Opted Out Life Manifesto


Elena Mutonono and Veronika Palovsak are co-authors of Opted Out of the ‘Real Job’.


Elena and Veronika opted out of their ‘real jobs’ and built small online businesses to have more freedom and flexibility to pursue their dreams.

Their book and manifesto is intended to encourage and assist “restless cubicle professionals” to do the same.


We are the mavericks and the heretics in the online teaching world. We have opted out of the stifling ‘real job’ environment, the ‘safety’ nets, the endless money chase, the hopelessness and apathy, to create value and meaning through our small and smart online businesses.

We believe that ideas change minds, lives and destinies. We want to bring our fresh creativity to the world.

We want to teach because it empowers people to improve lives, think differently, create original art and do the work that matters.

We do the impossible. We step into the unknown. We challenge limitations. We conquer our fears. We work from our core. We opt out of whining. We don’t complain.

We take the first step and we don’t turn back. We opt into courage. We strive to make a change. We fail and we stand strong. Then we do it again.

Among huge corporations that stamp cheap commodities, we make art that impacts people for good. Every day, we opt out of this world’s imposed scarcity and choose to grow abundance through the talents we’ve been given. We don’t wait until we’re smarter or more experienced or wealthier. We don’t save our art of a rainy day. We share it now because tomorrow is not guaranteed.

We live an opted out life.



This is a classic word based set of rules for life.

While the context of helping teachers (or instructional designers) step out of their workplace cubicle and into a freelance or self-employed role is a deep niche, their manifesto reads as a general situation that could fit for many other groups.

This could be good and bad. It could be good because it speaks to a wide audience. It could be bad because it is too general and doesn’t speak closely enough to the needs, wants and desires of your intended audience and therefore may fail to engage them.

The simple key to getting this right is to test your manifesto. Once you’ve written it, share it with the your chosen market. Listen to their comments and feedback and adjust accordingly.

There is no right answer here, simply whether the manifesto you have written plays its part in helping you fulfil your desired result.


Flying Solo Micro Small Business Manifesto

Academic Slow Food Manifesto

Remote Year Values

The Solo, Micro & Small Business Manifesto

Flying Solo - The Solo, Micro & Small Business Manifesto


The Solo, Micro & Small Business Manifesto was created by Flying Solo – a solo, micro and small business community with headquarters in Sydney Australia.


The Solo, Micro & Small Business Manifesto is a summary of “what we believe makes a successful and happy soloist.” A soloist is a person who runs a solo, micro or small business.

Create a business and a life you love: Solo, Micro & Small Business #Manifesto Click To Tweet

The Solo, Micro & Small Business Manifesto

Why I have chosen soloism

  • Unlike employment, soloism allows me to feel liberated not obligated
  • In Soloville the playing fields are perfectly level.
  • Work assumes its proper place alongside the rest of my life.
  • I prefer working in the absence of a formal workplace structure.
  • Soloism allows me to create my own measures of success.
  • I have the freedom to be spontaneous.
  • Soloism enables me to make the most of being myself.
  • I get to keep my priorities at the top of my action list.

Why I am suited to flying solo

  • I maintain a healthy level of self-confidence.
  • I’m self-aware and naturally inquisitive.
  • I enjoy being mentally stimulated.
  • I strive for authenticity and integrity in all I do.
  • I’m proactive and enjoy fully participating.
  • I hold myself accountable and do not make excuses.
  • I am disciplined and responsible with money.

Why it’s so good for me

  • I have the freedom to fully express myself through my work.
  • What I do is totally congruent with who I am.
  • I feel an overriding sense of freedom each and every day.
  • I face my future head-on. There?s no hiding.
  • I do not have to unwind. The pace of my business is the pace of my life.
  • Soloism constantly stretches and challenges my boundaries and limitations.
  • Soloism gives me the confidence to hold my ground.

What I believe

  • I know that if others can do it, I can do it.
  • If this is a ‘job’, it’s a damn fine one!
  • I champion innovation and free thinking.
  • Live for the present and enjoy it to the full.
  • I respect the relationship between beliefs and outcomes and channel my thoughts accordingly.
  • If I?m not passionate about my work, I need to do something else.
  • With the right attitude I?ll be a magnet for inspirational ideas.
  • An inspiring vision must always be at the heart of my solo venture.
  • Being myself is not just good for my soul, it?s good for business.
  • By loving my work I attract opportunities and promote word-of-mouth referrals.
  • It’s better to be heard well by one person than forgotten by five hundred.
  • The secret to managing time is to first know what I?m trying to do with it.

The way I work

  • I run my solo business as I choose.
  • I set my own pace.
  • I engage and participate fully in all that I do.
  • I don’t need permission to take a break from anyone other than me.
  • I don’t need to follow the example of bigger businesses.
  • I focus on what I have, not on what I do not have.
  • I conduct my business from wherever I choose.
  • I freely share my knowledge and wisdom with others.
  • I listen deeply to my clients and prospects, developing genuine empathy with them.
  • I have balance within life and work, not between life and work.
  • I position myself firmly in the flow of ideas, influences and information.
  • I like to get the ear of influential people.
  • I take responsibility for my mistakes.
  • While I may do what others do, I strive to do it better and do it my way.
  • I acknowledge the role of research and development in the evolution of my business.
  • I consider my clients and customers to be my partners.
  • I attach great importance to the relationships around me.
  • I work to surround myself with supporters.
  • I do not binge; I’m consistent in my actions.
  • I know when and where to focus my energies.
  • I know the value of my work and charge accordingly.
  • I have determined my rates and do not work for less.
  • I do not carry junk and clutter in my work.
  • I have a clear means of reviewing my performance and do so regularly.
  • I protect my energy sources by taking breaks.
  • I put myself first.


The Solo, Micro & Small Business Manifesto


The Solo, Micro & Small Business Manifesto fits beautifully with Principle #5 of the Manifesto Manifesto: ‘Manifestos define us’ in their use of the words ‘soloism’ and ‘soloist’. Whilst they’re not the most elegant words they do give the people who run a solo business a name and an identity. This

I think this manifesto needs an edit. There are some great themes and values here that I resonate with in my solo business. However, it feels like it was created by a committee that couldn’t make a decision. It’s trying to cover too much territory and loses it’s impact. It could be split into several related manifestos or simply edited.


Sue Polinsky: 10 Rules For Your Small Business Home Page

Rules For Small Business Home Page

Creator: Sue Polinsky, blogger for Download Squad.

Purpose: To avoid having a small business website that sucks.

Manifesto: 10 rules for your small business home page (edited)


Contact information is critical to your site visitors and it shouldn’t be hidden on the “contact us” page.


Is there a single statement that says what you do or sell smack in the middle of your homepage?


Does your site have a homepage search field?


Did you go through your font list for the weirdest fonts that exist, add neon color and then enlargify them?


If you don’t know how to work with photos on the Web, hire someone who does.


Generally, if you’re selling anything online, lose the total-page Flash and make the site look sleek, professional and trustworthy.


If you’re not sure how to make the page flexible, then make it wide enough for an average monitor (750 pixels, and if you don’t know what pixels are, please hire a Web person).

8. NEW FROM 2004!?

If your homepage has news or upcoming events and the latest one happened in 2004, get it off your homepage. In fact, get “news” off your homepage because no one updates their site often enough.


Navigation (links) should be clear, logical and intuitive. If I can’t find what I want from your homepage, I’m leaving.


If you have nothing to say, delete that page from your site.



For the complete article on Download Squad