‘Knight Cities’ podcast: How to Go Solo

Communities / Article

[[soundcloud 194226392]] An estimated one third of adults can be called “soloists,” people who work in non-traditional relationships with their employers. And the rate is growing rapidly, 15 to 17 percent every year. Sign up for Podcast Alerts Subscribe

A soloist is, as George Gendron puts it, an extreme version of an entrepreneur and requires much of the same support and same capacities. George should know. He was editor-in-chief of Inc. Magazine for two decades, where he founded the Inc. 500 and worked with Michael Porter on the creation of the Inner City 100, a ranking of the fastest-growing companies in America’s inner cities.

George’s latest venture is the exploration of the “Solo Economy.”

Here are five things you should know about how to go solo:

1.     We have to build the DNA that builds people’s confidence that they can take care of themselves economically. That’s what a solo economy requires.

2.     Entrepreneurship must be demystified for all students, not just for business students.

3.     There is a myth that there are a few of us who have Steve Jobs’ DNA and the rest of us work for Steve Jobs. That is not true. The capabilities of an entrepreneur can be cultivated.

4.     Independent professionals must develop a willingness to live with ambiguity, doing things today for an uncertain outcome. Uncertainty is not synonymous with insecurity. The ability to live with ambiguity breeds adaptability.

5.     One of the worst things that can happen to a student is to get an “F.” But in life, the harder we try, the more F’s we’ll get. We learn from the F’s,  so recognize your mistakes, figure out what you did wrong, adjust and move on. That’s resilience.

Listen to my conversation with George here. And sign up for the “Knight Cities” newsletter to get alerts as soon as new conversations are posted.

Look for new “Knight Cities” content posted every Wednesday here. You can follow us on Twitter at #knightcities or @knightfdn. And if you have ideas for people you’d like to hear more from, please email me.

Carol Coletta is vice president of community and national initiatives at Knight Foundation. Follow her on Twitter @ccoletta.

Follow The Solo project on Twitter @TheSoloProj