Are You Ready to be Self-Employed?
Half of the US will be entrepreneurs by 2020
Many Americans are saying goodbye to the traditional 9-5 lifestyle in favor of a much more flexible schedule that works around what they need. Last year, 43% of the work force were self-employed. The advantages of being your own boss are rewarding – set your own schedule, less commuting time, and making an impact doing what you love.
While rewarding, being an entrepreneur is also tough. Not everyone is carved out to be self-employed. There are definitely challenges to gaining financial momentum, especially in the early years. For example, it can take coaches/consultants up to 6-8 years to cross the $100K income goal. That’s just way too long to struggle and not make a difference doing what you love.
To be successful, you need to do the basics – create a business plan, set up your legal entity, and prepare for taxes/insurance/retirement. The internet is loaded with lots of free information to do any of these foundational activities. These actions are the bare minimum you need to have a viable business.
But there’s more. The real secret is to consistently find new clients so that you have a thriving business in the entrepreneur economy. Without a steady stream of clients, I’ve seen too many people quit and go back to an unfulfilling 9-5 job. That leaves the world without their gift - and it doesn’t have to be that way.
You will need perseverance during the entrepreneur journey to ride out the ups and downs. That’s a given. In addition, follow these three tips at the START of your business so that you substantially increase your odds of survival. This advice will help you fast track your impact and success, so that you never consider going back to a job to pay the bills:
1) Identify and Articulate Your Superpower Quickly
Your Superpower is your gift. It’s the thing you ‘do’ that comes so naturally to you. It’s the topic that other people come to you to ask for advice. Identifying this skill can be one of the hardest, yet most important parts of your business – especially for service based companies.
I struggled with this myself for a long time. It’s difficult because sometimes we are too close to see our own gift – and we just do our magic without thinking about it. We assume everyone else has the same gift because it’s just so easy to us. For example, my gift is productivity – taking the complex and making it simple, orderly, and efficient. The sooner you find and articulate your Superpower, the sooner your business will thrive.
2) Acquire the Employee vs Owner Mindset
Just because you were a top performing employee doesn’t mean you will automatically be a rock star entrepreneur out of the gate. There are different skills required in both positions. Being an entrepreneur is WAY different than being an employee – ask anyone who has started his or her own company. Self-employed people all begin their journey at the same starting line no matter what their background. It’s not a horizontal move.
The biggest challenge I see is that self-employed people struggle with when to be the ‘boss’ and when to be the ‘employee’. At the start of the company, entrepreneurs wear all of that hats as the business gets established. While this is often necessary, it puts new owners in a constant mental clash.
I was there myself. When I was working ‘on’ the business making strategic plans and charting the course, I felt guilty because work wasn’t getting done while I was out of the office. When I was working ‘in’ the business doing the day to day tasks, I felt guilty that I wasn’t designing the important owner activities that would move the business forward. It took a while to find the right balance between being the boss who does the thinking, and the employee that does the doing. Once you find that balance, your business will thrive.
3) Create a Detailed Marketing and Content Plan
Companies that make and follow a plan, generate up to 30% more income than those that don’t. The first plan you must have in your business is a marketing plan. As employee, you rarely had to do any marketing. People already knew what you did and sought you out for specific tasks. As an entrepreneur, you must market yourself like you never had to do as an employee. If people can’t find you, you will quickly feel the frustration of not being heard, your gift not making an impact, and the financial stress of lack of sales.
The marketing plan should cover online, offline, and public relations activities. Being on social media just isn’t enough. You need the plan to address all three elements to reach the greatest number of people. My event partner, Laura Pence Atencio, created this awesome marketing calendar that we’ll be using at our upcoming summit which you can read about below. It’s a great tool to help you make your marketing plans for the upcoming year.
Since half of the US will be self-employed just two year from now, it’s imperative that people are successful in their transition from work to entrepreneur. By following the three tips in this blog, your odds of staying in business and feeling fulfilled are greatly increased. You and your business matter and need to flourish. Follow these steps and stay the course so that you can make a huge impact.
Want to consistently find more clients? Check out the Business Accelerator Summit Experience. This incredible event, specifically designed for coaches and consultants, is coming October 17-19, 2017 in Breckenridge, Colorado.
In just 3 days:
- Build your marketing strategy
- Define your marketing content calendar
- Construct your business systems
- Complete your action plan for growth
To learn more and apply for the event, CLICK HERE.