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4 Tips for Making the Leap From Employee to Entrepreneur

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There’s one sentence I say a lot. It’s “The definition of an expert is someone who knows the most about a particular subject in an average sized room.” Just an averaged sized room, 30 people or so.

I say it most often when people approach me and say they want to leave the corporate world and start their own business. They want to create a recurring revenue stream. This is often swiftly followed by “But I just don’t know what I would do. I don’t know enough about anything.” 

This happened more and more frequently over the last year or so as the pandemic made people re-evaluate. People were furloughed, earning money but not able to work. Would they have a job in a year’s time? And did they really want to still do that job? 

It was a perfect opportunity to pivot, to re-shape an existing business or create a new one that perhaps utilised some hitherto undiscovered or overlooked skills. 

So we head back to the expert in the average sized room. The first thing I say to my bereft of ideas, yet enthusiastic potential clients is “What do you know? What do you like? What are your interests?” And that doesn’t just mean “What have you done for a living for the last ten years?”

I worked with a Human Resources director who initially planned to set up a membership for fellow HR professionals. She didn’t want the 9 to 5 any more, she wanted more time, more freedom, more creativity. After chatting for a few hours, it became very clear that her heart wasn’t in this venture! But because it was what she had always done, she had almost chosen this route by default.

Once we got talking a bit more, her love of aromatherapy came up in conversation. She knew all about its history, what essential oils to put together to treat specific issues, she was explaining the difference between diffusers and aromatic spritzers all with an enthusiasm that had never shown its face while we were talking all things HR! 

Long story short, her business plans took a dramatic shift and she created an online course for aromatherapy novices who wanted to learn more and start using essential oils to improve their own mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing.

Her zeal, her passion was what ignited the idea and we set out about creating a business plan to move her ideas forward.

“The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.” – Ferdinand Foch

And the steps she took next represent the major part of giving your new career the best possible chance of success. Because she planned to grow an audience, she started to increase her visibility. For a while there was tumbleweed but remember everyone starts with zero followers.

Consistency is key and her audience started to gather momentum, resulting in an engaged and involved group who were excited to join her membership when she launched it.

So, preparation and strategy are key, but what other tips should you bear in mind if you are looking to make a major change in your career.

  1. Don’t leave your 9 to 5 before you start your business. Grow your business as a side hustle while still working. Yes, it will mean more hours to begin with but it will also mean that if things don’t work out perfectly in your first incarnation as an entrepreneur, you will still be able to pay your mortgage. 
  2. Do something you genuinely have an interest in. The enthusiasm you feel, will see you through the challenging days with far more energy and optimism than any pay cheque can.
  3. Create a business that will work with the lifestyle you aspire to. My first business was as a wedding planner. I was very successful but the main reason for working for myself when I started out was that I wanted to see my family more and travel more. So I created a business when I worked every weekend during the Spring and Summer. Not very well thought out! Needless to say it didn’t take long until I started looking at creating a different business.
  4. Bear in mind, if you find a business idea that no one has done before, the chances are it is not going to be successful! Don’t worry if your idea has been done before, it hasn’t been done by you. Your personality is what will make your idea stand out – remember, people buy from people so make sure you show the real you throughout everything you do.

Making the decision to change your career can be intimidating and should not be taken lightly, but it should also be acknowledged that it is often the most inspiring and rewarding experience. 

We have all learnt over the last year that nothing is truly predictable, there are no guarantees, so if you have a yearning to “do that thing you always wanted to do” then go ahead and do it.

But – do it with a plan and a strategy that will provide you with the best chance of long term sustainability, profitability and peace of mind.

Lisa Johnson is a multi 7-figure business strategist who helps her clients to create passive and semi-passive income streams. Her signature programme One to Many launched in 2020 making over $2m at the peak of the pandemic. Over 90% of her income comes from recurring revenue streams and she specialises in creating business models that are sustainable and profitable but do not mean working crazy hours. Lisa lives in Bedfordshire, UK, with her husband and 9 year old twin sons. Connect with Lisa here.

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Entrepreneurs

Why Entrepreneurial Innovation Matters More Than Ever

Innovation and disruption are a key part of thought leadership online. But most online business owners today are blinded by tactics

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The dichotomy between good leadership and poor leadership is that you are either showing up for your people or expecting your people to show up for you.

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How You Can Start Networking in Style in 2023

By investing your time and effort in networking, you will gain more business through the relationships you make

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Are you completely new to networking?

Then this article is a great place to start. Networking isn’t hard on paper…you go along to online and in-person meetings, make new connections and build relationships, and those relationships lead to more work so you can grow your business! The challenge is that in reality, it isn’t quite so straightforward, as our emotions get involved and make things much tougher.

It’s incredibly common for nerves to creep in and to feel overwhelmed and apprehensive when it comes to networking – even when it isn’t new to you. But how can you become more successful at it, feel less self-conscious, and make networking work for you and your business?

Here’s a few tips to help you embrace every business networking opportunity you get, so you can grow your business and achieve your goals.

Rock up with confidence

If you want to keep those nerves at bay and ooze confidence at networking get-togethers, you’ll need to downplay it rather than seeing it as a big occasion. Try not to put pressure on yourself and see it as a casual meet-up with a bunch of people with similar goals to you. To help you relax in the run-up to the event, be sure to set achievable goals and expectations before you go.

Keep your chin up and your goals in mind – positivity is key. One easy goal for your first networking meeting is very simply to speak to one other person and see where the conversation goes. Introduce yourself and your business, but take the time to listen to their story, too. It’ll only take a few minutes and will be over before you know it, so it’s nothing to fear. You may even enjoy it and want to speak to a few more people, too!

“You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie

Where to go networking

If you’ve never been networking before, it might not be very easy to find a group – but only because there’s so much choice and you don’t know where to start your search! Groups come in different sizes and styles, so it’s important to find one that suits you and your business. Informal, formal, big, small… the choice is yours.

For your first meeting, start small to ease yourself in – a big group could prove too daunting, and stop you from feeling comfortable enough to get involved. After all, you want to make a strong first impression!

If you’re wondering which group to opt for in the long-term, give a few a go! Get a feel for them, speak to as many people as you can, and see which one suits! You’ll know when a group feels right for you, and you can see where those all-important relationships are most likely to be built. If a group doesn’t feel like the right for you, give a different one a go.

Get more leads and referrals

This will happen for you, as long as you put the effort into building those relationships. If you take the time to get to know people, and then check in with them and support them, they’ll see you as a trustworthy and reliable contact who they can call on. And when they feel that way, those leads and referrals you’re looking for will come a-knocking.

Once you’ve made relationships with people who you trust, and they’ve had a positive experience working with you, you can even ask for referrals! But don’t rush this, as you don’t want to inadvertently push people away or try and force the relationship along too quickly.

When you do get an opportunity to work with someone you’ve met at a networking group, go above and beyond to offer more value than they’re expecting, as then, they’ll be much more likely recommend you and introduce you to more of their contacts!

Grow your business

By investing your time and effort in networking, you will gain more business through the relationships you make, and you will be able to grow your business.

We know that it’s not easy, going networking for the very first time. And that’s why we want to give you all the advice and tools that you need so you can walk in with confidence and make the most of the opportunity.

2023 is just around the corner, and you have the chance to make it the year you make networking work for your business. And the benefits could be incredibly amazing for your business, just like they have been for ours, and many business owners we have worked with over the years.

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