Solopreneurs set out on a path to live a unique life. We create businesses, art, charities, personal care services, novels. We become resources in gardening, personal fitness, living healthy. We offer services in their communities like home-improvement, estate planning, event coordination. We are the DIY guides in jewelry making, sign painting, and oil changing. Solopreneurs have an intense and amazing desire to offer others what they know how to do and how they can add to their lives. Our journeys are different than traditional businesses, or even traditional entrepreneurs. Not fitting into this category can leave solopreneurs out on their own. Having people around you who understand your journey is invaluable.
A solopreneur’s standard tools of the trade are a laptop, a phone and grit. It takes courage to seize an idea, a dream, a passion and parlay it into a working, tangible business. It also takes a lot of long hours at your desk, in the field or at local coffee shops. Creating a plan, staying the course and moving through obstacles on your own is a tall order. It’s really challenging to create something of value in a vacuum. Solopreneurs need room to breathe, learn and connect. Just because someone likes to work on their own doesn’t mean they want to be on their own.
Successful solopreneurs intentionally carve out time in their schedules to team up with people who are on similar paths. They know that you can’t just work at your business, you have to also work on your business. They also know that one person doesn’t have all the answers. And when you are living your business, as solopreneurs do, it is essential – but often hard – to find an outside perspective that you respect.
Centre Solopreneurs is a group of like-minded solo-business owners who see the benefit of collaborating with each other to identify opportunities, solve problems and serve the community through their businesses. This is a knowledge-based networking group, not a referral-based networking group. The difference is simple. Knowledge-based networking is about what a member can give to the group. Referral-based networking is about what a member can get from the group (referrals). The former is built on inclusivity and service to each other, ourselves and our clients; the latter restricts membership and is built on the idea of scarcity.
Centre Solopreneurs doesn’t limit membership to one person : one industry. The group encompasses a wide variety of people who have built their businesses around their passions; from financial planning to home organization to coaching. But Centre Solopreneurs isn’t limited to people who work at desks; solopreneurs are landscapers, contractors, bakers, mechanics, etc. If you’re in charge of the work you do, the money you make and the life you build, this is your community.
Sharing knowledge, offering information and working together promotes better businesses. Promoting each other is encouraged, dragging for leads isn’t. Our goal is that we all build successful businesses through our connections. The traditional competition mindset of ‘I win, you lose’ doesn’t serve anyone in business. Competition built on pushing each other to do more, do better and do it well serves everyone. Whether you are just starting out or have been working your business for years, we can all benefit from taking time out of our normal routines to connect with each other.
Centre Solopreneurs meets once a month. Members can network, ask questions or talk about concerns or ideas over lunch one on one or with the group during open-format discussion. Members who are interested in sharing more about your business are welcome to arrange that ahead of the meeting. Members are encouraged to share what they have going on: upcoming events, seasonal offers, etc. Just because the group is not all about getting referrals, members are absolutely welcome to refer and share about businesses they believe in. The goal is to grow our solo-businesses, offer our customers quality services and products, and create connections that will enhance our professional journeys. The key to doing this successfully is to show up, share freely and be invested in others. The rest will follow.