Life as a Solo-Entrepreneur and Expat

  • Are you an expat, solo-entrepreneur and/or freelancer?
  • Perhaps all three?
  • Are you tired of doing it alone?
  • Do you sometimes wish you could brainstorm that idea that’s been floating around your head?
  • Do you miss the easy conversations that happen over a coffee with colleagues?
  • Are you on auto-pilot?

If you have answered yes to at least one of these, then I invite you to keep reading.

After all, this site is dedicated to providing resources, inspiration and support just for you.

My name’s Máire Olsson and I’ve lived abroad for over two decades.  I understand on an intimate level the highs and lows of the expat life.

Living. Breathing. Loving. Working. Building a business. Losing a business and building another. Sinking in a sea of communication difficulties. Going from delight to frustration and back again within another culture. The bureaucracy that just doesn’t get easier.

If you resonate with anything from that list, then you are also a survivor of an expat life. The reason you’ve found this site is that you also want more than survival. You are committed to thriving.

If carving out a meaningful life for yourself is a priority, you’re not alone, even if it can feel that way. In fact, feeling isolated is one of the most common constraints on, not just finding success (however that’s true for you) but to feel you are successful. Deep down you understand that satisfaction and happiness are not meant to be by-products of the work you do, but core-elements.

And yet, as more and more of us are dreaming of that independent life, living life on our terms,  doing what we love, discovering the golden key to a perfect life, something is not working. In truth, doing it solo can have a darker side. As we put on a brave face and offer a grateful perspective, we secretly suspect that something is missing.

Without a doubt, it is an exciting time in history. The possibility of anyone creating their own business is unprecedented. The online industry is growing. We can work from home, from a café, from anywhere with an internet connection. But there is a hidden cost.

And this cost is keeping us stuck and isolated. The cost is to our creativity. Our receptivity. Our resilience. Our sense that we are part of something bigger than ourselves. Many of us are products of generations of idealising the individual. Of the hero saving the day. Of defending our universal rights as an individual making choices for themselves.

So talking about community may even make you feel a little uncomfortable. The tension between the individual and collective good. Doesn’t community potentially mean giving up on my sacred right to be myself? Of conforming? Of losing my creativity?

Complex humans we are. And despite these tensions coworking spaces and start-up hubs are springing up around the globe.

And these marvellous, young, energetic spaces beckon us with their music of random conversations that can spark new thinking. Ad-hoc discussions that offer solutions outside of the box. And, yes, even, possibly, collaboration.

And then we look around at our home spaces, our day-to-day lives. Our commitments (progeny, pets, plants, parents), stretched bank balances, the distance and time needed to get anywhere, and we can’t quite find the initiative or courage or time to explore these options further. We think: I’ll check it out another day. Just not right now. Or not this week. Or maybe not ever. And although we suspect we might be really missing out, we toughen up. We soldier on. We put our heads down and just get on with it. After all, life doesn’t suck that much.

But what if we could find community? What if we could find someone to chat with over coffee? What if we could find others to spark ideas off. And even, dare I say it, find people to collaborate with? And what if this didn’t mean giving up my autonomy?

What would be different in your world? What changes might happen? How would you feel at the end of a day? What could you accomplish?

Today, this site is a small resource and support site. Tomorrow, it will grow into an online virtual co-working space where all of those things will be in one place, in real-time, with real people. I can’t wait to get started and invite you to be an early user. Sign up to get the latest updates. The newsletter will be in your inbox once a week with tips and offerings. Updates and interviews.

 

Leave a Reply