The Micropreneur Manifesto: Cliff Notes Edition

Yesterday was my last post about the tenets of the Micropreneur Manifesto so I thought today I’d give a recap of each of the 16 tenets with links back to each of the full articles. Feel free to jump around and read through at your leisure.

First, a quick reminder that the Micropreneur Manifesto is a free 14-page PDF put together by Rob Walling. It’s worth reading whether you’re a micropreneur or not, and it will only take 10-15 minutes to get through.

Now that we have that, here’s the cliff notes version of my Micropreneuer Manifesto posts:

Tenet #1: It’s Much Harder Than It Looks

Running a startup is very difficult. There are so many things to do, most of which falls on you, that everything literally takes twice as long as you think it will. It’s incredibly rewarding, but much harder to actually do than most people realize.

Tenet #2: There Is Power In Working Alone

Working with other people has obvious benefits, but sometimes they can slow you down in times when you can’t afford to be slowed down. Sometimes you simply can’t beat the productivity of putting your head down and getting stuff done.

Tenet #3: Focus On Your Strengths

Most people are taught that they should be well-rounded individuals, but when it comes to your startup, focusing on what you do best is the way to go. Let someone else do the things you aren’t good at.

Tenet #4: Freelancing Is Dangerous

Taking on contract work for your startup is very tempting, but every hour spent billing a client is an hour not working on your product. The money you can make freelancing is a steep slippery slope that should be avoided if you can at all help it.

Tenet #5: Seek Leverage

Leverage comes in many forms. An ebook, a WordPress theme, an iPhone app, a video tutorial – anything that makes money while you sleep. There is nothing better than waking up to email notifications of sales that came in overnight.

Tenet #6: Stay Away From Moonshot Ideas

You’ll have a better shot at succeeding if you focus on a niche market as that allows you to solve a specific problem for a specific customer. Keep things simple, small, and don’t try to boil the ocean.

Tenet #7: Product Last, Market First

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking if you build it they will come. The world doesn’t work that way. Do your research, figure out how to market your product, *then* start writing code. You’ll have a much better chance for success.

Tenet #8: Charge for Your Product

Don’t be afraid to charge money for your product; it’s probably why you got started in the first place. Do some market research, check how much your competitors charge, and then talk to potential customers to understand what your pricing model is.

Tenet #9: Passion Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be

You don’t have to be passionate about the market you’re building the product for. But what you should be passionate about is the process of how to create something awesome for that market.

Tenet #10: The Pressure of Freedom

Being able to do your own thing brings a freedom many people only dream about, but you have only yourself to blame when things go wrong. Many people thrive under that kind of pressure while others simply aren’t cut out for it.

Tenet #11: Become a Black Belt Internet Marketer

If you sell anything online, it would do you well to become experienced in the world of internet marketing. Things like copywriting, landing pages, calls-to-action, conversion rates, SEO, Google Adwords, keyword targeting, and ecommerce tracking.

Tenet #12: Think Human Automation

The more tasks you can give to someone else, the better. This will allow you to focus on the big ticket items that need your full attention. There’s so much to do in a startup, finding people that can help you will do wonders for your business.

Tenet #13: The More You Do In Public, the Faster Things Will Move

The faster you put something in the public domain, the faster you can get feedback on it. The faster you can get feedback, the faster you can iterate, make adjustments, and continue to deliver an improved product.

Tenet #14: Failure Is An Option

In the startup world, failure is almost a way of life. But each failure is an opportunity to learn something new and to get a little smarter. And that’s the most important thing – embrace failure and learn. Simple as that.

Tenet #15: Live Like a Pauper, Treat Your Business Like a King

Running a startup requires personal sacrifices, and you have to be willing to make them in order to stretch your cash flow as far as possible. If you aren’t willing to make these kinds of sacrifices, then maybe running a startup isn’t for you.

Tenet #16: Reject Growth

Hold off on hiring people as long as possible because it brings a lot of baggage (payroll taxes, health insurance, vacations, etc). Instead, use freelancers that you can scale up and down as needed. Don’t hire people just to hire them.