The transition from working for someone else to being your own boss is challenging. Make no doubt about that, but many have done it with success.
Take, for example, Paul English. Paul worked at a venture capital firm and left his job to start up Kayak, a travel website, in partnership with Steve Hefner, who had founded Orbitz. Nine years later, the company was acquired for two billion dollars.
Richard Reed CBE traded a career in advertising account management for smoothie making, launching Innocent with friends Jon Wright and Adam Balon.
And … Anastasia Leng. Anastasia left her job as New Business Development Manager at Google to co-found Hatch.co
These are the success stories we have heard about in the press, but there are countless others who embrace the transition. The question is why do some businesses succeed when the majority fail within their first few years?
Stretch for Success
First, face fears. You may fear ditching a regular paycheck, working in isolation, what friends and family will say, you may fear failure, making mistakes, and ‘putting yourself out there.’ But, there is a lightbulb moment. Even the best entrepreneurs are not free from making mistakes. What sets them apart from others is their aptitude to face fears and celebrate victories.
Second, have an invincible conviction that you WILL succeed. No maybes, pure conviction. Forget about job stability, forget about being led, forget about the nine to five, and replace it all with a vision for your future.
Imagine your shift from employee to business owner, how your business will serve its audience, the success of its finances, and how it will grow in the short, medium, and long term. Envision it, visualize it with every bone in your body, let every thought blossom in your mind. And, know that you CAN achieve success. It’s a mindset, a mindset to be nurtured every single day.
Master your mindset and you’re more than halfway there to success.
Combine with a drive, energy and positive outlook, and you’re even a further way along the path.
And once you’ve visualized it?
Third, take action. Sure, it’s easy to come up with endless business ideas. Most people daydream. But how many ideas ever come to fruition? How often do we hear the phrases: ‘I don’t have enough time,’ ‘I don’t have enough money,’ ‘I’ll do it tomorrow?’
Sometimes you just don’t smell the roses when you go into your workplace any more. You’ve reached the pinnacle of your career and are hungry for something else or you may get a call from the Divine. Whatever the reason, decide to START.
Be like those who have acted on their dreams. Software giant Microsoft was founded in 1975, in the garage of a young college graduate named Bill Gates. In 1994, Amazon.com began as an online bookstore that operated out of Jeff Bezos’s garage in Bellevue, Washington.
Success Starts NOW
Start with knowing that you will work on your business AND on yourself as an entrepreneur. Working on both never dies. It’s a spiral with twists and turns. You’ll be fully responsible for everything that happens in your business.
‘How to be the boss.’ Position yourself as a leader, guiding with sincerity and integrity at every turn. Take responsibility for everything in your business. Delegate, but the buck stops with you! Create a trusted brand. Build your legacy.
Look at the legalities. Form your legal identity, be it a sole proprietorship, limited or partnership venture. Profile the trading terms and conditions of your business.
Research. Research. Research. Get to know all about your market, your competitors, and audience base. Find your niche.
Test. Test your business idea and establish the key risk and success factors. Think about how many people need what you are selling and forecast, as a percentage, how many people will buy.
Set specific goals. Develop a business plan as a roadmap and revise it weekly. Don’t just write one and shove it in a drawer. It will change in line with activity, so revision is rife. An up-to-date business plan is the basis of solidifying your gold mine.
Fortify your finances. Cash is king. Monitor your cash flow daily. Project expenses and revenue streams. Have savings to invest if possible, especially at the launch of your venture when sales may be lower at the start up phase. Be prepared not to withdraw a regular salary during this time.
Choose the correct sales and marketing channels. Your sales and marketing channels will affect your cash flow. The correct ones? Healthy finances. The wrong ones? Potential business destruction.
Solve problems. Make no mistake, there will be problems along the way, regularly. Success is how you solve them, learn from them, and stop them from happening again. Produce contingency plans. Once you learn to do this, you will face problems without fear and minimize the risks.
And … start, SLOWLY. STEP BY STEP. Be patient and nurture the growth.
As John Heywood, English playwright famously said, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day.’
And, just perhaps, nothing great is!
The Manka Academy