Your mind is a beautiful thing, so don’t waste it. Put it to use as a business. All of your collective experience gained through enterprise successes and failures can be commercialized into a service business, if you are willing to fly solo.
“Solopreneurs” is the trending word for self-employed entrepreneurs, also known as independent consultants. On the networking circuit, they are called “single shingles”. Solopreneur means the business is you! Your commodity is available time.
Business professionals worthy of being hired to fill a gap in an organization based on skill, knowledge and experience, should be open to the opportunity that multiple businesses may benefit and pay for that expertise.
The first step to determining if you are a good candidate to be a solopreneur is to convert your resume into a list of “product” features. Once you have a good product description, then you need to determine if there is a market for what you are selling. In other words, will businesses pay for your time and the benefits you can provide?
As a solopreneur, you can save time and money by first drumming up attention from those that have witnessed your expertise in action. Reach out to test your market viability through your network. Using the standard sales technique of asking for a referral, let people know you are open for business and ask your network to share your availability with others. You may further extend your marketing message by offering referral fees to groups, partners and business associates that help you retain clients.
As a solopreneur, make sure your professionalism is demonstrated in your communications and social profiles. Have a business card and professional web site that details your “product” and services. Create a professional business email account and secure your social site URLs, if you are going to brand your business beyond your name.
Working independently requires discipline and good time management. You have to work on your business every day. Solopreneurs typically spend 20-30% of their time working on their business, leaving only 70% of the day working for paying clients. Expect to dedicate at least three hours a day to marketing, meetings, invoicing and selling your services.
If you choose to be a solopreneur, build an advisory group of successful solopreneurs with expertise different than yours. Meet once a month to share industry information and advice on how to best manage your business. As a benefit, they may extend your reach by talking about you to their clients and network. They should be your best unpaid marketers!
Solopreneurs succeed when they can fill a day of hard work, sharing knowledge and expertise and producing results for those that pay for that mindshare. I am proud and excited to be flying solo as Artful Thinkers, it is truly an adventure.
“Be not simply good – be good for something.” Henry David Thoreau