Author Topic: Any solopreneurs out there?  (Read 3975 times)

Sonos

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Any solopreneurs out there?
« on: January 14, 2016, 12:22:20 AM »
I am hoping my side hustle will slowly grow into an income stream large enough to replace my salary and let me quit (and continue building my stache to FI).  After 12 years in the game industry, I'm now making my own mobile games (yay!) while I work a (non-game industry) day job. My first release will be this year, so I'm still a ways out from this income stream turning on.

Has anyone else out there transitioned from being an employee to a solopreneur? Could be before or after FI. I figure there are probably a fair number among this crowd and would love to hear your advice and stories.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2016, 12:29:21 AM by Firette2020 »

Friar

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Re: Any solopreneurs out there?
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2016, 12:56:38 AM »
Good luck in your venture!

From what I've heard, the hardest part of "making it" when it comes to games is getting the word out about the product. As you're on your own and, presumably, don't have a large budget, what are your plans for spreading the word?

syednaeemul

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Re: Any solopreneurs out there?
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2016, 02:49:51 AM »
Ditto what Friar said, the first dollar can often be the hardest.

I've also just started side hustling, though I took the safer route of resume / cover letter services (also put up a course on Udemy, got plenty of free students but not a single paying one grr!) and found that an easy way to start sales was to offer the service, and get reviews from family and friends.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Any solopreneurs out there?
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2016, 11:16:09 AM »
I started as a solopreneur but didnt last to long as I grew so fast I had to hire staff. Like you i ended up working in the same industry I was in. End of the day I got screwed over by the company I was working for and decided to go out on my own. Worked out great. I would never go into business with a partner and I built my business as I could afford to without ever borrowing from a bank. To get a good attorney and good accountant would be the most important thing I could recommend.

Friar

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Re: Any solopreneurs out there?
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2016, 10:08:11 AM »
Thanks! I do think that getting the word out will be the toughest part for me. Even if my game is amazing, it wont matter if nobody knows about it. The game marketing budgets at some of my prior companies were huge, not to mention there was a whole team working on the marketing plans.

I just started (well, re-started after 5 years) my website, hooked up social media accounts, etc. I've read lots of tutorials on building an audience, so now it's just a matter of applying what I learned, see what works or does not work, and iterating. I've launched an iOS app before with a friend and we had relatively good success with getting press and getting featured in the app store. The thing that will be the hardest for me is actually being public about my project. It's really just me making this game, so in a way, I'm not just talking about my project, I'm also talking about me. Sometimes I can be pretty shy and this definitely makes me want to hole up in my shell.

I know what you mean when talking about talking about yourself as that's exactly how I feel; I'm currently developing an app on my own as well. It's for Android (at the moment) and not a game, but it's my first major attempt at getting something to release stage. When I do get there the promoting side is going to be the hardest bit. Not only because I have no clue on how to gain an audience, but also because any feedback reflects on me. I suppose the idea is to not take it personally!

Vilgan

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Re: Any solopreneurs out there?
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2016, 12:37:30 PM »
I started solo on the side and enjoyed it. However, I quickly decided to pair up with a friend with whom I'd worked on several projects with and make a fulltime business out of it. I think that was a great choice for both of us, we complement each other and the business is stronger as a result. If he were hit by a bus or became otherwise unavailable, I would probably go back to solo (still fulltime tho) since I don't know anyone else I would want to partner with.

My wife has mentioned many times that I seem a lot happier when working now (and I was fairly happy before). There are some adjustments though, I work from my home office now which has taken some time to get used to the reduced social interaction. I've had to go out and find more ways to interact whereas I used to get that at work.

Balance

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Re: Any solopreneurs out there?
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2016, 12:11:17 AM »
I am solo and it's a pretty interesting way to make a living.  I have been on my own for 13 years now and there were times where I could have made a lot more money if I hired staff and rented out an office space.  But I wanted to keep overhead low by working from home and having the ability to control my work flow by working more or less depending on my energy. Having employees meant not being able to take a mini vacation in the middle of the week or sleeping in late just because. Now with a toddler at home with me and another one on the way it is near impossible to take on a full time load or even think of hiring employees.  Both my wife and I work part time and we both make it work while my 2 year old plays with toys under my standing desk while I work away.  It's all about balance for us and we like it this way.  A lot of my friends in the Bay Area make way more money than I do but they are also slaves to their jobs and don't have the work/life balance that we have.  We are lucky and we hope we can do this for many more years to come.  I guess the big drawbacks are my check is never the same, I am always worried about having too little work or too much work, having to do all aspects of a small business not just the one task you specialize in.  If I had to, I don't know how I can assimilate back into the work force if I had to work for someone again.  All things considered we wouldn't have it any other way. 

PhysicianOnFIRE

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Re: Any solopreneurs out there?
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2016, 02:29:33 PM »
MMM did.  So far, it seems to be working out alright for him and his family.

I've started a blog too, something like MMM Lite for physicians.  I see way too many colleagues spend and spend because they can and the happiness doesn't seem to follow.  So I'm trying to spread a little newfound wisdom and perhaps generate a bit of income to fund my charitable DAF and my own RE daydream.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Any solopreneurs out there?
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2016, 02:54:21 PM »
*waves* Hi! Not exactly the same, but I'm a freelancer/sole trader. Very happy to answer questions about working on your own/for yourself. I'm currently a project-based artsy/creative type but am considering producing a line of products for sale, so interested to read other responses!

soccerluvof4

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Re: Any solopreneurs out there?
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2016, 06:24:02 AM »
I started as a solopreneur but didnt last to long as I grew so fast I had to hire staff. Like you i ended up working in the same industry I was in. End of the day I got screwed over by the company I was working for and decided to go out on my own. Worked out great. I would never go into business with a partner and I built my business as I could afford to without ever borrowing from a bank. To get a good attorney and good accountant would be the most important thing I could recommend.

Congrats on making the shift, soccerluvof4! Hopefully, I'll be joining you soon (minus the employees!). I did start a (non-game company) with partners previously. While I learned a lot and still think the best of my coworkers, my new venture is definitely a one woman show, totally bootstrapped.



That sounds great! I have often thought about maybe doing what I did out of home for a side hustle and if you can do well enough without employees it makes it so much better. Employees are the biggest pain in the ass and makes everything just that more complex. You can make more money but the headaches might not be worth it.

EAL

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Re: Any solopreneurs out there?
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2016, 01:07:03 PM »
I am in a transitioning phase like you. My goal has always been real estate as my eventual income source.  Working full time has helped me get headed in that direction.  Most of my salary goes toward saving for/remodeling investment homes. Someone said the first dollar is the hardest, that's for sure. For me, the first house was the hardest and then it gets easier. I bought my first rental at 23. Second at 25. Third and fourth at 25 (I'm still 25).  It has taken a lot of saving, sacrifice, and dedication.  It kicks my butt to work a full day then go work on remodeling properties all night and weekend but it'll be worth it and I hope within 10 years to be able to transition to living independently off of my rentals. I may still work because I enjoy keeping busy but I hope to not HAVE to or to be able to be more selective.  Keep hustling now so you don't have to later.

Roboturner

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Re: Any solopreneurs out there?
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2016, 01:59:15 PM »
I am hoping my side hustle will slowly grow into an income stream large enough to replace my salary and let me quit (and continue building my stache to FI).  After 12 years in the game industry, I'm now making my own mobile games (yay!) while I work a (non-game industry) day job. My first release will be this year, so I'm still a ways out from this income stream turning on.

Has anyone else out there transitioned from being an employee to a solopreneur? Could be before or after FI. I figure there are probably a fair number among this crowd and would love to hear your advice and stories.

What's the game? super interested

asauer

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Re: Any solopreneurs out there?
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2016, 06:16:17 AM »
Yes!  I freelance designing training courses and have started a leadership coaching business for small to mid sized companies.  I'm really hoping that between these two they will mostly replace my full time gig in 4-5 years.  I don't need it to replace all of what I make now- I'm willing to trade a few dollars for flexibility.

Geekenstein

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Re: Any solopreneurs out there?
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2016, 06:55:11 PM »
I don't need it to replace all of what I make now- I'm willing to trade a few dollars for flexibility.

I'm right there with you.  I write software and left a mega Corp a few years back because it became impossible to create solutions our customers.  The politics consumed all the energy.  At first it was hard but networking paid off and I'm having a blast.  I'm making less than what I was making before, but the flexibility rocks, and working from home I spend far less anyway. 

soccerluvof4

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Re: Any solopreneurs out there?
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2016, 09:26:36 AM »
What's the game? super interested

It's a match-3 style game (a la Bejewelled or many other classic casual games out there). OK, well, it's technically a match-5 game. My strengths are coding, producing, and business. The art will be very clean and simple, since I have no background in producing art assets (I'm really enjoying learning!). If you are curious, you can see the other games I have in the queue here: http://www.teagmore.com/games/


Employees are the biggest pain in the ass and makes everything just that more complex. You can make more money but the headaches might not be worth it.

I'm going to keep it just me. While I love working on great teams, I really enjoy this being my project :)



Good luck and keep us updated!!