There’s been a confluence of factors recently that decidedly point to one direction for the future of work – solo business owner, freelancer, entrepreneur […and the many variations].
I’ll get into the many reasons… but perhaps the most important one – the journey: accomplishments, failures, learnings, and accountability. This is important to your soul.
To compete, you must be the best version of yourself… and corporate life doesn’t demand that requirement.
Hiding Out in a 9-5
Working a 9-5 job, even if it’s part of your intended career path, lets you hide. You can win awards that a team helped achieve. A division that you’re not a part of can massively boost profit. A marketing team you’re not in can improve public perception of your company — strangers and family think you’re special by association… not by what you’ve actually accomplished for that company. The company can make the news for its surging stock price… when in reality sales are declining and the stock price is rising because company executives authorized a stock buy back.
Of course, you can achieve a lot on your own at a company, but my point is sometimes you just can’t. You can’t make a needle move, or if one does, you probably didn’t trigger it. I think for most, working a corporate 9-5 is for one reason only – cash… lots of it. I can understand that, but I think we desire more… especially you reading this newsletter.
So, let’s assume you want to be independent, you already are independent, or you just want to have something on the side that provides satisfaction and could possibly turn into something more substantial in the future. What are the factors that are enabling this solo owner trend? Is it sustainable or just a fad?
Reasons for the Solopreneur Explosion
- Post pandemic people want freedom. Many people were burned out pre-pandemic and didn’t realize how burned out they were. I’ve experienced burn out and post-corporate recovery. It seems there is no going back. I’ve seen other co-workers literally glow after leaving a stressful corporate position. There’s nothing quite like it – see for yourself… look in your network for people who took the plunge and see what they look like before/after. You will be shocked. I promise.
- Tools. We can achieve so much now with remote tools. ZOOM remote meetings – remote digital whiteboards, no-delay face-to-face video, online file sharing, online project management systems, …the list goes on and on.
- Social Media. There is a new job category… the “creator” and “creator economy” … in effect, mobile video and in-app advertising have enabled thousands of people to make a living using video, text, and photos.
- Culture shift. Clients and managers KNOW you can deliver remotely. For years, I would say anytime before 2018, people in charge didn’t fully trust the remote workforce. They gradually accepted it pre-pandemic and when the pandemic hit they realized remote work absolutely does work.
- Artificial Intelligence. New AI tools enable massive productivity gains. My observations from what people self-report using the tools is 2-10X productivity enhancements. Absolutely massive.
- Society. We all know more and more people going out on their own. It’s becoming acceptable in society to be an independent worker.
- Challenge. People need a challenge. Corporate life can be cushy and boring. Working on your own is one of the hardest things you can do.
The Future of Solopreneurship and Why it Matters to EVERYONE
- AI tools will improve a lot and might cause you to lose your job. You might be forced to be a solopreneur. People in government are studying this and possibly preparing UBI – Universal Basic Income.
- If you hire vendors or are a hiring manager, you might work with a solopreneur.
- Traffic seems non-stop in cities these days – the typical “rush hour” traffic pattern is broken. People work at all hours now.
- Tourist destinations are busier. With remote work, people work from everywhere… and that includes your favorite destinations.
- The world is opening up and becoming more interesting – vloggers are everywhere… creating content on every where and every what.
- For many, costs are going lower, changing life patterns. For example, many young people rent apartments in the cities and don’t even have or need cars. Electric scooters are new transportation options. As more people realize lower costs, they will become more open to solopreneurship. Maybe that leaves open more corporate jobs.
- Solopreneurs are happier… you might want to befriend one. Check out the vibe in a co-working space vs. a standard corporate office to see first-hand.
Well, these are just my personal opinions formed from over 20 years of corporate and solopreneurship life. But what do I know… your viewpoint and circumstances might be different. I just ask you consider my perspective and pay attention to trends. Don’t go it solo… 😉
[P.S. I have solopreneurship articles if you want more on the topic.]
The Morico Letter – 8/26/2023
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Ken MoricoView Previous Letters