Eternally Curious. Writing, Learning, Building in Public. Writing about Ideas + Inspiration + Insights for creators, solopreneurs and indie hackers | Simple tips and frameworks to help you build a sustainable solo business
Do not index
Do not index
What does your skill stack look like? Do you know -
A typical solopreneur business is based on a mix of these skills (and more!)
When you’re in a traditional corporate setup you’re expected to be really good at 1 specific skill.
But as you move out of your 9-5 job you have to learn and practice a wide range of skills.
The good part is that you don’t have to be “really good” at all of them. You can be good enough at a range of skills and become the best (or the only) at the combination of multiple skills.
Scott Adams described this idea as “skill (or talent) stacking” in his book “How to fail at almost everything and still win big”
Scott Adams is the creator of the wildly popular Dilbert comics.
He is NOT -
- The best artist
- The best business expert
- The best writer
- The best comedian
Yet he’s the best in the world when it comes to the combination of these talents.
Today we’ll look at the skill stack you need to build a profitable solo business.
You can take this broad framework, find out the skill gaps you face and fill them up strategically.
Let’s go -
This topic reminds me of Naval’s famous quote -
“Learn to build, learn to sell, if you can do both you will be unstoppable”
So we will break down the skill stack into 2 broad areas -
Coding is a super power in the 21st century.
Yes I know AI can write code now 🙄
But you still need the ability to understand why you need a certain piece of software, what it does, where it can fail and what are the edge cases.
You don’t have to be a full-stack engineer, but it is important that you understand the full stack of your own software product.
Then you can get it built by freelancers or partner up with a tech co-founder(like I have) or even try and use AI.
NoCode just adds so much speed to the actual execution of a tech business. Even for founders who know how to code.
And if you’re not a tech person, then NoCode can help you build a “tech enabled” business.
That’s the real value and opportunity in the NoCode space (More about this in an older post)
With NoCode you can build simple apps, websites and automation flows that make life so much easier for you and help you run a business.
If you want to build a creator business, then content IS the product here. It’s the core value you add to the world.
Content can be - Writing, video, audio or a mix of all of them together.
Each of these is a core skill that you will need to build and leverage in your business.
You start with 1 of these skills, and as you grow you add complementary skills in your stack.
This is a broad umbrella that houses a bunch of tactics you can apply to spread word about your business.
Stuff like audience building, paid social ads, partnerships, collaborations and lots more.
In general, marketing is your ability to figure out where your ideal customers hang out, and how you can be there every day talking about your product.
This definition is intentionally vague.
Because it forces you to answer important questions about your business and your audience.
People often confuse between marketing and sales.
Marketing is about broadcasting the value proposition of your product, sales is actually convincing someone to buy it.
Sales is more important especially when you have a high ticket offer.
You will need to speak to people 1:1 and sell your product or service to them via phone or in person.
That’s where you need the ability to empathise with the customer, understand their pain points, their objections and know exactly how you can add value to them.
Even if you have a low ticket product, it’s useful to do 1:1 sales with your initial few customers. The insights you get from those sales conversations will improve your marketing message going forward.
Copywriting is your ability to write words that persuade your potential customers to buy your product.
It’s basically sales done via the written word.
You use language and paragraph structures to help the user make up their mind about the value of your product.
Copywriting is even more important if your audience hangs out on platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn. (Both powered by text content)
(Read more about “Tweet length copywriting” here)
There are of course, many more skills you will need as a solopreneur. A lot depends on your context, your business and your audience.
But these 6 are fundamental that you will need to be good at no matter what business you’re building.
This tweet and the replies have a bunch of more skills you can look into building.
🔗 Super Links
Useful links you don't want to miss -
- If you want to build a profitable business by solving painful problems, then start your research here.
- Found this great article about how to convince people to buy, without being pushy.
- Looking to learn NoCode? Get an MBA on the topic. For 30% OFF
- Learn how Duolingo ignited user growth from Jorge Mazal in Lenny’s Newsletter.
- Grow your skills, grow your startup, join EntryLevel NOW
(*Links in bold are classified ads, to book your own ad here, please send me a DM on Twitter.)
📢 Reccomendation of the week
My friend Akash writes the Wellness UX Newsletter every week.
It’s the intersection between entrepreneurship, wellness, & innovation about:
- 👥 semi-open collaborative newsletter
- 🧘 leverage wellness for productivity
- 🔥 burnout mitigation strategies
- 📈 start-up success
🤗 How can I help?
Whenever you’re ready, there are 2 ways I can help you -
- 💪 Work with me 1:1. For a limited time, I’ve opened up a few slots in my calendar for 1:1 consulting + coaching. If you need help with refining your idea, building the right product, or marketing your product, and you can take affirmative action, I’d love to work closely with you. Let’s get on a call and see if we’re a good fit for each other, send me a Twitter DM and I’ll set things up. (Only 1 slot left)
- 🗞️ Sponsor the SuperFrameworks newsletter. Get your work in front of 2300+ ambitious creators, makers, solopreneurs and founders. Get eyeballs, leads, sales! If you’re interested, reach out via Twitter.
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