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I am taking early retirement from an insurance company. I want to start a financial planning consulting business but am afraid of working all by myself. Will I be lonely? I don’t want to work for anyone else but not sure I can do it all by myself. Advice?

Going out on your own should never mean going it alone. This is perhaps the most valuable advice I can ever give to freelance entrepreneurs who may test self-employment as well as highly ambitious entrepreneurs who intend to hire lots and lots of people.

Whenever I say this to new business owners, I usually hear something like this, “But Susan, I am alone, I don’t have any customers or money to hire help.”

Because your time will be limited each day, you have to invest it wisely. From a practical perspective, it has to be geared to activities that produce the greatest pay off in terms of new customers, revenues and profitability. This can be done, but it requires focus.

It’s not uncommon for startup entrepreneurs, especially home-based entrepreneurs, to work reclusively in front of their computers. While comfortable, it’s not effective. There is just no leverage in this solitary approach to business advancement.

Your first step in planning your business is to perfect exactly what services you will offer to a specific target client. Why not brainstorm the answers to both of these variables with the help of others?

In asking others for help, you are building your professional ecosystem of business building support. You are now surrounded by people who can offer information, time-saving tips and sales leads to future clients. Reach out to them.

If no one comes to mind, brainstorm some ideas with your best friends and family members. Ask, “Who should I meet that understands how to do...” It’s that simple. Then send the email, Twitter message or phone call.

If you find that you are lonely, then you are probably doing to much “alone.” Reach out and pretty soon your time will be filled with clients.

Do you have a question for Susan? or connect through Twitter @startonpurpose

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