Online Business

How To Decide Which Business To Start – Like A Boss!

Trying to decide which business to start can be extremely difficult. But, if you get it right, it can lead to financial freedom.

So, what does living financially free mean exactly?

Well, to me, it means being able to live anywhere and still make money. But, it also means not having to work 18-hours a day running my business.

In other words, I want to work no more than five hours a day from anywhere in the world and still make enough money to pay my bills and travel to the next place with my family.

I am a freedom seeker. I want to live location-independent and travel the world with my family. Financial freedom might be something different for you.

Maybe your ideal life is to have the freedom to drop what you’re doing and go to a yoga class and then the spa in the middle of the day. (You could easily talk me into that at least once)

Here’s the deal … your heart is searching for a way to make enough money to pay all of your bills and afford some indulgences without having to work your face off.

If that sounds like your ideal scenario then you, my friend are a born solopreneur and, you and I are virtual best friends.

What Is A Solopreneur?

The basic definition of a solopreneur is “a person who sets up and runs a business on their own.” In other words, they don’t have anyone else on their team.

They might outsource things to a virtual assistant or social media manager for a few hours a month but, for the most part, they are a solo enterprise and run the show on their own.

The thing is, this definition doesn’t exactly describe the deeper levels of what a solopreneur is. Yes, this is the basic function of what a solopreneur does but, it’s not really who a solopreneur is.

The term solopreneur is kind of an umbrella that many “job titles” live under. Titles like coach, consultant, and freelancer are all types of solopreneurs.

The one thing that all of these titles have in common is that they draw a group of people who are looking for a specific lifestyle that includes financial freedom in the form of their choice.

When you start thinking about being a solopreneur, it is important to know about the different job titles under this umbrella. You want to make sure and choose a job title that fits who you are.

If your journey to financial freedom was a road trip being a solopreneur is the car and the job title is the map. Making it to your destination of financial freedom will be very difficult if your map isn’t the right one.

I Want To Start A Solopreneur Business But I Have No Ideas

Starting a business as a solopreneur is pretty easy, logistically. But, if you want to reach your goal of quitting your job and achieve financial freedom, you should take some time and be very thoughtful when you decide which business to start.

The first step is understanding what each job title means. From there, you can build your branding, decide on your niche, and design your content marketing strategy.

All of these job titles provide you a way to monetize skills that you already have through services and products. But, each of them gives a different platform for how you package those services and products.

This is an important distinction to know because, if you choose to start a business as a consultant but, you’re not really a person who enjoy analysis and problem-solving, you will struggle with growing your business.

Freelancer

Freelancing is when you provide your clients with a specific deliverable in a designated amount of time. That deliverable might be a product like a website or business plan. It could also mean you are delivering hours of your time like a virtual assistant or a bookkeeper.

As a freelancer, you typically have limited contact with your client outside of the time it takes to hand off instructions about their needs. In other words, you may be doing work for your client on a daily basis but, you could go weeks without talking to him or her.

Freelancers are typically viewed as a problem-solver by their clients. They are the go-to for tasks that the client doesn’t know how to do or just doesn’t want to do.

Being a successful freelancer usually means having a very narrow list of services that you provide to a very targeted niche of clients. You want to position yourself as the “XYZ guru”.

For instance, if you are a web designer, you might provide “WordPress website design to life coaches”. That is a very clear deliverable and it will make it easy for clients to refer you to their friends.

Coach

As a coach, your clients look to you for guidance. They are looking for someone who can help them clear the mental clutter and come to their own conclusions and solutions. This is done by the client stating their goal and the coach giving the client assignments, creating space for accountability and designing a process.

When a coach and a client work together – there is a specific timeframe during which the client will start to see results from their coaching session. As a coach, you can help clients with all areas of their lives.

Maybe you want to be a “lose your last 20 lbs coach” or, “design and launch your signature product coach”. The idea is to have a very specific area of expertise that gives clients a clear idea of what they will get in return if they hire you.

Trainer

As a training solopreneur, your business is all about teaching clients to do something that they don’t already know how to do. However, in most training models, it is not important for the client and the trainer to interact with one another.

In other words, the training can be provided via an online course or ebook without ever even talking to the trainer. The trainer does not hold themselves accountable to the results of their clients (or, maybe a better word is customers).

Most bloggers are trainers. They provide their readers with instruction, information, and inspiration through their free content (blog posts) to build their online reputation (know, like and trust factor). And, then they sell an ebook or an online course.

Consultant

Consultants are similar to coaches in that both are focused on working with their clients to develop solutions and results. However, where a coach will guide their client in finding their own solution a consultant just tells their client what solution would be best to their problem.

Not only will a consultant develop a detailed plan for how to solve a problem but, most consultants, will also implement the solution plan and oversee it until the desired results have occurred or until the contract timeframe comes to an end.

Consultants work alongside their clients to understand the business and the priorities for the project. The business-owner looks to the consultant for answers and for examples of the best ways to do things.

Which Solopreneur Business Ideas Will Make Money?

The key to making money as a solopreneur is to make sure that you’re starting a business that suits your skills and talents.

If you don’t like taking charge of a situation and telling people what to do – don’t start a business as a consultant. Likewise, if you enjoy getting to know intimate details about your clients and you hate spreadsheets – don’t start a business as a freelance bookkeeper.

While trying to figure out your path as a solopreneur, make sure that when you finally decide which business to start, it’s because of how you will feel going to work each day and not just because of the paycheck.

Now, with all of that being said, let’s talk about the profitability of each of these businesses.

Freelancer

Starting a business as a freelancer is essentially something that anyone can start within just a few days. Think about the skills that you have gained from your education, training, and work experience.

Do you know how to manage accounts payables and receivables? Do you know how to manage a calendar and schedule travel? Are you a great writer who enjoys spending quiet time clicking away at your computer?

All of these are marketable skills that you can sell to people. However, since it is so “easy” to start a business as a freelancer, it is also very competitive.

Coach

Typically, coaches are a 1-to-1 setup, meaning that they see one client per hour and they trade that hour for a specific dollar amount.

There is a lot of popularity around group coaching so, that could also be an option. However, the subject of the group coaching class would need to be something that people don’t mind sharing with a group.

Consultant

Consulting can be very lucrative. Especially, if you have a clear solution to provide to a select group of people. It’s “easy” to take on several clients at one time because your process is similar with each client.

For instance, if you help online business owners organize their back-office systems using Asana and Google Drive, you’ve got a clear deliverable that you can offer people and it’s not difficult to work with more than a few clients at a time.

Trainer

The trainer solopreneur business has changed quite a bit in the last couple of decades. It used to be that a trainer had to fill a conference room with warm bodies in order to make their income.

However, with the internet and programs like Teachable and ClickFunnels, anyone can create an online training, plug it into a sales funnel and make money around the clock.

Most bloggers are trainers and you’ll find their educational materials in their online shop. The cool thing about technology is that it allows you to couple training with any of the other solopreneur paths.

You can be a consultant working with clients AND have a digital product available for sale.

How To Decide Which Business To Start

Here are a couple of ideas for solopreneur businesses that you might think about starting

Virtual Assistant (Freelance)

Not sure what you would offer or who you would help? Here are 150+ ideas for services you can offer as a virtual assistant that people will pay for.

Writer (Freelance)

What to learn more about who could write for and what to write about? Here are 200+ writing niches that you could choose to specialize in.

Blogger (Trainer)

Blogging is a long game so, if you need to start making money right away, I would recommending choosing a freelance business and growing your blog on the side. Elite Blog Academy is the premier blogging course online. This course will teach you everything you need to know about how to start a blog and monetize it. The course is only open once a year so, you can sign-up for the waitlist here.

Coach

Are you looking for an awesome podcast to learn about life coaching and how to grow a life coaching business? This one is my favorite.  Interested in becoming a health coach? This program is the best you will find and I have personally worked alongside graduates. Not sure what kind of coach you want to be and need to do more research? This is where you need to be. And, of course, there’s my dream coaching program, the one done by Tony Robbins at this link. 

Consultant

Additional training for becoming a consultant usually comes in the form of some sort of certification in your field. For instance, if you want to be a consultant for anything related to marketing, you could check out all of the certifications that HubSpot offers here. Or, if you want to be a process-improvement consultant, you would want to look into Six Sigma certification. And, if you want to be a project management consultant, you should read more about getting your PMP certification here.

Why type of solopreneur do you think you would be happiest as?

It's one thing to know that you want to start an online business and make money online. It's completely another to know what kind of online business you would be good at and how to make sales and generate income. But, this is easily the most important time in your business. So, you need to make sure to take the time and do it right.

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