Solopreneur : Solo Traveler
People often assume that, because I travel solo, I am an extrovert. I’m not. What I am, is independent – a trait that introverts and extroverts can share.
This independent streak has been with me a long time. It has shown itself in how I live and how I’ve made my living. I’ve been gainfully self-employed since 1986. I’ve been a freelancer, an entrepreneur and now, a solopreneur.
Becoming a solopreneur: the Reader’s Digest version
Self-employment started in 1986 when I escaped my day job to work freelance for my employer. I soon added more clients doing the same work – event planning, PR and writing. But this didn’t last long.
Within a couple of years, my husband and I launched a business and became entrepreneurs. We started a conference, trade show and publishing company in ’88 which we grew through the recession of the early 90s and sold in 1998.
Then it was time to play. We traveled for a year while home schooling our youngest. Upon our return, I went back to school and did a Masters in History. But before we could plan our next adventure, my husband became seriously ill. During his illness, my brother gently prodded me to start working again – “write”, he said. He then brought me a client. Ok, I was freelance again. But that was only a transition. Eventually, all that writing brought me to publish Solo Traveler and I became a solopreneur.
From solopreneur to solotraveler.
The transition between freelance and business again was a slow one. As a freelancer, I wrote articles on how to start and run a small business and websites on just about everything imaginable. But it was a bridge to something else – I just wasn’t sure what.
I knew I wanted to be a solopreneur. Managing people, telling them what to do, is not my strength. But what type of solopreneur? I struggled with this for over 3 years. Finally, I came up with concept for Solo Traveler.
It’s perfect. It challenges me. Frees me to explore all kinds of ideas and issues. Uses both my business and writing skills. And, it has the perfect focus: travel, a subject about which I’m passionate. And, given that I became a widow over those years, solo is the right kind of travel for me.
Solopreneur: Chief cook and bottle washer.
As a solopreneur, it can sometimes seem like there’s too much to do. I do all the research, writing, coordination of guest bloggers, marketing, PR, site management, accounting, travel arrangements, administration, communications… My sister is tech support (a very big thank you) but, other than that, I do it all myself. Being a solopreneur is challenging and rewarding. You succeed or fail by yourself.
The recent Solo Traveler reader survey indicated that many of you would like to see Solo Traveler offer a bit more on the solo lifestyle. You had a few ideas but I’ll start with what I know best – I’ll write the occasional post on being a solopreneur. Over the past 5 years, I’ve written about 200 articles on small business, professional practice and solopreneur management. I’ll turn that information into quick, bite-size posts and put them up now and then.
I’d be interested to know what topics you’d like covered. Marketing, social media, cash management, time management, sales… This is very fertile ground. There’s lots that can be covered. Just let me know and I’ll respond.