The Updated Way to Be Self Employed
In the Gen Z era, where 72% feel they can now work from anywhere and where young workers are questioning if the climb up the corporate ladder is worth the effort, Gen Z is more and more likely to embrace a “work-to-live” attitude. As Cassandra uncovered in our Great Re-port on Work, this includes focusing on productivity, efficiency, and doing things successfully without compromising their strong boundaries. For those who crave the autonomy of running their own business on their own terms, many choose to go it alone and work solo - becoming both the founder, creator, and a self-made “solopreneur" (previously known as a freelancer, contractor, or consultant). (And, the solopreneur is, in fact, one of the segments within Cassandra’s own proprietary Gen Z segmentation that we explored in depth in our 2021 Gen Z Segmentation report.) Ahead, we further explore the brands, people, and conversations fueling this approach to work.
Head over to a solo corner on TikTok, and you’ll find over 68M video views dedicated to this burgeoning topic, which opens the window to the word of the lone business execs who are sharing their hints and tips to optimize expenses, benefits, social media marketing, brand awareness and even how to celebrate employee appreciation day - for one. For example, solopreneur and Lash salon owner Amanda Pichardo has made a name for herself on the platform garnering nearly 35K followers for her comical content, jokingly showing the chaotic side as a one person team.
— Zachary, 18, CA (Cassandra Collective)
The #sidehustle generation loves learning about successful solopreneurs who have made it all by themselves whether that be the now legendary stories of billionaire Spanx creator Sara Blakely who went door to door to bring her idea to life, or Pierre Omidyar, who started his business from his home just to experiment with buying and selling PEZ dispensers online - which evolved into what we now know today to be eBay. Soon to be added to legendary status is Jean-Nicholas, the founder of Wargraphs and creator of the popular companion app for League of Legends called Porofessor, which was recently acquired for a reported $54M. Jean-Nicholas isn’t planning just to sit back and count his millions. Instead, he intends to create a new gaming business once again without outside funding, but he says he’s open to hiring an employee or two.
— Shannon, 33, MD, (Cassandra Collective)
In 2021, Victor Cardenas and Kevin Bai — built a fintech platform called Slash that lets users create shareable virtual cards to split recurring expenses, popular with today’s young people. Then they saw an opportunity to go after a larger market: young, commerce-focused solopreneurs, and to capitalize on people’s growing tendency to make a living online. Today, Slash is an emerging neobank, offering a hybrid business/personal banking product that allows users to silo their personal and business funds but manage them from a single dashboard.