... where visionaries, game changers, and challengers discuss business models
Solopreneurs are not like other entrepreneurs and business people. If possible, they really do like to do it all alone. Their business and personal goals are tightly entwined and it is very common for them to pass up standard business success (e.g. higher earnings) for their own feeling of "personal" success or needs (e.g. higher quality product, independence).
In English, the concept of the "lone wolf" seems to best describe the feeling. Wikipedia says a lone wolf "is an animal or person that generally lives or spends time alone instead of with a group. The term originates from wolf behaviour. Normally a pack animal, wolves that have left, or been excluded from, their pack are described as lone wolves." In groups, Wikipedia goes on further to say that a lone wolf in a group is someone "who spends enough time with a group to be considered a member but not enough time to be very close to the other members. Such people tend to not take part in the group activities or get-togethers."
In German, the concept is much stronger and this shouldn't come as a great surprise given that country's admiration for people who focus on quality and attention to detail above all else. The term in German is "Einzelgänger" and it is less of a pejorative term and one of almost admiration. They require less group support, tend to focus on what they think is important and have their own standards and ways of measuring success.
In developing a business model that would work for this large and independent group it is therefore important to eliminate all the assumptions that many standard models make. The biggest assumption to question is that they want to "grow" the company. In most cases I have found that they do not. As well, they are not very good at networking and working with channels. Not surprisingly, they are not great at meetings in general :-). The attitude often is "I've got a good product/service. Take it or leave it." Not exactly a marketers dream!
This second version of my SBS Solopreneur Business Model tries to take into account many of the differences and nuances of the average solopreneur. By definition it had to be short and focused because they also don't like spending a lot of time on administrative or "bureaucratic" tasks :-). A tough group to work with at times but a valuable part of our economy and society. In business they are often called "arrogant" or "pushy" and even "sociopaths" but without them, we probably wouldn't have Einstein's Theory of Relativity or Steve Jobs' chic little iPhones.
So, here's to solopreneurs and to a business model that puts their goals above all else.