Living from your own business would be a dream come true!
Not only would it be a fulfilling and enriching experience that creates purpose in your own life, it would give you the freedom to express your creativity into something that contributes to society
But, you also need to live from it…
The transition into actually earning a living from your own business can be overwhelming, time consuming, scary and risky.
Here we look at 5 steps that can help you to approach this change positively and confidently so that you can meet the challenge, hit the ground running and perpetuate a continual flow moving forward.
Step 1 - Absolute Faith
Self-doubt is the seed of failure
Living from your own business allows you to be free to do what you're passionate about and to manage your time and your space your way -
Does it feel risky to leave the safety of a full time job?
Confidence and absolute faith are difficult to summon when you are beginning something new. We all lack confidence the first time we put skis on or sit on a horse and it takes time to master your fear, but worrying about success or failure, is the worst way you can begin your venture.
A good way to address self-doubt is to be observant and self-aware without being critical or judgmental of yourself. It’s normal to lack confidence but doubting yourself is giving your power away rather than claiming who you are and what you can contribute.
Be aware of the expectations and conditions you have and focus your attention and energy into moving forward without attachment to them. Embrace the possibility of success and realise that failure is non existent because you can always just get up, dust yourself down and go again.
Should I give up my job to start my own business?
We live in uncertain times. Redundancy is becoming more widespread, people are changing jobs more frequently. It feels a bit wobbly underneath our feet right now but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Is any job really safe right now?
A warm fire on a cold night is hard to walk away from, but eventually you need to get up and do something. You don’t evolve from comfort, rather you evolve from adapting to new environments, to navigating new challenges and learning from new relationships.
Losing a job can always open the door of opportunity and be a catalyst for change and allow you to focus all of your energy on your business.
However, if you aren’t in that position, the decision to leave your 9-5 job and go full time with your own business is a very personal one.
Can I afford it?
You may be feeling exhausted and unfulfilled in your 9-5 job and eager to do something new, but starting a business with a yoke of financial burden and responsibility is stressful so make sure you have the financial stability to be able to leave your job. A business requires all your focus and energy and can take some time to blossom so you’ll need to go into it with a healthy mindset and a relaxed body.
A budget planner can be useful. You can use it to be clear on your monthly outgoings and how much you need to sell each month to survive. You may prefer to stay in your job while you start your business or look for part-time work until you feel more secure.
Step 2 - Question Time
What is your big idea and why do you want to do it?
You want to be living from your own business so you need to be clear on what you want to do and why...
You probably already have a business idea and it may be determined by the skills and experience you have acquired. Whether you’re selling a product or service, there is a reason why it’s that particular product and service and an energetic investment or alignment to it.
Knowing why you want to do what you do is a great exercise and I recommend that you meditate and really observe what comes up for you. Looking at how your business contributes to society can help you to see the bigger purpose and how your core values and strengths support that purpose. This gives you energy and confidence and gets you rolling!
What passions, skills and experience do you have in life and how might they come together in your business offer?
Your skills and experience are going to define what you do, how you do it and why you offer what you do.
Your passion is what lights you up, what you’re interested in and enjoy doing and this is also a very important consideration in the above question.
You may decide to combine your skills in a way that offers something unique and also provides valuable strategies and services for your clients. For example;
I’m passionate about people, self-development, singing, writing and holistic wellness. I studied naturopathy, music, transformational coaching and have been a vocal coach for over 25 years. I am a free-lance copywriter, and I’ve worked as a HR manager and consultant, as well as director of a business consultancy and back office support company.
How does this all come together?
My skills, experience and passions are combined in a unique way to support women to discover their authentic voice and how it is expressed in their business to develop presentation skills and strategic content creation that is creative and compelling.
What skills have you acquired, what jobs have you done and what are you naturally good at that can be combined into your unique offer, add value and help you to feel passionate about your business? That’s what will position you as the expert in your particular business niche.
Step 3 - A Reality Check
You may feel a bit more confident about what your business will look like, the value that you offer your clients and the skills, strengths, values and experience that you can bring, but is it something that people need? Will they want to part with their money to work with you?
Living from your own business means attracting clients who want to work with you. There’s no business without clients!
Research is a great way to find out if you’re on the right track. You can find out how many people are Googling the product or the service that you’re offering by checking out the trends (Google Trend is a good first step in this direction). If it’s a popular market place such as accounting and bookkeeping, it’s obviously something that people will always need, but it may be a harder job to stand out in the crowd (we’ll get to that part in the next step) If it is genealogy you’re into, it may be a smaller marketplace but easier to get noticed.
Your business model will also be a factor to consider.
It's harder to get noticed online so you need to be very specific with your messaging in order to stand out from the crowd.
Ask people for help!
It’s important to understand what problem you are solving for people.
Write a post on your favourite social media platform and ask people who may be interested in your particular product or service if they would be open to a 15 minute chat with you. Then you can craft some questions that will help you to be clear on what their issues are and what solutions they are looking for. This will help you to define how your particular programme or product may solve that issue or support them going forward and give you valuable insight into what your client needs.
Step 4 - Know your client
Now that you're clearer on who your ideal client is and what they struggle with, it’s time to define your ideal client in a way that will really help you to nurture a relationship with them so that you can offer a valuable solution and make that all important sale!
So, who is your ideal client?
I may seem a bit of a silly exercise, but I can assure you that being specific is the best way to create a foundation from which all of your content will be based on.
Many business coaches talk about creating an avatar, however, when I think of that word I remember creating an avatar on my Wii game and although it was very amusing, I tend to think of avatars as not being real.
Your client is real.
Imagine the life of a real person and create this person as though they really exist (because they do)
I’m not going to list everything that makes up a person's life, but pay attention to detail and think about geographics, demographics, psychographics and any graphics that may be relevant in your line of business i.e. if you’re in IT, technographics may be important.
This person will not be the only type of client your business exists for, but it helps you to know how to communicate your products and services to one person. The ideal client is the bulls-eye on a target, but as long as your arrow hits the board, you’re in business!
Finally Step 5 - Expression & Attention
How well you communicate to the person described in the last step will be the difference between making a living from your own business and just having a hobby.
As I mentioned before, to stand out online you need index interruptus - (made up from the latin equivalent of stop scrolling!)
You won’t obtain index interruptus if you market yourself as a life coach. Nobody really knows what a life coach can help them with and the words that coaches use, such as imposter syndrome and limiting beliefs, generally tend to confuse and turn potential clients off.
If you are a coach with a background in finance, you may call yourself a wealth coach and decide to help start-ups to increase their profit margin. That is more defined, but who is the customer, what language does he or she use and how can you get in front of them? This is why the research step is so valuable. Your background in finance was filled with jargon, but your client may just want to hear how he or she can afford a new member of staff.
If your business is selling pretty hand-designed silk scarves, you may consider that to be an easy sell, but if I look on Google for silk scarves, I may not find you.
As a 50+ woman who is a little insecure about my neck line getting a bit wrinkly, I may find you if you've written a blog about the insecurities that 50+ women have and how we need to embrace and love our bodies in all stages of life. Of course, you have a call to action in that blog which gives the answer to a woman’s neckline concerns - how to look beautiful and elegant as well as enjoying the silky sensation of a unique hand painted scarf!
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