Fran Canete | The Content Way

Why I’m a solopreneur and I will never work in a corporate job again

I have been a solopreneur for the last 5 years, and without any doubt, they have been the most difficult and challenging years of my professional life. But despite this, I will never go back to work in a 9 to 5 corporate job. I simply love working from home or having the option to work from anywhere really, on my own projects.

Working as an independent professional is a growing trend, sources say that in 2020 40% of America’s workforce will be freelancers. We are experiencing this change right now, and something more important than that, the fusion between freelancers and the internet, the result of which is what I call ‘Solopreneur’. There are plenty of samples of solopreneurs working from home with hundreds of thousands of followers and making more money than most of the top CEOs.

Let me tell you why I believe in this way of doing business and why I think solopreneurs will be the workforce leading industries in the coming years.

I don’t commute to work

This is a simple decision I took a long time ago. I don’t want to spend 1 hour going to work and 1 hour returning every day, 2 hours a day, 10 hours a week, 40 hours a month and 480 hours a year. Yes, this is 20 full days a year. That’s the reality and we don’t realise these hours building up, 20 days a year is a lot of time, ok, I don’t want to be so dramatic but imagine yourself on your deathbed waiting for your last breath and then someone whispers in your ear: Do you want 20 extra days?

Sorry to be such a dramatic solopreneur right now, but sometimes we need a brutally honest point of view to provoke a real change.

My job is to create value, not to keep a chair warm

Let me tell you my personal story about how I decided to become a solopreneur. In my last corporative job, I was a risk analyst in the banking industry. I really enjoyed my job there, but the problem was that I lacked passion or life purpose – it was just a job to get a promotion and earn money from. That was a stereotype 9 to 5 job, coffee breaks, commuting every day, wearing a suit… One day, actually my last day as a worker, my boss called me to have a chat in his office. It was one of those Friday afternoon meetings. Yes, I was being fired.
After a typical bullshit speech to explain why I was being fired there was something I didn’t understand. I get my work done every day, achieve goals like everyone else in the office, so why was I fired?
In that moment I asked one the most important questions of my life, it wasn’t the question per se, but the revelation was the answer.

-I asked – “Please tell me something, what is the real reason for me being fired?”
-My boss after a few seconds of silence replied – “I had a bad report from your Director, she says that you leave the office too early every day”
-I was frustrated with that lie, so I add – “I never go home on time, at least work 1 hour and a half every day and NEVER leave the office without finishing my job, it doesn’t make sense stay more time in the office if my job is done.”
-Finally, my boss replied – “Yes, that’s true. But if you are new on a job you never can leave the office before your boss. Even if your job is done.”

Fair enough, and that was my last corporative job ever. I decided to be a Solopreneur.

I choose my working hours

Are you a morning person? Maybe a night person? Everybody is different in that sense and it is ridiculous to force you to produce your best between 9 to 5. I like to write in the morning my posts, but sometimes I don’t feel inspired enough or I’m busy with other stuff and so I reschedule my time to write my post in the afternoon when I go down to my local coffee shop and drink my cappuccino.

I like to organise my days, this is one of the main reasons I love to be a Solopreneur. Here in England, where I am writing this post, there are not many sunny days, so when I see the sunshine as a Spaniard I simply can’t resist to go out for a little walk.

A solopreneur exchanges results for money, not time for money

Your time is priceless, it is the biggest asset you have and it’s limited, don’t underestimate it. Any successful entrepreneur or solopreneur has exactly the same time each day as you, 24 hours, they do something meaningful because they don’t exchange time for money, they deliver high-value results to be paid for. This is called to work Hollywood-style.

Working for a company the rest of your life is not an intelligent strategy if you want to achieve something else in your professional career. Being a solopreneur I feel free to be part of as many projects as I want and manage my time in the most productive way.

Understanding the new paradigm

Here is the most interesting thing, let me explain to you my Solopreneur vision and the change of paradigm. Some people say that a solopreneur is just a different way to say freelancer, I disagree because I think is much more than that.
A freelancer comes from the offline era, where a lot of people have independent jobs as writers, doctors, architects, therapists and that kind of professionals which already exist as a freelancer. But solopreneur is not here to replace the freelancer figure, it is a new way to work independently, to me it is a freelancer upgrade.
I understand that a solopreneur to be like the minimalist version of an entrepreneur. A solopreneur builds a business from a personal brand, working local and connecting with a global audience, using online resources to generate a massive engagement with people all around the world. To solve a unique problem by delivering high-value solutions (services, consultancy, products, info-products, training, books…) to a tribe (audience).
  • Ashley Faulkes

    Love it Fran, actually wrote a similarly motivated piece myself a while back. Life is so different, so free, so rewarding when you get away from all that corporate BS it has created a new life for me!

    • Thanks Ashley for your comment! I totally agree with your words, once you try the entrepreneur way to do business, in my case the online solopreneur way, everything change an is very difficult go back to a 9-to-5 work. Life is so amazing, we can’t rent it to a corporation!

  • Black Bart

    You are describing me Fran. I worked in corporate sales for years and made my company very rich. Myself? Not so much. One day I said… why am I doing this for people I hardly know who could care less about my family and I. So I went on vacation and never came back. While on vacation I used my talent for sales to generate 3 paying clients. I put up a website, made more sales calls, got a business license, joined the BBB, became an authorized Federal vendor, and now 2 years later I own a company worth 1.1M dollars that I built from zero on a budget of about $1000. We are tracking to double revenue by 2018 and beyond that the future looks very bright.

    I have no commute, I go where I want when I want, deal with zero office politics and if a client cops a difficult attitude then we cut them loose.

    Our service is highly specialized so we don’t have to tolerate abusive or rude clients. There’s always the next one with cash in hand ready to pay.

    Most days I am in my jacuzzi by 3pm. I usually work from 5am to 11am so by the time corporate america is 25% or less into their workday, I am finishing mine.

    I have a friend from high school who is a corporate vice president for a huge commercial real estate firm who thinks I’m homeless because I don’t wear a suit and tie. In fact I own a home, two cars, and have a family. We will probably be acquiring beach property and will definitely own a home in Europe soon.

    Two days ago I closes a deal in my underwear. Literally. In my boxer shorts. It was hilarious.

    I want to add a component to my business…. a coaching component. I found a great deal of happiness and fulfillment in choosing this route. I want others to feel the same happiness. Corporate misery is a national health epidemic.

    Out of the top world economies workers in the US are guaranteed only 10 days off per year by federal law.

    That’s insanity.

    The backwards thinking that got us to where we are is killing us…. physically emotionally and spiritually.

    I know doing what I did is not for everyone… but it is POSSIBLE for everyone which is why I will soon be launching a subscription-based podcast whose purpose is to guide people to asking the right questions in life. Most of us are stuck. We dont know how to move on to our goals. Answers from others don’t help. Why? Because they are other people’s answers and not your own personal answers.

    My podcast, Infinity Programs, will guide people towards the questions they need to answer that will enable them to create their ideal life.

    It’s not about being in a hot tub at 3pm… although that part is sweet. It’s about FULFILLMENT and SATISFACTION.

    you deserve to get what you want and to feel at peace.

    • Frank

      Amazing. I need to start thinking more like both of you 🙂