Elaine Pofeldt uncovers "The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business"
Elaine Pofeldt is first and foremost a journalist writing on business and entrepreneurs for outlets such as Fortune Small Business magazine, FORTUNE, Money, CNBC, Inc.. In the course of her research, she stumbled upon a tax bracket that threw her off — “non-employee businesses.” It looked to be this class of individuals, or simply partners, who owned million-dollar businesses. Just them and their product.
Elaine’s encyclopedic knowledge of these solopreneurs, or “non-employee businesses,” is vast; she wheels through her mental rolodex of these entrepreneurs and ties them into any questions about business thrown her way in her new book on the subject, “The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business.”
Having followed single-person businesses over the course of their growth, Elaine has great insight into the backstories, and exactly how these businesses grew.
Elaine voiced many of the thoughts I’ve had of late. Most specifically, you can’t care about what other people think. When you stop being self-conscious “you can make bigger things,” Elaine explained. I recently realized this is a real key to success. If we let all of the many potential reactions, thoughts or comments — to what we haven’t even produced — take precedence, we won’t produce anything. This is a huge point, and I think many people sweep this idea under the rug when it should be the topic of conversation.
I was intrigued by what she found to be the “commonality” between all of these companies.
“Everyone knows what you should do, but not everyone necessarily does it. The successful ones, do,” she explained. While it may sound trite, it’s true: so many people think, mull and ruminate — but few act. Those who act can launch a business. Those who scale a successful business are those who take it a step further with self-discipline — working every day. “That’s what puts them ahead of 99% of people,” Elaine said of these successful entrepreneurs.
Her take on success for million-dollar business owners was all the more valuable because she has research to exemplify her points. Hearing others’ humble beginnings was encouraging, and empowering. What’s more, it sounded as though all of these people had no prior experience in business or entrepreneurship prior to launching their million-dollar companies. They were, essentially, learning as they worked. Again, the key is that these people continued to push forward by correcting for any errors, then they optimize and scale.