Solopreneur challenges Sheedy Family Program students: How can you get paid to be yourself?

Author: Scott Howland

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“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

It’s a question you were likely asked as a child. One answer, however,  you probably never gave in response is, “Myself.” But at a Sheedy Family Program dinner and dialogue event on Thursday, October 13, Notre Dame alumnus Cornelius McGrath challenged students in the audience to think in precisely those terms. As he put the question in the title of his presentation,  “How can I get paid to be myself?”


McGrath is a “bootstrapped solopreneur running a lifestyle business.” In other words, he explained, he has used his own resources to build a venture that lets him live the type of life that he wants to live. 

For him, this means building relationships with and working alongside professionals at the top of their industries – whatever those industries might be. 

His venture is called Everyday Entrepreneur (EE). He plans retreats, runs a podcast and magazine, organizes workshops, teaches cohort-based courses, and advises top individuals and companies to help them improve their products and services. 


McGrath shared six steps that he followed to get where he is today. Among those steps, he advised students to “befriend the all-stars” – describing how he sought out relationships with Notre Dame trustees while he was a student – and to “do the things nobody does.” He also encouraged students to “stay close,” that is, to keep nurturing and drawing upon their ties to Notre Dame and all its resources.

The Sheedy Family Program is grateful for McGrath’s contribution to our community’s ongoing education and formation as scholars who seek not just to study business, but to find meaning in it. 


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