I’m not a salesperson, nor can I stand people who are. I can sniff a sales guy coming from a mile away, and I loathe them with all my being. Of course, the irony in this is that I’m trying to sell something all the time, which does in fact make me a salesman, albeit not in the traditional sense. And this is what Tenet #11 of the Micropreneur Manifesto is about: Become a Black Belt Internet Marketer.
Many people dream of being their own boss. They’re tired of taking orders from someone else, or they want to make all the decisions, or maybe it’s just a lifelong goal. For me, I’ve always liked doing my own thing because I enjoy being able to say “no” whenever I want. That’s a pretty powerful thing, and leads us to Tenet #10 of the Micropreneur Manifesto: The Pressure of Freedom.
I’ve always felt that if you’re not passionate about whatever it is you’re doing, then stop. Do something that you *are* passionate about because I believe it ultimately makes you happier. Being passionate about what you do is critical in the startup world, but it might not be what you think, which is what Tenet #9 of the Micropreneur Manifesto is about: Passion Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be.
A lot of companies are launched as a free service in hopes of attracting 10s of millions of users, thinking they’ll figure out how to make money later. These are the Twitters, Instagrams, and Pinterests of the world, but those are the exceptions that grab all the attention. Everyone else is better off following Tenet #8 of the Micropreneur Manifesto: Charge for Your Product.
I love Field of Dreams. There’s a romanticism about baseball between a father and son that gets to me, and every time the movie is on TV I have to watch it. But in the startup world, the phrase “Build it and he will come” does not apply. And that’s what Tenet #7 of the Micropreneur Manifesto is all about: Product Last, Market First.
When you’re a startup, sometimes it’s hard to not pay attention to the headlines on TechCrunch. It’s all about venture capital, seed rounds, angel investors, valuations, and the next big thing. But most likely, that’s not you. You’re much smaller, don’t have a Board of Directors, and haven’t raised $50M in funding. And that’s what Tenet #6 of the Micropreneur Manifesto is about: Stay Away From Moonshot Ideas.
As a startup, you most likely got started because you wanted to sell a product. You got an idea, developed it, and put it on the market in hopes of attracting customers. The product you’re trying to sell is what will make you money while you sleep, and that’s what Tenet #5 of the Micropreneur Manifesto is all about: Seek Leverage.
Back in 2005, I went out on my own as an independent consultant. Growing more and more frustrated with the big corporate world, I was anxious to finally break away, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made for my career. I spent a few years doing it, but there’s one problem with consulting: you can’t make money while you sleep. And that brings us to Tenet #4 of the Micropreneur Manifesto: Freelancing Is Dangerous.
At an early age we’re taught that we should be well-rounded individuals. It continues when you head off to college because they force you to take a bunch of meaningless courses that have nothing to do with that you really want to know. Tell me again why I’m taking Classic Literature 101 for my Computer Science degree? How does Homer’s Odyssey help me build a web app? It doesn’t. With that in mind, today we talk about Tenet #3 of the Micropreneur Manifesto: Focus On Your Strengths.
Working by yourself has its advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, with nobody else to distract you, you can be incredibly productive and you get to make all the decisions. On the other hand, there’s no one else around to get a second opinion on something or to keep your wild ideas in check. And that brings us to Tenet #2 of the Micropreneur Manifesto: There Is Power In Working Alone.