Solopreneurs come in all shapes and sizes, with unique sets of personal preferences, skills, experiences, creativity levels, strengths, and weaknesses. Being aware of the specific qualities you possess can help you succeed as an entrepreneur. It will help understand the areas where you often excel or struggle, which can help you manage challenging projects. And I am speaking from personal experience here.
One of the best ways to become more self-aware is to discover your solopreneur “type“. To help you do so, the guide below will explain the different types of entrepreneurs and take a closer look at the “solopreneur“, a new form of entrepreneur who mostly operates independently.
Three Types of EntrepreneurS
Before we take a look at the various forms of entrepreneurship, we should establish what the term entrepreneur actually means. In simple terms, an entrepreneur is a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses while taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so. And to make matters more complex, we distinguish between different types of entrepreneurs:
1. The Solopreneur
A solopreneur is an entrepreneur who wants to run their business independently, without any support from co-founders or salaried employees. Instead of building a full-time business where they collaborate with partners, they always make major decisions themselves.
Solopreneurs typically have a diverse skill set and a strong vision for what they want to achieve. They often prefer to learn new skills & solve problems themselves instead of asking for help. The projects created by solopreneurs are usually portable, scalable, and are often designed to produce passive income which happened to be the choice I have made for my own business.
2. The Single Founder
A single founder starts new projects by themselves. However, they are usually interested in adding employees and managers to their project as it grows and becomes successful. They have no problem collaborating with others and will often delegate responsibility to other people in the business.
Co-founders start new projects with the assistance of one or more people. They enjoy collaborating with others and working towards a shared goal. In most cases, co-founders prefer collaborations as it helps them deal with gaps in their skillset. So, if a co-founder lacked technical, sales, or networking skills, they would focus on collaborating with others who have those skills.
Differences Between Solopreneurs & Entrepreneurs
Solopreneurs are workers
Solopreneurs enjoy getting their hands dirty and are happy to put in a lot of hard work to get a job done. This is why solopreneurs often succeed as freelancers. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, often prefer to delegate work to others so they can focus on decision making.
Solopreneurs have a diverse skill set
Solopreneurs are typically skilled individuals who are eager to learn more skills. Entrepreneurs often rely upon the skills of other people as they prefer to use their time managing the business.
Solopreneurs are in it for the long haul
Most solopreneurs will take on freelance positions or run long-term businesses using their skills. They are less likely to be serial entrepreneurs who continually start and stop projects.
Solopreneurs sometimes shy away from the spotlight
An entrepreneur will happily put themselves into the spotlight. Take Richard Branson as an example, who enjoys being the face of Virgin and relishes publicity stunts. Most solopreneurs tend to shy away from the spotlight and feel most comfortable when working on their project instead of promoting it.
Solopreneurs don’t want a permanent team
Although solopreneurs don’t mind occasionally using other freelancers or contractors, they don’t enjoy managing others and would rather be working independently. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, hope to build a team to support their business and look forward to managing that team.
How To Become A Solopreneur?
Anyone can become a solopreneur. However, you’ll be more likely to succeed if you have these traits:
- Can work independently
- Determined to win and willing to put in the effort
- Know what you want to achieve
- Happy to learn new skills as needed
- Passionate and enthusiastic about what you do
- Creative and flexible
- Highly motivated
- Tech and media savvy
- Confident in your abilities
- Good people skills
Solopreneurs often take up the following careers:
Writer, social media manager, small business owner, consultant, artist, craftsman, fashion designer, photographer, interior designer, online personality/influencer, life coach, app developer, website designer, personal trainer, bookkeeper, personal assistant, driver and so many more.
They’ll often participate in several of those career paths as both freelancers & business owners.
Types of Solopreneurs
Your personal attributes will determine the type of solopreneur you might become. And as solopreneur, it’s common that some types overlap and you find yourself wearing “multiple hats“. But the most common types include:
The Artist is a solopreneur who specializes in a creative field. They create and sell their products or art they make for a profit online or via a store front. Some of the many forms of art they might create include:
Paintings, fashion pieces (clothing, jewelry, and other accessories), pottery, home decor, website graphics, logos, posters, banners, infographics and digital products, video editing services, music, online art tutorials, etc.
The Coach uses their knowledge, skills, and experience to help their clients achieve improvement and growth in their businesses, relationships, or personal lives. This is usually done through teaching, guiding, motivating, and setting goals for their clients.
This type of solopreneur can sell their coaching, training, or mentoring services online or in-person. In many cases, they develop online training courses to maximise the number of people they can positively affect. Coaches tend to be highly motivated, skilled, and interested in helping people.
The Educator teaches their audience information on a specific topic. They usually give away helpful information to build brand awareness, trust, and loyalty with their followers.
Once they have built an audience, they generate income through creating and selling supplementary products, such as e-books and online courses, giving their audience more information on the topic they are already interested in.
An Educator will usually have extensive knowledge of a technical subject and a passion for sharing their knowledge with others. They also need to be dedicated to their craft and reasonably tech-savvy if they intend to share their knowledge online.
The Freelancer is knowledgeable or talented in a specific creative field. They make a living by selling their services to their clients. Some examples of freelancers are writers, designers, editors, and virtual assistants. Freelancers tend to be diligent, creative, and hard-working. They often build a dedicated client list and run long-term businesses.
The Digital Nomad
The Digital Nomad is a relatively new phenomenon. It refers to a solopreneur who is constantly traveling and working remotely. They spend a great deal of time visiting new countries, making new friends, and learning new languages. Most work is completed on a mobile device in the coffee shops or co-working spaces that they discover during their journeys.
One of the advantages of being a digital nomad is that they can reduce overheads by living in countries with very low living expenses. As a result, they can often offer their services at a lower cost than competitors living in counties like the United States. Digital nomads need to be flexible, creative, fast-thinking, and adaptable.
The Trailing Spouse
The Trailing Spouse is a person who has given up their own career to follow their partner on their career path around the world. They have many skills but just can’t pin-point how to get settled and find their footing in their new homes. At some point in their lives, they have enjoyed a career but had to make a choice to ensure their family can be together.
Most often, career-driven individuals who still would like to contribute to society with their skills and talents seek opportunities on how do to so. Eager to be productive, they are ready to think outside the box to provide value to potential clients with a wide range of online / in-person services and even consider volunteer work for various causes in their new home country.
There’s no one hat fits all
As you can see, there are many ways to work as an entrepreneur. Consider your personal attributes and goals before deciding if you want to be a solopreneur, single founder, or co-partner. By choosing the right entrepreneurial path, your chances of success will be much higher. And while being a solo may initially sounds like lots of fun, always remember that all the work will end up always in your lap, unless you are willing to outsource.
Certainly, it’s lot of fun to be your own boss and ride the rollercoaster ride of being in business, but keep in mind it will take time (a lot of it) to see success, endless late hours while others having fun, and initially a very minimal paycheck for all the hard work you’ll be doing 24/7. But if you stick it out, there is no better feeling in the world than being in charge not only of your own business but also of your life. So, if you are ready to jump into the solopreneur life, get started by taking the quiz below:
Above is another quiz I’ve created with Interact Quiz Maker.