Why ‘Solopreneurship’ Is on the Rise

by A Guest Author

“Be your own boss,” is a familiar phrase that late-night informercials use to evoke the dream of  self-employment that appeals to many people, yet the number of individuals actively pursuing this route has been relatively low. Many employees, for instance, are unwilling to accept the emotional and financial challenges involved in running their own business. Some, however, decide to face this challenge by starting a home business and becoming “solopreneurs.”

Rise of the Self-Employed

Although many “solopreneurs” start out on their own because they desire the freedom that business ownership promises, recent economic reports indicate that many individuals are now doing this out of necessity. 2010 was an especially busy year for the self-employed, with more than 500,000 new businesses forming each month. The fact that this year was one of the worst in U.S. economic history suggests that those who cannot find work turn to self-employment as a means to escape their financial woes.


With all these new businesses forming, it might seem strange to hear that unemployment rates remain high. After all, small businesses have been traditionally praised for creating new jobs, yet data taken from the Census Bureau in 2008 shows that 78% of these businesses are sole proprietorships with no employees. This indicates that most entrepreneurs seek to avoid high personnel costs by pursuing various avenues such as freelancing, independent consulting and online retail. As a result, “solopreneurship” has done little to affect the growth of new jobs.

A Virtual Workplace

While those who hunger for steady employment may find this information distressing, significant advances in technology have lowered the bar when it comes to starting a new business. One recent development, for instance, has been cloud-based computing, which enables businesses of any size to store data and run applications without having to purchase expensive software packages and servers. Dropbox, for instance, enables small business owners to store and share files anywhere from any computing device, while Bill.com is designed to manage billing and invoicing. Best of all, most cloud-based companies offer pricing platforms affordable enough for even home-based businesses.

Starting a Home Business

Most “solopreneurs” use a home office to keep costs low, which means finding opportunities that work best in this environment. Fortunately, there are countless ways to work from home that vary according to time constraints, marketable skills, and the amount of capital invested.

Utilize Technology

Computers play an especially important role in providing new opportunities for self-employment now that many larger businesses have begun outsourcing to reduce employee expenses. Some hospitals and private doctors, for instance, have begun hiring home-based Health Information Technology specialists to handle their medical billing needs, which is why a medical billing school or career college that offers this training has become popular. Web content developers and publishing companies are also turning to freelance writers with an English education to remain competitive.

Capitalize On Talents

Not all home-based business opportunities require an education, however, because “solopreneurs” can become successful simply by using their talents. “Crafty” types, for instance, no longer have to deal with the expense of opening up a studio now that sites such as Etsy.com will host their designs for a small fee. Also, those who are fluent in other languages can earn as much as $61,000 on average as a translator if the language is in high demand. Even seemingly-minor skills such as typing can be useful since there are companies that pay people to transcribe documents.

In short, “solopreneurs” come from many different paths, but the most successful ones have two characteristics in common: they have the drive and the discipline to achieve their goals. Although the dream of keeping a steady job for forty years has been crushed by a rapidly changing job market, exciting career opportunities are available for creative minds who can find ways to make their skills marketable.

About the Author

Jess Myers is a successfully self-employed freelance writer and tax preparer who uses her skills in creative new ways.

This post was written by A Guest Author

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