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8 min read

Solopreneur Success Cycle 2: Envisioning Your One-Person Business

Solopreneur Success Cycle 2: Envisioning Your One-Person Business

Do you know the exact kind of work you want to do as a solopreneur? Or perhaps just the field you want to work in but not which aspect specifically? Or maybe you just know you want to be a solopreneur but don't have a clue what exactly you want to do.

Whichever you resonate with, this quick exercise will help you clearly envision a one-person business that you truly care about. Be sure to tune in.

As part of this brainstorming session, you'll be able to properly:

  • Define your skills
  • Figure out your passions
  • Generate business ideas
  • Decide if your idea can actually become a business

Follow the Series

This podcast episode is a part of a series of shorter episodes that revolve around the Solopreneur Success Cycle, a framework to intelligently design and grow your one-person business.  It is a proven method to help solopreneurs start, run, and grow a business that allows them to be successful and achieve their own goals, whatever those goals may be. These can be consumed as standalone episodes, but we highly recommend you listen to the full series to get the most out of it.

Want to share your experiences and learn from other one-person business? Be sure to join our community! It's free :)

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on Apple Podcasts Thanks!

Full Episode Transcript:

Joe Rando (00:00):

Could someone build a business as a science comedian or an artist for ferrets? I don't know, but maybe. There are open mics and marketplaces and agents for comedians, right? But you building that business as a ferret artist may be more challenging.

Intro (00:14):

Bigger doesn't always mean better. Welcome to the One-Person business podcast where people who are flying solo in business come for specific tips and advice to find success as a company of one. Here are your hosts, Joe Rando and Carly Ries.

Carly Ries (00:33):

Welcome to the One-Person Business Podcast. I'm one of your hosts, Carly Ries.

Joe Rando (00:37):

And I'm Joe Rando.

Carly Ries (00:39):

As we mentioned over the past couple of weeks, we're covering a series of short episodes every Thursday dedicated to the solopreneur success cycle, which is a framework to intelligently design and grow your One-Person business. Each of these episodes can definitely be consumed as one offs, but we highly recommend you tune into the entire series, which prior to this one, are episodes 26 and 28 so far. Just so you can get the most of this concept and apply it to your business. As part of the series, today we're gonna talk about envisioning your business. So, Joe, do you want to kick things off?

Joe Rando (01:11):

Absolutely. Previously we talked about defining goals. Without goals you really can't know what you should or want to do in order to achieve those goals. From here, we're gonna start looking at defining the business itself. The question really comes down to "do you know exactly what you want to do?" And maybe you do, Maybe you know that you're a graphic designer that does this, that and the other thing, and you perfectly know you've been doing it and now you want to go off on your own. And that's great. If that's what you want to do and you know it, you can skip this, but you might not want to cuz it is kind of a fun exercise and maybe you know what field you want to be in, but not what particular aspect. In that case, this following exercise can help. If you're one of those people that knows deep in your heart that you want to be a solopreneur, but you're not sure what business to be in, then you really need to do this.

Carly Ries (02:05):

Joe, I feel like so many people fall into that right now, especially with the remote work movement. People are like, "Oh, I can work from home, but what do I do from home?" I feel like people who fall into that category will definitely benefit from this.

Joe Rando (02:17):

Absolutely. You start by defining your skills. What are you good at? You don't want to go into a business that involves doing something that you're not good at, cuz you probably won't get paid a lot. Make a list of all your skills. Focus on the skills that apply to your desired business if you have one. Then make a separate list of skills outside of your core business. Again, if you have one, but don't leave anything out. Even things that aren't obviously related to what you're doing. If you're good at it, if you happen to be really good at at, you know, paintball competitions, put it down. It may be irrelevant, but why not? Then from there you've got to find your passions. Once we've got the skills, we also want to find the places that we're excited about. Being in any business is hard and it's really nice when you're excited about it and happy to get into it every day. So sit down and make a list of the things that you really love, that you're really excited about, passionate about, interested in, but don't just focus on things related to business.

Carly Ries (03:23):

And Joe, I know people always say, "if you find what you love, you'll never have to work a day in your life" and all of that. But people don't always make that the case. They like a better job at nine to five where they do it to pay the bills or for whatever reason. But as a solopreneur, you actually get to be in the driver's seat to decide what you want to do. Not everybody has that luxury and taking on solopreneurship, that's one of the benefits of doing this. That's why it's okay to follow your passion with this because this is ultimately what you wanna make your career out of and you get the choice this time.

Joe Rando (03:57):

That's a really good point. It's important. I do want to say one thing though. That concept of finding your passion and never working a day in your life. I think in the real world you end up having to do some things, in the business you're passionate about, that you don't really like doing. Things like taxes or in my case, filing paperwork. There's always the little aspect, but yeah, for the most part, if you can find the right place, you wind up not having to work too much. But anyway, now that we've got our skills defined, we've got our passion defined, now it's time to generate some ideas. Can your skills and passion intersect to become a product? Explore combinations of your skills and passions. Start by combining them. I like to do it randomly. In fact, I built a spreadsheet one time to do this that randomly combined them. And some combinations are gonna be the stuff of comedy, right? So wine tasting, auto repair, probably not a thing <laugh>,

Carly Ries (04:57):

But I hope it's not a thing. I don't want those two combined <laugh>,

Joe Rando (05:01):

But there may be some gold in there. Could someone build a business as a science comedian or an artist for ferrets? I don't know but maybe. If it sounds awesome, keep it for now then try adding some of your non-core skills to the mix. You've got somebody that's an artist, passionate about murals, but really is interested in history. Now you've got some potential there as a specialty. Hopefully you get a couple of interesting ideas from this or maybe they inspire some related concepts that you can use as ideas. Pick a few but don't get too many or you're not gonna have time to research them all effectively. Now of the ones you chose, think about how good a business they might be. Is there a demand for this, a lot of it? Or is there just a little bit of demand?

Joe Rando (05:46):

Is there a lot of competition or very little competition? Obviously high demand and low competition is the best place, but it isn't typically possible. Just make sure that you're planning to do something that can, can support a business. Google's your friend here and especially talk to people in this industry that you're interested in cuz most of them are gonna help you. Now take the remaining ideas and get as much info as you can. Like I said, talking to people in the industry and taking what you learned from all this to consider whether you're capable of building this business from both an activity and a cost perspective. It may be something that you can be very good at, but if it's gonna cost a hundred thousand dollars to get it up and running, maybe not a good idea. If you don't have a hundred thousand dollars laying around, then think about how difficult is it gonna be to find a market, find customers? Are there are open mics and marketplaces and agents for comedians, but you're building that business as a ferret artist may be more challenging.

Carly Ries (06:42):

I'm very curious why you're so hung up on this Ferret artist thing and I wanna talk to you about it offline. <laugh>.

Joe Rando (06:48):

I'm not sure it just kind of came up. It seemed kind of crazy, but maybe, I guess it's because the other day I saw a bunch of pictures of ferrets online from people that are passionate about ferrets. So there are ferret aficionados. And if anybody does become a ferret artist, I want a cut. So, is there an established market for what you're thinking? Or are you gonna have to create it? Those are two very different things. Sometimes the idea of being a solopreneur in some kind of a franchise might be a great idea because a lot of that stuff's taken care of for you. Just as an example, becoming a graphic designer has a lot of competition, but there's also a lot of demand for graphic design services. If your passion is training dogs to walk on a tight rope, there won't be a lot of competition, but the market may be pretty thin. You have to think through this carefully as to whether that intersection of supply and demand makes sense. Finally, you make your decision and commit. Now things are gonna get interesting.

Carly Ries (07:51):

Joe, I just love this episode. The more and more we talk about it, the more it reminds me of one of my best friends. She's been in marketing her entire career but she's always been really good at making pies. And so she was like, I don't know if I could turn this into a business. Her kitchen was so tiny. A few years ago she actually named her company Tiny Kitchen Co. But she's decided to leave marketing and she was like, let's see if I can turn this baking passion that I have into a business. Now she's the go-to gal in the area for the holidays. My mouth is watering thinking about it. But she left the marketing world and was like, what can I do? What makes me happy and how can I make money off of it? And she did it. I think about her so much during this because it seemed like the unthinkable coming from a marketing background and she pulled it off.

Joe Rando (08:33):

That's very cool. Wait minute, I'm ordering a pie. One sec.

Carly Ries (08:38):

<laugh>, you'd be in Colorado Springs, so if you're in the car in Colorado Springs, she's tiny kitchen.

Joe Rando (08:41):

Oh, she doesn't, she doesn't ship. Actually the funny thing about that story is I also know someone that had a passion for pies and went out and started a pie restaurant. I don't know, Pie Bakery, opened up in, what I didn't think was a very good location for a retail outlet. And I have a background in retail site selection. It was one of my last business, however, the pies were so good that this place, you can't get in the door. I'm just so impressed with what she's done. The pies have to be amazing because the location is fairly mediocre. So maybe there's something to pies. I don't know Carly, maybe we're in the wrong business here.

Carly Ries (09:23):

Yeah, Joseph, suffice to say pie's the limit. Oh, I had to pull that one.

Joe Rando (09:28):

<laugh>. Whoa. That's a great dad joke. <laugh>.

Carly Ries (09:31):

I know. Maybe we should edit that out, <laugh>. We'll keep it in just to include some corny jokes in here

Joe Rando (09:38):

I'm just stealing it.

Carly Ries (09:39):

Okay, good. Yeah, you're the dad. You can do that <laugh>. But Joe, I think that's it for today. We have another awesome guest coming your way on Monday, and we'll pick up this series again on Thursday where we'll be discussing the next phase of the Solopreneur success cycle defining your product. So be sure to tune in. As always, you can subscribe to the podcast at or anywhere you subscribe to your shows. We'll see you next time. Y.

Closing (10:07):

You may be going solo in business, but that doesn't mean you're alone. In fact, millions of people are in your shoes running a One-Person business and figuring it out as they go. So why not connect with them and learn from each other's successes and failures? Lifestarr has created a One-Person business community where you can go to meet and get advice from other solopreneurs. Be sure to join in on the conversations at