Making good decisions is often about trying to guess the future. If you’re like most people, you probably do this through a mix of logic and what ‘feels right’.
Unfortunately, in making these choices we often favour the ‘status quo’. Being risk-averse is perfectly natural of course, and often the ‘safe thing’ is the ‘right thing’ to do. However, if your default position is always to avoid what’s different then you can end up missing some great opportunities.
And that’s often what happens when people dismiss the idea of going into business for themselves, believing either that they ‘don’t have what it takes’ or it’s going to be too hard for them to succeed.
However, as with any new venture in any area of your life, taking the first step is generally the most difficult, because just like a rocket leaving Earth, you need to break away from the ‘gravity’ of your old ways of thinking. That’s why you must take action quickly and forcefully, otherwise you’ll stay stuck where you are.
whatever you chose to do, make sure you have fun … because when you do that you will love your life and never feel the same again.
Though many underestimate what it takes to make this transition to entrepreneur and business effectively, there are lots of ways in which you can start preparing for success.
So, here are eight tips for getting your business up and running while you’re still employed.
Become emotionally ready to make this transition.
Start seeing yourself as a business owner, someone who’s able to take decisions, ready to accept and learn from your mistakes when you make them, and then to rebound from them with ever greater confidence.
Make your passion you driving force.
Focus on a business idea or niche that interests you. Generating energy and momentum when you’re only lukewarm about something isn’t a recipe for success. However, the more passionate you are about your new enterprise, the easier it will be to keep going when the going gets tough, because believing in something that matters brings strength, focus and determination.
Do your research.
While some do manage to simply ‘jump in’ and create a successful business in areas they know nothing about, having some ‘inside knowledge’ about your market will help you make progress faster and increase your chances of success. In any event, it always pays to research your business idea before you start up … and then keep on learning as you go along.
Begin with what you have.
There is never a perfect moment to get a business up and running – but now is always the best time – so if you want to make it happen use the resources that are available to you right now. That’s how many of the world’s great businesses have been built from nothing. One of the biggest obstacles to starting a business for many is that they ‘think too big’ too soon and become so overwhelmed by the prospect that they never launch it at all. So, be happy to start small, maybe you can only get going part-time, or with only one or two products, this is fine for now. You will get a clearer vision of where you want your business to go as you go along. This way you stay in control and can find your feet while testing the market, while limiting your risk and hands-on involvement.
Trust your ‘gut’ instinct.
Don’t let others put you off. Ultimately, if you’re going to be an entrepreneur and business owner, you must have the courage of your convictions and do what you think is right. That means making your own decisions – being ready to listen to others’ advice (taking on board what’s good) but having the confidence to trust your own instincts. After all, if you don’t believe it yourself there’s no chance that anybody else will.
Build a ‘success team’ around you.
It’s a reality of life that everyone needs ‘support’ from others, who could be professionals, such as accountants or solicitors, or family and friends who provide practical help when necessary. Having a reliable team around you will boost your self-confidence because when they are there you don’t need to know it all or try to do everything.
Make technology your friend.
Chose a business that suits your personality and the lifestyle you want to create. For some this will be a traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ business that requires you to pay for stock, premises, rates and rent. For others, setting up an online business is the ideal solution as this means you can get going sooner, and without having to secure a large investment pot or exposing yourself to a great financial risk. But whatever type of business you’re in, always look for ways in which you can use technology to simplify processes, increase productivity and improve customer service. Nowadays, any business needs to have technology working for them.
There is never a perfect moment to get a business up and running – but now is always the best time – so if you want to make it happen use the resources that are available to you right now.
Celebrate your dream launch.
You already know that without action nothing happens, so chose your start-up date right now. Mark this on your calendar and in your diary, then divide the time between then and now into manageable action steps. Think about celebrating your new venture with friends, family and potential customers or clients even before you officially launch. Make your intentions public so that there’s no going back as the whole world is watching and keeping you accountable.
And because achieving your dream really matters … here’s an extra tip …
Fall in love with your marketing.
You’re setting up your business to make a difference to yourself and others, however that can only happen when people know about you and value what you have to offer. That means always marketing your business passionately, taking the time to learn from others’ comments and suggestions so your business evolves to increasingly reflect where you are and what matters most to you as you go along.
And whatever you chose to do, make sure you have fun … because when you do that you will love your life and never feel the same again.
About the Author
Maite Barón is a multi-award winning author passionate about courageous leadership, happiness and wellbeing. She is a co-founder of The Corporate Escape™, which specialises in helping professionals rekindle their passion for life and reinvent themselves as business owners. She’s an international speaker and a regular contributor to the influential Huffington Post, Global Banking and Finance Review (GBFR) and Entrepreneur.