The rise of one-million-dollar, one-person businesses in the past five years is the biggest trend in employment today, offering the widest range of people the most ways to earn a living while having the lifestyles they want. Forbes.com contributing writer Elaine Pofeldt talks about the solo-entrepreneurial insights in her new book, “The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business: Make Great Money. Work the Way You Like. Have the Life You Want", that outlines the pathways to joining this entrepreneurial movement, synthesizing advice from hundreds of business owners who've done it. 
This Big Blend Radio interview originally aired live on BlogTalkRadio.com on Feb. 7, 2018.
United States


00:00:15all the rides of $1000000 one person businesses in the past 5 years is the biggest Trend and employment today offering the widest range of people the most ways to earn a living while having the lifestyles they want it's exciting just a whole Revolution going on and um I'm excited because it's out on the Forefront Elaine post out knows all about it she's a contributing writer for forbes.com and a contributing Editor to cranes New York business and she's joining us on big twin radios happy hour show to talk about the solo entrepreneurial inside spinner insightful and inspiring new book it's called the million-dollar one person business make great money work the way you like have the lesson for you want I like it is an awesome book I spend a couple nights I just I had to I just ate it up like just reading it and like I said it's very insightful a very practical you walk away from it going whether you or someone looking at getting into business or already in business you're already in business you're going to find tools and tips
00:01:15just a different spot pattern probably and if you're new to add business this is going to get you started and get you thinking on how to do it correctly so anyway the million-dollar one person business is on Amazon but you can go to the website it's the million-dollar one person business.com welcome you and how are you thank you so much for having me on the show I am so happy to be here and speak with you and your audience what we're excited because I think I've always in your book some of the engineer that you interviewed with you you've got over 40 on to the nearest inside the book and it was so great to have their inside for us like we always think of other people like I asked you know and then if you need to work on some of your contract out or you know someone else's got hay Vive virtual assistant business and you know you seem to it we seem to work better that way and but we all kind of feel like
00:02:15isolated way it doesn't seem like it's I know you right about this a lot and I'm excited that you do I think you're the only person I know that actually is really focusing on solar Premier businesses do you think it's kind of an untapped the subject media focus on scalable entrepreneur a small business just get ignored and in fact they're almost told that they're doing the wrong thing by remaining a one-person business when is the things that it's worth noting is the US Census Bureau keeps track of one person businesses are Partnerships with put them under one roof
00:03:15when your business is your business is by the owners only so they don't have any other W-2 employees and they just considered a group what do it really excited me when I came across it in my reporting was the growth of high Revenue non-employer 400 in 2015 it was 35584 non employee referral so businesses like yours and Nancy's side or solo entrepreneurs in 1 million to 2.49 million in annual revenue and that number is up
00:03:58since 2011 by 33% wow low-cost technology that anyone can use to build a strong presence no matter how small their business is and it has never had this power in our hands as one person businesses in Partnerships before you talk about running a lean business I think about him every bunch of Butner that you interviewed in your book talks about running Alene business and it's like working smart not hard of course there's those moments we know about those you know 48 Hours of sleeping in the meeting
00:04:58Woody's look at these kind of businesses that I wonder if it's because people are able to work from home and able to do the site they're able to if they're going to open a business even while they're working have that side business it has to be something that they can manage both sings without losing family time and and things like that
00:05:22because I think you're right that people really value their lifestyle today I think we went through the ages of the 80 hours a week can be accompanied person but I think that has lost its luster and people realize we have one go round on Earth and we have only so much time you don't know how much time it is not to be morbid but we want to enjoy it and want to spend it with the people that we see people singing or what I'm taking a stand in favor of protecting my personal time but I still need to make a good living relative to people's income is gotten higher than in the past of people have this reality they can't just quit and go live in New York somewhere they have to make a living
00:06:22and because it for the people in my life how do I do this and still be a volunteer in my community how do I do this and engage in like in from mountain biking or music or volunteering because of all these tools they're able to start a business on the side or as their full-time gig at a very low cost
00:06:47oh yeah I mean that just the fact that you don't have to have the building it has just for your business or we've done all sorts we've had office space that cost us and yeah it brought us nothing but distractions okay we thought that was a business thing to do about get a building and sit in there and do your work and then we had people walk in and we're like why we having people walk in did we don't have that kind in chatting we were in a little small mountain town and people come in look around just to see who are you guys and what are you do here drink coffee have a little chat with your buddies and leave and we would sit there like I just lost an hour you know it and then hours of an hour's valuable to us
00:07:46people don't necessarily need to come into your business to work with you successfully think about all the video chat program against breaking bread with clients are having a cup of coffee and I really enjoy that personally I think sometimes when you're in a connecting person but it doesn't have to be in the store front unless you're running store or Alexa Running a Restaurant until I think that's very freeing for people and it does bring you from the responsibilities of being a building owner like talking to the guy or gal who does your Landscaping about acting Reno dealing with the HVAC system or whatever it maybe those things are a distraction when you're running a very lean business
00:08:43I think this is going to I mean it's it's a revolutionary movement happening but I think it's going to change
00:08:53systems that are there these it's like going from Dirty coal to clean energy do you need to drive everywhere you know how many how much commuting people do that is need to talk about wasted hours and irritation with that and you know the position of it. Just saying you know there's these things these old school ways of working versus hey you could do you know I'd I have clients that if you know taking their walk-in closet and made it into an office you know there and people that I know that are you know one person businesses they don't care that they're working off their kitchen table they're pretty proud about it actually back Wednesday. You know this is what I'm going to do when they made that commitment to what they're going to do there is this this deck charge like a rhino forward mentality but I think it's going to change things and hopefully help in some of the places where we almost get penalized and it's like
00:09:53health insurance you know it's Insurance even for now was even there's insurance issues on where we used to be able to write things off for working from home now they're kind of looking at it differently so I think in a way that the more of us out there the better programs we can have ordered open the door to other I think you're right that degree and very stinky otic supported by one person businesses I support other ones and I think community and eat we haven't noticed before but I think we're starting to be noticed because of the critical math predictions more than 40% of the some type of contingent work now from various sources and is going to come a point where there are so many people doing contingent work that it will be impossible to
00:10:52a big pain point out there again should Healthcare Healthcare in New Jersey and I don't know what the prices are in the premium running their business is it it's just it's too big a benchmark for a lot of people to Bear the first year in business and even Affordable Care Act I think that did give people have security of knowing that they could get some insurance a lot of people to pay out-of-pocket
00:11:52getting treated and then it shouldn't be that way but I think because of the invisibility of the whole freelance economy to politicians it's been ignored somewhat but I think eventually this is going to be enough of us that that it would be impossible to ignore people and and will be treated as best as equal members of society really right there because for instance should somebody who
00:12:34he's into the system but their contract job that pays most of their incomes rise of why don't they get unemployment but their Neighbor Next Door in the W2 job and work the same it just seems like there's an inequality there and it's more people are in that situation being a contractor either by choice or because that's the direction employers are going to be fixed because you're going to have too many people who are vulnerable to complete economic instability and I've been in business 10 years myself my husband and I have 4 children and for most of the time though their own safety 9 and have eyes safety net that covers Insurance it has to be a safety
00:13:34it has to cover the fact that work can dry up Suddenly and you can't eat it you can work above capacity to give yourself Insurance a hundred hours a week to give yourself that insurance so how do you build that you have to earn more
00:13:57yeah I think that you're right there but I think that the more that artificial intelligence takes over and robots take over more jobs I think you're going to see more and more people end up running their own businesses just out of what else are they going to do you know and when when that starts shifting more and more in the future I think you'll have a bigger base of entrepreneurs dad are going to be saying to the government hey wait a minute when we lived in again this more mountain town but there was a lot of wildfires for a period of time and a lot of people lost their homes and and they were our clients and we all lost income and it was really interesting that the store owner could go and get money from the government but we couldn't we weren't even considered a business
00:14:52that was his cross the board well where's your storefront soon so if you didn't have a restaurant hotel with storefront you were automatically not a business and that made us angry and it was really interesting how that worked you weren't even part of a group you were just nothing you know and I think that that will change because as like the more automated Society gets more people can end up doing for work the only way to move forward in life I believe is to have your own responsibilities like to really that that is your safety net if you cannot rely on anybody else but yourself and you can you have more creative control and I'm in your book you talk about the individuals that do this there's like a different wiring system
00:15:52play some people that were completely self but they didn't have any special credentials but they learn to look at their business differently and that was what gave them some economic security some of the things that they did we were talking about all to me they are very good students of automation so they would look at how they could free up time for the Hyatt value activities of their business like a marketing strategy you're going out and meeting with their biggest client coming up with a new product in their R&D instead of sitting there in manually entering into their QuickBooks inhale schedule with your clients are other people you make appointment with and they just go to a link and pick a time that works for them instead of emailing back and forth
00:16:52using my schedule the app I use schedule 1 some people use Talent leader number of items like that there are apps to track your mileage when you think about how much I'm in the car and you're supposed to write down your auto mileage so that you can deduct that on your taxes if you forget to do it and then you don't have to enter it it's a waste of time like I finally added something called everland to my phone and it just automatically have to pay a little bit for the maybe I might spend about for $500 a year old told and all the different ones that I use but
00:17:49can you think about what you're tired as worse as the CEO of your own business if you're still the CEO would I suggest to every one person business or partnership is it if every person in the business ethical or freeing up 7 hours a week by finding enough to ask to free that up I think about the little time wasters that you hate doing try to find an app for all of them if that's the distance on the business you could spend it on working on your evolving business plan you could be experimenting with new types of marketing that might be valuable you could be getting Financial advice from your account and I had to run the business better and be more profitable to so many better things you can do with your time
00:18:49which takes a certain amount of cash flow Beyond you know the for $500 in The Next Step would be looking at contractors so we probably all have certain things that it's best that we don't do our cells don't like to do it it's hard for entrepreneurs to think that way cuz we all or do it yourself or the specially in the small and Scrappy business it's like oh gosh that's an extra expense how do I pay a bookkeeper year yeah if you're running a very small business but you have your book accurate at all times to know what your financial position is at all time
00:19:49not good at doing it and you put it off so that can be very valuable if you just pick one thing this year that you're going to Outsource or maybe get a virtual assistant for 2 hours a week just to do the meaning of tedious things in your business that you don't want to do it at their very specialized virtual assistant should I can even be if you have an e-commerce maintaining shopping cart advertising so I would say look for one thing like that or maybe more than one if the business is starting to really pick up steam you can look for more than one number of the entrepreneurs in the book where Outsourcing
00:20:493.5 to 4 million dollar Revenue business that he runs from his garage is Harry that's what he said corporate clients and others and will help him with a company called I promote you that does back office for his type of business cuz they're actually quite a few
00:21:17company and another another person in the book and use that approach with Chris cat again and you think okay a franchise and I love to do things exactly how you I'm in a tablespoon to break 1 million in a one-person franchise and then he like the same type of thing in addition to his franchise so I would ask around in your industry and headache of running a Warehouse Sacramento
00:22:17yeah it's and it's a trusted Source I know there's so fast and if people have a choice of buy through Amazon or bye to someone I never heard of guess who with put Amazon you know like when you know we put your interview and our magazine is going to link to Amazon because people are there and do it because that is there are so good at marketing you know we kind of spontaneous that's his son game and we've done a number of interviews with me at the board game and became an Amazon bestseller huge games over the years and he started off you know it I mean young guy going out and I'm going to do this game and he has that mean he took out a loan for a quarter of a million things went through a medical issue where he had a tumor on his brain I mean everything everything and I mean it's like
00:23:17it's like a tough story of like really going for him in yet and I mean at one point because he needed to pay his loan he was Basin Austin he got on a pedicab and started bike cycling people around Austin you know for money and and of course he puts pontoon is on the side and I can talk about him cuz we've done a lot of in-depth interviews about how he's done this and eventually just so you know he had a pop-up shops in Mom's he did all this stuff and he realized he was just selling one by one by one and he turned around and let Amazon handle all of it and he said you still have to nag there's still some issues there but he doesn't have to send him out personally and he I mean he's worked it in for 8 years now he is number one and it's just allowing Amazon and I think that is a hard I think it's easier if you're going into business
00:24:13Now versus like even when Nancy you and I started the magazine in this country even in the past when you in South Africa with the magazine it's you as a business owner sometimes become very Hands-On and that is a huge lesson of Letting Go and having all these tools you have to switch old school thought patterns off to let these automated tools happen I've noticed the reading your book helped me make some decisions on automation at some things we've automated some things you know we've worked with people contract it out but there were certain things I was like no no no and then I was like what these people are making a lot of money let's try it and it didn't work when you feel like you have to pay for the services you think all I can really do it myself Mike office will be a little bit higher but there's a question trying to do all that in that you wear yourself down and you're not
00:25:13can your business creativity twist things that will really help you grow not only revenues but prophets and I think you have to let go a little bit and some sort of things to people that didn't deliver and it's disappointing and it's frustrating and stressful but you have to say you know what that can happen in life things always work out exactly what you do is cut your losses early when you start feeling like something isn't working out and pull the plug early as what I've learned don't let it drag on and on for months to realize the person didn't deliver okay they're human the fallible you don't know all the things that are going on but move on and it and try it again because a lot of things can be done in an automated so there isn't Evolution for people want one of the entrepreneurs in the book
00:26:06I'm not for you he was in Novi Michigan he is at a video game lover and he started at a very young age up with an idea where he would buy up the remainder games at different big box stores when they should have went out of state and he would sell them online and he wound up he had his own Warehouse etcetera and he buying at these games it's a business group and instead of running it in efficiently forever he said you know I got them from and that would require him to change his business model but the business has continued to grow very quickly because he was willing to course correctly realize like I don't want to spend 12 hours a day
00:27:06this is not productive and
00:27:18awesome and it's inspiring say this and you're running a million-dollar business you're not taking cold when million the way you in the highest tax bracket and eat if you have inventory your expenses might be pretty substantial so I would say a lot of the businesses are bringing in profits in the Revolutionary treated 400,000 still well above with a median USM is it gives you the answer to that protected from until we invest in the business
00:28:18new things or try a new product or service it's too hard you know it's you're also looking at the fact that you're in control of your life complete as much as you can be in Indiana the law of the world do you know boring Murphy's law that it likes to poke his head around but I always find those things that if something goes wrong it leads to something learning something there's always a lesson in that we call it school fees yeah sometimes it's a financial loss or it's you know something we really thought something was going to work and then the world said no but you learn from it so it's it's part of the package but it's something you have the ability to change and rectify and move forward with if you open open up to the lesson and sometimes the lesson comes years later that's okay too
00:29:18is that you had inside the book all the entrepreneurs if they found what their passion was that they were interested in even if it was you know how they affect to be effective with your time management the four hour work day so that there are things that people may not have thought that they were really interested in as a kid going hey I want to be at you know it's solopreneur and I'm going to sell it on time management products you know you don't think that but throughout life you'll start to find either a hole and in some kind of product or service that isn't yours something that's not working well that you see fit to fix and be the solution to or there's something you really passionate about and I think that's what keeps the entrepreneur system slowing is that passion what is the most interesting conversations I have for the book with David fairly a business broker and he was just making me laugh by telling me about all the different types of Internet stores
00:30:18little niche business is could be quite lucrative and Not only was like I did this with the list that he gave me origami material that's not too decorative mailbox swag pepper spray and fireplace screen the gumball business sleep mask small Mountain have any of the small mountain town in the community of people who are obsessed with gumballs right
00:31:18and if you can figure out if we're selling informational product that they might have webinars they might have an ebook that they created they might have all kinds of informational product that they sell to people all over the world that are interested in it until the other thing is you might not need that many people so what is the things I found with with Professional Services firms very hard to get to know your hours for hourly workers mindset does not work because it is hard to charge enough per hour but if you really really good at something
00:32:16and you're one of the only people that can do it you can actually I could try the very high hourly rate or at very high gave me to the king and he said he's a freelance economy by the way he said that he's seeing is very high level programmer charge $1,000 an hour if you are special I be put in the time it doesn't he has had gone to grad school leaving you might just be really good at something you may be able to try and screw their revenues by x amount until that's why I charge $25,000 per day of my time and if you are
00:33:16$25,000 will it take to the millions of dollars they added in revenue or profit is a drop in the bucket it might be a bargain really if you truly excel in what you do think about a creative pricing model because that's another way where you're not working crazy hours but you're getting paid based on the values that you provide
00:34:03okay Elaine if you could spend happy hour with one person who would it be where are you going to spend happy hour what are you going to drink and what are going to talk about
00:34:12wow well I love literature that's my escape from work
00:34:19love to sit down at happy hour with Amos I love the way his mind works he's a genius at writing and nonfiction and I would just love to ask him about the thinking behind his book and what his next work will be going to be a lot of fun I have never been to Paris so I have to pick a cafe in Paris great information for everybody I looking at starting or if you're in a business now it's just a tree that change your mindset thing that I think is so interesting and how to have that lean business and just said you know using the lean business model and creativity I was just two main lessons that I learned from your book everyone again it's a by Elaine Pope felt and it is the million-dollar one
00:35:19person business make great money work the way you like have the life you want to have corsets on Amazon because Amazon is the book place website because it's still see some of the entrepreneurs featured in the book on her website and got a nice video on there and I yeah it's it's go on the website at the million-dollar one person business.com thank you so much Elaine it's been truly a pleasure thank you for everyone needs to go get it it's like it is really it's week all these books by both self everyone go get it thank you so much and thank you so much bye bye thank you

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