EP59: Solopreneurs

I know you know because I’ve said it plenty of times…

Online marketing is a business.

But for some reason - I kind of just left it like that.

I don't know why - but I did.

So...

Today, I’ve got a bit more to say about it.

Because…

Most people that start online do so as individuals.

Right?

They get an idea in their head and then go about trying to bring it to life online.

If you think about it - most newly minted online marketers are the equivalent of Hollywood actors…

…you know, starving artists.

They want to be the next big thing, but until that happens they are a waiter, a dishwasher, or a valet.

They still need to pay the rent.

So it makes sense to start out as a Solopreneur.

That is the technical term for a solo entrepreneur.

It is when you are the person responsible for everything in your business.

That means you’re an individual who starts and runs their business independently, without the support of a co-founder or even W-2 employees. [That may change in the future, but starting out SOLO, is the way to go, in my humble opinion.]

In other words, a solopreneur is an entrepreneur who performs all duties related to their business alone.

You wear ALL the hats.

And if you were ever wondering how being a solopreneur differs from traditional entrepreneurship? It’s important to note, that while all solopreneurs are entrepreneurs, all entrepreneurs are not solopreneurs.

By definition, an entrepreneur is an individual who starts and runs their own business. However, they do not necessarily manage all aspects of their business independently as a solopreneur does.

Solopreneurs have a single business focus.

Those who choose to pursue a career as a solopreneur are often not pursuing serial entrepreneurship.

Meaning - they tend to start their businesses to offer a specific niche offering and are focused on building a steady customer base to keep their business profitable but they are not looking to expand.

This keeps the business manageable for one person who intends to continue running things solo.

Those who work as solopreneurs often manage their businesses as a single-member LLC or as a sole proprietorship, which are simpler to manage and grant full decision-making authority to the owner.

Solopreneurs often have minimal workplace requirements.

Because many solopreneurs offer a specific set of services that can be performed remotely, their workspace requirements tend to be minimal, often only requiring a computer and internet connection depending on their scope of work. 15 million small businesses are home-based.

Here are a couple of examples of some famous solopreneurs.

Here is the first one...

Erika Leonard

Erika Leonard is better known by her pen name E.L. James.

To date, the British-born writer is one of the richest authors in the world.

Yet, she never set out to be.

Her estimated net worth of $148 million is due to her highly successful Fifty Shades franchise, which includes numerous books and movies of the same name.

These novels have sold more than 125 million copies worldwide and have been translated into more than 40 languages.

Her first installment, Fifty Shades of Grey, made UK history for two reasons.

First, it was regarded as the fastest-selling paperback ever.

Second, it caused a shortage of silver ink in the country.

In the middle of reprinting two million copies for distribution, Random House had to seek silver ink from Germany to finish printing the book’s cover.

This comes after the fact that the novel took only 11 weeks to reach $1 million in sales.

Within a couple of years, Leonard made it to the Forbes list of Top-Earning Authors in 2013 with an impressive $95 million.

The second solopreneur...

Peter Omidyar

Unlike other entrepreneurs, Peter Omidyar amassed his fortune by total accident.

What began as a way to help his then-girlfriend connect with other collectors quickly turned into Omidyar’s code to success.

Omidyar, who was born in the late 1960s, was quite fond of computers as an adolescent and took any opportunity he could to learn more about them.

His first freelance job came when he wrote a computer program for his high school, which allowed the library to print catalog cards.

By the late 1990s, Omidyar had already worked for a few major computer companies and had even been involved in a tech start-up. However, until then, he had only experienced moderate success in the industry. Then, his girlfriend told him about her problem.

His future wife, Pamela, was a passionate collector of Pez dispensers, and she was having trouble finding others with similar interests.

So in 1995, Omidyar decided to write an auction code into his private website so that she could buy, sell, but most of all, communicate with other collectors.

It had instant popularity, and soon other types of collectors were becoming part of the site.

In the beginning, this was a free service. Yet, five months later, when the number of users had grown substantially, Omidyar’s website couldn’t host the program any longer.
So…

He had to move it to another platform. To keep up with web-hosting costs, he began by charging a few cents per listing and collecting a small commission if the items sold.

And that small commission surely added up. Only months after establishing his auction site, eBay, Omidyar was able to quit his corporate job at General Magic and dedicate himself fully to his new venture.

By 1999, the site had more than two million unique users, had sold about two billion dollars worth of merchandise, and earned him about $750 million in revenue.

Currently, Omidyar’s net worth is an estimated $12.4 billion.

Though, he doesn’t rely solely on eBay’s profits to keep him wealthy anymore.

Besides owning a portion of eBay, he also owns a portion of PayPal and is the founder of First Look Media.

He is also a co-owner of resort properties in the US and Mexico.

I hope that you too can see that even if you start online as something as simple as a solopreneur…

…it does not mean your future needs remain simple.

Follow your heart.

Follow your dreams.

Follow your passion.

Work hard.

Work with a goal in mind.

Work with a vision in sight.

Be yourself…

…and return next week for another episode.

I’m calling it.

See you next week my friends.

I’ll see you then.

James "Also Solo" Brown

P.S. - In the event, you DO find that once an episode has been produced and posted, that YOU really would like more information, just let me know. Use the Podcast Questions link, click on the link here. Or you can just leave a voice message here.

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