By Lucy Jeffery, Solo Entrepreneur and Founder of Bare Kind
I’ve always got my energy from being around people. I loved working in teams at work, I would choose team sport hands down over any kind of individual sport.
Yet I quit my job at a large corporation, where I was surrounded by colleagues all day, to dive into solo entrepreneurship.
The truth is, I didn’t really think about the social repercussions. I did not foresee how difficult it would be to regulate my own work day in and day out. It’s so difficult to come up with ideas when you don’t have anyone else to bounce off.
However I wouldn’t change it for the world, because I am experiencing an incredible period of growth right now. I have learned more in the past 2 months since leaving my job, than I did in my whole 4 years I worked for a bank.
The sense of purpose I feel trumps everything else at the moment, and so I am able to use this as motivation to find ways to counter the pitfalls of being a solo entrepreneur.
I save animals by selling socks!
I sell bamboo socks where 10% of the profits are donated to animal conservation and rescue charities. I get to draw my own designs and have them come to life on a sock, and help save those animals in the process. It’s a far cry from banking, and I absolutely love it.
But as I said before, being a solo entrepreneur can be lonely, especially during lockdown when we aren’t getting any social interaction otherwise!
I am learning how to work for myself, and these are a few things I have discovered along the way:
1. I thought I had ditched the networking life when I left the corporate world. Turns out it is even more important now, and about 10x more fun! I have no qualms in reaching out to other entrepreneurs and asking to connect in some way, it’s inspiring learning about someone else’s story and you never know where one connection might lead.
2. There are so many free resources, groups and communities. Some would say too many, in fact you might join a group and find it’s not what you are looking for. I take value from the groups I am involved with, and I move on if I’m no longer enjoying it or learning from it.
3. I ring my friends and family. I think we have all been doing this more often since the pandemic hit, understandably. It goes without saying that I am so much happier after interactions with the people I love.
My main take away so far, and I think something that a lot of people could learn from, is that the things I was most worried about most when I quit to become a solo entrepreneur – money, failing, not knowing what I am doing – they’ve all been eclipsed by my mental health. Finding ways to stay social, happy, and healthy are just as integral to the business (if not more so) than the practical aspects of running a business.
Becoming a social entrepreneur has been one of the most rewarding leaps I have taken so far. The ups and downs are all part of the journey, no different to life really – so jump in and live your life!
Lucy is a solo, female founder who started her company Bare Kind because she wanted to do more for the world. She sells bamboo socks that save animals, by donating 10% of the profits to animal conservation and rescue charities. Lucy started Bare Kind in 2018, but only recently quit her full time job to run the company by herself. She has some reflections to share with you on the trials and tribulations of becoming a solo entrepreneur. http://www.barekind.co.uk