I’m opening the doors to my new Invincible Solopreneurs community for people who upgrade to the premium newsletter subscription or purchase a lifetime membership (i.e., pay once and stay as long as you want).
I wouldn’t be where I am today with my business without finding supportive entrepreneurial peers who have helped me during my journey. Solopreneurship can feel lonely at times, and running a business can feel overwhelming. Being part of a wonderful community makes all the difference in the world.
However, I know how hard it is to find the right supportive entrepreneurial community that can help you during your journey of designing, building, and growing your lifestyle business. So, that’s why I created my new community!
I’ve tried local business communities, but they didn’t seem to understand what I was doing with my online business.
I joined one online community of entrepreneurs, but they only seemed interested in money and talking about get-rich-quick schemes.
Another community was mostly from a single profession, and it was also way too large to be useful. I found it overwhelming and not very welcoming.
I wanted to create a place for people who:
Come from diverse backgrounds.
Want to build a lifestyle business.
Crave freedom and happiness more than excessive wealth.
Are friendly, supportive, and encouraging.
Enjoy a smaller, more intimate community where we get to know each other.
Where are you with your entrepreneurial journey?
You have the business idea and know exactly what you want to do.
You have a few business ideas, but you’re not sure how to pick the right one.
You want to start a business but don’t have a great idea for it yet.
If you already know the business you want to build, you may just need help with planning, learning a few new things, having some supportive peers, and finding the accountability that will help keep you on track with your plan.
If you have some ideas, but need to narrow them down to one great idea, it will be helpful to attend my upcoming Solopreneur workshop in Feb this year. We’ll share a framework for assessing your ideas to pick the right one to take forward. Plus, you can bounce ideas off the community members to get feedback on your options.
If you don’t have an idea for your new business yet, I will always recommend focusing on what you already know and do well. You have existing talents, skills, knowledge, and experience that can be combined in new ways to forge a new business plan. I often refer to this as turning your job description into a business plan.
I’ve mentioned this before, but it boils down to 3 types of businesses:
Selling what you can do.
Selling what you know.
Selling who you’ve become.
1. What do you already do for your job?
This is one of the easiest businesses for 9–5 employees to launch. It’s based on what you already have several years of experience doing in your day-to-day job. You have either been providing a variety of services, making some sort of product, or maybe even a little of both.
The first solopreneur business I launched way back in 1998 was based on this model. I was a senior designer at a tech startup that went through a massive layoff and then hired us all back for a new startup. I wanted more stability! Note: it’s a common myth that a 9-5 job is more stable than being self-employed. I hope the millions of layoffs over the past 4 years have changed everyone’s mind about that.
I formed a solopreneur “design agency” in about a day and was up and running in less than a week. Before I even rejected my new job offer, I had my first client. I sold what I could already do. I had been providing my software design services for years as a full-time employee at IBM, Apple Computer, and a few startups.
I encourage you to consider two different options when you use your existing job as a template for your new business. One option is probably faster and easier. The other option will make you happier.
Copy and paste your 9-5 job.
Only use the best parts of your job.
My first solopreneur business was pretty much a copy and paste from my previous job as a designer. It literally didn’t feel like anything had changed in my working life. I was still working with the same people, working on a very similar product, and doing the same work tasks.
Over time, I started focusing more on the work activities I enjoyed the most (e.g., creating innovative and strategic new concepts) and the things I was really good at doing (e.g., prototyping). As a consultant, I could outsource other tasks by hiring subcontractors who were better at them and enjoyed that kind of work (e.g., icon design, usability testing). So, my business slowly moved more to Option 2.
The second solopreneur business that I launched before I left my last executive job behind was completely Option 2. I did not copy and paste my Product leadership role to create my new business. Instead, I focused on the value I could deliver to startups and smaller corporations through my experience with product, design, and business strategy. It was definitely more of a thinking business that “sold my brain” than a production business that sold my time and what I could produce.
When you create a new business, you have a rare opportunity to take the best of your work experiences forward into your working life and leave the bad stuff behind. Why would you not try to make that happen? You can always fall back to Option 1 if necessary.
Here’s the cool thing about being your own boss. You can do whatever you want!
You can offer different services to different clients as appropriate. Perhaps one client just wants your strategic advice, so you provide that. Another client might want to have you take on the role of an interim employee while they look for a full-time person (e.g., an acting Head of Product).
You get to decide.
2. What do you know?
This type of business is more of an advisory role than behaving like a contractor or consultant. You’re not selling what you can do. You are selling what you know — the knowledge and experience you’ve accumulated during your entire life (e.g., from work, school, life, etc.).
My current solopreneur coaching business is probably most of this model, with a dash of selling the best parts of my previous leadership jobs. I’ve been in different management and leadership roles since the late 1980s. Over the decades, I’ve learned a lot about managing people, dealing with employee issues, coaching folks, motivating and inspiring teams, etc.
So, creating a career coaching practice over seven years ago felt like a natural extension of my experiences and leveraging what I already knew very well. In fact, many of my clients have been people who used to work for or with me during my tech career. I coached them when I was their boss inside a company, and now I coach them from the outside of a corporate environment.
You will create a more scalable and profitable business when you sell your knowledge and talent instead of your time. There are only so many hours you can work in a week. But you can sell what you know to an infinite number of customers (e.g., courses, training, books, digital products).
What valuable knowledge do you have locked up inside your head? Who could benefit from that the most?
3. Sell your success
This type of business works if you’ve achieved a level of success doing something that others dream of doing and accomplishing. This could be as an employee or a business owner.
I recently had a guest on my podcast who is doing exactly this as part of his side business, Nate Davis. He is a talented and successful real estate agent. So, he has become a coach who offers mentorship for aspiring investors and a program that paves the way for success for others interested in real estate investments.
This is the most challenging business of the three to build, and not everyone can do it. It goes beyond what you used to do or even what you know. It’s based on who you are, your career and life path, your notable success, and the resulting lifestyle you now enjoy.
Ryan Holiday is a good example of this type of business. He used to work in the corporate world in marketing. Then, he went on to build his own agency and wrote numerous books that have sold millions of copies.
Aspiring authors who dream of “becoming him” — and having his success — pay thousands of dollars for his advice. Without his publishing success, would he have so many loyal followers who hang on to his every word and wish they could be a writer like him?
However, you don’t have to reach the level of a bestselling author to build a business like this. You simply need to have reached a level of success in your career (or business) that others aspire to achieve. For example, I was a vice president at one of the top internet companies in the world, so some people hire me for career and leadership coaching because they want to become executive leaders and find my advice helpful.
What have you achieved that someone earlier in their journey would find useful?
Join my Solopreneur community!
If you’re serious about quitting your job and starting your own business, we can help. As I mentioned earlier, there’s nothing like having a supportive entrepreneurial community on your side. Every business owner benefits from having like-minded peers who can help with encouragement, advice, answers, guidance, and more.
I’m going to open the community up to the public soon, and the membership price may increase later. So, this is your chance to lock in a lower rate (or pay once for lifetime access).
This year, I’ll be offering live workshops and short workbook exercises to prepare for those events. These will include short, simple actions you can take vs. some of the more complicated and detailed challenges I’ve shared over the last few years.
Premium subscribers will have free access to the workshops throughout the year. However, I will also open up these workshops to the public to join us and attend for a fee. Of course, you can remain a free newsletter subscriber and simply choose to sign up for any of the paid workshops you find interesting.
The workshops will follow the arc of choosing an idea and then designing, defining, building, launching, and scaling your new business. For example:
What is a lifestyle solopreneur business?
Identifying your new business idea
Transforming your job description into a business plan
Setting your business up online
Defining your ideal customer
Attracting your ideal customers
Creating your Invincible Content Factory
How to position your products or services uniquely
How to sell to your customers or clients (a sales strategy you won’t hate)
How to design your business around your ideal life
Scaling your lifestyle business
One big change I’m making is to offer a lifetime membership in my private Invincible Solopreneurs community on Discord. Now, you can pay once vs. a monthly subscription fee, and I’ll invite you into my private community, where you can stay for as long as you want!
Note: A lifetime membership is good for the lifetime of the community (i.e., not your lifetime). If you cancel and request a refund, the refund will be equivalent to your payment minus processing fees and the monthly subscription fee for the number of months you’ve been in the community (normally $20/month).
The Invincible Solopreneurs Community is a peer group of ambitious business owners to help you accelerate your business success.
What do you get with your membership?
An invitation to my exclusive community. Get the advice, feedback, and support you need to grow your business!
Weekly office hours in a private Discord channel.
Free access to the live workshops to discuss the topics mentioned above.
Engage with me and the community to get additional advice, feedback, and support.
Of course, not everyone wants or needs a lifetime membership, so I will still provide a monthly subscription for only $20/month. If you upgrade from your free subscription, you’ll receive:
A group business coaching experience with free access to my paid Solopreneur workshops.
An invitation to my private Discord community, where you can stay as long as you are subscribed (vs. the lifetime membership).
Immediate access to the full archive of newsletter issues and podcast episodes.
I’m Larry Cornett, a business coach who can work with you 1-on-1 to design, launch, and optimize your business. I live in Northern California near Lake Tahoe with my wife and Great Dane while running my businesses 100% remotely.