08 May Safe Career v/s Dream Business? 8 Steps To Make The Plunge Easy
You know you want to do some work ‘on your own’.
Yes, like having your own business. A business that gives you the freedom to live the life you want.
And you secretly hope your new venture will pay as much as your job.
But deep down you know that may not be the case, at least in the beginning.
Do you wonder whether you’ll ever run your own business?
Or will it remain a dream?
I spent years being indecisive.
I kept thinking, one day I’ll save up large amounts and take the plunge.
But no amount seemed large enough. And the frustration of not doing my own work brought resentment.
Until I came to a point when I realised that NOW is the time.
I took small steps to build my courage. I took up part-time consulting work to take care of the bills. I worked pro bono or for a small fee helping friends find clarity in their businesses. These small steps helped me leap into my own coaching practice.
Two of these friends provided references when I was about to sign up my first full paid client.
Want to do the same?
Below follow 8 simple steps to transition from a job to starting your own business.
These steps save you from feeling overwhelmed and help you launch your dream business with ease.
Are you a multi-passionate person with varied interests? Maybe you have a lot of ideas but can’t figure which one to choose?
Develop an idea out of your strengths. An idea that considers your passion and honours the kind of life you want. So you can serve people with excellence.
Get the free “9 Step Guide to Discover Your Dream Business” available on signing into a pop-up opt-in on the home page and discover your best business idea.
Now you know your business idea, you need to check how powerful it is.
Is there authenticity in your business idea? Or are you smitten by a fancy shmancy idea your friends think is cool?
Ask yourself these 5 questions:
a) First, Whom Are You Serving?
Who would your product or service work for? Men, women, teenagers, children?
For example, you could be serving:
- Women above 35 years who fear harmful effects of chemicals in beauty products damaging their skin?
- Teens between 16 and 19 years who are shy and awkward ?
All kinds of people could use your product or service. But you must create it around the needs of a specific target audience.
Who is that for you?
b) What are the pain points of the people you’re serving ?
Talk to 7-10 people who could be your customers. Understand their challenges and pain points.
- Do they worry about skin damage due to chemical laden beauty products?
- Do they lack confidence and social skills?
Know your customer’s pain. Because it’s a key building block to a healthy business.
c) How are YOU best suited to provide a solution to these pain points?
Know what drives you, something you’re passionate about. A gift or talent you have. Some education or work experience you have.
Dig deeper to find your answer.
- Maybe, you’re a strong believer in all things natural. You create home remedies for beauty needs. Your friends look forward to your new beauty products from the kitchen. Would you love to start a chemical-free beauty line for women?
- Have you been an awkward teen bullied through high school and later become a confident adult? Can you coach teens into confidence today?
Your answer does not have to come from a personal story. It could come from something you believe in or that annoys you enough to do something about it.
d) What will they pay you for?
What do you bring into your customers’ lives that they pay for delightfully? For instance:
- Homemade beauty products without chemicals, so customers feel good about taking care of their skin and protecting it.
- Confidence coaching for teenagers to develop courage. And, to speak with self-assurance in social situations.
e) Does this business idea allow you to lead the life you want?
What kind of business are you building?
What kind of time and commitments does it come with?
And are these in sync with the life you want to create?
Maybe you’re a young mother and believe your involvement is critical in your child’s growing up years. A large business with 150 employees that requires you to be wired 24/7 may not be the one to pursue.
Does your idea lend to a business in alignment with your life goals?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you have a fair idea of the service or product you want to design. You can start giving it shape now.
You were thinking it should be the other way around, right?
Your job will help you start a new business with the peace and sanity, because of the paycheck it gives you.
So do your job with even more love and devotion, after all it’s supporting your dream.
Consider moving to a part-time job. It helps pay the bills and gives space to create your dream business. This job works as a ‘bridge job’, until you’re ready to move to the dream business, full time.
I did several part-time consulting stints for close to 2 years as I built my coaching practice.
You’ve found a business idea you love.
Now you’ve got to invest time into nurturing it and growing it.
So block at least an hour or 2 (or more if you can) in your calendar every day, to work on your idea.
If it’s not on the calendar, it’s not happening.
Should you prefer to schedule longer hours only on the weekends, that’s fine.
When you start something new, you can find support in family and friends. Some of them may take time to come around and some will support you, no questions asked.
ASK for their support. Be specific about what you want from them.
Explain your work to them clearly.
Support them with marketing material they can use to spread the word. For example, it hugely helps if you have a post about your work on social media, that they could share.
If you’re hesitant about social media in the early days of business, write an announcement letter. Explain the work you do – who you help and how. Ask your family and friends to share this letter with anyone who would benefit from your work.
When I transitioned from my corporate job to being a coach, my mom wasn’t exactly sure I was doing the right thing.
Despite her apprehensions, I taught my mum my elevator pitch. I took her through my announcement letter. And yes, she did send some clients my way.
Want to learn more about technology and marketing? Perhaps you want to understand the legal and financial aspects to run your business?
Talk to people, read articles, take a course – whatever it takes to sharpen your skills. Some terrific online courses are available to help you learn and deepen your knowledge.
Learning never ends.
So don’t wait with taking your first step to build your own business.
You may think you’re not qualified.
‘Will people pay me?’, you may wonder.
Yes, you may do a few pro bono projects to get started, but not more than 3-4.
Pro bono work helps build confidence and clarity. It tells you whether your idea works. It gives you insight into how to fine-tune your idea. You get a taste of the joy you bring customers and a fair understanding of what you could charge.
So once you’ve tested your idea you’re ready to move from ‘Hobby Zone’ to ‘Business Zone’.
Start charging a fee that neither makes you feel exploited nor does the customer feel fleeced. Only when you ‘get on the field’ and gather experience is when real learning and movement happens.
‘Clarity comes from engagement, not thought’ – Marie Forleo
So get going.
Any new idea requires nurturing and takes time.
Working on your new idea with a sense of urgency is great. But you also need to be patient. Nurture your idea and allow it to blossom.
Your next steps
Want to get ready to take the plunge?
Start planning today. Here’s what to do in the next few weeks:
- Today, take your diary or calendar and block at least 4 hours per week for the next four weeks
- Next week, get clear about what you want to do
- In week 2, answer the 5 critical questions to test your ideas
- In week 3, create one piece of marketing material and ask family and friends to spread the word
- In week 4, aim to get your first customer
The simple truth about moving to your dream business
Moving from a safe career to a dream business is a big step.
So, don’t leave your job yet. Build your product or service and nurture it before you take the plunge.
Start moving forward step by step. Gain momentum. And let your business idea blossom.
Get ready to take the plunge and live your dream.
I would love to hear from you. Share your experience in the comments below.
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I would love to help you move to your dream business.
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