To build a successful career as a solopreneur consultant requires courage, resilience, possession of marketable skills and relationships with people who are willing and able to refer or endorse you for paid project assignments. solopreneur consultants must have a talent for selling, the discipline to create and pursue business goals, a knack for big-picture thinking and implementing strategies and an understanding of human nature and motivation. The ability to attract good luck and dodge bad luck helps, too.
Precious few solopreneurs are able to just “go to the office” every day and delve into the usual work. In order to generate the preferred amount of business revenue, we understand that creating multiple revenue streams may be necessary and to make that possible, we must recognize the marketability of our skill sets, in aggregate and in segments. As well, we must learn to package, promote and sell our skills and value to prospective clients.
Consider my revenue streams, for example. When asked, in my short form elevator pitch I say that I’m a self-employed external consultant who provides business strategy and marketing solutions to mid-size for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. What that means, in reality, is that I’ve facilitated strategic planning meetings at not-for-profit organizations; edited a 100-page nonfiction book and also served as its photo editor and project manager; developed curriculum for a series of 90-minute sales skills training workshops, and periodically I teach business plan writing.
I’ve been fortunate enough to regularly win business strategy development or marketing campaign assignments, but the fact is that there are often gaps and in response, I’ve learned to branch out and offer segments of my skill set to clients or employers as a way to maintain my required cash-flow and, whenever possible, also enhance my brand. In my experience, it’s the ability to leverage one’s perhaps infrequently promoted competencies that help Solopreneurs to create and sustain a profitable business venture.
My friend Adela is a busy educational consultant who works with college-bound high school juniors and their parents to identify suitable colleges for the student and navigate the application process. Adela’s business appears to be thriving, yet she nevertheless teaches Spanish at a local university (she was born and raised in Mexico and came to the U.S. to attend Notre Dame University).
Jackie, a friend of many years, is the founder and manager of a small, full-service fitness center that became very successful in that highly competitive market, yet she teaches a fitness class at another gym a few miles away. Why? Because she gets to observe another style of fitness center management from the inside, she receives training in new fitness techniques that she can evaluate for inclusion in her own gym and she earns a few extra dollars each week, something that a mother of four can always use. Sometimes you can get paid to research the competition.
My friend Carole toggles between freelance marketing gigs at technology companies and corporate positions in that sector. She’s a Lotus alumna who’s also worked for tech giant EMC, distinctions that command respect and open doors in the tech industry. In between corporate gigs, Carole goes out on her own to develop marketing strategies for tech start-ups. A couple of years ago, she was offered a position as director of marketing at one of those start-ups, but when the inevitable reorganization occurs, she’ll re-enter solopreneur life.
So, solopreneur friend, I invite you to put on your thinking cap and brainstorm how you can create additional revenue streams by exploring how certain segments of your skill set can be packaged and promoted to current and prospective clients.
Thanks for reading,