Lately, I've been reading a lot about solopreneurship. I've read books, blog posts, and more. The more I've learned, the more I've questioned the big startup hype we often hear about. Big teams, huge funding, and all that stuff - is it all it's cracked up to be?
I've been struck by a few things, most notably how the tech world has foisted this "big startup dream" on us. But there's another side - the pressure, the long hours, and some obvious issues with privilege.
“Most of the worst errors I made in my life came from forgetting to act small.”
― Felix Dennis, How To Get Rich
So I thought I'd share and talk about my findings here. In the end, it's the doing that's the focus and that's where it usually fails, not so much the insight.
Build a team, get money, and change the world - we've all heard it before. But what if there was a better way, one that emphasized well-being, authenticity, and true innovation?
The Illusion of the Startup Dream
Every success story in Silicon Valley seems to start with a brilliant idea, followed by a great team and a truckload of venture capital. Although the attraction is undeniable, this dream also has its cracks.
In my own time with startups, I've noticed that an entire scene is focused on making a quick buck. Many just want to cash in at the right moment without really adding value. They talk a lot, but don't bring new or useful ideas to the table. And how many times have I seen a small, passionate garage team turn into a big, clunky mess because they thought they had to fill every single role, from CTO to CFO to whatever - it's like watching a startup turn into a giant corporation overnight.
So, you've probably heard about the flashy side of startups: the success stories, big money, and cool offices. But there's another side to it. Let's talk about some of the not-so-great things that come with the startup territory.
Venture Capital Strings
Money from investors isn’t free. With it comes expectations, pressures, and often a shift in your business's direction.
The startup life isn’t all glamour. Those long hours, high risks, and constant changes can wear you down mentally.
The Tech Boy Club
While it's not a blanket statement, the tech startup scene can sometimes prioritize similar voices and ideas. This not only sidelines diverse perspectives but can also limit the scope for true, groundbreaking innovation.
The shiny facade of many startups often masks burnout, lost dreams, and too many cooks in the kitchen. It's been my experience that when a startup gets too big too fast, the dreamy promise of freedom, self-actualization and independence usually fades.
I've seen this pattern so many times, and it got me thinking: maybe going it alone is the way to go. Being a one-person business is not about doing everything yourself. It's about deciding when and with whom to collaborate.
It's not about committing, it's about creating meaningful connections that come alive when needed. No commitments, just solid, honest partnerships.
Also, what's cool about being on your own? The freedom. A solopreneur doesn't have to wait for a supervisor to give approval. They can unleash their creative energy uninterrupted and on their terms. You don't have to wait until Monday for an important decision; you can just unfold undisturbed.
Solopreneurship: The New Wave of Business
Solopreneurship is not about being alone; it's about being in tune with your business, your life, your partners and your customers.
The age of the solo entrepreneur is here. With digital tools and online platforms, and cloud services, you can run a successful business single-handedly. It's not just about working alone; it's about working smart.
Full Control, Full Credit
When you're the captain of your ship, you set the direction. Every win is yours, and every learning experience is a direct result of your actions.
Lean and Profitable
Without the overhead of a large team or office space, solopreneurs can work wherever and whenever they choose. No more burning cash on excessive team lunches or unnecessary software. They have the freedom to shape their work environment and hours exactly how they want.
Team spirit is for losers, financially speaking. It's the glue that binds the losers together. It's the methodology employers use to shackle useful employees to their desk without having to pay them too much.
― Felix Dennis, How To Get Rich
Flexibility and Freedom
Wake up at 10 am? Why not! As a solopreneur, you set your schedule. This not only lets you tap into your natural flow but also promotes better mental well-being. Plus, no need to explain shifts in focus to anyone!
There's something liberating about flowing with your own rhythm. It's about that swift, nimble movement, staying lean and adaptable. I've been at the helm of a company, and trust me, being a CEO has its perks, but it also comes with a mountain of responsibility. Regardless if you are the founder or not or how modern and forward-thinking you believe your business to be, you're still tied down by its structure. There's always a to-do list, a set of obligations, stuff you can't brush aside.
Being a solopreneur? It's like a breath of fresh air for the future of business. Everyone stands by their work, upping the game in quality. Collaborations? They happen organically, exactly when the moment is right. For me, that's where the real magic is.