Want to be your own boss, huh? Before you give your boss the silent treatment and walk out the front door, there are some things to consider before you take flight. Do it right and it will be one of the best decisions of your life. Do it wrong and…well…
Statistics show that 85% of Americans dislike their jobs. Wow! I can hardly wrap my head around the idea that only 15% of people actually like what they do? I say we change that narrative. Enjoying meaningful work should be a right we all experience and not a privilege for a select few.
Are you lacking fulfillment from your job? Are considering jumping off of that hamster wheel to work from home. If so, consider what that would mean for you. Working from home could mean working virtually. It could also mean becoming an entrepreneur and starting your own business. Both of those ideas certainly have some great benefits. Here are 5 tips I would offer to anyone new to entrepreneurship.
Know Your "Why"
What are your reasons for being self-employed? What are your driving forces? If your sole reason is making money, I would urge you to dig beyond that.
Making money is something you can do without being self-employed. Why do you want to make money? Reasons vary but examples could be, that though having money doesn’t always equate to having happiness, having money does offer you more choices. Choices like which school to put your kids in, or which side of the menu you prefer to order from. Your why could be to create not just freedom in finances but in time.
Why do you want to have freedom in your time? For me, my kids were the catalyst to me launching into self-employment. It became more necessary to have autonomy over my day.
Know your why because it will carry you through when things are good and especially when they get tough. Regardless of the industry, self-employment is a labor of love. And as glamorous as it can sound (and actually be at times), there are moments when the glam will leave the building. There needs to be one thing that will keep you in the game when times get shaky. That one thing is remembering the very reasons you started. Many talk about the why, but it truly is an important key.
Protect your Business
You’ll want to consider how to shield your assets. Invest money in things like incorporating your business, and establishing business accounts. This will start you off the right way.
From Employee to Employer
Treat your business like a business. Be Ready to Work-work-work-work-work. This is in reason, of course. I certainly don’t mean be a captive to the new career, but understand that it’s not all fun and games. There is real work involved in running your own business. Even side gigs should be treated as a business and not a hobby. A business is designed to make you money whereas a hobby generally takes money.
The beauty is that you have more autonomy over your schedule, so don’t let it consume your life. One of the reasons most of us become self-employed is so that we can have some control over our own schedule. Even some of the more flexible jobs, still have restrictions. That’s not to say that working from home never presents challenges with the schedule, but generally, it still affords us more control over when we take time off.
I would spend time with my Littles in the morning before dropping them off at school, rush home and try and crank out 3-4 hours of work because I knew that once they got home it was back to mommin’ again until bedtime. Which if you have toddlers, you know that can be interesting.
Your the "Face of the Business" Wear it Well!
As a business owner, you are the face of your business which means that it’s important to be mindful of what you’re presenting to the world. By no means am I saying be inauthentic.
Frankly, the opposite is true.
Be authentic! Show your customers that there is a human behind the business. I like to share stories and photos of my family. This allows people that you may not get the opportunity to meet in person to get a sense that they know you. Build relationships by building the “know-like-trust” factor. The reality is that people generally support those that they like. Allowing your customers to see and hear about birthdays or vacations you take with family and friends can help you in the likeability category.
So, if you work from home or hope to soon, start building those relationships. It’s true that people are your business.
You CAN Provide Value in the Marketplace
This one is a big one. It was the same for my students as it was for me and many others. I would venture to say, especially women. We could have been doing a task forever and be exceptional at it, but we question if anyone will be interested in what we have to offer. We wonder if we are good enough to even start a business. Doubt and fear creep in really fast and try to derail what we feel called to do.
Don’t let that happen. Know that you have a unique service to offer and there are people who need what you have to offer!
The life of an entrepreneur, like any other, has its ups and downs. Take things one day at a time. Become proficient in your knowledge and skill-set, and vow to make a positive impact in the lives of your customers. This is what generally leads to the sense of satisfaction in our work that we all desire.
Let me know if this was helpful by commenting below and/or sharing this post on your favorite social media.