Ep #77: Transitioning from Solopreneur to Entrepreneur

 In Podcast

There can be a real challenge transitioning from solopreneur to entrepreneur.

A solopreneur is a worker and it’s mostly about “me.” They do all the work in the business. An entrepreneur is a producer / manager. These people have a team and running the business is more about “we.” The trick is learning how to make that transition from a “me” to a “we.”

Let’s talk about how!

What you’ll find in this episode:

  1. In entrepreneurship, we start to leverage the assets of others.
  2. Entrepreneurship is managing people. This is when we start to build systems and replicate-able processes.
  3. Making the transition has nothing to do with company size – it’s mindset.
  4. Solopreneur boundary challenges are with clients. Entrepreneur boundary issues are with your staff / team, and the work.
  5. Going from solopreneur to entrepreneur  and the importance of moving from “me center” to “we center.”
  6. The next podcast will be about transitioning from entrepreneurship to CEO.

Featured on the Show and Other Notes:

  • We’ll be launching a new, live course in September called How to CEO for Entrepreneurs. This group doesn’t have any revenue requirement. The registration for this first group will be limited, so go here to get on the waitlist.
  • Let me know what questions you have or what you think at hello@krisplachy.com
  • Follow me on Instagram and send me a DM.
  • If you like this podcast, please leave a review on your favorite podcast app.

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Podcast Transcript

Hey, I’m Kris Plachy, host of the Lead Your Team podcast. Running a million-dollar business is not easy. And whether you’re just getting started with building your team or you’ve been at this for a while, I’m going to bring you honest, specific and clear practices you can use right now, today, to improve how well you lead your team. Let’s go ahead and get started.

Well, hi, how are you? Welcome. I’m so glad you’re here. I have so many things that I want to talk with you about. First of all, I want to thank those of you who continue to share reviews on iTunes. That’s just super fun and I’m super grateful and read all of them. So if you are a listener and you have been a listener and you haven’t yet, I would so appreciate if you hopped on over to iTunes or Spotify or SoundCloud or Google Play, I know there’s so many different places people get their podcasts now, but I certainly would be tremendously grateful for your review and your thoughts. It means a lot to me, and it’s certainly helpful to other women like you, who are looking for this information, which I’m learning more and more, it’s harder and harder to kind of find because what I do is such a sort of narrow scope and specialty. So anyway, thank you for that.

Second of all, I hope you’re all doing okay. Or in the midst of just this nutty summer. I am recording this at the end of July, so I know we’re approaching the fall season when it comes to school and I appreciate there’s so much out in the world that is unclear and ambiguous and uncertain. So I hope you’re taking care of yourself and resting. I am going to be taking a week off next week, and I’m really looking forward to that. I’m actually going to go away by myself. I was just talking with my team. I’m going to get in my car early in the morning and drive all alone. I’m not going to drink anything so I don’t have to stop anywhere. And I’m going to go check into a beautiful hotel on the beach and not leave it. So I’m super excited and really ready for a little downtime. So I hope that in whatever way, shape or form, you can create that for yourself, that you find time even if it’s afternoon.

Dr. Camille Wise, who was our conscious inclusion advisor, she gave me a jigsaw puzzle a couple of weeks ago, and I have been doing that on the weekends. And it’s so relaxing. I’m loving it. So I’m probably going to get a couple more, and take one on my little excursion. So, the other reason that I’m excited to go away is I am going to be launching in the fall a live course. We haven’t worked out a lot of the details yet, but I can tell you that the name of the course is How to CEO for Female Entrepreneurs. It’s going to be live teaching with me, live coaching with me and my team. We are assembling an incredible team with Kris Plachy Coaching Group to support female entrepreneurs in all the key areas that I know you need support in. Your time and productivity, diversity and inclusion, your money, hiring. So we are building a group of women that will be part of this course to not just teach you, but to provide consultation and coaching. We’re going to have a lot of office hours and availability.

So, if that sounds like something that you would be interested in, I’d love to know that that’s an interest of yours. You can join the waitlist. There’s nothing to do yet, but I’m starting to build the list. We’re going to limit registration here for this first group. One of the other things I want to tell you about this, because for many of you who’ve been longtime listeners, this group does not have a revenue requirement, meaning you can have one employee, 45 employees. The live training will be for all of you. And then we’re going to provide coaching on the back end of the live training based on where your business is. So, I think you’re going to find this is going to be so fabulous. I can’t wait to get it into your hands. I am overjoyed with it. So we’re putting all sorts of really cool things together. So that’s another part of why I’m going away. So if you want to join the waitlist, go to how2CEOlive.com. That’s how with the number two, CEO live.com or howtoCEOlive.com. But that’s how you get on the waitlist.

If you know anybody who you think would like to do this, that you think it would be advantageous to them to join, go ahead and get on that waitlist. We’re going to release it to the waitlist first and again, we’re looking at a launch and start date in September. And like I said, this will be live, however, everything will be recorded. So you’ll also get to keep all of the content, whether you can come to a live call or not. So, lots of really great things happening. And so what I thought about in advance of this then, was to take some time and talk with you about some of the ideas that I’m already putting together to share and make sure that you understand where I’m going here.

So I’ve been coaching leaders for 25 years and I’ve coached frontline managers all the way to the CEO chairman. And there isn’t any guarantee that a frontline manager is any worse or better than a CEO at actually leading and managing. No disrespect to my CEOs out there but learning how to lead is an effort and a commitment. It’s not something that people just are born with. I think a lot of people think that leaders are born not made. I disagree. I think anybody can learn how to lead. It just requires courage, which then leverages your own confidence. We have to talk about all of that.

So what I want to do in this podcast is talk with you about really what’s that first step, which is solopreneur to entrepreneur. And this is a big step. And frankly, a lot of people never make this step and you don’t have to. I want to also really stress that I’m not telling you how to go, what you should do with your business. I just want everybody to understand what these terms mean. And especially in the way that I will help you learn them and apply them in your own business. So, let’s talk about being a solopreneur. I would call myself a solopreneur for many years of my business. I think a lot of people would. A solopreneur is a worker. You do all the work. It’s about your name, it’s about you, the business makes money, so you make money. The business’s money is probably your money. Right?

There’s not lot of walls or boundaries between that. A lot of people who are solopreneurs will also call themselves freelancers or consultants. And as I’ve mentioned, the solopreneur role is very much about you and your work and your production and your effort. And you aren’t leveraging anything other than your skills and your effort and productivity. And like I said, many people are very content being solopreneurs. Solopreneurs make anywhere from 30 grand a year to probably upwards of close to a million. You get to that million dollar mark and that’s when the wheels start to feel like they’re coming off, but there’s a lot of people who do it. It’s just a lot of work, right?

So solopreneurs are people who leverage… They’re a part of a group of a company where they have own practice, their own business. So a lot of the multilevel marketing, right? These are solopreneurships in most cases. So, let’s contrast that with an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur, unlike a solopreneur who is like a worker person, a producer, if we’re going to use that word. An entrepreneur is now a producer/manager. And so there’s always this moment for solopreneurs, when they realize they can no longer do all the things they need to do. And there’s a difference between me being a solopreneur and asking someone to help me, like hiring a photographer or hiring a bookkeeper to do those things that I’m not good at. It’s different when you transition and you move into that entrepreneur role, because now it’s not just sort of having people help you when you need it, you are now building a team of people who are working with you to get work done in your business.

And so, if the key skills of a solopreneur is whatever your technical functional skill set is, your asset, right? For me, it was leading and being a coach, right? Everybody’s asset is a little different. If you’re a photographer, your asset is photography to your talent. That’s what you have in the world. If you’re a graphic designer, that’s your talent. That’s your asset. When we go into entrepreneurship, we start to now leverage the assets of others to support the business, although most entrepreneurs, especially those when they first start working with me, are still thinking about leveraging other people’s talents to help them. So we’ll talk more about that as we do the next podcast, which is going to be about transitioning from entrepreneurship to CEO, which I’m excited to talk with you about. But this entrepreneur role is deep in the knees with managing and learning how to manage people. This is at its infancy. Entrepreneurship is when we start to develop systems, we start to isolate and build our practices for our business.

We start to create replicatable processes that can be done by others. As an entrepreneur, this is when you start to learn… Well, hopefully. We start to learn how to take what’s in your brain and put it in the world so that other people can take that knowledge and turn it into results, right? It’s not just dependent on you, but that pain, that is a very painful transition for a lot of people to leave solopreneurhood, and transition to entrepreneurhood. Now, here’s the thing that’s really fascinating. Is in my experience, this has nothing to do with company size. This is mindset. Because I have known entrepreneurs who on paper are called entrepreneurs, who call themselves entrepreneurs, who have 50 employees, but they are still acting like solopreneurs.

So when you’re a solopreneur, the only people you really have to worry about, is you and whoever your client is. Right? And so the boundary issues usually for solopreneurs are around clients. You give up too much of your time. You agree to weird hours to work with people. You don’t charge enough, right? So your boundary challenges are with your clients. When we get to entrepreneurialhood, the boundary issue start happening with your staff, your team, and the work. So, even though you’re an entrepreneur role now, and you’ve hired all these people to help the business, you still see yourself in many ways as a producer, but the boundary issues tend to be around the work and the team. Okay?

So when I meet, sometimes I meet entrepreneurs who have 40 employees, 22 employees, but they’re still acting like solopreneurs. They’re still literally doing the work that they were doing when they started the business. So they’re still a solopreneur, really. Acting like they have this business and so the problem is that’s exhausting. Because if you still think of yourself as completely in control of everything that needs to be done every day, you’re never going to catch up with the growth of your business. It’s exhausting. So the biggest transition for entrepreneurs is we go from me-center, which is solopreneur to we-center. And we have to start thinking about your business as a we environment, not a me environment.

And these are the subtleties, the language of a solopreneur is I’ll get that done. I’ll make that happen. I can do that. I’ll take care of it. The language of an entrepreneur, right? After we’ve done some development is, we’ll get that done. We’ll make it happen. We can do that. Not I, not me. Then to be able to transition into the CEO role, which we’re going to talk about next week is that willingness to first be a we. Be a we, that’s [inaudible 00:15:29] sounding, right? Is to allow the team to start to carry the responsibilities of the functions of the business. And in order to do that, you have to learn how to manage people. I can’t say it enough.

Now, I believe a lot of people start a business with the image of a CEO in their head, which again, we’re going to talk about, right? The CEO who isn’t working 400 hours a week, who does have a lot of money that they’ve earned and built in their business, who does have a lot of resources, but the path to get there is not sexy. But you get there, if you do the work, it’s so worth it, I promise. It’s magic is what I say all the time. It’s just magic. I came to work today and opened up my email and Miriam who’s a member of my online business team, wrote an email on my behalf, that’s a summary of one of my podcasts and I literally started to cry. I was so happy that she wrote this incredible email. And I was certainly happy that she wrote that email, but what I was more happy about was that it can be done. That there can be people on the planet who can hear what I say in the world and turn it into beautiful words, beautifully done. That is magic.

The more we do that, the more we lean into managing others, to delegating to others, to having expectations of others, to holding people accountable for their delivery. That’s magic. And the CEO role is on the other side of that work. Okay? So we have to first be honest with ourselves. Where are you? Are you still sort of behaving like a solopreneur? There’s no shame in that. Let’s just get it. But that means you’re overproducing. You are the producer. You are the worker, you rely on yourself, you don’t rely on anybody else. You immediately think about, I can do that versus we. You have people who help you, you don’t have a team, huge difference. Entrepreneurs you have people on your team. You have a team. You’re not really sure what the hell to do with them yet. You’re figuring that out. You don’t know how to manage. It’s hard. It feels like it sucks. It feels like you’re never going to get it right.

That’s welcome to entrepreneurial life. Right? But you’ve transitioned into seeing this as a business, it’s not just about you. You have gone from me to we. So think about all that. If you have questions about it, let me know, hello@krisplachy.com, I always love to hear what you have to say. Otherwise, go and get your name on the waitlist if you want to learn more about the class. And one more action item, if you’re interested, which is to write a review. Thanks for tuning in. I’ll talk to you guys next week.

Hey there, gorgeous. Are you ready to take everything I teach you in this podcast and put it to work in your business? And really learn how to master leading your team? If so, I’d love to have you as a client in The Founder’s Lab. To learn more about how we can work together, head on over to krisplachy.com/join. There, you’ll see everything you need to know about The Founder’s Lab and how to get started. See you there.

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