Your middle years are some of the most productive of your working life. The elements of time and experience create a petri dish of opportunities to build your wealth and cement your asset base.
Sadly, most of us squander this period because we lock ourselves into a job that closes our eyes to the abundance all around us.
Before the Industrial Revolution, it was common for men to draw their income from their own enterprise rather than work for others. Thanks to the Internet and the democratisation of knowledge, the needle is turning back in favour of the impresario.
Nowadays, solopreneurs are growing at an alarming rate. Bootstrapped and crowd-funded businesses run by a single person are taking off.
It’s little wonder. Problems that used to require capital investment to solve them can now be solved online for far less money and less risk, too. Finance for great ideas can be garnered from thousands of people instead of a bank or a single investor.
The Industrial Revolution has served us well for decades, but its heyday is drawing to a close. It has become a race to the bottom; with greater competition and lower prices seeing once profitable industries fall like Lemmings.
Noted author and Internet pioneer, Seth Godin, calls the new wave the ‘connection economy’. Smaller niche-based businesses are tapping into one-to-many connections through the Web and social media – to form a whole new kind of race – a race to the top.
Individuals – solopreneurs – are now delivering highly specialised products and services to a captive and highly engaged audience. And this audience is global. Artists, writers, makers, coaches, podcasters and content creators are carving out respectable incomes by connecting directly with consumers and reaping all the benefits for themselves.
Take my youngest daughter, for example. Twelve months ago, she decided to film herself experimenting with makeup while learning the various techniques. Today, she has a steady stream of local clients who pay her to transform their looks for weddings, formals and other special occasions. In just over a year, she's built an audience of nearly 100,000 subscribers on YouTube and has even broken the million-view mark on some of her videos!
Every week, I field enquiries from companies all around the world wanting to collaborate with her or have their products featured on her channel. And the real kicker is, she's earning an income most 13-year-olds would kill for; doing what she enjoys.
Since I left my salaried job over ten years ago, I've built a roster of clients who want what l have to offer and are prepared to pay for it. Of course, it takes work, and it takes persistence but if I can do it – and more to the point if my 13-year-old daughter can do it, so can you. And the best part is, you don't need to quit your job (or your formal education), and you don’t need much money. It’s the bootstrap revolution! If you're in any doubt about this fact, read Chris Guillebeau's book, The $100 Startup.
For inspiration and practical information on creating your ideal job – something you actually love doing, consider listening to Seth Godin's podcast, “Seth Godin's Startup School”. Also, read books by Chris Guillebeau, Tim Ferris or Seth Godin. If you're itching to get started but find yourself running around shouting, “Squirrel!!”, head over to Fizzle and get stuck into their Small Business Roadmap. Fizzle is easily the best resource out there for indi entrepreneurs to learn how to build a legitimate, honest and successful online business. For more on this topic, read my post entitled, Create a Side-Business From What you Know.
When my daughter finally graduates from senior school, she will be an established entrepreneur in her own right. I have no doubts about that.
The question for you is, with all your years of knowledge and experience out there in the world, what's stopping you from doing the same?
Thanks for stopping by and I hope we get to hang out more in the future. And in the meantime, please feel free to share your own experiences. You can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I respond to all emails.
Disclaimer & Disclosure: I'm not a psychologist and I'm not a financial advisor's elbow. This material doesn't constitute financial advice but rather a collection of personal opinions, based on my own experiences. Some of the links on my site are affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase, I will earn a small commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. I provide links to services or products I have used and liked or researched and recommend. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you believe they will be beneficial to you.
Also published on Medium.