Up until 2010, Marianne Cantwell had a successful career working as a strategy consultant in Canary Wharf. She was working late hours and when it appeared to her that she might make more money as a consultant than as an employee, she took the leap of faith.
Today, Cantwell works wherever she wants to from her laptop, running live online coaching seminars at whatever time of the day she chooses. She has exchanged a corporate office for parks and cafes and has traded the everyday commute on overcrowded underground rail for a globe-hopping lifestyle.
She typically spends 6 months a year abroad, with her agenda including destinations such as Bali, New York and Mauritius. Furthermore, Cantwell may be scarcely susceptible to the effects of the economic downturn now than when she worked as an employee.
Cantwell’s business, Free Range Humans, was built through trial. She has channeled lessons learned from vacating her job, searching to find out exactly what she wanted to do and trying to set up her own freelance endeavor into a successful coaching business that has generated a faithful tribe of followers and numerous success stories.
Free Range Humans is a down-to-earth alternative to the cookie-cutter pattern for setting up a business. It offers the prospect of generating a sustainable income over time without the need for investors, prospects and high costs.
Instead, Cantwell is teaching individuals to create businesses that fit around the lifestyles that they want to live, without being confined by location, the job market or competition.
Speaking to The Positive, Cantwell explained that most books on entrepreneurship forget that “solo-preneurs” are their own best assets and deficiently emphasise the importance of translating individuality and passion when setting up one’s business. It is essential to begin by being completely clear about where one is their business and to establish how one may want to deliver their services. Sometimes many individuals start up businesses that may have tried to stand out from the crowd more, Cantwell advocates a more human-centered approach that defies clichéd marketing strategies and focuses on the big picture of what each “Free Ranger” essentially wants to offer.
Cantwell emphasised that we may be now in a better position than ever before to set up our own endeavors, pointing out that people working as employees are in worse positions than most “Free Rangers” nowadays. By operating online, entrepreneurs have the entire world as their market and might generate multiple streams of income. She added that most successful businesses were created during an economic downturn, and her own business is proving to be just that.
With all of the technological advances at close disposal today, the tools to build a business are easily accessed without overheads. For example, a website’s “about” page may be generated at about.me at a very minimal cost. One may easily learn how to set up a website quickly on their own, and the tools for building email contacts are readily available online. She encourages “Free Rangers” to start building their business on the side of their current employment before taking the plunge.
How might Cantwell’s story, motivate others in similar positions for themselves to become “solopreneurs”?