Chances are, no one job is going to fulfill all facets of your “dream job,” and that is ok. Also, chances are, you don’t even know exactly what you want to do. That is ok. Even if you know what you want to do, chances are you cannot afford to quit cold turkey and work for yourself. And that is ok too!
Before taking the leap into the world of entrepreneurship, many people choose to freelance first. Dipping your foot into the entrepreneurial world via freelancing is a much needed calculated risk. You are able to learn, measure, and pivot until you create the perfect mix of services and skill sets. One way to assist this recipe for future success, is to utilize your corporate experience in your freelance venture.
First, brainstorm your dream business. What will you sell? Goods vs. Services. What will you make/charge? How will you differentiate yourself? Who is your target market? (I have a seriously awesome guide for this)
Second, write down all skills needed for your business.Write down anything and everything, no matter how big or small. This list is going to be used for multiple purposes.
- Separate the skills you do not have. Decide which skills are for outsourcing (YES outsourced) and what you will learn to do yourself.
- Identify the skills you have, but for which you are either overqualified and/or have no desire to do. Everyone has the ability to post to social media, edit writing or create images. But do you need to? What if you could find someone who could do this for you, edit your copy AND could post at the opportune times of day for your brand. Invest in your business and hire them! That way you can hone in on your true skillset -- those things other people will be hiring you to do.
If you plan on moving from freelance to full time, you will have to identify and practice hiring (or bartering) for help early on. It’s a skill in and of itself! The next steps are simply stated but definitely, take concentrated time and effort. If you need any help, feel free to schedule a *free* coaching call and we can get you on the right track.
Create a Business Plan.
Even if it is a one-pager, this plan undergoes constant revisions and tweaking in the beginning. This blueprint is necessary, as looking at the “big picture” early on will ensure you make it there. There are many different types of business plans, they can differ by the industry as well as by personal preference. Check the Free Resources for the very outline used for Aspire Business.
Find a mentor or peer group.
Talk to people who have made similar career moves. Why reinvent the wheel when you can learn from someone else’s successes (and failures). Not having to put in all the legwork yourself saves you time, energy, and money! Be strategic in reaching out, and don’t be stingy. Time is money for many busy entrepreneurs; offer to meet up for coffee (or lunch) and offer to pay. They are doing you a HUGE favor at the end of the day.
Scale...even while freelancing.
Start small. The hours are often long in the beginning but are well worth it in the end. Your 9-5 takes care of a lot of bills that most people do not consider until it’s too late. Your health insurance, your 401k -- these are all going to have to be covered by you when you turn full time. The security of a consistent paycheck also allows you to save for rainy days in business. Clients will not always come rolling in, and the product will not always sell -- but bills, bills must always be paid on time!
Carefully leverage your corporate resume.
Remain mindful of non-compete clauses. You should review your entire contract, and even visit with HR/Ethics to ensure you can legally begin freelancing and under what parameters. Once you get the okay -- highlight on your resume any work with impressive brands or successful cases completed.
Still unsure? Take some time to dig deep to your vision. Check out the What is Your Vision guide and start planning for your success today. It's free in the Aspire Guides. Get access today by joining the Insiders below.