The Way I Was

Larry Keltto shares 5 critical insights for solo entrepreneurs’ success

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So you want to know the truth about solo entrepreneurship?

If you write and/or blog with the intention of finding readers, pay attention because you are already a solo entrepreneur!

Not everyone prefers to know the truth about the plunge they’re taking. Some people don’t want to hear about the potential disappointments, missteps, frustrations and losses (of valuable time and resources). Some people simply want to (blindly) believe that their dreams will come true merely because they had the optimistic imagination to dream.

You, however, want to be equipped for success.

You want to know what’s to love and what’s to fear about going out on your own in a business venture. You want to assess your assets and determine which skills or tools you need to acquire. You want to know how this enterprise (even if, at the moment is only a hobby) will effect your career options and your family/social life. You want to prepare for the challenges, to give yourself the best chance of success.

You want to hear from and be guided by Larry Keltto.

Larry Keltto, creator of The Solopreneur Life®
Larry Keltto, creator of The Solopreneur Life®

Larry is a man of integrity. He has authored 3 books which tell the truth about entrepreneurship. He has also created  the most relevant, helpful site on the web for solo entrepreneurs, The Solopreneur Life®.

Mutual friends introduced me to Larry in 1990. He has worked in every form of media and marketing communications as an entrepreneur web developer and content manager. He brings proven expertise to his books, his website and his coachsulting. In a recent conversation, he shared these

5 critical insights for successful solo entrepreneurship:

  • Unless you’re starting up with a stable of clients, figure 80% of your time will be spent on marketing. If you don’t come from a sales and marketing background, you have a challenge
    • Either you must become really good at marketing;
    • or hire a marketing expert (if you have the capital).
  • Don’t enter into relationship with anyone who isn’t trustworthy.
    • Just as you have to trust people you buy from, you have to trust people you sell to.
    • It’s counterproductive to do business with people who weasel out of paying you in a timely fashion. Refuse to do business with those who keep trying to get more than they’re willing to pay for.
  • Find an accountant who knows small business.
    • Ask around to find someone who works with the issues you’re going to have (whether to incorporate or go with an LLC).
    • Ask accountants who their small business clients are. You’ll discover how small/large they are and how much they know about your field of business.
    • Ask other small business people in your area, who have been around a while, who they use.
  • Blogging is extremely important. If you’re selling any kind of service, blogging is imperative.
    • Blogging is the foundation and basis of social marketing!
    • Blogging give you a format for demonstrating your expertise.
    • Post things about yourself that will be helpful to others.
    • Make sure you have a stand-out design.
  • Solopreneurs don’t do everything alone! They know when to get help.
    • When you don’t have the skills to meet your goals, hire an expert.
    • Form your own unofficial board of advisors, people who will tell you the truth. Find 12 – 15 people you can consult with when you need to make an important decision.

Implement these insights to improve your chances of success, and be sure to subscribe to The Solopreneur Life website. It’s an outstanding value. You get valuable tools to improve your marketing savvy and skills and e-access to all the SolopreneurLife books!

And if you’re ready to develop and implement a solid plan for growth, it’s time to hire Larry Keltto to be your personal coachsultant.

How important are truth and integrity in your business dealings? How do you deal with potential customers/clients or providers/vendors when you don’t trust their integrity?

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20 thoughts on “Larry Keltto shares 5 critical insights for solo entrepreneurs’ success”

  1. Excellent post with such constructive advice, as always, thank you so much Tracy. I tell people all the time that I’m starting up my own business with my writing and that my blog is my ‘calling card’. I have recently been approached by a couple of people to write articles for their newsletters. One about blogging itself and the other for a legal web site writing press releases as up to date legal news comes into the fore (I worked as a PA in the legal field for many years). I’m having to research how and what to charge, how to invoice, how to set my terms as to how often I can write for them etc. All a very, very sharp learning curve and I can only go by my own research. Everything you share here is invaluable to me and I will be keeping this post for immediate and future reference. You’re a star 🙂

    1. That’s wonderful. Sherri!

      And coincidentally, writing for newsletters is how Larry got started in the early 1990’s.

      You should definitely look at his blog. I’m sure there’s a wealth of experience for you to access there.

      I’m so excited for you–what a great opportunity to turn your love of writing into an income.

  2. Invaluable advice for someone who wants to start up a business.

    Tracy, I only quibble with one observation “Refuse to do business with those who keep trying to get more than they’re willing to pay for.” This is sound advice EXCEPT when you’re negotiating a deal on a car. (We just bought a car. I hate the give-and-take, but both sides want to walk away feeling like winners.) 😉

    1. That’s a different story than what I was thinking of, Judy. I definitely was not thinking about the expected give and take of a one-time car negotiation. I was talking about the client of a consultant or shop, who repeatedly wants not only a good deal, but actually doesn’t care whether the business owner is making a profit–the kind of person who expects freebies or worse, who disregards paying his bill month after month.

      I hope you like your car!

      1. Tracy, our car is only one week old as of yesterday and we do love it.

        I do understand your point of view on those who want to shortchange a business owner and not pay his bills. This is something that the hotel industry sees quite often – from what I hear from our youngest daughter – and it’s quite unfair. This tactic only makes one side feel like they’re being taken advantage of AND they’re losing money to appease a customer. This is not a win-win situation.

        1. Agreed–and that’s the reason hotel prices have skyrocketed for the rest of us; because of the squeezers who feel they’re “entitled” to a discount on the room because they could hear city traffic.

          The hotel business is a very tough business to be in. I can’t imagine a more unsavory client base (in a legal business)–bullies who threaten to diss you and ruin your rankings on TripAdvisor.

  3. Integrity and truthfulness is crucial to me. I work in an industry where both are lacking. The norm is to be deceitful and lying. My company seems to have adopted this mantra. As I develop my site and brand, I want to work with the utmost integrity. Just this week I was approached by a sponsor whose message didn’t fit my blog. Not interested, I ignored his email. A few days later he emailed me again. I then thought about how my existing clients in my day job do that to me. I drafted a response and sent it saving him time from future outreaches.

    1. The norm in many industries is to lie and deceive. Bravo for you, for finding a way to live by your values.

      And congratulations on having the integrity to turn down a sponsor who doesn’t live up to your standards. Not many are willing to do that.

      I’m with you–integrity and truth are not negotiable.

    1. I agree with you. 🙂

      I, too, want to buy from businesses that are honest and ethical–and for years, those kind of businesses were the expected norm.

      These days, we’re often faced with a choice about which we value most–the seller with the cheapest prices, or the seller with integrity and honesty. I choose to buy less stuff, in order to have dealings with those who, like me, value integrity. But it’s evidently not the most popular choice.

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