I have grown up in a family of entrepreneurs. My great-grandparents came to the United States from Yugoslavia and found work in Ohio, but they soon decided that they wanted to be able to choose a life of their own. They chose Southeast Missouri as their new home and became a farming family. My grandparents followed in their parents footsteps by carrying on the tradition of owning their own farm, and then they also opened a convenience store and established a fertilizer business that serviced the local farmers. It was entrepreneurial spirit at its finest.
My parents took over that fertilizer business, and it’s within that environment where I grew up. From the time I was in elementary school I was working in the family business, first emptying trash cans and sweeping floors and then eventually doing all of the accounting and financial work for the business until I graduated from college. I can recall always being at the office – at night, on weekends. If my parents were working, then my brothers and I were working as well. I think this is where my strong work ethic comes from. I learned to be a hard worker from a very young age. And for this, I truly thank my parents and grandparents.
My younger brothers have taken on the family entrepreneurship and started their own businesses as well. One brother has a video production company that produces amazing documentaries, and the other brother has a very successful restaurant and convenience store not far from the family business where we grew up. I am beyond proud of both of them and their entrepreneurial successes.
I, on the other hand, have not had the entrepreneurial drive like they have. Although I have a true passion for my life and I know what I was meant to do in this world, I also know that at this very moment owning my own business is not right for me. This may change, but for right now I have true happiness where I am. I have been blessed to work for a company that believes in me and allows me to pursue my passion for helping others see the potential within themselves through my Syndicate Momentum program.
I realize that not everyone will be as blessed and lucky as I am. Through my family history, I understand that some people know without a doubt that they want to own their own business and take control of their life like never before. In this article, we are going to discuss how you can become your own boss in less than 365 days. We will go over:
- Defining entrepreneurship
- How to determine if entrepreneurship is right for you
- Ways to build your business up before you quit your full-time job
- How to adjust to life as an entrepreneur
Wikipedia defines Entrepreneurship as “the process of designing, launching and running a new business, i.e. a startup company offering a product, process or service.” It has been defined as the “…. the capacity and willingness to develop, organize and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make a profit.”
To me, entrepreneurship is taking an idea and creating a business around it from the ground up. It means having a passion so big that nothing can stand in your way. I think it’s finding the resources and tools to create opportunities. It means being in control of your own life. It means getting to choose when and where you work, and determining how much time you want to invest to make your dream a success. It means doing what you want to do when you want to do it.
When I think of an entrepreneur, a lot of people in my life come to mind. I think of my bosses, Ben Adkins and Monica Birdsong, my grandparents, my parents and my brothers. But the one person who really sticks out in my mind as an amazing entrepreneur is Dave Ramsey. Dave Ramsey is well known as the “get out of debt guy,” but his story has stuck with me since the first day I heard it. At a young age, Dave built a fortune in real estate, but he quickly lost it all and went bankrupt. It was at this moment in life that Dave found his purpose, his passion and his why. He was determined to spread the word to the world that living a life in debt was no way to live at all. He wrote a book, created a training course and started to teach people how to do what he had done.
Does this not sound like so many in the internet marketing field? Finding something that you are passionate about, writing about it and teaching others to do what you have done. But from losing everything, Dave went on to build a multi-million dollar business. If you find that entrepreneurship is right for you, I highly recommend Dave’s book, EntreLeadership . It is a great book for anyone who has either been in business for years or who is just thinking about getting started.
Now that you know what an entrepreneur is let’s discuss if entrepreneurship is right for you.
How to determine if entrepreneurship is right for you
Making the decision to leave your traditional 9-5 job and start your own business comes with many considerations and a good deal of stress. For some people, entrepreneurship is simply not for them. For others, freelancing fits their lifestyle and ambitions best, and then there are those that are made to be business owners. Let’s go over how to determine what is the best fit for you.
Are you a Creator or a Doer
Entrepreneurs are typically defined by what they create. They take an idea and create something from nothing. An entrepreneur is someone who is typically a problem solver. They see an area that needs improvement, and they make that improvement happen.
Freelancers are typically defined by what they do. Their skill set is what they are skilled at, such as a web designer, a writer or even a graphic designer. A freelancer is not employed continually, but she can be hired by one or more companies for specific jobs. They are typically only focused on the task at hand and not in charge of the total outcome of a project.
No matter which skill set you fall under, you can always achieve success by becoming the expert in what you do; opportunities will always find you.
What keeps you awake at night
When everyone else is asleep, most entrepreneurs are the ones who are up all night plotting paths to turn their ideas into realities. Ben Adkins, my boss, is one of those people. Not only is he up thinking of ways to make things happen, but he is usually making them happen at night! An entrepreneur’s time is spent putting puzzle pieces together to bring their ideas to fruition. The puzzle pieces may be funding, marketing, customer relations or managing a team. There is a lot to think about when you are running your own business.
If a freelancer is up all night, then it is typically figuring out a way to improve their skillset or expand their client base or actually working on a job she has going on at that moment.
How will you make money
The biggest differentiator between a freelancer and an entrepreneur is the way they are able to make money. Freelancers are limited to the amount of money they make by the number of hours in a given week that they are able to work. However, if you are the type of person who only likes to depend on yourself, then freelancing is a great avenue for you.
An entrepreneur is someone who can make money all hours of the day and night because she is able to create systems and find people that generate income even when she is not actually working. The success of entrepreneurs depends on their own work, planning and determination. If one moving part fails to work the proper way it can have a financial impact on the entire business.
Now that you know if becoming a freelancer or an entrepreneur is the right move for you, let’s go over how to make that happen.
Ways to build your business up before you quit your full-time job
Many successful entrepreneurs had to keep their day jobs until they had reached a point in their business when it was feasible to quit. For my brother, he was delivering pizzas at night until his business was built-up enough that he could quit. For Ben Adkins, he ran his chiropractic business during the day and did internet marketing at night. The transitional time can be difficult, especially if you don’t enjoy your day job, but it doesn’t have to be. Let’s go over ways to make the transition easier.
Understanding Your Why
The very first thing that I tell everyone before they start any business is to really understand WHY you are doing it. Is it something that you have a love and passion for? Is it something that you would do for no money at all because you enjoy it that much? Do you love helping others? Or is it that you want to be your own boss or you have a desire to work from home with your kids? Whatever your why, understanding what motivates and drives you will help you stay focused when things start to get difficult.
Create a Vision for your Business
If your desire is to start your own business, I want you to start with a big dream. Start with a crazy BIG dream. I want you to write down, in great detail, what your business will look like. What activities will you engage in? Who will your customers or clients be? How many customers will you have? What will your monthly income be? How much time will you be working every week? Will you have a team or will it just be you? This is the time to dream big. I want you to read that vision every single day. This will keep you focused on what you want to accomplish.
Learn as much as possible
Research and study anything you can find that may pertain to your business. Take courses, hire a coach, listen to podcasts or audiobooks. Find experts in the field and see if they would be willing to mentor you. Join a mastermind group. A mastermind group involves peer-to-peer mentoring through regular meetings to support each other, brainstorm ideas and share advice. I run an amazing mastermind group called The Syndicate Momentum, and I would love to have you join our group. Our group is excellent for helping you stay focused, motivated and accountable.
Set daily goals
It is important to do at least one thing every single day that moves your business forward. Just one thing. Understand that there will be days that you feel like you are making no progress at all or that you are moving backward. We all have days like that. Realize that this is part of the process of building a business. If you focus on doing just one thing daily that moves your business forward, then you will look up and realize you have gone a long way in a short amount of time. And the more progress that you make the more confidence you will have, and this will result in more determination to keep moving forward.
Before you start your business, you need to first understand your audience. I recently wrote a blog post called The Four Pieces You Must Have to Reach $10k per Month Working from Home . In this post, I explain the steps you must take to understand who you are selling to.
Once you understand who your audience is, then address how you and your business will help that customer.
Now that we understand what needs to be done to get to the point where you can leave your typical day job and move forward to running your business on a full time basis, let’s discuss what to do once you have made that big step.
How to adjust to life as an entrepreneur
So you did it! You left your 9-5 to follow your dream of owning your own business. Congratulations!! Now let’s talk about how to adjust to that new life.
Keep expenses low
First, you want to make sure to keep your expenses low. The lower your expenses the greater flexibility you will have. This means not giving in to your urge to buy every new shiny and bright thing that your way. Next, you will need to set up an emergency fund. Decisions become easierwhen you have the cash stashed away in case something big comes up. I do this even in my personal life, and I can tell you there is nothing financial that ever stresses me out because I know we have emergency funds stashed away. It is a good idea to save three to six months worth of expenses, so if you have a bad month or even two, you are still covered.
Keep a routine
Just because no one is watching you and you don’t have to clock in to work at a certain time each day, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it anyway. Maintaining a daily schedule will help you keep your momentum going. Everyone will have a different work style; what works for you may not work for another. Whether you’re an early morning riser who prefers to get all of your work done before 6 pm or you are up working all night, do what is best for you!
Have a designated work area
For me, I have a dedicated office space in my basement. I try not to work on the couch or the bed because it would be much too easy to slack off and choose a nap instead of actually getting work done. Find an area in your home that you can dedicate as a work area. When you get to your area, your brain knows that it is time to focus and get stuff done.
Keep a daily to-do list
This is one thing that I do every single day, and I feel out of sorts without it. It doesn’t matter how you do it, but have a list of what you want to accomplish for the week. Write it down. Look at it daily. And make sure that every single day you are doing at least one thing to move your business forward in big ways. If you can focus on one thing and complete that one thing every single day, you will move faster than 99% of other businesses out there.
Taking the steps to leave a full-time job to start your own business is a big deal. Even so, it is an amazing thing to be able to create the life you want, the way you want. If this is the choice that you make, congratulations! This next year will be amazing!
- How to become your own boss in less than 365 days - February 9, 2016
- How I was Able to Create a $10k a Month Revenue Stream and Still be a Rock Star Mom and Employee - February 1, 2016
- The 4 Pieces you Must Have to Reach $10k per Month Working from Home - January 22, 2016
- Getting More Organized: 4 Ways to Triple Your 2016 Income - January 11, 2016
- How your procrastination is keeping you from earning 5 figures a month (and the 5 ways to fix it) - January 1, 2016
- 4 Steps to an Elevator Speech that will Increase Your Leads in a Week - December 18, 2015
- 4 Ways Your Perfectionism Kills Your Success and How to Correct Them - December 2, 2015
- 6 Steps to a Creative Employee Handbook (While Keeping you Legally Protected) - November 16, 2015
- How To Cut Your Work Week In Half By Using Procrastination Killers - November 4, 2015
- How to Make Your New Employee Fall in Love with Your Company from Day One - October 28, 2015
Erik Heyl says
I love this! Just the little kick I need! I’ve done IM and coaching but am currently working tech support for a well-known marketer, and it’s….ok. But the fire still burns. I’ve cut down on extraneous stuff I “thought” I needed and have a plan (and soon, once I get my hands on Fearless Branding, thank you Ben!) a brand.
Thank you for this, it really shed light on things.
Tabitha Thomas says
I am so glad that you found my blog post helpful and I am so glad to see you in our Momentum group! Get rready to get Focused like never before!!!!!