This post begins a new series. I’ll be breaking down my favorite presentations from my 36-hour long Break A Record With Susan event and sharing the lessons that stood out to me the most. I want to start with Michael Gerber’s keynote, because, obviously, it’s where we started the big event. I’m actually going to do two posts on this keynote, because Michael delivered so many wonderful inspiring lessons, but today I want to start with the one thing that’s been ringing in my head ever since the event, his comment about being a solopreneur.

“There’s no such thing as a solopreneur.”

goldfish jumping out of the water

You’re never alone in your business as an entrepreneur.

When Michael said, “There’s no such thing as a solopreneur. There are just people who have created jobs for themselves,” at first I thought, “Wait, what?” But then I realized: he’s right. If you’re a solopreneur with no intention of growing your business beyond just you, you’ve simply created a job for yourself.

Think of the successful entrepreneurs you know. Are they “solopreneurs” or have they grown to the point of having assistants? Do they have a team? Maybe the most successful entrepreneurs started as solo entrepreneurs, but they’re certainly beyond that now. And if you want to do more than create a job for yourself- if you want to be more than just “self-employed,” then you have to grow beyond that, too.

But how do you grow your business to that point?

That’s the magic question, isn’t it? How do you grow your business to the point of escaping “self-employed job” and into actual “entrepreneur” status?

There are probably a thousand answers to this question. And every business is unique. Different solutions apply to different businesses. But here’s what applies to everyone:

Back to Basics

The fundamentals of business, of good, sound business practice, apply to each and every business. I don’t care who you are or what business you’re in, the elemental principles of business do not change. That means you need vision, expertise, goals, a clear path to achieve those goals, smart branding that sets you apart from your peers, strong marketing that draws your audience in, extraordinary customer service, a good corporate culture that keeps your employees happy and loyal, and an amazing, excited, empowered team. At the end of the day, these things don’t change.

So what’s your vision?

Start with your vision. What’s your vision for your business? Do you want to remain a “solopreneur,” which is ultimately, as Michael said, just someone who’s created a job for herself? Or is your vision grander than that? Do you want to create a real business?

Your vision for your company is the place to start. After that, it’s just connecting the dots.