Many people get educated in school, work in a company and then if circumstances allow it start their own company or become solopreneur and work for themselves. Others skip school and working for a company altogether and start their own company or become a solopreneur. Whether or not one becomes a solopreneur everyone has at one time or another thought of becoming one.
It depends upon you but if you want to become a solopreneur you need at least a mobile phone to do your work and connect with your clients. You can for example produce social media content and become a social media influencer. You can then start endorsing products for a fee or actually sell the products of your clients or your own using e-commerce.
There are other earning opportunities for solopreneurs especially selling your skills whether direct physically or online. Remember that just like any business you not only need skills or products to sell but you actually need to market yourself, attend to your financial situation, keep a good relationship with your clients and master time management.
You must be able to do all of this to become successful or at least to survive as a solopreneur.
People spend a lot of hours each day in school and at home earning. Then when most people graduate from school they work for a company. They usually spend 8 hours a day or more working. This does not include the travelling time from home to company and vice versa. Considering that people spend approximately 8 hours each day sleeping we can consider that work consumes more than half of our waking lives.
People are also expected to retire much later than before. There are now countries like Australia where people are now expected to retire at 70 up from 65. That is even if they can retire. I have watched many videos of old people who are past retirement age but are still doing hard work which is unhealthy for them at their age.
If you search the term “pensioners still working” for example in YouTube you will see a list of videos of pensioners still working past retirement age to make ends meet. This means that pensions these days are not enough for people to retire on. This is alarming especially if you consider that this is happening also in first world countries.
Then there is the threat of automation, cheap labor, contractual labor, and competition for limited job vacancies and you could see that having a good, stable and well paying career is getting impossible for many people. This is the reason why you need to continue adopting new skills and contacts in order to stay competitive and have the best chances of improving the status of your career.
Whether you are working full-time or part time as a solopreneur you need a space to work preferably in an office or in your home. It is good if you can afford an office but a beginner or small solopreneur works at home primarily to save money and save on travelling time. Even if a solopreneur already has an office chances are that they still do work at home.
This is not uncommon. Everyone who does a certain work even working for a company doing task especially with paperwork or digital has at one point or another done work at home. As your business grows your work accessories also tends to increase. Paperwork piles up needing to be filed. You also need to be able to concentrate more to do more work and better handle your growing business.
By this time you will need a semblance of a home office to separate home life from work life otherwise you might fail in your business.
The difference between Online Work and your Online Business is usually the control and ownership of your time. For example independent YouTube video creators can make any kind of videos they want anytime they so desire. They may or may not produce content and they are responsible for themselves only. They have full ownership of their YouTube video income.
They own their YouTube videos and can do with it whatever they please.
A YouTube video creator working for a company however only creates Youtube videos the company wants them to produce. They have to produce Youtube videos according to the company schedule. If their Youtube video does make money they do not keep the full income but have to share it with the company if ever they are allowed to partake in the income.
They do not own their Youtube videos but instead it is owned by the company who can do with it whatever they please even if the contracted Youtube video creator objects to its kind of use.
This applies to all digital products produced online and any physical products produced from these digital products.
Doing online work for companies may be more stable and bring more income at first rather than an online business but if ever you are able to form an online business the chances for more income and greater control of your time might prove to be more rewarding.
You are going about your day attending to your daily life then you see or hear something and immediately an idea for an invention enters your mind. This could be a mechanical, electronic, software, chemical mixture, a new design for an already existing object and so on. You think further and concluded that this idea of yours for a new invention would be valuable to humanity and people would buy it enough for you to earn money from it.
Creating, manufacturing and selling a new invention is extremely hard as against selling existing products but can be extremely profitable especially if you can prevent potential competitors and product idea thieves from copying your product and saturating the market with copycat products.
Just look at how Apple became very successful and rich by building an entire ecosystem of products that works only with other products in their ecosystem. They have their own proprietary softwares, computer hardwares and accessory electronics that cannot be interfaced with non-Apple products. Many of their competitors are building their own products ecosystems as well to try to copy their success.
Transforming an idea to an actual tangible product can also be very difficult, expensive and time consuming. Since your idea is new there would be limited study related to the matter. Creating prototypes can become very expensive especially if you have to redo them over and over again as you master the design of your idea.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There is the patenting process and cost which could take years and could cost several hundred thousands even for a simple invention. We have not even touched the problems with manufacturing a new product and of marketing it. Then again the issue of your products being counterfeited by criminal business competitors resurfaces.
There is a reason why there are so many inventions who do not go way beyond the patenting stage and many patent are even abandoned because the inventors either run out of funds or give up because of the difficulty of turning ideas to actual products.
Everyone needs to develop sales and marketing skills even if they do not work professionally in a sales and/or marketing position. If one does not know how to sell first themselves then they will not stand out in society and even become obscure.
Certain people are gifted with physical beauty which automatically lets them stand out among the rest of the crowd and get a better chance with opportunities in society. For example there are women and men who are just so physically superior from the rest of the crowd that they automatically advertise themselves to people who need to sell products based on physical looks.
For example a good looking woman will be a natural model or spokesperson for cosmetics and fashion apparel. She may not be actually selling to people but she is indirectly marketing the products with her looks. Another example would be a sexy woman who can increase the patronage of a gym even if all she does is to workout in a sexy attire.
The lesson here with respect to sales and marketing is that people buy from people that attract them. This is the reason why most companies employ sales personnel that please the eye of their customers. For example taller people tend to get the approval of society more than short people. This conclusion rings true for how Americans decide who they elect as president.
People lacking this physical advantage can instead improve on speaking skills. They can become eloquent and entertaining so as to grab the attention and eventual approval of their target buyers.
Sales and Marketing is not just developing your looks and selling skills but also about strategy. One needs to learn to sell for as much number of people for the most profit and least effort and cost.
A company may have a lot of money to invest, a superior world changing product and the best operations and manufacturing personnel but if they cannot sell this product then they do not have a business.
Usually when I get interviewed for a position in a company where the interviewer is also the owner of the company they would proudly inform me that they started their company with nothing but themselves and their telephones. They just needed to sell themselves to clients and do not need a ready product, office and even employees to make a successful company.
When you are an employee of a company you are usually paid a fixed amount of salary and in exchange you work for a fixed numbers which is usually 8 hours a day. If the company makes you work for more than your set number of hours then they pay you extra money called Overtime Pay.
However times have changed and many companies now do not compensate employees for the extra time they spend working on company tasks. This is a thorny issue between employees and employers but mostly it affects the employees as employers determine the conditions of an employee’s work.
Many people dream of being able to do anything with their time as they please. That is why many setup their own businesses thinking this will enable them to have more time to do anything they please. Many quickly learn that maintaining a business takes up more of a person’s time than they do when they were just employees.
The good thing about being in business for yourself is that your earning opportunities also greatly increases. Having a lot of financial resources allows a person to buy products and services that can improve a person’s efficiency in using time. One for example hire workers to do the tasks they used to do running their business.
As one’s time frees up they are able to chase up other earning opportunities which further increases their financial resources which enables them to buy more products and services to further free up their time. This process repeats itself over and over again.
At first you may be offering your products and services as a solopreneur to family, friends and casual acquaintances with no written contracts or invoices. If you are lucky then sooner or later your business will grow and you would need to make your business legal by formally registering it with the government.
Online Registration- In countries like Australia you can register your business online. You can optionally register a company name for an additional fee to give your business more credibility and for legal considerations.
If you register your business using your own name then you become personally liable for any wrongdoings your business is associated with. If however you register your business to a company name then your liability will be lessened.
Government Support- One advantage of registering your business with the government is you become entitled to any support like promotions and financial allowance which they may provide. In Australia the government can pay you approximately 6 weeks living expenses once you register as a new business.
There are also additional government grants if your business is in one of the industries prioritised by the government to be developed. In Australia for example the government prioritises such industries as information technology and renewable energy.
Taxes- You have to pay taxes on any income earned during the year. If however instead of earning money you actually lose money the government can actually provide financial assistance and/or tax offsets.
As you progress in your solopreneur life you will encounter many obstacles like financial, marketing, social perception, lack of knowledge or experience and so on. Do not despair however as there are many individuals and institutions that you can turn to for help.
Industry Associations- You can take advantage of these institutions whenever you want to increase your knowledge about the industry, the products being developed and/or sold, your competitors, your allies, possible partners and most importantly to develop your contacts list.
Business Incubators- When you are first starting out and have limited experience, contacts and finances about the industry you are going into then they can be of big help. They can for example provide a free shared workplace for you to use as an office or work area and provide coaching along the way. They may even introduce you to potential mentors and clients.
Business Accelerators- A step up from business incubators. Once you have established the framework of your business using business incubators or by yourself alone then they further assist you in hastening the formation of a legal and financially viable company. By this time it is assumed that you will have your own offices and employees.
Business Angels and Venture Capitalists If you now need to scale your business big time then you need these people to provide you the necessary large capital to scale up your business.