So you’ve made the decision to strike out on your own – CONGRATS! But the looming questions is, “Now What?” Once the initial excitement and adrenaline rush begins to fade, how do you press on, knowing that supporting yourself and your family while working for yourself is the light at the end of a sometimes very long and dark tunnel? While definitely not surefire “cure-alls” for the rocket road of self employment, these three tips for starting your own business will definitely go a long way toward helping you keep your sanity and find success along the way.
- Ignore your critics but listen to your advisors. Entrepreneur.com has a great list of 50 tips for entrepreneurs and freelancers looking to work for themselves on a steady basis (you can read the full article here) and this tip is one of the best. There will always be people that have nothing but criticism for you – the market is too saturated, the economy is too unstable, you don’t have the skills needed to make it work – the list goes on and on. The important thing here is to grow thick skin and IGNORE those Debbie Downers. It is important to note, though that there is wisdom in criticism sometimes though, so be sure to surround yourself with even one or two trusted friends or colleagues that can serve as both cheerleaders and devil’s advocates when needed.
- Develop a killer work ethic. That’s right: work hard now so that you can work smart later – by which I mean put in the pain now so you can reap the gain later. Darren Hardy – publisher of Success Magazine – put it best when he said, “…doing what we love… and quite frankly, loving what we do and giving everything we have to all we do… is crucial to living a great life.” If you are truly passionate about your line of work and feel that striking out on your own in in the best interest of your passion, your family’s future, and those you will be serving and working for, then GO FOR IT with everything you have. Get up early. Work Late. Rest and enjoy family when you can, but then dive right back in to work with renewed vigor. Every moment spent building your business, especially in the beginning stages, will compound itself, allowing you to reap the fruits of your hard work far into the future.
- Create a platform and USE IT. I love the book Michael Hyatt wrote about creating a platform – it is insightful and chock full of tips for sharing the valuable information and insights you have with an eager audience. While building that audience may take time and effort, eventually you will have a solid foundation of people that value your experience and listen to what you have to say. You might be thinking that a websites good enough, or that a Facebook account will be adequate marketing for you…but you are wrong. Michael says, “Without a platform—something that enables you to get seen and heard—you don’t have a chance. Having an awesome product, an outstanding service, or a compelling cause is no longer enough.” Wow. This is a sobering thought, especially given the gravity that striking out on your own bears. Figure out what you have to say and then find creative ways to tell people about it – always keeping in mind that you need to stay relevant to your audience in order for them to give you even a moment of their time.
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