Solopreneurs are a powerful and growing force in today’s career landscape. A solopreneur is “a business owner who works and runs his or her business alone.”

Related: The Difference Between a Solopreneur and a Side-Gigger (Infographic)

A solopreneur is also the proverbial chief cook and bottle washer, who started the business, owns the business, runs the business and is responsible for the business’ failure or success.

A solopreneur is not the same as an entrepreneur, however. Both assume risk and build a business, but a solopreneur does it alone.

The entrepreneur engages traditional forms of business-building, including the hiring of employees. But the solopreneur chooses whether to grow the business with contract agreements or outsourced providers rather than the standard model of employer/employee.

The benefits of solopreneurship are better experienced than reported, yet if you’re curious about the lives of these disentangled, high-risk, high-reward captains of their own fate and are considering taking the same plunge, here’s what you can expect.

1. You can be a workaholic if you want to.

Workaholics get a bad rap for all the wrong reasons. If working relentlessly is your thing, then you get to do it, no holds barred. No boss to please. No employees to harass. Just you doing what you love, burnout or not.

2. You get to keep what you make.

Yes, you have to pay taxes. Quite a bit, actually. On the other hand, your business profits are yours alone. You can choose to incorporate as an LLC or an S-corp, but either way, the money your business makes is the money that you make. Invest wisely.

3. You get to hire creatively.

Solopreneurs have help. They hire. They manage. They even get to boss people around, sort of. The process, however, is different. Instead of employing a CFO, the solopreneur might engage the services of an advisor, or purchase accounting SaaS or work with a contractor.

4. You discover the power of automation and outsourcing.

The solopreneur must automate processes and outsource tasks. In the absence of minions to do his or her bidding, a successful solopreneur learns to create streamlined systems that accomplish crucial business tasks.

Related: 4 Differences Between Solopreneurs and an Entrepreneur Working Alone

5. You live to work.

Solopreneurs don’t have to go it alone. They can just as easily shutter their shops and start papering the town with their resumes. They can go right back to the corporate grind. But, why? Work is an adventure — a passionate engagement in the excitement of life. That’s worth living for!

6. You can turn on a dime.

Startups love to pivot. Pivots are a survival tactic. Solopreneurs pivot, too, and they can do so without any accountability to shareholders, stakeholders, board members, employees, investors or even a pet cat. They can pivot like nobody’s business.

7. You choose everything about your business.

It takes a lot of decision-making to run the business. From the carpet’s hue to the company’s slogan, you decide everything. If you’re a sucker for control, you’ve chosen the right line of work.

8. You can create your own schedule.

A 9-to-5, a 5-to-9, or a 9-to-9? What gives? You’re the one in charge. Deciding how, when, where and how long to work is completely up to you. Most solopreneurs, though, don’t choose to binge-watch Netflix, sleep in or loll, poolside. And “creating your own schedule” is just another way to describe the inflexibility and demands of working all the time.

9. You are responsible for your own success.

You have to take big risks if you want big rewards. Solopreneurs internalize this truth. Rather than leave their success to the whimsy of an employer, they choose to take their success firmly in hand.

10. You develop your own vision.

Whose vision do you want to follow? Your own or your employer’s? A solopreneur makes this decision with fierce independence and experiences true fulfillment as a result.

11. You embody your own brand.

Personal branding is the practice of creating and curating your public identity. Since a solopreneur is a business, he or she will find it more important than ever to engage and achieve personal branding.

12. You experience adventure every day.

An adventure is defined as “an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.” That basically sums up solopreneurship. Job security? Not a chance. Steady paycheck? Nope. Benefits? You’re kidding. You live a life of adrenalin-pumping adventure, and you wouldn’t have it any other way.

Conclusion

Do you notice a common thread running through these 12 awesome things? Each can be tweaked ever so slightly, and ultimately turn into a terror.

In short, your passion for work may morph into a soul-sucking monster. Your high-earning potential may push you into a miserable tax morass. The necessity of making every decision yourself may burden you with a relentless mental strain.

So, the life of a solopreneur is not for anyone. It takes an iron stomach and a clear head to pull off this kind of self-brutalization and insane risk.

What’s more, these risks of soloentrepreneurship are high, and you can completely dispense with any level of normalcy

You hear people complain of their “healthcare,” and you think what health care? Others brag about their four weeks of accrued vacation time, and you smirk about your unlimited vacation time. Conventional cubicle dwellers moan about their mean boss, but you know the meanest boss that ever walked the planet — yourself.

The risks are high. The burdens are great. Yet the experience is transformative.

The few who have tried and succeeded at solopreneurship invariably achieve great things. Whether they continue as solopreneurs, metamorphize into entrepreneurs or leave it all behind them, they know what the solopreneur life is about, and they have the glory stories to tell about it.

What is your experience as a solopreneur?

Related: These 7 Tips Helped Me Avoid Solopreneur Isolation

When I started my company eight years ago, back when I was a student, I had no idea of the learning curve I would face before I might actually make it. Today, as I continue to run my firm as well as speak to and advise other startups, I continually go back to some of the lessons I learned through direct experience (many times, the hard way) and through helping other companies avoid the same mistakes.

Related: How Listening to Your Gut Can Make You a Better Founder

From all the years I’ve been an entrepreneur, a few of those lessons stand out as defining moments in my career. They also represent moments in the trenches when I had to make a significant change, to either my business infrastructure or my personal mindset, in order to advance to the next stage in my company’s growth. Here are 10 of those lessons from my personal experience:

1. If you don’t start delegating as soon as your budget allows it, you will burn out fast.

One of the most important lessons for me as a founder was that you need to spend as much time as possible, as soon as possible, in building teams. You may be able to last a year or so as a one-man show. But if you’re seriously growing your business, you will not be able to wear all of those hats on your own. You can only hoard your cash and keep your overhead low for so long. Start reinvesting into team building and the dividends will multiply.

2. Shoot for goals that are 10 times bigger, and actually believe in them.

A lot of times, it takes just as much effort to close a small deal as a big one. The only barrier is your own thinking. Further, if you build your business plan around a goal that’s ten times larger, and take that much more action, it’s a lot more likely that you will hit and surpass your original goal anyway.

3. Do the stuff you don’t want to do.

In almost every case, the stuff that you least want to do is the stuff that is most important to do. I learned very early on that I needed to suck it up and do those boring/hard/not-fun tasks if I was ever going to move the needle. Even when you delegate what you’re weak at, you still end up with something on your to-do list you don’t want to do. This is what separates the best from the rest.

4. There are some things you shouldn’t do.

I spent a lot of time in the beginning doing tasks that I shouldn’t have been doing simply because I tend to be a taskmaster and perfectionist. Now, each morning, I review my to-do list; and if there is something there that ultimately isn’t necessary and consequential, I either delegate it or eliminate it altogether. Focus on the top two-to-three areas where you can make the most impact on your business.

Related: 7 Management Lessons From a 7-Time CEO

5. Watch out for information overload.

I love to read, and I read a book per week. But I’ve also learned to be careful about overloading myself with too much information. There are a thousand books about everything out there. Find a few really high-quality sources of information that serve you and drill down on them. Read them over and over and immerse yourself in them. Implement what you learn and then move on to your next source. Don’t get lost in the bog of information out there to the point that it keeps you from taking action.

6. Know your ‘why.’

You’ve got to know why you’re doing this, and it can’t just be money. There needs to be a reason beyond financial goals that pushes you to get up and do this every day. Building a company is hard, and lots of obstacles will make you want to give up. You need to have a reason for hanging in there that is much bigger than the problems you are going to face every day.

7. Recognize that many wins were originally far-fetched ideas.

Oftentimes, the idea that you think is least likely to work or is too far-fetched is the idea that becomes your next home run. Whether it’s that potential client that you are unsure about contacting because he or she is out of your league, or that marketing campaign you never thought could work, just do it (while managing your downside) and let results dictate what’s a good idea or not.

8. Measure everything.

The only way to improve anything is to measure it every single day. Why? Measurement brings clarity and awareness.

9. You need only one service/product.

When you are a fledgling company (and especially if you’re an agency), don’t waste time, money and effort trying to offer 20 different services. Sell one service and become the best at it. Down the road, an expansion will be much easier when you have the cash.

10. Keep in touch with everybody.

Always look at every contact as a relationship, and not just a transaction. Keep in touch with as many contacts as possible on a regular basis. Send personal notes, articles you think they’ll enjoy (such as this one!) and holiday greetings. Relationships are critical to long-term success.

Related: Unlikely Lessons From Building a Multi-Million Dollar Social Business