you to do it anyways. You lay out that you are the premiere expert in your field of boogie board large wave riding. The very moment there was even a suggestion of “don’t do it”, your ears shut closed. You’re about to lay out alright.

With a “buddy” buddy system, one of two things is going to happen. The first is the “buddy” is going to acquiesce and go along for the ride. This often ends in disaster. The other option is the “buddy” is going to win you over. This seems good, right? Not really. Yes, you gave up this ride for now. But, it’s still in your head and the resentment begins to grow that your “buddy” is swaying you for all the other reasons that are intertwined with being “buddies”.

With the “not-so-buddy” buddy system, things are a little different. You ask yourself questions of their responses. Like, what’s in it for them to advise against it? Maybe, they see danger where I don’t? What if I’m blind to some of my own character flaws? Is that possible? You know, questions like these.

With the “not-so-buddy” buddy system, you can still choose to go headfirst. The “not-so-buddy” wishes you the best and stands ready for future opportunities when you may return for additional guidance. The relationship between you and the “not-so-buddy” remains the same whichever option you ultimately choose and yet the “not-so-buddy” doesn’t have to go down with the ship if the ship is going down.

Suggestion #2: Look to incorporate counter-balance to your strengths

Is your board normally tilted to the right or the left? Are you more art than science or vice versa? Are you more likely to be found creating your service or product, selling it, or head deep in balancing the books and modeling spreadsheets?

This is where the birds-of-feather is a strange but totally real truth. We like how we are balanced and we like putting our energy to this leaning. We like running with others who are balanced just like us. The problem is that we put all of our weight on this side and we’re set to capsize. We unconsciously avoid the counter-balances. We don’t like them. They often mean conflict. They often have a different opinion. They often bring reasoning where we would prefer there be none.

It is often heard from solopreneurs that they are working to develop their weaknesses. For example, they are going to accounting school even though they hate accounting. The solopreneur thinks this is the best strategy to strengthen a weakness. The reality though is the weakness is really the foundational concept of going solo. We aren’t meant or made to go solo, solo. We overcome this truest of weaknesses by inviting counter-balance.

Suggestion #3: Prepare yourself and your business to pay very well for this counter-balance “not-so-buddy” wipeout crashing avoidance system

If there is one overarching flaw in most solopreneurs, it is that they value their offense over their defense or their defense over their offense. Every now and then, we run into a receivers and secondary coach. But, even this anomaly will reluctantly admit they don’t really like the line positions. It is here in this value system of likes and dislikes and strengths and weaknesses that the solopreneur faces their greatest challenge. The solopreneur doesn’t really like to compensate in the areas of their dislikes and weaknesses. The solopreneur cuts corners here and defers maintenance. Then wham-O, crash scene.

Keeping in mind these are just after crash suggestions carved out of experience, it now makes clear sense to develop a similar compensation in line with the solopreneur pilot system for the counter-balance “not-so-buddy” pairing system. The pairing system more than pays for itself and really helps to avoid the very expensive crash.

Co-Piloting Antithesis

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Have you ever considered that your greatest need for your small business may be to involve a co-piloting antithesis? When we were younger, we couldn’t have even dreamed such a thought. Sure, you were welcome to come along for the ride. But, as for passenger-side driving instructors, you need not apply.

Well, miles and miles and miles later, there is still a pretty great distance between where we find ourselves standing and where we have forever dreamed of going. What if this distance is still so great because we’re not fully self-equipped to set the course and drive the ship and do the maintenance? What about that time we hired someone similar to us to join in co-piloting?

Just throwing this out there…solopreneurs may be better served to join forces with a co-piloting antithesis.