THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

Working solo

I do experience extreme bouts of commercial loneliness. Times when even though Team CB are a fantastic support, friends encourage and clients inspire, it just seems like a very solitary existence to run one’s own business. Family try to help – but often their advice starts with “well I told you that would happen” (correct but no use) and is followed by a sort of win-lose approach “well why don’t you sue them, fire them, tell them to go to Hell” (battle won, war lost). So there I was in a little pool of self-pity the other day, when a close friend of many years called me just to say a quick “hi” and share some domestic news. We then got on to discussing his business. He explained that he and his business partner had disagreed over the direction of their joint venture. That they had gone separate ways and that lawyers were now feeding off the litigation on share valuations and ownership of Intellectual Property. A good 2 years of wrangling that will make the lawyers wealthier. I recalled that this individual has told me about his plans to make millions a number of times over the last 20 years – and that this is the third business partnership that has gone down the pan. So for a moment this morning, I sat in my dressing gown and pajamas, enjoying a cappuccino and a break, thinking about finishing Friday lunchtime because I have worked two 15-hour days and two 10-hour days this week. Grateful that I do not have to explain to business partners or investors what I do with my time, when I do it and who I do it with. Life as a solo-preneur ain’t that bad. So long as you do have an inner circle of colleagues whose shoulders you can cry on occasionally. I was chatting with Susan Austin earlier this week and she asked me what conference I would most like to attend. I had the answer immediately. “I want to sit in a room with 19 other million-dollar coaches, listening to a $10 million coach show me how to do it and stay solo.” If anyone knows where that conference is – book me a ticket – price is no barrier.

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