Don’t Let Myths Stop You From Becoming A Successful Solopreneur In Knowledge Commerce
At Solohacks Academy we’re sometimes exasperated. Why? Because 9 out of 10 people looking for solopreneur business ideas to start with online, are those who’ll never settle for an idea. Not even one as hot as a Knowledge Commerce business.
In fact people joke about solopreneurs who’d rather stay as “Wantrepreneurs”. These are people who aspire to be entrepreneurs, but who never realize this ambition. Wantrepreneurs are generally too obsessive about finding the “right idea”.
Why successful solopreneurs love “Wantrepreneurs” is because they are big buyers of books, courses, tools, mentoring sessions. They’ll buy all your knowledge products – and then look around for more.
If you too are one of those who search for the right business ideas endlessly, but land on nothing that excites, see if you’re getting stymied by these severely delaying myths. These misconceptions shouldn’t be allowed to stop you from the success you deserve and can have.
1. The 3 Big Myths: About Your Business Goals And About You
Solopreneurs find many ways to procrastinate about starting their Knowledge Commerce businesses. Among the most favorite ways is to keep wondering if they know what they want to be when they “grow up” and whether they have the “entrepreneurial personality”.
Like many other excuses, time spent wondering endlessly is a cop-out. Here are the answers that can blow away your first three myths.
a. Myth: A Solopreneur Business Is Small. It Can’t Match The Brand Eminence Of A Large Company
This myth comes from the popular perception that all solopreneur businesses are owned either by “mompreneurs” or “homepreneurs” or “self-designated-presidents-who are-also-the-bottle-washers”. If solopreneurs think of themselves in such self-limiting ways, that is all they would ever be.
Any solopreneur can be as big a brand as his or her biggest dreams will allow. There are tons of automation tools out there now that break the glass boxes into which solopreneurs cage themselves — and believe they are just doomed to be cats instead of tigers.
Be lean and mean and challenge the lumbering companies. In fact, did you know that many large companies are now looking for “intrapreneurs”? They are looking within for people who have entrepreneurial instincts who can spin off small businesses for the big company. The idea is that the big company can only then compete in the market as nimbly as small businesses do.
b. Myth: When A Solopreneur Business Grows Up It Will Become A Huge Company And Live Happily Ever After
The aim of starting as a solopreneur business is not to begin small, and later grow sideways and large. In fact, if you’ve tasted the satisfaction of going solo and working on your own terms, you can eternally have nobody to answer to, and still make millions and billions.
Why would you trade it all in to acquire more “assets” that feel like millstones around your neck? A solopreneur can – and perhaps should – aim to grow narrow and tall, and not spread wide, to really succeed.
With every size of business there are benefits and negatives. A small business feels like hard work for the owner, and maybe he, therefore, dreams of having more hands to the wheel to help him make more money. A big business may be so full of bitter politics between its people, that the owner may well dream of the good old days when was a free-spirited solopreneur. Every size of business comes with its baggage. Smart solopreneurs may never dream of exchanging one set of baggage for another.
c. Myth: All Solopreneurs Are Essentially Introverts, And Extroverts Will Hate The Solopreneur Life
Look, we have all got to get rid of the old definitions of introversion and extroversion. Introverts are just those who have more energy for work when they are alone, versus extroverts who have more energy when they work along with others. It’s about energy levels, and not inhibitions.
There are really no pure introverts or extroverts. Most people switch between introversion and extroversion all the time, so it’s ideal if you can decipher what activities you like doing alone and what you like doing with others. It’s that simple to honor yourself and your preferences.
In fact, if either introversion or extroversion is your strong suit, you don’t have to try and be someone you’re not. Just be yourself and don’t get preoccupied trying to fix your weaknesses. Everybody will succeed with their own formula. Quiet entrepreneurs will impress some customers, while loud entrepreneurs will impress other customers. There are enough customers to go around, for all of us in business. It’s not as if we’re all competing to impress that one lone customer.
2. The 3 Big Myths: About How To Plan To Succeed
Once you’ve decided to start a business, you feel you’ve taken that important step. But then you get beset with doubts about which success route to take. You read and read, and discuss and discuss, and get yourself thoroughly confused.
Untangle those knots, and get free to shatter the myths that supposedly dictate the “best way to make the best decisions”.
a. Myth: Internal Research Is No Match For External Research To See What’s In Hot Demand
If Steve Jobs had been outward-looking, what are the chances he’d have found the “hot demand for an iPhone”? Did people out there even know or imagine what an iPhone could be like or what it could potentially do? Here’s what Steve Jobs had to say about relying on the outside judgment of what new business to start:
Some people say give the customers what they want, but that’s not my approach. Our job is to figure out what they’re going to want before they do. I think Henry Ford once said, “If I’d asked customers what they wanted, they would have told me a faster horse.” People don’t know what they want until you show it to them. That’s why I never rely on market research. Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page.”
So if Steve Jobs did not get his idea by looking outside of himself, where did he look? He looked inside of himself – at his own imagination. But why and how did he know he could look into his own imagination? That’s because he must have asked himself, “What peculiar smarts do I have?” And he would have answered to himself, “I keep imagining digital gadgets that don’t exist yet”.
We come to the idea of quirks of knowledge becoming business ideas. In Knowledge Commerce, you do ecommerce with your quirks of knowledge. That’s why it pays to look inside of yourself for the strange ways your brains work.
b. Myth: Reading About Others’ Success Stories Will Fuel Yours Faster
I don’t have to tell you this, but I still will. No two people are identical. No two people succeed in exactly the same way, even if they apply the exact same formula. You see this every day with people who claim: “Follow my method and earn 7-figure incomes as I did”.
How many students of these experts have you seen replicating their teacher’s success? No doubt there are testimonials from these students. They may say, “I followed the teachings of XYZ and made my own first million in 30 days”. But if you are a person with a bit of smartness, you’re likely to be a healthy skeptic of such testimonials, right?
The truth about any business idea is this. If worked at consistently, it will show you over time, what you are doing right. It will also show what you are doing wrong (and need to tweak). That’s how you iron out the failure-potential in your own business idea. That’s how you increase its success-potential over time. What makes you fail is that you don’t give yourself the time to go through a “learning curve”. You think following another person’s formula will give that learning shortcut.
c. Myth: You Shouldn’t Start Unless Solid Research Validates Your Intuitive Pulls
Have you ever seen how one piece of research usually cancels another one out … or worse, seems to be constantly updating itself? Experts tell us to make data-driven decisions about starting or running a business. But if data is never perfect, how do we base decisions on that? I am not for one moment decrying the value of analytics. But I feel that data analytics is good to do after an event to see how the performance went. I’d rather not use data to drive an initial decision on whether to enter a business line or not.
Remember, even the best researchers believe data is a fluid, ever-changing scene. It can probably point at trends, but it can never quite forecast very accurately. Instead, there’s a machine inside your brain that will tell you if something is worth doing or not. It’s called “enlightened intuition”.
It’s a hunch you have – followed by some intellectual assessment within yourself. Do you have a hunch that your own knowledge will be worth something if you productized and sold it? Then go with the hunch, because the inner intuition is invariably your North Star. The more you try to put it down, the more loudly it whispers. Maybe it’s your inner trying to tell you something that data cannot.
3. The 3 Big Myths: About Your Adequacy To Start And Compete
Okay, so you believe you’ve overcome initial procrastination, and also got a decision made to start your Knowledge Commerce business. Now what? Many of us are still inhibited by feelings of inadequacy to face the public and the market. It begins to feel like “me versus them” and you feel your initial energy drain out.
See if these are three myths halting you in your tracks. We’ve got answers for all the queries you can come up with. Read these – and then START!
a. Myth: You’re A Jack-Of-All-Trades Unfit To Compete With “Domain Experts”
Do you have an enviable education with a high degree in some subject? You can make it your marketable expertise. That’s how domain experts usually grow themselves. They grow linearly, by acquiring more and more knowledge in a single subject. But consider this. What if you have not grown in a single path? What if you’ve followed your bliss to branch out into many different areas of interest?
What if you have a Master’s Degree in Ecology plus a strong extra Certification in, say, Spanish. Is this a blessing or a curse? In the yesteryears, you may have been seen as someone without “fixity of purpose”. But in the current world online, you may have acquired that coveted “competitive edge”. For example, how much competition would you face from other Spanish-proficient Eco-Experts? Are there many? Could you not grab the building construction market expanding to Spanish-speaking countries?
One track specialization does have its advantages, for sure. But being a rarity because of your peculiar education mix could be even more awesome. People can get vertical expertise from good books and other domain experts. But consumers want mixed skills. It’s a world where multi-talentedness creates an unbeatable advantage. In fact, you’ll have little or no competition. Those who get straight-jacketed into a singular strength may be the ones feeling hemmed in.
b. Myth: You’re Not Sure If You’re Ready For The Startup Lifestyle
Reams of content are written all the time on the relief and ecstasy that the “laptop lifestyle” can bring. Especially to those who risk quitting the 9-to-5 job and leap into online business. Many adopters the laptop lifestyle even publish their monthly income statements. that run into 6 and seven figures. They ask others to follow suit because of the freedom their lifestyle brings.
Yet many “wantrepreneurs” are still fearful of leaping into the laptop lifestyle. What fears could these be that make people balk at such big money-making potential?
It appears some of the biggest fears of Knowledge Commerce “wantrepreneurs” are these:
- “There’s no way I can create a business without spending quite a bit of money. And, it’s easy to lose it all online, because most online businesses are actually failures. Who’d buy knowledge products when so much of free knowledge is available online?”
- “Starting a Knowledge Commerce business is no easier than other businesses. I have to find knowledge to create products and services with. What I know won’t scratch the surface of expertise. I’m no PhD in anything except procrastination and self-doubt.”
- “If I don’t have genuine expertise of great depth and breadth in some area, I’ll get easily found out. I’ll be bad-mouthed on social media. Or my clients will ask for refunds. Better to shut up and have people take me for a non-starter than to open my mouth and confirm it.”
- “If and when I fail – as most online solopreneurs invariably will – what will I do? Go back to a job? Egads! And what will I say about myself on LinkedIn, where people are seeing my profile every day?”
Research shows the silliness of such fears. About 50% of the time, what you fear doesn’t even happen. About 40% of the time, what you fear doesn’t happen with the intensity you thought it would. About 10% of the time, the fear comes to pass and you come out the other side stronger.
c. Myth: You’re Not Whining, But You Really Don’t Have Enough Money To Start
Sorry, but you ARE whining if lack of money to start a business is your excuse. For a Knowledge Commerce business, you don’t need resources, you need resourcefulness. Let’s take stock of what you really need to get started.
You need not even have a website. You can blog on Medium which is one of the most coveted spaces. Millions of readers also read everything that catches their interest there. Here’s what your action plan looks like:
- You start blogging in earnest. By blogging, you capture traffic and visitors.
- Then you cajole them with some free downloadable written ebook. You ask them to join your mailing list.
- Then you write emails to those on your mailing list about new articles you’ve blogged that they should read. You get them to become loyal fans.
- You ask them about their problems and you create more answer-products (ebooks, courses, etc.) that you can sell at a price. People always buy answers to their problems.
- You write to them to sell low-priced items first. You then sell them bigger-priced items eventually. You can collect money through Paypal, who’ll only take a commission if you make a sale – and not otherwise.
- You then write some more emails to those who bought stuff from you. Get them to bring other friends to buy from you. You’ll only pay them an affiliate fee or referral fee if they make a sale for you by their persuasion.
In all this, did you hear me say you have to spend any money yet? Nope!
Then who spends money on starting a business? Only those who feel daunted, incompetent – or even lazy – to put in all the effort themselves. They look for tools that will do the job, or fancy websites to impress others with, or paid help that can write for them.
In Summary …
- Be a solopreneur – and not a “Wantrepreneur” who aspires, but eternally dithers, about starting business.
- Don’t let myths and misconceptions stop you from the success you deserve – and can have – with Knowledge Commerce.
- Don’t confuse “solo” with “small business”. And don’t confuse “introvert” personality traits with slow results.
- Your intuition is your North Star. If your enlightened intuition pulls, go full-blast. Start that business.
- How many “experts” are really qualified, start with tons of money, and can handle solo workstyles? When did you last check?
- “Wantrepereneurs” are the biggest customers of solopreneurs. They’ll buy loads of knowledge, but they’ll never begin.
So What Are Your Thoughts? Do Share!
This post is incomplete without your input. The community of Knowledge Commerce solopreneurs would feel galvanized to hear from you … so do share your thoughts on this topic with us, in the comments field below this post.
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- What Products Can You Create And Sell Via Knowledge Commerce?
- What Are Solopreneurs’ Biggest Challenges In Knowledge Commerce?
- What Is The Real Money-Making Potential Of Knowledge Commerce?
- What Are The Best Resources For Knowledge Commerce Solopreneurs?
- What Is The Roadmap To Follow For A Knowledge Commerce Business?
- What Skills Will You Need To Be Able To Handle Knowledge Commerce?
- Are There Good Case Studies Of Knowledge Commerce Marketers?