Making the transition from a corporate 9-5 job to being an entrepreneur is a journey of self-discovery. It mostly starts with being dissatisfied, where you feel like there is more to life than building someone else’s dream. You realize you have been trading time for money and need to make that huge decision whether to continue on that path or disrupt it, start and build your own legacy.
Having a corporate 9-5 job has its perks, like a guaranteed salary at the end of every month with some added bonuses like medical insurance and provident fund for example. The drawback however, includes having lesser time for other things like family, leisure, and sometimes faith for the religious types. The reason is not farfetched, you have to answer to a system which you didn’t create, one that pays for your time It’s sometimes messier when you try to combine a corporate 9-5 job with business as a side hustle or vice versa. The bigger the salary, the more the responsibility and the less time you have for yourself, with even less time to work on your own business. All the credit to those who have been able to balance working on both simultaneously. But In my own case, I learnt the biggest lesson which was that you are either in business or you are not. Now, I admit that the situation may not be the same with you if the business you have as a side hustle isn’t quite demanding yet.
Consequently, the bigger your vision, dream and purpose the more time you need to invest in making it a success. This becomes more difficult with added responsibilities. While transitioning, you really want to Invest in yourself, find a life and business coach. Your coach will challenge your thinking and break your limiting beliefs for the inner dialogues taking place in your mind that hold you back making you play small. Find a coach that you have good rapport with, that will be a good sounding board and will serve your vision.
If possible, find a mentor as well, that will guide you as a new entrepreneur in your chosen industry. Your mentor will have a wealth of knowledge. A good mentor will be able to answer some of your questions from their own experience. Your mentor will see gaps you could easily miss and avoid costly mistakes. They will guide you, but ultimately the decisions are still yours to make. Check out www.micromentor.org for free mentors.
When you take the leap of faith to follow that dream, implement that vision and fulfil your purpose. It is not easy but worth the effort. It does not feel like work when you are aligned to your purpose, often you will realize it is 3am and your creative juices are flowing, you are in the zone.
Discipline, consistency and balance are values that you need to cultivate if you do not already have them. When starting, it is easier to become distracted thinking you are in control. As a business owner and entrepreneur, you trade a salary for long hours, you become the IT technician, receptionist and accounts clerk with the title of your own choosing. You can be the founder or director or CEO but until you start turning over a profit you’re a 1 person organization that must be willing to do the admin, tech set-ups, documentation for compliance, sales person unless you have friends that are able and willing to assist you with over weekends or you could pay someone to come to your rescue. In most cases you have no choice but to do it yourself because making it all work is your own responsibility.
Market research can save you time and money. Social media can help you with brand awareness, but you can also use it to find your target market and niche. A poll on either Facebook or LinkedIn can help you with your market research and target your audience accordingly. Join like minded groups on social media, then use the network. Learn from your network, interact with the network, be helpful and friendly. You could foster mutually beneficial relationships and gain talented, trustworthy suppliers and clients. Word of mouth marketing goes a long way.
A website is not a necessity to begin with. Ultimately, it does make the business look more professional and established. If you are active and networking on social media groups, you can start without a website. SEO and AdWords are important to rank on Google searches if your business is largely internet based. For a new business it is expensive but with some reading you can do it yourself and adjust according to the analytics results to rank better.
In all, transitioning from corporate 9-5 to being a successful entrepreneur takes a process but it’s achievable.
1. You are either in business or you are not.
2. You think you have spare time, but time is of the essence and your business is like a baby that needs constant attention and nurturing.
3. You wear all the hats including your title of founder, be ready to get your hands dirty and be accountable for your decisions.
4. Social media is key to brand awareness, market research and eventually create a following.
5. Network with like-minded entrepreneurs.
6. Listen to the nay-sayers when it is helpful otherwise ignore them and flip what they say into the opposite which is positive. Or if you are rebellious like me it would motivate you to prove them wrong. If you believe it in and know that you have a market- Just do it! Thanks Nike!
7. Coaches and mentors are valuable assets, respect their time and effort to help you achieve.
8. Cultivate values that will serve you, when in doubt ask yourself if what you are doing is taking 1 step closer or 1 step further from where you want to be.
Also read- 5 Signs You Were Born To Be An Entrepreneur
Claire Muller is from Johannesburg, South Africa. She has transitioned from 23 years of working in the Travel Industry to fulfil her purpose and positively impact the world. Claire is a qualified Trainer, Assessor and Coach. She is also a Neuro Linguistic Program Practitioner that challenges limiting beliefs and thinking patterns, replacing those thoughts with positivity. Her toolbox includes Life, Business, Executive, Abundance, Creativity, and Enneagram Coaching which is personality typing.
Claire is a member of COMENSA.
Connect with Claire via LinkedIn