From Employment to Self Employment: Making a Smooth Transition
Would you like to start the business you have always wanted? Are you ready to share your wealth of knowledge and experience with others, while running a successful business?
We all have dreams and passions, including being our own boss, yet very few people have the courage to pursue them. Their fears, self doubts and lack of belief in their ability to generate a secure income usually prevent them from pursuing their dream of running their own business. In this article, you will discover the 7 steps that you can now take to smoothly transition from employment to your dream of running your own business.
1. Step out of your comfort zone
Regardless of how successful you are, after a while wherever you are personally and professionally, it becomes your comfort zone. The comfort zone is called a comfort zone because it is comfortable. We get used to living life in a certain way and, unless something dramatic happens to propel us out of the comfort zone, we continue ploughing along because it is what we know, what we are used to. To step out of it can be daunting or uncertain.
To reap even greater rewards in life, we need to trust ourselves to take calculated risks, to step out of our comfort zone and to back our own decisions.
2. Risk is a perception
Risk is a perception. I remember when I decided to leave corporate life after 13 years of a high paying secure income. People asked me “Aren’t you taking a risk?”. My reply, “what is the bigger risk, staying in a job where you are unfulfilled and spending the rest of your life doing something you are unhappy about only to have regrets at the end of your life, or pursuing something that you really want to do, waking up feeling excited and creating the life you want to live?”
The biggest risk in business and in life is not backing yourself enough, not having enough self belief, not taking action that will lead to your success. It is only fear and self doubt that increases the risk because then we second guess our decisions, question everything, delay action, etc – this is where the real risk to sabotaging our success lies.
3. Shift your thinking
I have seen potentially highly successful businesses struggle because of the business owner – he/she is often their worst saboteur. Ensure that you address your fears, self doubts, negative self talk and sabotaging behaviours (eg. procrastination) before you start your business. This way you will be best placed to succeed.
I have studied numerous highly successful business owners and entrepreneurs and they all have one thing in common – enormous self belief! It is that self belief that allows them to bounce back even stronger and more determined after each rejection or challenge.
4. Acquire People Skills
When people like each other, they do business together. As a business owner, you will need to know what makes other people tick, how to successfully interact with prospects, convert them into customers and nurture that relationship for life (or for as long as you want them to be your customer).
People skills are also important when leading, motivating and inspiring your employees, suppliers, business partners, referrers, alliance partners, investors, etc. The sooner you develop these skills, the sooner you will reap the rewards of a successful business.
5. Learn to Love Promoting Yourself
Many business owners are poor at promoting themselves and their business, so they keep themselves busy in their office working on plans, administration, systems, etc rather than getting out and talking to prospects and customers. The most successful business owners are very comfortable with promoting themselves and their business.
While some of them are naturally introverted and shy, they learn how to enjoy being around people and how to promote themselves effectively (and with integrity). If you fear rejection or getting a no, it is critical that you address these fears as this is the major reason preventing business owners from turning leads and prospects into clients.
6. Surround Yourself with Fans
I still remember the day I resigned from corporate life – I sent an email to hundreds of people I knew in the organisation to let them know that I was leaving to start my own business. Within 24 hours I received replies from most of those people. Around half were really positive, expressing their excitement and support and congratulating me. Meanwhile, the other half replied with negativity and “rained on my parade”. By the end of the day, my head was spinning and I was wondering whether I had done the right thing. I started to doubt and question my decision to resign.
This was a real test of my commitment to my decision. At that point, I decided to never again surround myself with negative people, only fans. Look at the people that you surround yourself with, are they supporters of your dreams or not?
7. Action Your Plan
Create a five year business vision and make it so compelling that it drives you to transition. This will keep you focused, it will help you overcome any obstacles that arise and will make your remaining time in employment easier. Without a clear business vision and goals, simply dreaming of one day being in your own business, will be insufficient to drive and motivate you. Also have a business and a marketing plan, which will give you focus and also ensure that you have done your homework to increase your chances of success.
Imagine how quickly you could start pursuing your dream of having your own business by implementing the above steps!