What is a solopreneur?
A solopreneur is a one person business. This means that you are the only owner, employee, and decision maker. You are in charge of all aspects of the business, from marketing to product development to customer service.
The rise of solopreneurship
Solopreneurship is on the rise throughout the world, with more and more people choosing to go it alone in their business endeavors, all for the flexibility and freedom that comes with the opportunity to be one's own boss.
The great resignation
Millions of people quit their full-time job to start their own business. The COVID-19 pandemic sped things up. There's even a subreddit on 'Antiwork', where people express their dissatisfaction with their full-time jobs and restrictions while working for someone else.
Are solopreneurship and entrepreneurship the same?
Solopreneurship and entrepreneurship are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but they actually refer to two different types of business ownership.
An entrepreneur is someone who starts and runs a business, typically with the goal of scaling it up and eventually selling it for profit. A solopreneur, on the other hand, is someone who runs a one-person business.
Should I be a solopreneur or an entrepreneur?
Ultimately, which type of business ownership is right for you depends on your goals, skillset, and personality. If you’re looking for flexiblity and control, solopreneurship may be the way to go.
Challenges every solopreneur would face
Starting a solopreneur business can be a great way to be your own boss and achieve financial independence. But it also comes with a few challenges.
As a solopreneur, you may find it difficult to stay motivated without a team to support you, and you may also miss out on the camaraderie that comes with being part of a team.
You have to wear all the hats in the business, which can be overwhelming at times. This includes financial management, dealing with customer service, hiring contractors, and doing the necessary tasks to run your business independently.
Since you don't have anyone to bounce ideas off of or delegate tasks to, it is important that you find your tribe by networking and building relationships with other like minded individuals.
Despite these challenges, solopreneurship can be a rewarding experience if you are up for the challenge.
How to become a solopreneur
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Make sure you have enough financial runway before you quit your job. This means having enough savings to cover your living expenses and pay your bills for at least a year. I recommend 2 years of runway.
- Consider your health insurance before quitting your job. If you're quitting your job, you'll likely lose your health insurance coverage. Make sure you have a plan in place for how you'll pay for medical care.
- Define your goals and objectives. What are your long-term and short-term goals as a solopreneur? What is the ideal monthly recurring revenue (MRR) that would keep you comfortable and happy?
- Create a strong personal brand. Your personal brand (and the products you build) should reflect your values and give potential customers a clear idea of what you do and what you stand for.
- Build a strong online presence. Having a personal website and active social media accounts is essential for solopreneurs in today’s digital world.
- Build in public. When you're starting out, you don't have a huge following or ready customers. By sharing your work with the world (eg. Twitter or LinkedIn), you can gain valuable feedback, build a following of loyal fans, and create opportunities for collaboration. So if you're thinking about starting a solo business, consider building in public from the beginning.
- Network and build relationships. Get involved in your industry and meet other solopreneurs. Attend events, join online communities, and connect with potential customers and partners. Personally, I find Twitter the most valuable platform to connect with like-minded people.
- Automate as much as possible. Since you're now a one-person business, you need to work smarter by leveraging your time as much as possible. One way to do this is to automate as many of your business processes as you can. This could include setting up automatic bill payments, using an autoresponder or set up reply templates for customer enquiries, or scheduling social media posts in advance. By automating as much as possible, you'll free up your time to focus on other areas of your business. This will help you to get more done in less time, and ultimately help you to grow your business.
- Stay organized and disciplined. Running a one person business can be chaotic. Staying organized and disciplined will help you stay on track and get things done.
- Be prepared for ups and downs. There will be times when things are going great and times when you feel like giving up. It’s important to stay positive and keep moving forward even during the tough times.
- Have fun! Solopreneurship is a lot of work, but it should also be enjoyable. Find ways to enjoy the process and celebrate your successes along the way.
Examples of inspiring solopreneurs
- Pieter Levels, the king of digital nomads and solopreneurship. He makes more than $2.9m a year from his products.
- Traf, designer and founder of Super.so.
- Brett Williams, founder of DesignJoy.
- Dan Rowden, founder of ilo.so.
- Alyssa Xuu, founder of Sonuum.
- Daniel Vassallo, founder of Small Bets community.
- Arvid Kahl, software engineer turned entrepreneur, now author of a few bestselling books.
- Justin Welsh, solopreneur with multiple one-person businesses with a $5M revenue goal.
- Tony Dinh, founder of BlackMagic and Xnapper.
- Jon Yongfook, founder of BannerBear.
How I manage my time as a solopreneur
I share my time management strategies while juggling a full time job, freelance work, youtube, and creating digital products on the side, while enjoying work-life balance, all in this article.