Being self-employed isn’t a career choice. It’s a lifestyle.
Sometimes, I look upon fully-functioning adults working hard in their day-to-day life, and feel like a young whippersnapper sharing pep talks on entrepreneurship. Like, who am I and what do I know? All I can share is what I think I’ve learned based on my personal interpretation. My parents were self-employed. Since the start of my career, I’ve pursued self-employment. I’ve observed the self-employed lifestyle for a long time and have taken note of certain traits I’ve noticed among the self-employed. Are you an employee contemplating entrepreneurship in the future? If so, you may want to consider the following.
Get Your Mind Right
I see entrepreneurship as a lifestyle manifestation of a mindset. The world may appear unfair at times, seeming to lack an equitable distribution of resources and free flow of information. People become either inhibited or empowered by their circumstances. Perhaps, the determining factor is interpretation. Our minds assign meaning to everything we know. Once we awake to this principle of conditioning, we can tap into our infinite source of potentiality. The very first step in plunging from a corporate job to entrepreneurship is getting your mind right, empowering yourself, seeing yourself as an entrepreneur and believing in yourself so you can become it. Let go of fear, doubt and all other sabotaging beliefs. You’ve got this.
Visualize The Future You Want (And Maintain Focus On That)
Once you have a calm yet eager mind, it is time to begin visualizing your future self-employment. To be successful, you cannot start an entrepreneur lifestyle aimlessly. You must have a vision of where you are heading. What is your passion? Do you see a problem in the world? Do you have a helpful solution? If so, dwell on that in your free time. Formulate your grand scheme and hold it ever-present in mind while you get all your affairs in order to make your move. I believe the world needs more people operating from this perspective.
Want It Desperately
We all have standards in life. From the way we drink our coffee to choosing a mate to how we spend our day, we all have standards. Having standards means simply not accepting anything less than a specified expectation. Why spend your whole life doing something that is beneath your standard? The only reason for doing such a thing is to not have standards established. Once you have a certain standard of living, you will do everything in your power to maintain it. When it comes to being self-employed, you’ve got to see it as your standard and simply not accept anything else. As a corporate employee, you can go on doing something you dislike all day long just for the salary. As an entrepreneur, you will need to love your business because of the effort and long hours required. The difference is you will need to start thinking and acting like an entrepreneur, not an employee, working on developing the business day in and day out. To make things happen, you have to really, really want it because it will take all you’ve got and then some.
Believe In It Wholeheartedly
If deep down, you don’t see self-employment as possible or feasible for you, then it plain and simply will never come to life for you. You have to see your dreams as possible and truly achievable. Your dreams should be associated with a process marked by specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely goals. This will make your vision tangible and restore your faith in it all.
Understand Your Intentions
Understanding the “why” behind what you do is very important to your future success. You have to be reasonable with your goals, too. Some people have a misconception about self-employment that all business owners are wealthy. In reality, many new entrepreneurs are starving artists at first compared to corporate employees. It is important to remember the reasons why you are pursuing self-employment is to enhance your lifestyle with flexibility and control. If you do well, money will follow. However, you’re not in it just for the money. If you were, then you would stay sitting pretty at your corporate job.
Have Something Worthwhile To Provide
Obviously, self-employment is not for everyone. It’s for the creative minds that have solutions to offer the world. Cultivate strong skills that you can provide as a business. It’s sad to think how many intelligent minds are neglecting their inner potentiality by stagnating in their corporate jobs when the world would so greatly benefit from their creative capacity. Do you ever feel like you have so much more within you to offer but are stuck in your limited position? If so, you may have the spirit of an entrepreneur in you. Fuel it!
It’s a big, wide world out there. It’s easy to become disheartened by the level of competition and obstacles you face. However, instead of becoming inhibited by your situation, choose to become empowered by it. Be well-aware of who you are and what you have to offer. Seek out like-minded people. Connect and share ideas. The necessary support may be within your reach. When pursuing self-employment, it is important to remain open and welcoming of new opportunities. After all, everything is connected and that is how businesses operate, by connecting people with solutions to problems. The more you network, the more powerful connections you will be able to make.
Eat, Sleep, Breathe, Live and Become Your Vision
When you’re an entrepreneur, you are always an entrepreneur around the clock. When you’re driving in your car, you’re an entrepreneur. When you’re in the shower, you’re an entrepreneur. There is no escaping this integral aspect of the self-employed lifestyle. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, your identity as an entrepreneur must always shine in the forefront, which is unlikely the case when you’re a regular corporate employee. Once the time strikes 5pm as an employee, you’re clocking out. That is not the case for the self-employed.
By letting go of certainty, you will be liberated to embrace the inevitable change that comes with the pursuit of self-employment. Being self-employed is risky business full of hardships, struggles, sleepless nights and die-hard self-sustainability. Yet, it has the most fulfilling rewards. The only way to get yourself into this space is to truly welcome change.
Plan To Survive
I always come back to my reasons for being an entrepreneur. It’s not about getting rich fast. It’s about the lifestyle it provides. To achieve, it may require some long-term planning, downsizing and living on a lesser budget for a while. If the game plan is simply to make money, you would keep the job as a corporate employee. Entrepreneurship provides no security. Finding a way to ensure your basic needs are met is important when starting out your new self-employed lifestyle because you’ll have to kiss your steady paycheck good-bye. I’ve seen how creative self-employed people can get with how they make their ends meet. Maybe you move in with your parents at first? Maybe you’ll pick up a side job nights and weekends? Do what you gotta do while keeping your eyes on the prize.
Fear of the unknown is what keeps people at their corporate jobs for so long. Most people never pursue entrepreneurship because of the associated insecurity. We live within a financial paradigm to support ourselves and many of us remain trapped in this great American rat race. There is a way out, though. It’s not easy and will take true dedication and ambition. I suggest stop resenting your corporate job long enough to think through a solid escape plan.