Many people dream of one-day transitioning from their 9-5 to start their own business...perhaps you are one of them. And when, according to FreshBooks, 54% of self-employed entrepreneurs say they make more money now than when they were employed. Added to their finding that 97% of self-employed professionals say they would never go back to traditional employment, it's clear to see the attraction.
I left my corporate career to start my first business in 2007. From my personal experience, I can agree with both these above points. In addition, I also get to do meaningful work that I love. And create my own hours to fit around my family and other passions.Going from Corporate Employee to Entrepreneur is not always an easy transition. This article will help you understand the challenges ahead and set yourself up for success as your own boss.
Don’t Quit Too Soon
Taking the leap without the finances to sustain yourself for several months, and possibly a year or two, will leave you feeling insecure. This anxiety will in turn prevent you from showing up in your business in ways that will lead to your steady growth. Therefore, it’s a good plan to start small and build your business alongside your 9-to-5.
Once your 'side-hustle' is consistently earning around 25% of your desired income, that’s a good time to start transitioning into your new role as full-time entrepreneur. It's at this point that you can assume that once you dedicate all your time to your business, you can take that 25% to 100% fairly quickly.
Have Clarity of Purpose
One of your first steps in business will be to decide what you want to create and why. This purpose will form part of the foundation of your brand, your marketing, your products and will help you make strong, consistent decisions.The second part of your brand will look at how you add value for your clients in ways that are sought after and meaningful to them.
I guide my clients through this process in my Dream Clients Blueprint, taking 3-4 weeks to work through this fully. Doing this not only helps you build a solid foundation for your business, but it also gives you the confidence to start building authentic relationships within the market, and start building a consistent pipeline of leads.
One of your first steps in business will be to decide what you want to create and why. This purpose will form part of the foundation of your brand, your marketing, your products and will help you make strong, consistent decisions.
Answer a Problem
A successful and sustainable business is only possible if it answers a clear need. If you don’t solve a problem that people are willing to pay to resolve, then your business will never get off the starting blocks. The number one reason why businesses fail is there’s no market need.
Take plenty of time to get clear about who your clients are and what they biggest concerns and pain points are. And just in case you were wondering, no, your clients are NOT everyone.
The number one reason why businesses fail is there’s no market need. Be sure to take the time to understand your customers and what concerns them most.
Build your skills
Throughout your corporate career, you have no doubt built a bank of valuable skills and experiences that you can bring to your business. But you’ll need to start upgrading these and learning new skills if you are to truly succeed.
Even if you plan to outsource things like sales and marketing skills, you'll still need to understand these. This will help you take a strong leadership role within your business and ensure everything runs as you want.
Often, at least in the early days, you’ll have to do a lot of this work yourself. This will make building the right skills essential. Without marketing, sales are harder. Without sales, you have no clients. And without clients, you have no business!
In a Corporate environment you are usually conditioned to think small and achievable. The famous SMART goals encourage this, for example. And when your bonus is dependent on you hitting all your targets, it’s hard to see why you would want to set yourself ambitious goals.
As an entrepreneur, however, you want to open your mind to a new realm of possibility. This takes courage, but it’s important to understand that there is little space for innovation or growth in achievable goals. You need to set yourself stretch goals that will prompt you to try new things, learn new skills, and build new relationships.
Learn to Embrace Failure
In order to start thinking bigger and pushing your comfort zone, you have to get comfortable with the idea that you WILL fail sometimes, even often.In a corporate environment failure is often seen as a bad thing. As a result we develop an employee mindset that encourages us to do the small things well and enjoy the pat on the back that comes with it. But if you are too conservative in your business, or fail to take measured risks for fear of failure, you won’t get very far.
Failure is also enviable as you try new things, build new skills and start to innovate. It's an important part of the process.Our failures are often our biggest teachers. They provide us with vital information and feedback. As long as we learn from these lessons, they will help us to grow stronger and go further. Make failure your friend and get ready to achieve more than you previously thought possible.
Failure is often our greatest teacher. To succeed in business, you need to make failure your friend.
Have a Plan
You need to create a clear roadmap for your business before you transition. This will help you consistently take the actions that will lead you to build the profit and lifestyle you seek. Success doesn’t happen by accident.
Your plan should clearly state your goals and milestones. It should be clear about how you are going to build the income you need to sustain your desired lifestyle, taking into consideration your desired time boundaries.Most people start their business for greater freedom, flexibility and fulfilment. Yet many fail to achieve this, as they never take the time to plan exactly how they intend to realise their vision.
In fact, a large number of the people I speak to in my Clarity Calls who are struggling in business don’t have a suitable plan in place. This maybe because in a Corporate setting, your plans are often given to you by your boss, but in business you have to create these for yourself.
Planning needn’t be complicated; it just requires a clear framework and some focused thinking. This is time well spent in your business as the right plan will help you confidently and consistently flow in the direction of your goals.
Create the perfect Blueprint
I created the idea of the Dream Clients Blueprint to help new entrepreneurs and business owners create a business they love and build the confidence to make their vision a reality.
Over 12-weeks, you'll create clarity around your vision, purpose and values. You'll explore your ideal clients in depth. And you'll determine how you can use your unique talents and skills to create meaning and value in their lives.
Using this as your foundation, I then guide you in developing your communications, marketing and products. You'll also get crystal clear on your financial objectives and how you will meet them consistently.
In short, it's everything you need to confidently start your business. It will help build core business skills and understanding, and start attracting a steady flow of clients. All without the doubt or overwhelm that's so often associated with entrepreneurship.If that sounds interesting, the first step it to book a Clarity Call with me.
We'll discuss where your business is today, versus where you'd like it to be. We'll look at what is holding you back from success. And we'll map out your next best steps. If I feel the Dream Clients Blueprint program could help you with your ambitions, I'll invite you to learn more.
Book your Complementary Clarity Call today and determine your next best steps in business.