Most entrepreneurs begin as solopreneurs – a person who starts up and manages a business alone. Solopreneurship is thriving. At 4M Performance over half our new coaching/consulting clients are solopreneurs.
Freelancers, independent business owners, gig workers, whatever name you choose – solopreneurs are at the cutting edge of 21st Century employment and most are happy with their situation. In a recent study, ‘Freelancing in America‘ 50% of self-employed people stated that no amount of money could entice them to move to a conventional job. However, going ‘solo’ has many specific challenges and requires lots of thought and preparation to succeed.
This Resource will help guide and decide if you should go ‘Solo’
Solopreneurship is growing at a very rapid rate. According to Gallop, 36% of all U.S. workers currently participate in the Gig economy through a primary or secondary job. Why? Two primary reasons:
- Gain control over their careers
- Switch to an entirely new career
Of people planning to go ‘Solo”:
- 67% expected to make more money Reality: 59% realized that goal
- 58% expected to have more career certainty Reality: 47% did so
- 62% expected to have better health Reality: 55% do
- 74% expected to work harder Reality: 59% ended up doing so
- 43% anticipated less stress Reality: 49% had less stress
- 69% expected a better life/work balance Reality: 68% achieved this goal
What Makes a Successful Solopreneur?
- Tolerance for risk and ambiguity. Solos must be risk-takers and have confidence in their abilities.
- Determination and stamina. Solos must have what it takes to run a business, be focused, and have the physical ability to work hard.
- Cultivate a ‘holding environment’ or a place to work which is free from distractions and provides a base of operation.
- Have routines in place: workflow, schedules, to-do lists, etc.
- Purpose. Going solo is more than a means of earning a living, it creates a bridge between personal interest and professional needs.
- People and friendships. Solos have a tendency to isolate socially. This must be avoided. Interaction with family, peers, mentors, and friends must be a priority.
7. Think globally. Digital platforms now provide for a worldwide market but also global competition. This forces solos to be uniquely differentiated.
8. Must strive to provide traditional employee perks and benefits. Solos are prone to neglect having health insurance and retirement accounts. This is a mistake.
Demand for highly skilled Solos in knowledge-intensive industries and creative jobs is huge.
According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor:
- 94% of business leaders plan to expand their use of skilled Solos in specialized roles
- 79% of CEO’s believe Solos provide a competitive advantage in terms of market development
- 47% of H.R. managers are looking to Solos to fill senior executive positions on temporary basis
The 5 Steps To Creating Your Solo Gig
- Specialize in a particular area or skill. Don’t be a generalist, you want to be a specialist.
- Search for anchor clients. Get gigs that provide a steady flow of income. This can be on a retainer basis or a regular weekly gig.
- Develop a Pricing Structure. How and how much to charge is a challenge for solopreneurs. Don’t underprice your value and take on low-value gigs.
- Stay relevant and educated. Plan on spending 10-20% of your time and resources on self-development and factor that into your pricing.
- Create a Business Plan. Stick to it and revise it often. The business environment is constantly changing. What are your objectives? How are you going to achieve them? What resources are needed?
Solopreneurship can be very rewarding and lucrative. Value your skills and select your gigs wisely. Good Luck!