Start a business on the side while holding down your job. Or take the leap to self employed bliss. Choose and grow your own business with confidence.
A big shout out to my client who has started her business today—while holding down her current job. Catherine’s started smart by taking over an existing business – check it out here http://www.lifeconsulting.co.nz/
Learn from other inspired and inspiring entrepreneurs and make a calculated leap to self-employed freedom and fulfilment. Fourteen individuals tell you their stories in Mid-Life Career Rescue (Employ Yourself): How to confidently leave a job you hate, and start living a life you love, before it’s too late. Their backgrounds and dreams are as unique as you are. What unites them is their creativity, passion and integrity. In my latest book Mid-life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself they share their fears, their struggles and their joys as they overcame obstacles and pursued their dreams of self-employment. Here’s an excerpt:
“Wild horses wouldn’t drag me back to working for someone else.”
Alan Sugar, Entrepreneur and host of The Apprentice, UK
They were doing something they love; their passion drove them.
The list below is what they have in common. As you read this list think how many strategies could apply to you:
Making money was not their sole motivation. Their businesses grew from a desire to serve others; they were not trying to force something on others or to make a killer sale. Instead, they wanted to make a positive difference and create something of value. They didn’t badger people into buying their goods or service.
- They cared about whether or not they could help a prospective client. If they could, great. If not, they were either quietly persistent until they were needed, or they moved on.
- They planned for success. Their business and marketing plans were living documents and they managed their finances extraordinarily well.
- They shared. They communicated their vision, goals and plans with those important to them, and they researched their clients and stakeholders constantly to learn how to do things better together.
- They listened. They listened to their staff, their families and their clients. Then, and only then, when they understood their issues, fears, needs and desires did they offer a solution.
- They started smart. When employing others, whether on contract or as salaried staff, they hired the right people for the right job. And, when necessary, they gave their people the training, systems, environment and recognition to do their job well.
- They took calculated risks. They always looked before they leapt, but they leapt nonetheless. Courage and confidence was something they built as they went.
- They believed in themselves, or faked it! Even professionals doubt themselves – but they don’t let self-doubt win.
“You have to believe in yourself. Even when you don’t, you have to try,” encourages Serena Williams, tennis super-star and 21-time Grand Slam champion.
“There are moments when I am on the court and I’m like, ‘I don’t think I’m going to be able to do this’. But then I fortify myself and say, ‘I can, I can’ – and it happens. If you believe in yourself, even if other people don’t, that really permeates through and it shows. And people respect that.”
If the strategies above sound like things you can do, or are willing to try, chances are self-employment is right for you. Be sure to get off to a good start, and be inspired by those who have walked the path of success.
Client Success Story: Business Can Be a Wonderful Box of Chocolates
Lisa Conroy, Director and Empowerment Coach for women’s lifestyle, career and wellness. Box of Chocolates, www.boxofchocolates.co.nz
Lisa Conroy’s passion for helping others led her to start her coaching business. The seeds of change were also cultivated during a stressful time in her former job.
Leading up to my coaching training I had been working for a major sporting organisation for eight years. They were going through massive change and unsettling times. I was up to my fourth restructuring with this company, and management informed us that they were moving the organisation to another city. It was an eight-hour drive away, and an expensive place to transport my family to live.
It had been a toxic environment for some time, HR was non-existent, and I saw first hand during this time of transition amongst the team, the effects of stress and uncertainty. I knew going to the new venue was not in my family’s best interest, so I had to think about my options, which led to a call for change. The idea of coaching and helping others with their life and career goals appealed and seemed to be a growing industry.
I did some investigating and found Cassandra Gaisford and her Worklife Solutions Career and Life Coaching certification programme. Her personality, variety of skills and zest for life just really resonated with me.
I realised becoming a life coach would allow me the freedom, flexibility and independence to do work that I loved in an industry that seemed very rewarding and much needed.
I knew it would be a steep learning curve, but I love a challenge and felt this was the perfect fit for my interests, skills and goals.
My new coaching journey began, which led to a career combo. I decided to start my own business within three weeks of starting my coaching programme and haven’t looked back since…
Do something you love
I have always wanted to have my own business doing something I loved. Once I started my coaching training, I felt this was the perfect match for me to be able to utilise my skills and help others to reach their lifestyle, career and wellness goals.
I also wanted the freedom to be able to work on new ideas and create my own style by offering a unique service in the Wellness industry through my combination of coaching, art therapy workshops, wellness retreats, Reiki healing and aromatherapy pamper parties.
Deciding what to do
My initial focus was purely on the lifestyle, career and wellness coaching but realised it would take time to build my brand, Box of Chocolates, along with gaining trust with clients and networks.
I went into this with a realistic view that it would take two-three years to build to a point of going full time with my business ideas. I also believed that if I had a few alternative strings to my bow, it would assist me in offering a variety of services to a wider audience and give me alternative sources of income.
I was drawn to running wellness retreats where my event management skills, love of wellness and creative activities, and relevant workshop topics would help me attract the right women. Women who wanted to feel empowered and find new inspiration for their lives, and be able to share and learn from others in a safe and nurturing environment.
I was also interested in gaining a certification in Reiki healing as I felt this would complement my coaching and retreats/workshops, which then led onto me becoming an aromatherapy consultant too.
This year I will be focusing on increasing my impact/marketing reach strategies by striving to increase my coaching capacity to offer Skype sessions/coaching packages globally online as well as within New Zealand.
Finding an idea that would be successful
A belief in my abilities, along with a determination to be of service and offer a solution to key problems facing many women helped me find an idea I thought would be successful.
When you can tap into understanding who your niche market is and what they need, you can then build a strong foundation of core services to assist them.
I took a leap of faith but I knew in my heart that every time I coached someone it didn’t feel like work to me, it was so rewarding seeing my clients grow from strength to strength and be able to reach their true potential with a boost in confidence.
When you are coming from the heart and follow that guidance, you will always be supported to find the people and resources you need.
However, that doesn’t mean sitting back and waiting for it to happen. Action and dedication are required to build momentum, along with commitment and trust in your abilities to manifest your dreams and goals.
I also knew that there were not many people holding retreats that offered a unique Zen and creative style that my programme offers – you have to think outside the box and run with it! I went along to lots of Wellness industry events, seminars, network meetings and got a feel for what people were needing and built my strategies around that.
Finding the right product for the right market
I did my research, I talked to successful coaches in the industry and I asked for feedback from all my clients, I went online to see what trends were coming through and what topics were hot, locally and internationally.
I read lots of industry related books and blogs and signed up to sites that inspired me to keep my finger on the pulse on what was working successfully for others that I could leverage off.
Keeping your energy levels high
I’m not a big fan of the saying ‘hard work’ as it has stressful connotations. You need to be passionate about your services and ideas, and you need to have the ability to encourage others to use them. It is also important that you make time to promote yourself and get your messages across to your targeted market through various avenues.
Start small and take your time to build confidence, so that when you realise you’re onto a good thing, it doesn’t feel like ‘hard work’ but is exciting to see your business and ideas coming to fruition.When you are coming from a place of authenticity, it will always come through and people will naturally want to refer your services because they benefit from your genuine concern and skills. This is always going to be your best source of repeated business and will quickly amplify your brand through referrals you can use in your marketing material…
To read more of Lisa’s story, be inspired by other entrepreneurs, and gain practical strategies to help you plan your beautiful business, purchase your copy of Mid-life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself TODAY!
Mid-life Career Rescue: Employ Yourself is available in paper back and e-Book version from Amazon.