5 Tips to Move From Your Day Job Into Corporation U
I recently attended an event of a spiritual speaker and two thirds of those questions asked were about how to make a break from their jobs into their own businesses.
And this was at a spiritual event.
Those at the event said they felt disengaged and that their work didn’t link to their higher purpose and what they wanted to be remembered for. A number of them said they felt like “Is this all there is?”
Having your own business, especially “Corporation U” (i.e a business using your name as the business name) is one of the highest forms of self-expression.
The Career Advisory Board states that by 2020 50% of the US workforce will be self-employed. This is currently the rate in India if that gives you some idea, and Australia tends to follow suit.
In Mark Bouris’ book “What it takes”– he says there are no secrets to business success. Both he and Rupert Murdoch who is 82 years old, work 12-14 hours per day. He says that what is does take is hard work, commitment and purpose.
Purpose takes a strong sense of self. Not just self-worth but a true understanding of self, our mission, strengths and our own identity which, according to Professor Jeffrey Arnett we don’t really form until our 30’s.
In the recent book Understanding Y, 46% of Gen Y say they want to leave and have their own business but 90% don’t and it’s due to a fear of failure. Estimates are that one in three new small businesses in Australia fail in their first year of operation, two out of four by the end of the second year, and three out of four by the fifth year. Fear holds us back and rightly so!
So how can you counteract all this? Well, there 5 things you need to really consider when starting your own business, or “Corporation U” as a service provider like a Personal Trainer, Coach, Blogger, Speaker, Consultant, Accountant, Insurance Broker or Kinesiologist and leaving corporate life.
- Know your purpose and the business you’re in. If you’re wanting to have your own business because you want more meaning in your life, you’re not ready. If you’re ready you’ll know because you’re ready to bring more meaning to others. Your business is not about you. It’s about what you have to bring to solve your customer’s problems. Mark Bouris tells the story of when he met Kerry Packer for the first time and asked him what type of businesses he’s in. He laughed because he figured Kerry already knew that he had a home loan business called “Wizard Home Loans”. Kerry said, “no you don’t. You’re in the business of building hopes and dreams for Aussie families.”
- Build it on the side. Leaving a full time job with a salary is certainly risky when you have rent, mortgages and bills to pay. If you don’t have the savings to give you a safety net if things go wrong, I recommend you build your business on the side. Set up your website, get feedback from customers and start the ball rolling. It can take longer to gain momentum than you might think. Even take a part-time job or see if you can work 4 days per week so you have an extra day to work on your business. I had a client who is a Milliner and made hats for the Melbourne Cup each year. She worked part-time as an Administration Officer. This way she still got to do what she loved but she didn’t have to leave her job which gave her friendships and security. Portfolio careers are the new black, maybe you don’t need to leave your job after all?
- Make mistakes while you still have an income. People pay for expert help and according to Malcolm Gladwell in his book ‘Blink’, you need 10,000 hours to be that. Definitely don’t start building your 10,000 hours in your business. You want to come to your business already having done it. For example, if you’re thinking about starting a coaching business and you’ve never coached before then you need to start those skills while you’re in paid employment. Become known as a coach in your current role, even if you’re a contracts manager or accountant. Integrate these skills into your job where you can. It will help you gain mastery before stepping into trying to master a business and new skills at the same time. When you make mistakes in a business you don’t get paid, so you want to know how to manage and anticipate these risks before you begin.
- Start your blog and build a newsletter list. The most valuable asset you will have is your customer base and you need to help them get to know, like and trust you. Once you have been posting your blog and sending it out to your list regularly enough (weekly) you should start to see the bookings come through. I used to see my clients on Monday night, Thursday night and all day Saturday while I had a full time job. If you’re really committed you’ll be able to work with them around your job while you’re getting established.
- Sell, sell, sell. So many transitioners I see think that when you go out on your own it allows you more time to focus on your craft. Think again. If you can’t sell you have no business whatsoever. Clients don’t magically appear and it’s not a case of build it and they will come. You need to find out what people need and get out and sell it. If you need help in this area I recommend getting a mentor or coach who knows how to work with the services you’re trying to sell.
If you think your job is hard, having a business is even tougher. Long hours, deadlines, juggling home and work. There’s no IT dept who will just come to your desk and fix your computer. You have to do your own BAS (Business Activity Statement), chase people to pay their bills, manage your website and network.
It’s certainly a giant leap and often lonely but can be extremely rewarding when you’re on purpose for helping others and you know what you’re in for.