Been thinking about becoming your own boss?
It's been over a year now that I have stepped out into entrepreneurship as a full-time coach - my own business, my own creation, my own freedom. I love it! Unreservedly, I would say to anyone contemplating the leap to absolutely do it - but be prepared.
I felt compelled today to lay out my experience which I can say also reflects that of other women entrepreneurs I have spoken with.
1. Resilience is Everything
There'll be days where you rock it out, leaping out of bed to be massively productive - on fire. There'll be days when you'll want to draw the covers over your head, hope it will all go away, so you can dream of life in a little bungalow by the sea in a hippy commune in the Tropics.
Entrepreneurship will test your resilience. Every. Single. Day. Campaigns will fail; audiences won't engage, and every day you will need to go back to look at things with fresh eyes and remain consistent. Being able to adjust, accommodate, reframe, reboot, will help you bounce back and enjoy the roller coaster ride.
"I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become." Carl Jung
2. Not everyone will 'get' you
You might be passionate about your purpose; you'll find quickly, though, that not everyone is - not your family, close friends nor even your audience. Your closest friends will be like strangers when you reach out; your acquaintances will be your biggest supporters; you'll find haters and trolls in the audience you want to serve. Don't take it personally. It is most definitely not about you - it is all about them.
If you're not passionate about your purpose, and you're in it for the money, go back to 9-to-5 - there are safer ways to make money.
"One loyal friend is worth a thousand relatives." Euripides
3. You won't be the same person you are now
Creating your own business is the greatest personal development course you can't buy. You will stumble, you will fall, you will grow, you will be humbled, you will be down on yourself, you will pick yourself up, you will know yourself better than you ever have before.
It's all part of living a life less ordinary.
"Shine bright like a diamond." Rihanna
4. Support of your spouse or partner has to be non-negotiable
Your spouse or partner may be scared of your goals and your growth - of change. They won't always understand where they fit in your Brave New World. They may be hesitant to go along for the ride, especially if it requires some level of change on their part. Make it clear from the outset that their support is non-negotiable to your success and how much it means to you to have them in your life. Appreciate them every single day. Tell them so.
"Be strong. Be fearless. Be beautiful. And believe that anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you." Misty Copeland
5. Never forget you are a business-owner
Be passionate about your purpose of course, but remember you are a business-owner first, a passionate 'x' second. The coaches and consultants that do not see financial success are frequently those that can't see past their purpose ("I just want to coach!") The sooner you learn, accept and relish that you are a business-owner first, the more quickly you will see the financial success you're looking for so you can ultimately serve your purpose bigger, better and broader for the benefit of everyone.
"A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business." Henry Ford
6. Your tribe is your life-blood
So now your base of friends has dried up because you have grown so much, you need your own tribe of people - the ones who totally 'get' you, who are experiencing the same ups and downs (or have already done so), those who know how to raise their own vibration and yours, who motivate and inspire you, and with whom you can innovate and create. It will be your tribe that pushes you to exceed all expectations including your own. They will give love when you succeed and more when you fail.
"Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames." Rumi
7. Be Resourceful - Get Resources
Entrepreneurship can be lonely especially as you start out. You are on your own - it's why you decided to be your own boss in the first place; so you could make your own decisions, create your own 'thing', reap the rewards directly. That seductive personal responsibility, accountability and creative freedom come at a price. Smart entrepreneurs appoint early on a lawyer, an accountant - and increasingly, a coach. A coach brings fresh perspectives, new ideas, challenges your thinking and behavioural patterns, without bringing a bunch of baggage to the party. Cultivating a success mindset with the help of a coach will help you to experience the sweet nectar of success - however you choose to define it. I'll be bold and say that most successful entrepreneurs have at least one coach in their pool of resources at any one time - often two.
A mastermind group will also help propel you towards the success you define. It's a group of peers that raise the bar on performance by challenging each other to create and implement goals, brainstorm ideas, and support each other with total honesty, respect and compassion. Napoleon Hill describes it in his must-read "Think and Grow Rich" as "...the coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony."
"It takes a village to raise a child."
8. Elevate Self-care in Priority
Listening to what you need - mind, body and soul - will keep you on top of your game. You can't give to others including your business if you have nothing left to give.
Daily rituals such as meditation, physical exercise, journalling keep you in peak condition. The days you need to get out, take time out, co-work in a cafe, walk on the beach - listen to that inspiration. Your mind, body and soul are always right.
"Self-care is not selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel." Eleanor Brownn