Why solopreneur? It’s a term that has fallen in prestige over the years as millennials seek out safe spaces and meaningful jobs.
Sorry people, but that’s what we all are under the surface. A job is a means to an end. You take it on to make money or solve a problem, but we are not our job. Nothing wrong with taking a job to take care of your family and pay the bills, but it’s not you.
A solopreneur is an old school chief cook and bottle washer. (Reminds me of Boy Scouts.) You have to take on all the aspects of owning and operating a business from accounting to HR to actually doing the work of your business.
It has never been easier at any time in human history to learn all of the tasks related to going it alone. The Internet and related technology has changed everything. You have app after app that can handle about any business task, or you can find cheap outsourcers around the world to take care of any task for you.
Before I discuss the downside of doing it alone, let me cover the upside:
In the big scheme of life, you are only responsible for yourself. You may take action to benefit your friends and family, your church, or even your country, but that is just to make yourself feel better. You die alone.
You can’t solve the world’s problems, but you can take a shot at solving your own.
Work your own schedule. I tend to work in bursts of two to four hours when I can scratch them out of a busy life. Eight hours a day is the Industrial Revolution exploiting workers for a maximum amount of time to keep them alive and prevent revolution. Work 16 hours today and take tomorrow off if you want.
Until you are able to hire, automate, or outsource, you get to do all the grunt work. Pro and con. I believe you should know every aspect of your online business so you can know what to stop doing and give to someone else.
The money you make is the money you keep. Set up your business to legally write off virtually everything. See my Beneficiary Controlled Trust Fact Sheet from 2006. (You can also see where some Colorado attorneys stole it word for word and illegally put their own copyright notice on it in 2010/2011. No shame. No integrity. Makes me want to call the Colorado Bar Association, but I don’t need to waste my life trying to make others do what’s right.)
You begin to realize that employees are a burden, and that you can take care of 99% of the tasks you can’t or don’t want to do with automation and outsourcing.
You get to do work worth doing and in harmony with your nature.
If you have made a mistake, and are traveling down a wrong or unprofitable path, pivot. You are only accountable to you. Not shareholders, stakeholders, board members, employees, or investors.
Your schedule is your own. I do most of my writing before 7 a.m. I have obligated to help my 89 year old mother when the health care workers are not here, so I grab early morning hours when no one is making demands.
When you need a break, you take one. No one “gives” you 30 minutes for lunch or a 15 minute break when they say you should take it. If you are like me, you may put your head down for 2 – 4 hours at a pop when concentrating on a problem or writing. Why be constrained by someone else’s artificial schedule?
When work is a struggle, you have to option to take a walk, visit the gym, or seek out nap time. We all need more exercise and sleep. Why not put them to use?
Not only is your schedule your own, your workplace is your own. My office is at home, at the public library, at Barnes and Noble, or at Starbucks. In fact, my 30 liter daypack contains my entire office. All I need is a wifi connection. There is no need in this 2017 world to rent office space to run your anytime, anywhere business.
Having your own business allows you to take advantage of those stupid downtimes in life, like visiting the DMV or waiting for a doctor. You can now put that time to use on your mobile devices promoting your blog or website.
I find working in a public setting to be less distracting than to be at home. It’s easier to focus on the task that needs to be done next.
You are responsible for your own success. This is a big pro and con. It’s a con because if you fall short and get discouraged, you have no one to blame but yourself. But then again, if you shine, no boss or co-worker can seize credit for your work.
I believe all work should contribute to your life theme. You envision where you want to go and how you want to live. As an employee, you are depleting your life energy serving the vision of others.
For better or worse, every day is a new adventure. High risk. High rewards.