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From intrapreneur to solopreneur
“Letting the safe bubble go and testing new mindsets"

entrepreneurship mindset personal branding personal stories storytelling-truthtelling thought leadership Sep 02, 2022

It is 2015. I am following FranklinCovey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” training. Some exercises of habit 2 “Begin With the End in Mind”:
- If I had unlimited time and resources, what would I choose to do?
  Start my own business
- The thing I feel I really should do, even though I may have dismissed such thoughts many times, is to…
  Start my own business
- Write without stopping your aspirations in life:
(…) I want to be admired for the things I have accomplished when taking a risk to create a business myself and be successful in it. I shouldn’t be putting entrepreneurship on hold. Instead I should live now. (…)

I rediscovered this recently. I wrote this 7 years ago, people… 7 years ago! In the meantime I was also holding my famous little red booklet (already since 2012!) in which I wrote down business ideas. Why did I wait so long to become a solopreneur?

Well, on the one hand, I was probably constantly searching for excuses not to start my own business. Introverted, risk-averse, loyal perfectionists with a fear for the unknown and for failure aren’t material for becoming a solopreneur, right? Or are they? Well hell yeah, they are! It just requires some mindset shifts. (Don’t get me wrong, this new way of thinking will be a daily challenge for me…)

First of all, you need to leave behind a scarcity mindset and choose for abundancy! When you look at something, at first sight, impossible, everyone will say “Why not?”. But the one with the scarcity mindset will start enumerating the reasons why it is not possible, will play it safe and will prefer not to go for the challenging stretch. The one who cultivates an abundancy mindset will actually mean: why not give it a try because everything you want can be attained. That kind of growth mindset views failure as a part of the learning curve towards success. So, forget the opinions of others and don’t constantly ask for permission, because that would only lead to a scarcity mentality.

Believing in yourself is linked to this. Having a good dose of self-confidence is a conditio sine qua non when becoming a solopreneur. (Although I am convinced that when someone believes in you as well, you will double thrive!) Come to peace with your own ridiculousness, see the fragility of others as well and don’t do any self-sabotage through your own modesty.

Nowadays having an entrepreneurial mindset isn’t something for a select audience only. It’s a must-have for everyone! Companies are looking for the entrepreneurial mentality when hiring new talent. Employees should be intrapreneurs. As a marketing consultant I have been tackling business challenges for years with an out-of-the-box attitude. Within my former organization I came up with a lot of new concepts and initiatives to grow the brand and the company. Being part of the management team demanded the necessary business acumen to guarantee the company to florish. So in fact, as an employee, I was already an intrapreneur, which means I now just need to foster the translation of this experience of intrapreneurship into my solopreneurship.

I loved my job, both as marketing consultant and head of marketing. I loved my colleagues and I have been struggling a lot with my company loyalty. However, I now realize that to be future-proof I need to progress from preaching strong company loyalty feelings towards experiencing network loyalty, very important when going solo. Lifetime employment is a loyalty paradigm of the past. Although I was working for almost a decade in the same company, I know that a job for life has become a life of jobs in the new business order. It’s a general trend that the people you work with on projects become more and more important than the organization as such.

On the other hand, I was in a safe bubble. I worked very hard to get a management position, which you don’t want to give up nor the paycheck certainty that comes along with working in a company. But a safe bubble sometimes keeps us from rocking the boat, especially because for some people being in a comfort zone sometimes appears to be an illusion of control.

So now I am taking control of my life and dreams with a solopreneurial mindset and lifestyle. I change the trajectory of my life. I am taking a chance, whilst floating on the tune of, who would have thought, Frozen (It’s a girl mom’s life, I know!): “It’s time to see what I can do, to test the limits and break through, no right no wrong no rules for me…”

I am curioushow did you experience the switch from intrapreneur to solopreneur? Or if you would like to become one, what is holding you back? I would love to hear your experiences! Don't hesitate to send me a message at [email protected]


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