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Modest Mitkus
May 1, 2024

How to Start a One-Person Business (Starting With 0$)

Coming from a poor family taught me many things:

  • no one is ever going to save you
  • you need to work harder than anyone else
  • you can only rely on yourself

Luckily, I understood this pretty soon and started looking for different ways to earn extra money even before I turned 18.

Every business I created was somehow better than the one before. Even when I earned more than both of my parents, I didn’t stop looking for even better ways.

3 years ago, I started a digital product business from scratch: $0 revenue, 0 followers, 0 employees. Over time, it turned into a $500,000 business with over 400,000 followers and still zero employees.

Even if you're in the same stage as I was, this is how you can start your one-person business today.

1. Identify your strengths.

Three years ago, I was running a UI/UX studio. I already had existing knowledge in design and business. I knew I could use these skills not only by working for clients but also by building my own digital product business.

The same goes for you - before you start, you must think of where you could make the most impact. There's a high chance that you have already tried some things or have more knowledge in certain topics than an average person. And even if you don't - you can always pick a topic you feel passionate about and want to learn more.

2. Find a niche for your strengths.

You need to understand this - building a business is all about solving problems. The harder the problem, the higher the pay. The more common the problem, the higher chance to find a customer.

I saw people making and selling Notion systems. I checked Google Trends, and the graphs were rising. Since I already used Notion for work with my clients, I decided to give selling Notion systems a try.

Make sure you see how you could profitably solve a problem in your chosen niche; otherwise, it will hardly become a business, and likely - a hobby.

3. Decide on your end goal.

I had a vision of creating a library of various Notion systems to help people become more productive and organized in all aspects of life - both business and personal. I decided to work towards making this vision a reality.

This is a crucial step – you must know what you want to achieve before you start. What kind of business do you aim to create, and how will you make money from it? Have answers for these and your actions will be sharp and goal-oriented.

4. Create awareness.

Search for the best way to show your expertise and help people. It can be anything from building a social media following to creating blog posts or reaching out to people directly. Just make sure to be seen and don't live in the shadows.

I started searching for places where I could promote my new business. The first channels were Facebook groups and Reddit. Then I slowly started expanding to other social media channels, launched free products, started collecting emails, etc.

5. Create your offer.

Once the time was right and I had all the data I needed, I started to focus on my offers. I created beautiful, functional products that people wanted to buy. I also made sure to have a converting landing page to help others make the buying decision easier.

Once you have awareness and understand your potential customers' problems, create a solution for that. It can be anything from digital products to productized services or even consulting calls.

Keep in mind that money is a result of solved problems.

6. Automate and systemize.

As my business expanded, I saw the need to automate for further growth. Launching products, providing customer support, creating content, and so on - it's a lot when you're on your own. Luckily, I found that most of the job can be automated.

Always try to find ways where you can automate repetitive tasks and systemize workflows that make you more efficient. Otherwise you'll get stuck spending 80% of your time on the tasks that bring only 20% results.

7. Keep playing the game.

The first years were the hardest; I was hardly covering my expenses ($400/month). I spent months doing everything to make my business grow. Little things compounded over time and led me to where I am now - making $30k/month with 0 employees.

Everyone can test the game, but only a few will remain playing. If you really want to be successful, you need to keep playing the game. Learn new things, improve, reflect, and never quit.

That’s how you will never lose.

If you want to start a one-person business, don’t wait for the perfect time; start today. Even the smallest steps matter.

That’s it for today.

Thank you for reading, I hope it helped.

Until next week,

Modest M.