How to start a business, find gig economy success, and be an entrepreneur in 2022

It’s not easy being your own boss.

Even before the pandemic caused many small businesses to struggle, millions of people were already having a tough time in the gig economy as delivery workers, taxi drivers, and the like. The same goes for people trying to make it big in cryptocurrency and NFTs, all of which goes to show how right Kurt Vonnegut was to write in Slaughterhouse Five (also available on Audible):

It isn’t much fun if you have to pinch every penny till it screams.

But it doesn’t have to be this way! Instead of shunning money completely or trying to strike it rich by profiting from what isn’t yours, there are other means. So, in addition to the articles I published on freelancing tips and how to start an AI business, here are some of my favourite Seth Godin quotes from his 2021 blog posts, together with a recommended title from Blinkist.

The most direct way to become popular is to serve the audience that made the last thing popular. By that definition, popular almost always means ‘not better.’ It simply means that you found a large group and gave them what they wanted. ~ Understanding “popular”

Learn more: Small Giants

Showing up is something almost every creative leader has in common. In business, in the arts, in society. Consistently shipping the work, despite the world’s reaction, despite the nascent nature of our skill, despite the doubts. ~ Born to run (things) 

Learn more: The Go-Giver

Getting picked is great, when it works. Someone needs to be in the spotlight and it might as well be you. In the meantime, catch your breath, show up and contribute. It all adds up. ~ Chasing the cool kids 

Learn more: Bold

The opportunity lies in finding a viable audience and matching the project’s focus and budget to the people who truly want it. ~ The dance between the long tail and the short head

Learn more: Start Something That Matters 

We have a chance to do work we’re proud of, and to do it for people who care. And maybe we can do it in a way that will lead them to tell the others. Traffic from an algorithm isn’t the point, it’s a random bonus. ~ You can’t beat the algorithm

Learn more: Make Your Mark

If you want to grow, you’ll need to get someone to not only decide that you’re worth their time and money, you’ll need to motivate them to act now instead of later. ~ Competition vs. activation 

Learn more: Launch

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being different from the crowd. In fact, it might be the ideal path forward. The problem begins when you don’t see what’s not matching up. ~ Can you see it? 

Learn more: Finding the Next Steve Jobs

The smallest viable audience isn’t a compromise, it’s a path forward. Find the folks who are enrolled and open and eager. Serve them instead. ~ “You’re not that good” 

Learn more: Company of One

Luck might not be a strategy, but setting yourself up to be lucky might be. ~ Luck is not a strategy 

Learn more: Can You Learn to be Lucky?

We know how and why the sun sets every night. But we still desire magic. Creating it for your customers and peers is a gift. ~ Disenchantment 

Learn more: The Fortune Cookie Principle

Strategies don’t change. They’re not a secret. It doesn’t matter if your peers or opponents know your strategy. Tactics, on the other hand, change often, and are usually best kept quiet. ~ “I don’t want to play” 

Learn more: Think Like an Entrepreneur, Act Like a CEO

Being clear about ‘who’s it for?’ and ‘what’s it for?’ is the actual hard work of developing customers. And if you’re not gaining traction, deciding to hype harder is not the right choice. ~ Customer development 

Learn more: The Power of Focus

Better to pay a little more than you should and get something you can use than pay too little and end up with nothing at all. ~ In between a total loss and an endless expense 

Learn more: The Power of Broke

Focusing on the smallest viable audience makes so much more sense than trying to make average stuff for average people. ~ Not for Diana 

Learn more: The Infinite Game

Very few people have the leverage to change the world. But all of us have the chance to change the people around us, and those actions change what gets built, funded and launched. ~ Contagious commerce 

Learn more: Impact Players

Staying at a scale that’s working isn’t a cowardly copout. It might be the single best way to do work that matters for people who care. ~ An illusion of scale 

Learn more: David and Goliath

The bravest leaders and contributors aren’t worried about appearing afraid. It allows them to see the world more clearly. ~ Afraid of afraid

Learn more: The Leader In You

Yes, you’re entitled. We all are, sooner or later. But feeling that we’re entitled and demanding that others realise that we’re entitled is completely useless and might even get in the way of the work we hope to do. ~ Entitlement 

Learn more: Back to Human

There are two confusions. The first is that the next big idea must be fully original. The second is that it has no competition. This is almost never the case. ~ The next big idea 

Learn more: The Power of Starting Something Stupid

Don’t worry so much about someone stealing your ideas. In fact, it’s probably worth working harder to get people imagining that they might. ~ Your big idea 

Learn more: The Worst Business Model in the World

Engaging with the marketplace requires creating value for people who have a choice. And deciding what to offer your customers is your choice. ~ A freelancer’s dilemma 

Learn more: The Wealthy Freelancer

Don’t make something that you would buy. Make something that they would buy. ~ Marketing as a service 

Learn more: Dear Founder

As our world gets more connected, the projects that change us are more and more likely to have a form that would be hard to recognize just a generation ago. But inventing and choosing and supporting these projects is now on us, and it begins by recognizing that they even exist. ~ Kinds of projects 

Learn more: Future Shaper

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