Many of us in the Diaspora raise our children to be Zionists. A portion of these kids choose a path after high school that incorporates time spent in Israel. A much smaller portion of these soon-to-be adults decide that service in the Israel Defense Forces is how they want to show their solidarity and support of Israel.
When these young adults from the Diaspora enlist in the IDF, they are called lone soldiers.
“Lone soldier” refers to the fact that each of these volunteers is serving in a foreign country without family and friends close by to provide support for the journey.
These young recruits go into the world of the IDF and Israeli society without really knowing what to expect or how to navigate a complex bureaucracy of rules and laws. Thank G-d the state of Israel (with organizations such as Friends of the IDF) does all it can to help these neophytes succeed.
In my career, I have coached a lot of people I equate with being lone soldiers. In business, the term I use is “lone wolf” or, more specifically, “solopreneur.”
I define a solopreneur as a person who has a business model based on one person being the whole business. Most of these people do not realize that what they are doing is not necessarily defined as a business.
Much like lone soldiers entering Israeli society, solopreneurs often start doing business without understanding the complex world of how to build a business. By definition, a solopreneur takes the employee and team out of the equation and short-circuits the cycle of business.
Solopreneurs limit their potential by not using other people as resources to grow their businesses.
If this describes your professional work life, or someone you know and care about, there are a few things that can be done to maximize the potential inherent in the individual and the business.
First, as we explored in my last article, is to have the awareness that being a solopreneur is limiting your potential. Once you reach that awareness, the next step is accepting outside help.
This help can come in many forms. The easiest way to start is to create a list of professionals who have expertise in areas that are not your strengths.
For instance, the people who make up your team could be a bookkeeper, an accountant, an attorney, a webmaster, a virtual assistant and a business coach, just to name a few. While none of these people is your direct employee, all are on your team to make your professional work life easier and more productive and to help you grow and scale your business.
How do you determine if you are a solopreneur? Ask yourself the following questions:
- When you go on vacation, does your work come with you?
- Are you working 10 to 12 hours daily with no one to help you?
- Are you making a living but can’t seem to grow or scale your business?
If any of that sounds familiar, you might be a solopreneur. Fear not, help is available.
Take a lesson from our kids half a world away. Our lone soldiers rely on Israel and the Israeli people to help make their time away easier and more successful. As a solopreneur, reach out to your community and friends for support. Your success is just a phone call away.
Jason Adler is a John Maxwell-certified executive coach (www.johncmaxwellgroup.com/jasonadler) helping people and their organizations hire and keep quality employees.