The landscape of business is changing. With the rise of social media and the internet, traditional models of large companies with many employees are being disrupted by a new way – the one person business.
In this post, I'll break down everything you need to know about starting and running a successful one person business model, from mindset to execution.
The one person business appeals to those who value autonomy, flexibility, and leveraging technology to build a lifestyle they enjoy. It centers around creating an audience online through social platforms, selling digital products/services, and having most operations managed through software.
I've built my own one person business over the past few years. In this post, I'll share the mindset, benefits, strategies, and key pillars I've learned along the way.
Whether you want to start completely from scratch or transition from a regular job, the one person model can create time and location freedom while making an impact sharing your interests and skills.
One Person Business Mindset
Before we get into the tactical side, adopting the right mindset is key. Here are a few mindset principles for thriving with the one person model:
- Focus on working less to produce higher quality work. The goal isn't to hustle yourself into the ground. Streamline your workflow to maximize output in less time.
- Strive to earn more over time doing work you genuinely enjoy. Don't get stuck in the cycle of chasing money in ways that drain you. Find work aligned with your interests that also generates good income.
- Understand success often requires counterintuitive solutions. Building an automated, streamlined business as one person goes against most common advice. But it works with the right systems.
- Take personal responsibility for designing the lifestyle you want. Don't expect it to just happen passively. You have to intentionally build it.
The core mindset is believing you have control over creating the life and business you want through smart systems. It won't be easy, but adopting this mindset early on creates the foundation.
Why the One Person Model Works
Beyond mindset, there are strategic reasons the one person business can thrive:
- Leverage social media's billions of users to build an audience and community. This gives you built-in potential customers.
- Use low/no code tools to manage operations efficiently as one person. You don't need a big team to run things.
- Create highly profitable digital products with 100% profit margins after creation. This maximizes income potential.
- Have full control and flexibility over your work and schedule. Want to take 3 months off? You can with the right systems.
- Impact the world in your own way sharing your unique skills and interests. Personal fulfillment and purpose matter.
Basically, you get the income and lifestyle benefits of business ownership without taking on a ton of overhead or giving up flexibility.
Getting Started from Scratch
Don't have a lot of skills or experience yet? Here are two paths to launching a one person business:
- Skill-based: Choose an in-demand, marketable skill like copywriting, web design, SEO, etc. Learn it, sell services, create courses around it.
- Development-based: Share your own self-improvement journey around health, wealth, relationships, happiness. Document the process and create helpful resources.
Either way, pick interests you actually enjoy learning about, not just whatever makes the most money. Share your own journey helping others have similar breakthroughs and results.
We'll dig into both models more later on. They represent different starting places but work together well.
Overcoming Limiting Beliefs
When embarking on the one person path, you may encounter some common limiting beliefs:
- "I don't have any valuable experience" - Not true. Think about advice you'd give friends. Share your perspective. You know more than you realize.
- "My life is too boring" - It's only boring if you make it that way! Interest is generated by passion. Share what excites you.
- "I need an audience already" - Not at all. Use social media to build it over time. Document your journey publicly.
- "I can't compete or innovate" - Small niche businesses flourish in the long tail of the internet. You don't have to "disrupt" an entire industry.
The truth is you have time to develop skills, interests, and experience. Maintaining perspective and patience while putting yourself out there is key.
Which path above resonates most? Brainstorm ideas in each area. Growth takes time, but you have to start somewhere.
The Four Pillars of a One Person Business
While standard business advice doesn't always apply directly, the one person model has its own pillars that matter:
Branding = Your goals. What outcome do you want to achieve? Get specific on your vision.
Content = Roadblocks to your goals. Share your own lessons and knowledge helping others.
Offerings = Systems to overcome roadblocks. Create products or services that solve problems.
Marketing = Benefits of your approach. Craft compelling messaging explaining the transformation.
So in a nutshell: share your own process pursuing goals, create resources to help others do the same more easily, promote the benefits of your solution.
This model centers around creating the life you want using skills and interests you already have. Then teach your process to help others.
Choosing Your Niche and Offerings
To sustain a one person business long-term, avoid narrow niches and overspecialization. These burnout risks:
- Getting bored and losing interest as your skills plateau
- Skills and offerings becoming outdated as industries evolve
- Too much competition in small niches drives prices down
Instead, start broad and evolve over time. Be a versatile generalist able to adapt. Some examples:
- Life/self improvement coach
- Health and nutrition consultant
- Freelance writer across industries
- Business startup strategist
Stay nimble to the changing landscape. Offer a range of services that interest you while meeting client needs.
You can start monetizing immediately too through:
- Freelance services based on your skills
- Paid consulting calls to share your knowledge
- Memberships and courses once you systemize advice
Don't wait years to start making income. Get your first offers out fast, get client feedback, and improve.
Running a Lean Online Business
While a one person business is simple conceptually, it requires some key optimizations:
- Automate tasks like posting on social media through low/no code tools
- Block time for focused strategic work; schedule less taxing tasks during low energy times
- Stretch work across week intentionally; theme days around your strengths
- Batch produce evergreen content like articles and videos to remain consistent
- Use AI tools like Jarvis for writing drafts and other assistance
Think of yourself as a creative director overseeing programs rather than doing tasks directly. Maximizing your highest leverage activities through intentional systems is crucial.
Set ambitious yet realistic goals around income and impact. But design the lifestyle first - how exactly do you want each day and week to feel? Then build systems that enable it.
This doesn't mean you'll never do mundane work. But you want to minimize it as much as possible through smart tools and processes.
Be Strategic With Social Media
While algorithms change constantly, social media remains crucial for one person businesses to find an audience. Some tips:
- Consistency matters most. Post valuable content regularly, don't get distracted by platform changes.
- Diversify across 2-3 platforms, but focus your efforts on producing great work vs. spreading yourself thin.
- Engage thoughtfully with your community and don't get hung up on vanity metrics like follower counts.
- Use hashtags and keywords to get found by interested people organically searching.
Social platforms want to recommend content people actually engage with. So provide tangible value, foster community, and let algorithms share it rather than trying to "hack" them.
Document your journey, successes, failures, and lessons learned publicly. Share what you wish you knew earlier. Help others skip years of struggle.
Next Level: Building a Team
A common next step is building a small team to assist with creative and technical work:
- Start with a VA for scheduling, customer service, and administrative tasks
- Add a content producer to help with graphics, videos, editing, etc.
- Expand to a freelance developer to build custom platforms and apps
Outsourcing specialized skills allows you to focus on the big picture and high-level work only you can do. This keeps the business lean and flexible while scaling impact.
Funding overhead like team members comes from packaging knowledge into premium offers. Turn free advice into high-value programs and coaching.
Creating impacts at scale often requires support. But be cautious taking on too many expenses early in your journey. Wait until revenue is consistent.
The Evolution Process
Part of sustaining growth and satisfaction long-term is continuing to evolve:
- Don't get complacent or keep selling the same simple offers forever
- Progress from generalist to specialist as you build deeper expertise over time
- Let your offerings change as your skills and interests do
- Keep providing extreme value to your audience even as you expand
Committing to lifelong learning prevents stagnation. You can pivot your business many times as long as you continue helping people.
Enjoy the process of refining your skills and pursuing goals. Share lessons along the way. Business longevity requires flexibility and continuous education.
Should You Start a One Person Business?
To summarize, ask yourself:
- Do you crave autonomy and disdain traditional office jobs?
- Are you willing to self-educate and master diverse skills over time?
- Do you want location and schedule flexibility?
- Are you passionate about impacting lives sharing your interests?
- Are you responsible, self-motivated, and enjoy learning new skills?
If you answered yes, the one person model may align beautifully. It allows you to live life on your own terms using online tools to run a global business from anywhere.
But it requires extreme proactivity, personal responsibility, and comfort constantly learning. Financial results require consistent effort and genuine problem solving for real people.
While not a get-rich-quick scheme, the one person business can produce an extraordinary lifestyle and impact when executed thoughtfully over time.
Does this model resonate with you? Which area excites you most right now - the lifestyle benefits or potential to help others? Share your thoughts below or connect with me directly if you want to chat more!