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The Lever #011: This is NOT for Solopreneurs

Welcome to issue No. 11 of The Lever

With the new year in full swing I wanted to take a step back and clarify who I write for.

And it is NOT solopreneurs.


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What is a Solopreneur?

When having a conversation, defining what you are talking about is important.

A solopreneur (in my definition) is someone operating a one-person online business that sells knowledge products and/or services. This could be:

• Digital courses

• eBooks

• Consulting calls

• Membership programs

• Coaching

• Speaking

• Advertising via podcast, YouTube, etc.

The key is “one-person”.

Making great money doing something you enjoy, while totally controlling your time and minimizing your obligation to others (bosses or employees) is an excellent aspiration.

Working with a team can be difficult, and the beauty of digital products is the leverage they offer. Build once, sell twice (s/o @jackbutcher).

But this aspiration isn’t for everyone. And it shouldn't be.

You Don’t Need to Escape

Much of what is sold online is a dream.

The promise of freedom from your 9-5, with untold wealth at your disposal to live the life of your dreams.

Travel. An empty calendar. Long walks and long talks.

The unspoken assumption is that your 9-5 is worse, and this is better. But is that really the case? I have a friend who owns a plumbing company with a few employees who makes $600k+ and still has time to pursue side interests. Where is the problem?

Most of you are educated and working in a career that took years of study. At one point the job you have right now was your dream job.

Your 9-5 likely provides everything of value in your life. It pays your bills, keeps a roof over your head, gives you paid vacation, a little left over to invest. And it gives you all of the skills and knowledge that you are using to build your platform online.

You wouldn’t be here without it.

The problem lies in the assumption that you need to “escape” your 9-5 for the greener pastures of solopreneurship, which lie just over the hill. But the grass isn’t greener on the other side of the fence.

The grass is greener where you water it.

The second, more concerning problem with this mindset is what it does to your attitude about work.

The face of work is changing. With covid many moved to remote work, and are now in some form of hybrid system. People are no longer satisfied with the old agreement - a fair days work for a fair days pay. They see the profits raked in by CEOs on the backs of the common worker. They demand more.

And I totally agree.

However, when your mindset turns adversarial you no longer grow. In your organization or your skillset.

If you are always trying to “escape” how will you thrive? And if you aren’t getting things done efficiently, your move to solopreneur will probably fail, leaving you with two jobs that you aren’t satisfied with.

You’ll have adopted a fixed mindset.

One final point to consider is that of confirmation bias.

The successful solopreneurs, the ones doing it right (and who I have the utmost respect and admiration for), provide a shining example of what could be. They embody the vision.

Yet for every one of them there are hundreds of others who never made it.

Solopreneurship is still a business, and business success still has an element of right time right place. Sometimes the secret sauce just never turns up.

As the saying goes, don’t quit your day job.

A Better Way

Another option is to shift from the adversarial mindset to one of integration.

Work and life are two sides of the same coin. Growth at work results in personal growth.

The key then is to prioritize what you focus on and manage your time effectively to achieve your goals and get what you want out of life.

You CAN have a great career, personal fulfilment, side projects, a family, your health, and live a life of impact. But you need to create this mindfully and built it with purpose.

Who I Write For

I write for high achievers who lead busy lives, who wake up early and hit the ground running, who juggle one or more jobs while raising one or more kids.

People who wont compromise on the vision for their life and who work smart to make it all happen.

Those of you who are diversifying (and therefore bulletproofing) your revenue streams.

The side hustlers, real estate investors, and day traders.

Executives, entrepeneurs, and owners - plus those of you on your way up the ladder.

And ASPIRING solopreneurs. Trying to build something for yourself while working for someone else is the exact use case for the peaceful productivity system.

Work isn’t separate from life. Work is where you spend a huge amount of time. It provides an amazing opportunity for growth, if you are only willing to grab it.

Time to water the grass.

Thank you to Julius (@jm_simm) for verbalizing what I feel but never put to words.

What’s Next?

The next issue will get back to providing tactical advice and instructions for building leverage into your life.

I talk about:

- Productivity so you can be effective in all areas of your life

- How to be a prolific creator so you can build something on the side

- Business systems to help turn what you create into a profitable side hustle

Becoming productive, prolific, and profitable is the ultimate goal. And the best results come from learning it in that order.


Your next steps:

1. Subscribe to The Lever (if you haven't already)

This covers a science-based productivity concept each week, in about five minutes. Try a free chapter of my new book when you subscribe. And if you like it...

Peaceful Productivity outlines the time-management system I've created over the years as a ship's Captain and business executive. It will help you plan, prioritize, and get more of the right things done. Also available on Amazon  

This short course will teach you the fundamentals of a powerful timeblocking system to make sure you never miss an obligation and always show up prepared. Give yourself the space you need to create the life you deserve.

Smart systems to make you productive, prolific, and profitable | Find me on Twitter @SeanPHogue | Sign up here for the weekly newsletter, The Lever, and create some leverage in your life.


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