We are living in revolutionary times. The massive dislocation of the white-collar corporate workforce, triggered by the collapse of mega-corporations, has let loose millions of well-qualified professionals who have realized that there is more to life than working in a large organization. Whether by circumstance or by choice, many talented and motivated professionals recognize that they are better off building their own business rather than wait for someone to rescue them. This wave is fuelling the a boom in entrepreneurial startups.
Although many new businesses are started with the intent to grow the company, hire employees and create equity in the organization, there is another choice available to those who prefer the concept of creating a business where they are the sole owner, shareholder, employee and beneficiary of the equity that is generated.
The objective of these “Solopreneurs” in growing their business is not to hire employees, but rather to expand their passions, talents and abilities to a point where they can create a prosperous livelihood simply doing what they love to do.
Here are ten reasons why now is the best time ever to be a Solopreneur:
1. Most organizational jobs are too small for our passion.
The function of most job descriptions is to limit the scope of action of people and to put some order into what can naturally be a chaotic situation. From a control point of view, this makes sense. But what happens is that it limits people’s freedom to learn, grow, and experiment with their talents and passions. In the end, people feel that their jobs are limiting, and they see their only “out” is promotion, find a new job, or to shut down their own sense of aliveness (which I have witnessed too many times). The autonomous Solopreneur can create a business that is as big as they want.
2. In the end, you are responsible for your own future.
The illusion that being employed equals security does not stand up to scrutiny. There is no such thing as lifelong employment any more. True security comes from taking control of one’s own life. The Solopreneur has complete control over the direction that their business takes, and eventually develops skills and self-knowledge that become the ultimate insurance for the future.
3. There must be more to life than making a living.
We want to see that what we do makes a difference in the world, and leaves a legacy. My own engineering career is documented by dozens of reports, proposals, concept papers that were works of art but basically just sit on a shelf or were tossed in the recycling bin years ago. Nothing lasting ever came out of it…even projects that were essential at the time have since been abandoned or rendered obsolete. If the purpose of living is to be “productive”, then, from a certain point of view, life can be quite meaningless. But if the purpose of living is to express who we are, then life takes on a whole new angle (which leads to the next point).
4. We all have a yearning to excel at something.
We each have passions, talents and abilities, and this mix is unique to who we are. Corporate jobs don’t recognize this, since corporations are organized on the assumption that “process is king” and people are interchangeable. The passion to excel, to stand out in some way, is essential for us to experience success in life. The successful Solopreneur, being autonomous, strives to stand out in the area which he/she has the most passion.
5. Life spans are longer: the cycle of school – work – retirement has lost its meaning
Back in the 1850s, when the basic structures of economics were invented, life spans were short and work was physically hard. It was necessary to put boys and girls to work as soon as possible so that they could be as productive as possible. Very few people lived until age 60. In the last 30 years, life spans have dramatically lengthened so that most of us, at age 60, are still very productive. Yet we are still focusing our lives on planning for our retirement, when we still have 20, 30 (and maybe more) quality years left in our lives. This doesn’t make sense to rush into jobs, making every minute as productive as possible. Our longer life spans mean that we can afford to take time out to learn, rest, refresh and experiment with new ideas.
6. The cost of the tools to be a company of one has diminished to basically nothing
It used to be that you needed to work within a company to have to tools to do your job. Now, the cost of the tools needed to be effective in self-employment has drastically come down. Long distance calls have become basically free. The Internet makes access to global information basically cost-free. A home office can be well-equipped for under $2000 with all the latest tools. Solopreneurs can easily assemble a better toolkit for their own business than if they were doing a similar job in a corporation.
7. The era of the megacorp is over
The biggest problem with the mega-mergers is that their focus on serving large customers means that the individual or small customers are overlooked or ignored. With the massive downsizing of the workforce, the economy is gradually being restructured in such a way that the small entrepreneur and Solopreneur actually has a greater economic clout than government and corporate policies allow for. A personal prediction of mine is that the next economic downturn will have a major impact on large corporations, but the entrepreneur economy will survive quite well because we are now large enough that we can trade with each other…
8. Life is moving fast because there are more people, more opportunities, more ideas
This is very obvious, as illustrated by the pace of technology. Organizations have a lot of inertia, and cannot move very fast to take advantage of opportunities. Solopreneurs live for instant opportunity!
9. Networks of peers are more efficient than a structured team organization
Networks of Solopreneurs can quickly organize to take advantage of instant opportunities in ways that structured organizations can’t (as illustrated by the growing demand for consultants and contract employees within corporations). The biggest advantage of networks of Solopreneurs is that they can quickly organize to ignite new ideas and new projects. Peer networks are proactive, structured teams tend to be reactive.
10. The spiritual revival
The wave of awareness that I see growing on a weekly basis is fuelled by the realization that there is more to life than work and money. People want to feel grounded in something bigger than they are. The life of the successful Solopreneur is very spiritual, because of the level of awareness in oneself that is required to stay focused and motivated.
Ignore the prophets of doom, for they only speak of the death of the mega-corporation. Now is the best time ever to embark on the adventure of becoming a Solopreneur. In the 21st Century Economy, small is beautiful, small is smart, small is the new big!
Davender Gupta is a business leadership coach and Certified “Book Yourself Solid” Coach whose mission is to guide passion-driven solopreneurs and beginning network marketers to accelerate their Vision from Passion to Profit. Join the discussion on his blog frompassiontoprofit.com and his main site coachdavender.com
He welcomes your questions by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone, toll-free, at 1-888-788-8844.
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