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Starting Solo: How To Avoid The Fateful Job Trap

Updated: May 23

You're on the path to creating your personal freedom; you have acquired or started, a business or side hustle, and perhaps it's already even making you money. Nice work so far.

When they acquire or start a new business, too many Solopreneurs make a mistake of believing they are a business owner whereas the reality can be the complete opposite.

Do any of these sound familiar to you?

Working from morning to night including weekends…

Perform manual tasks that only you can do…

Clients and colleagues seek you out for the solutions to problems…

The business stops generating revenue as soon as you take a break…

If the majority of these are true for you then let this article be a reality check. You are not a business owner, you are an employee, and the worst kind, your own employee.

Why is this a problem? Being an employee (often) takes away your freedom and that is the whole purpose of owning a business; to generate the money and time for you to live life on your terms.

So what can we do about it?

Business owner
Most people think having expertise makes them a good business owner

How we often fall in the trap

If this is you, don’t feel bad, feel grateful that you have realised this now. If this isn’t you, let this be a reminder and, use this article as an invitation to help someone else avoid falling into this pitfall.

Many people get caught up in the excitement of a new venture; sharing their expertise on their own terms and making their first dollars or euros, (and quite rightly so, otherwise you shouldn’t be doing this at all).

They zone in on doing as much as possible, to the best of their ability, to make as much as possible.

They follow the formula of “expertise + more work hours = more money”.

Sounds logical.


Scale = more money and Systems = Freedom.

The average solopreneur will fill their calendar with tasks that only they can do (because of their expertise) and eventually find themselves swamped with To Do’s and problems to solve.

(The biggest problem here is when they actually make enough money to earn a salary, because then they think what they’re doing is right when the reality is, you have a job and even worse, the job and business rely on you, day in, day out.)

How to avoid falling into the job trap

Multiple business owner
Each time the business requires something from you, create a system to replace yourself.

A better way to run and own a new business is to reall your Vision and Values (V&V)understand the fundamentals of the business and have an exit strategy.

Let’s make this real.

When I assess starting or acquiring a small business, the first step is to recall my V&V;

  • What am I working towards and how does this business contribute?

  • How aligned to my values is this business and what it requires of me?

Getting in touch with my mission, what this is all for and establishing what my goals with the project are help me to assess if I could / should be interested in the opportunity.

I then deconstruct the business to what it is at its essence. What value does it create and what are its core functions.

  • Do I understand them?

  • How well do I know the industy and sector?

  • How long will it take me to learn essential to the business’s success?

“Risk comes from not knowing what you're doing.” - Warren Buffet.

If I don’t have a basic working knowledge of the industry, I won’t start a business there. It will take too long to learn, there are too many unknowns and therefore the risk of failure is much higher.

If I do understand the market and industry, can I learn the workings of this business in 90 days and be able to delegate it to someone else? (That’s my learning period, anything more and I’m out.)

Knowing how I will step away from the day to day operations is essential if I am focused on creating freedom.

Assessing what is required and by whom to run the business, how will I step away and by when?

What skills are necessary? What systems are required?

Ultimately, what is the balance between the business needing me vs me needing the business?

In a nutshell:

  • If the business requires something from you specifically, create a process to replace yourself.

  • Create a new revenue stream without giving yourself a job.

  • Ensure this new income is aligned with your values and serves your vision.

  • It’s ok to be involved in the beginning to learn the inner workings but have a plan to exit.

Wishing you the absolute very best,



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