I was utterly disgusted. The last truck wasn’t heading home until 1 AM. This meant I would be sitting around, twiddling my thumbs, for some 3 hours after the usual 10 PM close time. I’d had it with my security guard job. I enjoyed working at the terminal for a few months because it was easy but after 4 years of doing unfulfilled work I wanted to crash my car on the way home, just to collect disability for a few months.I had 5 vacation days. A year. (European readers, you can have your heart attacks now) I made a few bucks, and worked in a stress free environment but felt something was missing. I knew this wasn’t the life for me. – Explains Ryan Biddulph, a fired New Jersey security guard with $50K in debt turned island hopping successful solopreneur.
This is a guest contribution by Ryan Bidduplh, opinions his own.
The Pink Slip Leading to a Solopreneur Career
They fired my booty. My employer did me the greatest favor, ever. I should send them flowers on the anniversary of my fire date, every year.
After being downsized a few months after this soul searching night at the docks I saw the beauty in my situation; I could start out fresh! I was free. My future wife Kelli noted that you could actually make money online. I had no clue. I knew how to check espn.com and my email. No other internet skills here.
That was the day my solopreneur career was hatched. Per usual for us solo’s, one door closed, I received an intuitive nudge, and another door opened.
I learned 6 infinitely powerful lessons during my solopreneur career. I want to share these critical experiences with you to help you grow like a solopreneur weed. If I could go from struggling, then fired, employee, to traveling the world for 4 years and running you can too. I believe in you.
I went from depressed security guard to full time income earning, island hopping solopreneur, living in places like Fiji, Bali, Costa Rica, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Malaysia for months on end by learning these 6 critical lessons.
You Must Let Go Your Old Way of Living
I experienced a painful transition. Sure I was as excited to be a solopreneur as a kid opening their cherished Christmas presents but someone died too. I was in mourning. I had to *stop* being a broke security guard to *become* an inspired, prospering solopreneur. I clung to my old story. It felt comfortable. Unfortunately, nobody who sees themselves as a broke security guard can build a thriving blogging business and eBook empire from paradise, because…..
you can’t outrun your self image.
I eventually – through devout personal development and through diving into freeing and uncomfortable situations – left my old definition of me, my old way of living, behind. I saw myself as a thriving, prospering, globe trotting author and blogger, in my mind. Holding such a vision inspired me to meet the right folks and move into the right actions to build my dream. Here are a couple of inspirational books that every solopreneur should read that helped me develop the right mindset to build up my online business, and leave the past behind.
Solopreneurs, let go the old you to become the new you. Let go any dependent, fear-filled self images. You’re a business builder now. You have made the choice to be free. Be *all in*. Work on your mindset. Spend serious time in personal development to let go the old job, the old profession and the old way of living to become an empowered, successful solopreneur.
Positively Positive is my favorite resource for letting go my old, limited self image, to create a new, inspired self image. Bali blogging, or Fiji blogging, takes some mental homework you know. Read these posts, and soak them up…
Find Influential Role Models to Mimic
I try to model my life on the lives of successful business owners. Look for inspiration and curate your influences to your audience at the outset. You will build your credibility by association. Then, put your own spin on it so that you always come across unique.
I am no copy-writing guru myslef (hehehehe) but I try to mimic guys like Gary Vaynerchuk and Chris Brogan every day. Each dude built a wildly successful business from a bootstrapping, solopreneur-type setting. I figured that if I wanted to become a successful solopreneur, and since I left the broke ass security guard days behind, I had to mimic inspired solopreneurs to become a prospering solopreneur. It was the best decision I made when I was getting started.
I was conditioned to think that business owners were ruthless, dishonest, manipulative types. Gary and Chris taught me to become a heart centered guy instead. Heart centered solopreneurs do a fine job freeing both themselves and their ideal customers.
I envisioned myself breaking free from employee-mindset bondage after watching this dynamic duo speak or write. Each man is a hero of mine; Chris Brogan graciously endorsed my Blogging from Paradise eBooks after I bribed him (joking) and Gary Vaynerchuk grew up right next door to my New Jersey home town.
Think of it this way; picking a few successful influencers puts you in the proper environment to become a killer solopreneur. I was surrounded by folks who frowned on entrepreneurship; I needed to find advocates. Enter the influencers.
Get to know both Chris and Gary Vaynerchuk here. Their collective energy is infectious!
The Transformation: Your Reason Why
I don’t care how motivated you feel that you are; unless you choose an overpowering reason why you want to be a solopreneur you’ll flop like a fish. You’ll be dead in the water.
I remember the day after I was fired from my pier guard job. I hadn’t taken a week long vacation in over 20 years. I wanted to be free. That was my reason why. That drove me through all of the uncomfortable situations, the reasons why I would turn back, terrified, like a dog with its tail between its legs. I wanted to be a solopreneur to be free of:
- the 9-5 rat race
- financial limits (no ceiling to my earnings aka, unlimited income)
- working in 1 set place (I wanted to be free to work from exotic destinations)
I did not blog and publish eBooks from Fiji for 4 months by choosing a weak driver. Making money wouldn’t cut it. I needed to identify something epic, something inspired, and for me that meant I was being a solopreneur to free me and to free you.
If enough people could see that a depressed, broke, fired security guard could become a prospering blogger and author than I knew that I’d be able to free a whole slew of aspiring solopreneurs. Here I am. Blogging and eBook Publishing from Paradise. I am freeing you because I picked a driver that inspired me to blast through uncomfortable, terrifying, anxiety-inducing situations, like:
- trashing 3400 posts from my old blog to create Blogging from Paradise
- publishing my first Blogging from Paradise eBook
- letting go the 9-5 job, my apartment and my car to create this freeing life
Tony Robbins is the ultimate resource when it comes to finding your why. He’s the Why Guy. He’s inspired me to dig deeper to find an all powerful, freeing intent so I could supercharge my driver. 1 of his videos in particular inspired me through some lean times. He interviewed Frank Kern and John Reese, 2 ultra successful internet marketers who have made a killing online. This is maybe my favorite video of all time and an invaluable resource for up and coming solopreneurs. I’ve watched it 20 times over my online career.
Solopreneurs are “solo” preneurs. Individuals who run their businesses solo. You DO receive help along the way through a multitude of channels but when it comes to branding you need to brand you to become memorable. I learned this lesson the hard way.
My old blog branded about 20 different business opportunities during the course of the blog’s not so illustrious career. Worse yet, I rarely branded me. After getting hellishly clear on my solopreneur direction I trashed this old blog and created a new, branded blog detailing how I retired to a life of island hopping through smart blogging.
My travel stories and blogging tips are pure gold because nobody in human history can tell ’em like I can. Ditto, for you, you solopreneur you. If you pay a visit to my blog, it absolutely screams ME! From the selfies, to the Blogging from Paradise eBooks on Amazon, to my services, to my travel stories, to my travel tips, I’ve accelerated my online growth at an exponential rate by branding me.
Brand you. Tell your solopreneur story. Create and sell your own products (more on that later.) Do a top down analysis of your blog. Is everything aligned with your brand? Does your blog scream you? It better, if you want to stand out from the solopreneur crowd.
Resource time. Review my blog. I patiently thought through each element to brand myself effectively. Note how everything on my blog points toward me retiring to a life of island hopping through smart blogging.
Spend Some Money to Make Money
Even though I paid for a domain and hosting I clung to my Blogger blog. Big mistake. Part of being a solopreneur is spending a bit of money to make money. Like, I had to spend about $150 each year to stand out from the crowd by buying a domain and hosting.
The investment is minimal when you check out the benefits of running your owned, branded blog, on a platform such as WordPress.org.
Solopreneurs need that edge. That little bit extra to leverage their presence. Spend a few dollars to get that edge. See the big picture. Don’t pinch pennies to fit in, and to be mediocre. Invest in your uniqueness.
I use Krystal Hosting for my domain and hosting needs.
Create Your Own Product and/or Service
My eBooks help me to leverage the stuffing out of my solopreneur campaign. I can only be in one place at a time but my eBooks:
- can be in hundreds of places at once
- establish my authority
- leverage my time
- provide me with a steady passive income stream
Create and publish eBooks on Amazon. Leverage the Google of digital products to tap into a massive, hungry global audience. Consider becoming a freelancer in your solopreneurial field of choice but of course, follow your passion. I am a freelance writer and blogging coach, along with selling my eBooks. Sell your services first, develop your product second. Only teach the things you tested on your own skin first.
Yaro Starak is a brilliant blogger who I count as a mentor. He can teach you how to create a successful product or service to live the solopreneur laptop lifestyle here:
I hope to have inspired you aspiring solopreneurs of the world. You can do this. If I can do it, with zero business building and networking skills, and some pretty wickedly negative mental programming as a newbie solopreneur, anybody can do it.
What lessons can you add to this list?
How have you become a prospering solopreneur?