Apr

15

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

April 15th, 2010 by Larry Keltto | Posted in Starting Out

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.


4

Comments

  1. Scott 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

  2. 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

  3. Arnold Arnan 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

  4. 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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