Six lessons I learned by sharing my journey to become a solopreneur

Photo by Ryan Graybill on Unsplash

I learned a couple things last week.

After my first week of openly talking about my journey to become a solo founder, I had hundreds of people follow me on Twitter and over 100 000 views of my tweets in two days. I thought it would be good to reflect on some key things I learned in the last 7 days.

Stories are powerful

Sharing your story in a way that others can relate to, makes it much more likely the story will be read and shared with others. 

I wrote about starting a new journey, the risks involved, and why I left the comfort and security of a well paid job. So many people responded. Many told me how they could relate, and had experienced similar thoughts or feelings in their own journey.

Lesson #1: Stories are powerful.

Be a real person

I had so many people reach out to me personally, follow me on Twitter or subscribe to my newsletter after reading the story. They shared a lot of encouragement and gave me amazing feedback and suggestions.

The story resonated with people because they could relate to my situation. I wasn’t another faceless brand or unreachable celebrity. 

I wrote in a personal tone, and that made it easier for conversations to happen in a bi-directional way. I had many great interactions with people from around the world this week.

Lesson #2: Be a real person. 

Do something interesting and then share it

Leaving a six figure salary plus bonuses at a well known company like GitHub, was an intriguing story for a lot of people. They were curious about why I left, what I am doing next and how I ended up working there in the first place. 

When telling a story, it really helps if you have experienced something unique or interesting.

I recognise that not everyone can leave their jobs to pursue a new adventure, but we all have opportunities to do interesting things. Go on a trip, try a new hobby, build something new, the options are endless.

Lesson #3: Do something interesting and then share it.

Start a conversation by asking a question

Ever notice that people love to give advice and share what they have learned? I had a couple fascinating conversations this week when I asked a genuine question. Here’s an example:

I admit, I was pretty overwhelmed with all the opinions, suggestions and passionate advocates for different platforms, OSS tools and brands. But it was such a great thread, and I learned a lot.

Lesson #4: Start a conversation by asking a question.

 Get involved in a community

I’ve been part of the Indie Hackers community for the last year or two. It’s a great place to connect with other founders and aspiring entrepreneurs. So when the time came, I posted what I was up to, in case the community was interested.

They definitely were interested…the post went to the top of the Indie Hackers homepage and stayed there for the rest of the day!

Lesson #5: Get involved in a community.

Provide value first 

When writing about my career change, I intentionally didn’t put any call to actions in the body of the story. I wanted readers to be able to focus on the content, distraction free and without having to navigate away

At the end of the story, I politely mentioned that I was on Twitter so that if anyone was interested in following me, they could. I explained that I planned to share my insights and lessons along the way. No hard sell. Just a link..

It’s ok to promote yourself, but always provide value before you ask people to do something for you.

Lesson #6: Provide value first 

Wrapping it up

The keys lessons I learned this week were:

  • Lesson #1: Stories are powerful.
  • Lesson #2: Be a real person.
  • Lesson #3: Do something interesting and then share it.
  • Lesson #4: Start a conversation by asking a question.
  • Lesson #5: Get involved in a community.
  • Lesson #6: Provide value first

I’m sure there are more lessons still to be learned here, but hopefully that was helpful. For more insights, follow me on Twitter or subscribe to my newsletter. 

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