Being a solopreneur means being an entrepreneur that runs everything themselves. There are many benefits to this kind of business model, and thanks to the internet, it is now more practical for more people than ever before. The idea of operating an entire empire alone would have seemed like an impossible dream only a few years ago.
Today, more people are living as their reality. The internet is such a powerful force multiplier that it allows many people to become "digital polymaths." Take video game development, as a perfect example. Once upon a time, during the days of the ZX Spectrum and other early hardware, it was possible for a single developer to create a game in their basement and
release it to the world to mass acclaim. And then computers developed further, and computer graphics became more realistic. Today, the budget for a "AAA" title is massive, and projects require thousands of people working around the clock for years.
For a long time, it was difficult for a single independent developer to compete with the major game studios. But then things changed. Tools like Unreal Engine and Unity provide developers with ready-made, customizable pipelines, even providing drag-and-drop interfaces for users to simplify production. Then, free assets such as 3D models, music and textures created by the community and distributed by a creative commons license became available. Oftentimes these were free. All of a sudden, a single developer could leverage powerful tools and the hard work and creativity of the community to develop a game that looked almost as graphically impressive as something built by a much larger studio. And slowly, the industry saw the rise of the "independent developer." Thousands of smaller projects like Hyper Light Drifter, Undertale, Minecraft, Thomas Was Alone, Stardew Valley, Spelunky, Braid, Cave Story and others have gone on to sell millions of copies! Then there are the distribution platforms that allow individual creators to upload their projects to be easily discovered. There are video and photo editing tools that make it easier than ever before to share messages with your potential audience. And there are forums, social media platforms, and SEO, that help creators to reach a massive audience
A single person can operate a game business. And by taking the opportunity to start their own company, they can potentially reap huge rewards. Not only do they get to bring their creative vision to life, but they also get to take home all of the profit for themselves. Building a game is not an easy project, though. A successful indie game still requires tremendous hard work, passion, coding skill and creativity. The best indie games also avoid the problem of "photorealism" with striking graphical styles that make them stand out. This is just one example of how tools empower individuals to take on much larger organizations. Examples of this are endless: from owners of successful blogs to creators of highly popular YouTube channels. You can be an affiliate marketer. You can make money reselling books or any other physical product. The latter is a model that has been altered by the power of the web. Sites like Alibaba, it's now possible to work directly with manufacturers that will produce your products and then deliver them directly to your customers. The best part is that you don't even know they exist, meaning that, as far as the customer is concerned, you have your own factory! Any of these business models are available to the proactive individual who is willing to learn and who knows how to spot an opportunity. With a little creativity, you can even create your own business model that simply didn't exist before
Challenges of a solopreneur
While the solopreneur lifestyle has many benefits, it can also be challenging. That's because it requires you to wear many hats and to take full responsibility for every aspect of your business. Even if you are running a blog and selling affiliate products, this can be a surprisingly challenging lifestyle. All of the sudden, there is no employer. There is nobody who is going to take responsibility for your business. There is no one to blame if things go wrong. Likewise, there is no guaranteed paycheck. There is no guarantee that you'll have work this time tomorrow. One day, things can be going extremely well, and the next day, they can be going terribly. What if Google removes your site from its listings and you can't sell anything more? Problems that arise include a client moving on, a period of little business, and a shipment of your products going missing.
As the solopreneur, you must be ready to deal with these scenarios. You may also need to make countless big decisions. You have a YouTube channel, and you want to sell an eBook from there. But how much do you charge for it? What eCommerce store do you use to sell it from? What if your loyal audience finds it offensive that you are now charging for information, and they leave you? What if your e-commerce store crashes because you have an outdated PHP version on your server? And what if that means you lose thousands of preorders?
And do you let the other creator upload videos to your channel? What if those videos turn off your viewers because it's not what they came to see? What if they like the other person's videos more than yours?
Juggling work can be difficult even if you want to maintain some semblance of a work/life balance. This is especially true for a service provider. In this scenario, there is no distinction between work hours and downtime. That is to say, that you could work 9-5, but you could also work 9-9. That latter option would mean you earn a LOT more money. Do you really need to be relaxing in the evening when you could be getting closer to your goals? What if you don't finish your work on time? Do you need to work a little more? What if there is something you want to buy? Again, the number of variables is huge, and you will constantly be making these decisions. Even when you are "relaxing," you will still be questioning whether you could be doing something else more useful. You might still be worrying that the work wasn't completed to standard. Then there are the emails from customers who couldn't download/didn't like their product. And from clients who don't like your work. you receive negative comments on your YouTube videos from people who don't understand what you're trying to do or seem to have a vendetta against you. It's stressful! In this new type of career, we need a new approach to health and productivity.
But the truth is that the more we improve our focus, energy, creativity, and health, the more we will produce. As a solopreneur, everything you sell and everything that earns you money comes from you. If you want to be more successful, you need to produce more. To do that, you need to learn how to manage your energy levels and focus. You need to learn how to get the most from your brain and your body. And this can lead to a huge increase in your productivity and profit. When you're a solo entrepreneur, learning how to double your output means doubling your profit!
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