Life is a funny thing. You can map it all out and start taking steps and then Life likes to get in the way.
Things don’t go the way you planned.
You plan an event – no one shows up.
You have a client scheduled – they cancel, no show or reschedule 5 minutes before your call.
Other daily ‘things’ get in your way of getting articles/posts written or working on your website.
Or a million other things that you had ‘planned’ to do today. Or this week. Or this month.
One thing that 9-5’ers don’t always understand is that those of us who seek the life of an entrepreneur have to learn to be flexible. We usually aren’t doing the same thing every single day, like most employees. Our roles in our business change on a daily basis. Sometimes hourly or every quarter hour, especially if we’re a one-person show. And that’s how most of us start out.
Most of us don’t start out with 2-3 employees as we begin our businesses. We’re boot-strapping to the max, trying to make the business pay for itself before we go all in. Many of us take the leap into the unknown and either fail or succeed.
There is no thing as certainty. Except for one thing.
Life as an entrepreneur will be uncertain.
You can be moving along your plans and blueprints just fine, making great progress, then WHAM!
Outta nowhere, Life steps in and says, “You’re making progress. Let me help.”
And all of a sudden you’re sliding backwards.
THIS is what it is like to own a business.
Everybody talks about the beautiful side of owning a business – the freedom, the happy families, the new lifestyle they think they’re going to get.
But the real truth is that vision doesn’t come alive for a lot of people who start businesses. And that’s a really hard thing to hear for most people. They’re lured in by the pretty versions that you see on Instagram. But that isn’t the usual route.
Many fail. That’s why the statistics are so high on the failure rates. 20% of businesses fail within the first year. Another 50% are gone in the next four.
And that doesn’t spell the troubles they have during those times before they close their doors.
The fights people have with their families, their spouses, their kids, their friends. Being an entrepreneur can tear you and your family apart.
Especially when it comes to money matters of the business. And not surprisingly, money matters are what is going to make or break your business. Without SOME startup money, you can’t get a basic website. Without SOME money invested, you cannot get the legal protection to incorporate. Without SOME money invested, you cannot advertise beyond word of mouth or direct contacts.
So let’s assume that you have SOME money to invest in starting your business. For arguments’ sake, let’s say $1,000.
That’s $1,000 that your business needs to earn back pretty quick in order to avoid arguments in the family. In order for you to pay your rent or mortgage. Pay your bills. Buy groceries.
And that can be a hard thing to wrap your head around as you’re getting started. Not everyone thinks about the other expenses that can come up, from sudden auto/home repairs to doctors’ visits and more.
So it’s super important to have a plan to get that investment back with more. Because you don’t want to start a business that only makes enough to cover itself. You want to be able to have the business pay you. Otherwise, you might as well have stayed as an employee, working for someone else.
I have a client that is starting her business and like so many others I’ve talked with, she was ready to make the jump from corporate 9-5 employee to business owner. Let’s call her K.
Granted, K is a lot smarter than most folks who just jumped into a business. She didn’t just jump – she made a plan first.
When we met in person at a conference and I later followed up with her and offered her coaching. K became my client and we started down the path to freedom for her. We went over more than just her plan for owning a business. We went over her personal finances, we went over her expenses, we went over her savings and investments. And of course, we went over her idea for a business.
We set a date of July 31st for her to make the leap from corporate to business owner. That would give her 6 months to get everything together that she needed, and save up some more money to make sure her expenses were covered in the event the business took longer to materialize
Her business idea was great. But as we did more research into it, both K and I realized it would take a lot longer to get it off the ground, so it was put on the back burner. It’s something she will look into more in the near future, but the immediate goal was to get her out of the corporate 9-5 grind and on a path that gave her more freedom while covering all of her expenses (and more).
So we started to evaluate option #2. It wasn’t the option that she really wanted to pursue, as it was doing a lot of the same tasks that K was currently doing in her corporate job. But she is just so damn good at it, so I told her to keep option #2 open as a backup plan. K’s skills in that area are in demand, so I knew that she could at a least keep her expenses covered by doing some consulting in that area.
Wouldn’t you know it? Even though Option #1 didn’t pan out the way she liked, Option #2 has presented her with a bunch of opportunities that pay far more than her current corporate job.
K didn’t make the deadline of July 31st, but after tightening up her expenses a bit, she took the leap earlier this month. She turned in her notice and already has two clients lined up that will more than cover her expenses for a couple of months.
And what’s better is that she gets to dictate the terms instead of the other way around. And while she’s working with these clients, she’s already generating other interest in her new business and lining up clients that want to work with her. She has a plan, she’s prepared for whatever life may throw her way and she’s taking on the world on her terms.
And that’s some of the freedom that we want as business owners.
And this is why I love coaching people who want to start a business, or make their business start working for them.
You can try to do it alone, but it’s going to take you a lot longer than you’d probably like.
Which is why people like me work with people like you. We want you to succeed. We want you to live life on your terms.
So how can I help you realize your dreams?