Bye Bye Corporate. Hello Entrepreneurship!

Published on July 7, 2012

 

Have you seen the trend? I have. More and more people are getting into business for themselves than ever before.

Why?

Who knows. There are so many reasons.

  • Sick of corporate grind
  • Downsized
  • Need flex hours
  • Wanna make what you’re worth
  • Following your passion (this is my favorite)

Whatever the reason, if YOU are one of the lucky ones on the path to creating your own destiny...

Congratulations! Being your own boss rocks!

 

I have been self-employed or owned my own business since I was 20 years old. Over the last 20+ years, I have tried to be an employee, accepting opportunities that seemed fun and financially appealing. Without fail, I sucked at it.

I had to face the facts...I am not good at being an employee. I am far better as my own boss.

Not everyone was born into entrepreneurship, however. This concept of “being my own boss” is new for some. And so for you my dear trailblazers, I would like to share a few of my little life lessons.  

Here are some things I have learned after starting yet ANOTHER new company.

 

Recognize and accept that you ARE “starting a new company.”

In the beginning some things feel like sales jobs (real estate, insurance, consulting, online business, MLMs, etc).

Hate to burst your bubble here, but if you became an independent contractor selling ANYTHING (including your services) to others - you now own and run a business.

You may not be incorporated (yet) or have an office space with signage and cushy chairs, but you are a business owner. The sooner you begin to think and act like one, the faster you will see results.

 

Limit the “big changes” in your life during your first year.

The amount of emotional and physical energy that goes into starting a new business is hard to describe. When you are self-employed and not “on the clock” you will find yourself thinking about work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even though most days it is excitement and passion doing the heavy lifting, it takes a toll on your resources.

I learned this the hard way. We decided to launch our business and move across the country in the same 3 month period. Oh yes as they say, we did it up right. We moved from Texas to Florida and into an investment property which we staged and sold while buying another house. So while launching our new business, we also took on one of the most stressful events a person can tackle, buying and selling a home. Oh, and we did it twice! Go figure.

 

Reduce expenses and put some money under the mattress.

Starting a business always costs more than you expect it to. No one can honestly tell you all the things that you will need to spend money on as you get started in business, so just plan on taking the number that you have in your head and doubling it. Unless of course you think it will cost you nothing...then I recommend you do some additional homework before you even think about branching out on your own.

Even word of mouth costs money. Think about it. Gas for your car, phone bill, internet service, training and education, endless “let’s have a cup of coffee” meetings (have you seen Starbucks prices?), and postage. Those are just the very basics of a “word of mouth” type business that I can think of off the top of my head. Now consider any technology that you put into place and the numbers can get ridiculous.

Go through your current expenses and cut out all the fat. Run lean and mean for a while until you have a firm grasp on what your “real” expenses will be. Consider putting that extra cash from your severance package in savings instead of splurging on a cruise. You can still take the vacation, just don’t use all of the dough... be smart. I’m speaking from experience here, remember?

 

Surround yourself with a support network.

This sounds simple enough, right? Wrong. Finding people who really understand and support your new venture can be more challenging than you may think. Family members are likely to think you have lost your mind, previous work related friends still have a job to go to, and now you are working from you kitchen table with only your dog to talk to all day.

Join a mastermind group, attend networking meetings, and create a network of other like-minded professionals that you can bounce things off of. You are going to need it. I promise.

 

Tell your inner critic to shut the hell up.

Even the most confident entrepreneur has a loud mouthed inner critic. My friend calls this her itty bitty shitty criticizing committee. You can’t make it go away entirely, so just make it a point to acknowledge him when he shows up and quickly smack him down.

He represents all those pre-programmed messages that no longer serve you, but that you have filed away under “good advice, words of wisdom, or tough love.” Just push those files to the back under a new category marked “Bullshit - Do not disturb.”

 

You can do this. Yes, you can. I promise. 

The world awaits your amazingness!

 

 

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