Are You a Reluctant Business Owner?

Business can be fun!

Many business owners want to ignore the fact that they own a business. In a way it sounds funny but I see it all the time.

Most commonly, these “reluctant business owners” are artists, writers, service professionals, and healing arts professionals. They are so busy focusing on their service or craft that they would like to forget they are also responsible for pricing, marketing, etc.

Even if they accept that they have to deal with the business side, many still harbor an underlying resistance to it.

I definitely did resist when I was first self-employed. I wanted it to magically be resolved, and yet I could feel the weight hanging over me, knowing I would eventually have to look under the hood. I can open a literal car hood and not know what the heck I’m looking at, and I was afraid it would feel like that, so why open the hood? Or so I thought.

I’ve heard a lot of comments like this lately: “How do I make my business less of a business?” or “How can I get someone else to handle all that stuff?”

A better question would be: “How do I make the business side easier and more fun?”

The answer is to look at what the business side really means, because it’s not the monster you thought it was. I predict that you’ll find you like it! It’s like a gift waiting to be opened. Really. Bear with me here.

Opening the Gifts of the Business Side

When you take a real look at the business side, you’ll find a shift to a new paradigm:

  • Self-promotion and marketing…
    turns into another rewarding way of connecting with and helping people. (See remedy for self-promotion angst.)
  • Crunching the numbers…
    turns into finding that elusive sense of financial freedom because the path is now starting to come into view.
  • Business planning
    turns into something simple and supportive that will increase your faith in self-employment! (Psst, all you usually need is a one-page business plan.)
  • Getting clear on your vision and goals…
    turns into relief from “self-employment-induced ADD.”
  • Competition…
    turns into enjoyable collaboration opportunities.

I got some hand-holding all along the way to help me gradually look under the hood and find my way.

Once I embraced these parts of my earlier consulting business, I found I loved it so much that I wanted to help others and that’s part of why I now focus on business coaching, where business is a soulful journey of discovery and growth (what I call a SOULpreneur journey).

“But I Don’t Want to Wear All Those Hats.”

For clarity, running a business does not mean you have to be the chief cook and bottle washer. Yes, you need to stay on top of many things, but you don’t have to do everything alone. There is help from friends, bartering partners, free business counselors, strategic partners, mastermind groups, etc.

And yes… sometimes you need to pay for help too, and it pays off if you choose what feels truly right to you.

If you think you can’t afford to invest in a bookkeeper or other help, it’s probably time to create a better business plan (or create one in the first place). See whether your business is ready for prime time.

About the Photo

The above photo is just one example of a fun moment of owning a business. Those are two of my creative “solopreneur” friends hanging out after a conference, sharing what they learned (and of course checking out iPhone apps).

(Solopreneur is a popular word for people who work for themselves.)

What Do You Think?

As always, I’d love to hear your stories and opinions in the comments box below.

What is the fun part of the business side for you?

Which part just isn’t fun (yet)?

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