Cake or Clay? Metaphors in my solopreneur journey
I thought owning my own business would be like making a cake. Being the systematic thinker that I am, my mindset was: I just need to find the right ingredients to business, put them together in the right order with the right quantity, the right conditions… and I’ll end up with a cake that everyone wants.
Instead, my solopreneur journey thus far has felt more like a sugar rush with a recipe that wouldn’t rise into what I thought it should be.
But as the end of 2021 arrives, my metaphor as a solopreneur in coaching/consulting has changed. And as I’ve been sharing this new metaphor (or technically, simile) with other creative business owners, they relate.
My new comparison is: becoming a solopreneur has been like being a sculptor shaping a lump of clay. It started out as one thing, morphed into something else, then with more effort and tools it started to look different than what I originally had in mind. And it continues to take shape as time, effort and energy goes into it.
For some time, I judged this journey and felt like these constant changes were a “bad” thing. But some branding experts seem to support my new theory. For instance, in The Brand Flip, Neumeir writes,
“the most successful brands are not static, but fluid.”
And when we add this idea to the context of the last two years, if we’ve learned anything it’s the value in being flexible!
So, here are two of my big takeaways as we step into another new year:
#1. Timing really is everything.
Business has to remain solid enough to work well yet malleable enough to change as the market demands it. That means getting that ever-famous minimum viable product out into the market is the best way forward. Beta testing and feedback outdo perfection every day of the week. Be quick but not hasty. Be thoughtful but not a perfectionist. Create. Iterate and move forward with the needs of your clients. And that’s why:
#2. Even a “solopreneur” isn’t really solo.
Working with others… be it a mastermind, a community, colleagues or hiring a coach is a recipe for success. The biggest fallacy/illusion in entrepreneurship is that you can do it alone. The synergy we get from partnerships and groups are literal magic. As I’ve said in my role as a coach many times before; We will do for others, what we will not do for ourselves. That’s why coaching works!
As I see my brand and business evolve, I am working on services to help others like me walk that same path. That’s what I’m creating right now. Stay tuned...
What are you creating right now? Do you see a need to be flexible in the new year? Feel a necessary change being thrust upon you? I’d be happy to hear a bit of your story. You've got nothing to lose and only magic from synergy to gain.