What it Takes to be a Solopreneur: Know your Strengths When I started my company in 2011, it was not because I had a grand vision of starting a company. It was because I wanted to continue doing what I loved doing for the previous four years in a new location. I would call myself an “accidental entrepreneur”. I had been working at a national management consulting firm supporting nonprofits and foundations and I decided to move to give a long-distance relationship a chance. A bold move but I knew in my heart, it was the right decision for my overall happiness. When the firm said that they weren’t interested in keeping me on, based in a different location, I made what I thought at the time was the most rational decision. Keep doing what I was doing under my own shingle. And Vista Global was launched. I was fortunate to have had the experience growing up in a family business, understanding what is required to keep operations running smoothly. I also learned a lot by being a Senior Associate in a small firm, learning what is required to bring in business, write proposals, manage projects and keep clients happy. In addition, I possessed the natural talents to get things done! I learned this through taking the CliftonStrengths assessment. The CliftonStrengths assessment has been used by more than 27 million people globally to identify natural talents. It provides a deep understanding of 34 themes of your natural patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving in four domains: Executing: Help you make things happen Influencing: Help you take charge, speak up and make sure others are heard Relationship Building: Help you build strong relationships that hold teams together Strategic Thinking: Help you absorb and analyze information that informs better decisions I took the CliftonStrengths assessment in 2012 and learned that 5 of my top 10 themes were in the Executing domain. How does that relate to being a solopreneur? When you start your own business, you do everything – business development, service delivery, project management, bookkeeping, administration, marketing. Unless you have start-up capital, you are bootstrapping until you can generate enough capital to contract for support services. Understanding where you have natural talents and where you may need additional support is important to set yourself up for success. If you have thought about starting your business and aren’t sure whether it is the right path for you, I would love to connect. After celebrating Vista Global’s 10 year anniversary, I know it was the right path for me. But it isn’t necessarily the right path for everyone. To hear more about my journey as a solopreneur, listen to this episode of Minutes With Mary.