This one goes out to all my solopreneurs out there (especially the home-based ones). I know, it’s not a real word, and in a couple years (or weeks) people will look down on me for using a made up buzz word like this, but I still like it.
Do you ever feel like you’re not a real business? I read a lot of articles on business, especially business tech and software. So much of it doesn’t apply to me, which always makes me feel out of the loop. It doesn’t help that I’m also home-based, and that I have a relatively small client base. With the nature of my work, I just won’t ever have 100 customers to keep track of. If I change my focus, that could change, but as it stands, I don’t run into the same issues a lot of businesses do.
More often than not, it’s a good thing. I don’t have to worry about firing people. I don’t have to play office politics. I never get stuck in a boring meeting with my chatty boss. All good things to avoid. Despite all that, I have to admit I have some big business envy.
I’m a tech geek by nature. I love new gadgets, love signing up for Betas, and love reading about the next big thing. The problem is…I don’t need 95% of what’s coming out.
Here are some examples.
1. Anything 37Signals produces.
Apparently products like Basecamp and Campfire are really great. They’ve taken really expensive corporate software, and turned it into affordable cloud-based services. It turns out that all a solo bookkeeper needs to manage projects and collaborate with team members is a pen, a notebook, and a mirror.
2. 95% of the functionality of any Office Suite ever made.
I don’t think I could even tell you how to keep track of revision changes in a Word document. I’ve never needed to collaborate on any document with someone else. At best, I email a report to a client, and they reply back with “Thanks” or “What the heck does this mean?”. I suppose I could do up a PowerPoint for my kids to illustrate the benefits of doing chores, but I doubt it would be effective.
3. Any travel-friendly tech.
Oh, where do I begin here? All the cool gadgets meant to help people travel lighter, faster, and cooler. The MacBook Air, the Kindle, & the iPad. The challenge of finding a hotspot in a coffee shop, or finding the right SIM card to work on that business trip to Hong Kong. Sure, I could spend about $3,000 on the Air, Kindle and iPad trifecta. Imagine how productive I could be during those 15 minutes I have while I’m waiting outside a school. That’s worth the money, right?
So, am I the only one that feels like this?
Maybe I’ve just taken the “grass is always greener” mentality to a sick new level. Still, I really wish I could try these out. Maybe 37Signals could let you rent a team during the free 30 day trial period? Or maybe Microsoft could outsource a stranger to drop in and highlight corrections they feel you should make to that income statement you did in Excel? If nothing else works, I’m dressing up the dogs, making them sit at a conference table (aka kitchen counter), and we’re going to sit down and brainstorm some paradigm shifts.