Slower summer months, brand building and Amazon Unbound

Hey folks, back with another solopreneur business update. Let’s jump in.

My last week(s) in business

With things quieting down a little in the summer, the last 2 weeks haven’t been crazy. Mostly a focus on 2 core activities:

Fundraising, as I’ve mentioned in the last few updates, is the main focus. We are making progress (about 50% of the way to our target), but there’s definitely been some slowing down in the summer months as more people are away on vacation and such.

Second, is we’ve begun designing and building our product. Our new b2b immigration tool is going to make it easy for Canadian companies to bring tech talent into Canada from anywhere, which is pretty exciting (and I think a decent selling proposition).

While I’ve had some experience with tech, it’s been less of building custom solutions from scratch. As we continue to design it – the different pages, flows, features, etc. – I’ve definitely started appreciating good technology even more. 

Our launch target is about 3-4 months from now, so I’m sure I’ll be talking more about our experience building tech over the next few months. 

What I’m thinking about

In my last update I was spending some time thinking about adding additional revenue streams as an entrepreneur, and along similar lines, I’ve been thinking more about building a personal brand as a solopreneur.

By building a personal brand, I mean marketing yourself as a person, not just through a business, to gain a following or group that like to hear from you. This could be a blog, podcast, YouTube channel, or any other platform where you communicate with a target audience on a regular basis.

The thinking is that by having this following or group of people that like to hear from you, it gives you a bit more leverage when marketing your own business. And if done well enough, over time can open up opportunities that wouldn’t be available otherwise.

There are a few people I know that have done this quite successfully, and while it takes some time to get going, the long-term benefits can be pretty big.

This can be done through social media channels, email marketing (I think the ultimate way to build a following!), speeches, etc. And as attention continues to become more and more valuable, having a personal following will too.

Even if you don’t know what it’s for (yet), I think there’s great potential in building your own brand as a solopreneur. It can lead to more potential customers for current businesses, new revenue streams, partnerships… who knows what!

As I start to implement more strategies to build my own brand, I’ll try to share the best ones here.

If you’re a small business owner, new business or learning how to start a business and have some ideas for building a personal brand, leave a comment below!

What I’m Reading

I finally finished “Amazon Unbound” and it was a great read (just like the first from Brad Stone, “The Everything Store”. Here are my key takeaways:

1) I didn’t appreciate the sheer size and scope of Amazon until reading this book, which went into detail on the growth of Amazon well beyond just a seller of books (into streaming/Prime, AWS, Echo, etc.).

The sales, employee count, market cap, etc. are just incredible.

2) You can’t stop innovating.

Bezos embedded a list of principles that he and the company were to follow, and treating every day like it was “Day 1” came up over and over in the book.

This is part of what led to Amazon continuously innovating and establishing new markets and revenue streams.

3) Good people are a requirement for growth.

As the company continued to grow and enter new markets, new people were required to step up to the plate and/or bring in their expertise to get the job done. Without these people – not just Bezos – the company would be nowhere near where they are today.

Overall, highly recommended read if you like reading about business/entrepreneurs, whether you’re an Amazon fan or not (it shed some good light behind the scenes too, on Bezos’ personal life, treatment of factory workers, etc.).

I’m already about 50% of the way through my next read on Warren Buffett, so I’ll have a review on that in my next update!

That’s it for me – have an awesome week and keep grinding.

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