Solo-preneuring™: Get Paid to Do What You Love to Do

Do You Look Forward to Going to Work Every Day?

Do you enjoy your work so much that you can’t imagine doing anything else? If so, don’t read any further. But if you’ve noticed that Monday through Friday the clocks seem to run slower than they do on the weekends, read on to learn how you can get paid to do work you love.

Traditional Choices

It is generally believed that you have only two choices when it comes to earning your living: you can be an employee of someone else, or you can start a business and have others working for you.

As an employee, you have to perform up to the expectations of others — your bosses. That means working the hours they set, and doing the work they give you, in the way they tell you to do it. In exchange, you get the security of a regular paycheck. Of course, we’ve all seen in the last few years that there is nothing secure about anyone’s paycheck.

Entrepreneurs work on their terms, but that doesn’t mean they have it easy. Launching a business requires a commitment of time and money, and may take all of both that the entrepreneur can scrape together. Often, the entrepreneur has not gone from slave to master, but has merely traded one master (the boss) for another (the business).

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference”
~ Robert Frost


There is an alternative–Solo-preneuring. The Solo-preneur chooses the work he wants to do. She decides what hours she will work. He is not faced with the pressures of making a payroll, nor does he have to go, day after day, to the same old job. Most importantly, the Solo-preneur controls her own destiny. No other person decides her fate.

Solo-preneuring is getting paid for doing what you love. It is taking control of your work and your life. Solo-preneuring is a form of self-employment, but it is much more. It enables you to integrate your work and your life so that you feel good about what you do for a living.

The Solo-preneur has the best of both worlds–freedom from corporate bondage, without taking on the shackles of responsibility required to run a traditional business. Imagine waking up in the morning excited and happy. And doing work that is so in tune with your talents and interests, that it hardly seems like work to you. That’s what Solo-preneurs do.

The Solo-preneur finds ways to make money doing the things he enjoys, while minimizing or eliminating the tasks he doesn’t want to do. As a Solo-preneur, you may choose to do only one type of work. Or, you may combine two or more related functions (e.g., a desktop publishing business and a mailing service). You may even combine two or more completely unrelated pursuits.

My own experience is a great example. I enjoy teaching and speaking, so I conduct seminars and deliver speeches through my own company, and as a contractor for other companies. Writing is another favorite activity, so I write books and magazine articles.

Most of my traditional business experience is in insurance, and I am a licensed agent. Instead of selling insurance, though, I do contract enrolling. It allows me to use my insurance background as well as my public speaking skills, and I can accept work when I want it.

Secrets to Success

It’s important to remember that there aren’t a lot of rules about Solo-preneuring. The key is flexibility. Your enterprise can be as big or as small as you wish. You may start out small and grow to a large enterprise employing many others, or you may keep it small enough that you remain the only “employee”. You can pursue it full-time or part-time, or even in your spare time for extra income while you work at a traditional job.

The secret to success is starting small (without a lot of up front expense) and adding new profit centers to build your income.

In every other area of your life it seems that people will advise you not to “put all of your eggs in one basket”. No financial advisor would recommend putting all of your savings in only one investment. But when it comes to the key to providing financial security for you and your family, everyone from friends to a guidance counselor to your mom will tell you to go find a good job and stay with it. If that’s not putting all your eggs in one basket, then what is? We’ve all learned that the days of getting a job right out of school, staying there for 40 years, then collecting a gold watch at retirement are over. The work force is changing rapidly. And many people have found themselves pushed out of a company just when they need the job most.

The answer does not lie in the advice given to entrepreneurs, either. The entrepreneur is told to take all his time and money and put it into one concern. Think of nothing else, work on nothing else, and focus completely on making that one venture a success. The reality is that, even with that dedication, a large percentage of entrepreneurial companies do not succeed. So the entrepreneur is left with nothing after working night and day.

And whether you are an employee, an entrepreneur or a Solo-preneur, you will find that business cycles impact you. Various types of businesses are impacted differently by these business cycles. If you operate more than one venture, each will react differently to change. One may slow down while another picks up. In this way you are not going to lose all of your income because of changes in the economy.

Don’t tie your success to one job, one customer, or even one line of work. Be flexible and follow your wishes and dreams. Start one venture, get it rolling, then start another. The time and energy to manage multiple ventures will be there for you, because the work itself will energize you.

Mulitiple Streams of Income

Do you remember The Ed Sullivan Show? Ed often had performers who balanced spinning plates atop high sticks. These performers could keep ten or more plates spinning at a time by following a couple of simple principles: Start them one and a time, and tend each one as necessary. Think of Solo-preneuring that way. Start small, then build on your successes. Keep the whole thing in motion by tending whatever requires your attention today.

If your goal is to make $30,000, you may think that there is nothing you can do that would generate $30,000. That’s probably not true, but instead of looking for one thing you can do to earn $30,000, why not look for three ways to make $10,000? These enterprises may be related or not, you may do all of them part-time throughout the year, or you may do each one for only a short time each year. Whether you want to make $30,000 a year or $300,000 a year, the principles are the same.

Virtually anyone can be a Solo-preneur. The key to your success is having an interest in something and a way to make money with it. Most of us can easily identify our interests, so the next step is to determine how to make money with them. Once you start, the problem will not be coming up with ideas to generate income, it will be finding the time to put them all into action!

What Can You Do?

You have skills and abilities that others do not. We often undervalue the things we know and what we can do, thinking, “If I can do it, anyone can.” Well, “anyone” can’t. Maybe you are an excellent cook, or a Civil War buff, or you know all about computers. Whatever your knowledge or skills, they are of value to others. All you have to do is figure out how to package and market them.

Ask yourself:

  • What do I know that others don’t?
  • What can I do that others can’t?
  • What will I do that others won’t?
  • What can I do for others less expensively than they can do it for themselves?
  • Be open-minded and creative. You may not immediately see how to turn your interest into a profit center, but try looking at it from a different perspective. If you know how to make the world’s best cheesecakes, one option would be to bake and sell your cheesecakes. But how else could you use that skill to generate income? You could write and self-publish a cookbook of cheesecake recipes. Or you could teach a class on making the perfect cheesecake. There are probably many other ways that you could think of once you open your mind to the possibilities.

Get Started Now!

The best time to start is always now. Stop saying that “someday” you will take charge of your life and do what you have always wanted to do. Get out your calendar and look at every page. Do you see anything labeled “someday”? I didn’t think so. “Someday” is a code word for “never.” Don’t wait for the kids to go to school, or finish school, or move out. Don’t wait for the day when you have more money, or more time, or more whatever. And don’t think that you are too young or too old, not smart enough, or creative enough, or somehow not good enough to do this. There will always be more to learn and do, so don’t think that everything has to be perfect when you start.

How can you get started? An ancient Chinese proverb says, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Take that single step today. It might be as simple as making a phone call to get more information about something that interests you, or you might sign up for a class, register a business name, create a flyer to promote your services, etc. Just pick a step, do it, then go on to the next step.

by Cathy Stucker,
Copyright 2003, Cathy Stucker

Want to know more about Solo-preneuring? This article is excerpted from the manual, Solo-preneuring: The Art of Earning a Living Without a Job, the self-help guide for those who want to escape corporate bondage and find success doing work they love. For more information, go to

10 Strategies to Eliminate the ‘Fear Factor’ from Small Business Marketing


Simple Actions Can Get You Out of a Rut and Into the Game

Whether you are new to your business, busy or just don’t like to market, here are 10 tips guaranteed to build your momentum, start conversations and help you to step up to the marketing plate… You go,  Jose Bautista!

1.  Email Signature

What’s on your signature line, just your name and title?  Why not pump it up? Say a little about your services or the new program you’re launching. Or that new product idea you want to test?  Your signature line is seen by everyone you email, every time.

2.  Voicemail Message

Do you have the standard, “This is so and so, I’m not in…”?  Or do you have a 5 second summary of your business offerings?

3.  Business Cards

No brainer.  Carry business cards with you everywhere.  When you need to exchange phone numbers with anyone for any reason, don’t fumble with pen and paper, you have your card.  This goes for your friends, your kid’s friends, the auto repairman, the new neighbors, etc.  You never know where those puppies will wind up!

4.  Dress for the Role

Do you look successful?  Really.  When you run that errand in your slightly stained around-the-house-clothes because you “just need a few things” and that person in front of you, in that longer-than-you-thought-it-would-be  line, turns and out of boredom asks, “So, what do you do…”  Are you ready to be ‘representin’ your business or do you just pretend not to speak English?

5.  How Can I Help This Person

If you have trouble speaking up and selling your services, take the pressure off and don’t even try.  The next time you meet someone think to yourself, “How could I help this person?” Don’t say it out loud, just go over in your mind what you would say. Do that with everyone you come in contact with, just in your mind– to yourself.  This is called mental rehearsal.  You are getting comfortable with the concept and language.  After that feels comfortable, do some out loud rehearsing– in front of the mirror by yourself.  After awhile, you will be ready because you have spent time rehearsing.  Eventually, you will be so comfortable you won’t be able to keep yourself from speaking up.

6.  Talk About Your Clients

When someone asks you, “How was your day?” or “What have you been up to?”, don’t say, “Not much”. Find the positive and talk about it.  Say the word “client”, too.  “I had an exciting week.  My client(s) are making tremendous progress, and that really gets me going!”   But what if you don’t have clients?  Well now is the time for a little marketing spin.  Your clients are the people you are helping.  Who do you help, family, friends, lady at the bus stop?  If you are helping them with your business services, they are clients.

7.  Get a Role Model

Who is doing exactly what you want to do and doing it extremely well?  Crown this person your role model and make it your mission to find out as much as you can about them.  How they got started, what they are up to, etc. Learn from them.  And here’s the best part.  You don’t need to have a personal relationship with them.  Just model them from afar.

8.  Get to Know Your Neighborhood Reps

Identify your neighborhood residential association or city officials.  Join local organizations and get to know the members.  Write articles in the newsletters they publish.  Let those around you know what you do.

9.  Become Visible in Organizations You’re Already a Part Of

Step up to the plate in the organizations you are already a member of, your place of worship, your children’s schools, social clubs, etc.  Volunteer your services or take a leadership position.  They could probably use the help and you could use the visibility and opportunity to strengthen your skill set.

10.  Get Your Business Name Out There

Personalize items with your business name.  Instead of “Kris Knopp”, monogram “Inspired Biz Solutions” on your gym bag.  Anywhere others will see it, gym lockers, tote bags, applications to join clubs, etc.  Let the people who sell mailing lists work for you.  Hey, they are going to sell your information anyway, right?  Might as well get your business name out there for the public to see.

Have a great idea to share?  Post a comment and lay it on us!

Develop your Business using the Internet

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Develop Products for your Business

Information products are a must to build your business and reputation as an expert. Internet downloads sell 24/7 helping to bring money and customers to your internet or local business while you are busy working with customers, vacationing, or even sleeping.  They can take you from a local business to a global business with the clicks of a few buttons.

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