I quit

I quit my job, built a business and never looked back – How you can too

The day I quit the last job I ever worked was, in hindsight, one of the best days of my life. I didn’t know it at the time but now having worked from home and for myself for 4 years I can tell you there is no way I’ll work for another company again. You can’t put a price on the freedom, balance and self expression that comes from creating and running your own business. It’s been tough. Becoming a entrepreneur and moving from a worker where someone tells you what to do to having to drive an enterprise you built requires a total mindset shift. It’s not easy but it’s worth it. Learn how I quit my job, built a business and never looked back and how you can too…

I quit

Should i quit? Is the entrepreneurship calling you?

I’ve always been a creator from a very young age. Always been spouting ideas and solving problems. But it took me years to get that what I believe now,  that I was meant to be an entrepreneur.

I went to college, graduated and got a corporate job like most people do. I never knew entrepreneurship was an option. Though looking back, for as long as I can remember, I had what I’d call the entrepreneurial “itch”. Maybe you’ve been feeling the same? Here’s how I felt…

When I worked for other people I would think: “you should be doing x,y,z this way”. I would get frustrated because the CEOs weren’t doing what I saw was best for the company. I always believed I had a better vision for what the company needed. I had a hard time just doing my job. I wanted to steer the ship. I hated to be controlled. I hated that I didn’t own my time. I hated that no matter how hard I worked their was a ceiling on what I was able to make financially.

Does this sound familiar? Do you hear your inner business leader self crying out while you work a 9-5 job every day?

These types of thoughts are often the first hints that building and launching your own business is what the authentic you wants and would lead to a life of more fulfillment. I truly believe that some people are better matched to be creating and running companies than working for other people. On the flip, some people are happier working without the headache of running a business. Where do you think you fall? Have you been wondering what it would be like to run your own operation? Is it time to quit your job?

What you need to know about shifting from working for a company to running your own operation – Things to consider before you say “I quit”

As an entrepreneur, your professional success rests on you

When you run your own business you control everything. This is both good and bad. When your business goes through ebbs and flows you will feel it. When you’re making tons of money you’ll be excited. You’ll feel good, you’ll be dreaming of more dollar signs. Then there are times when business isn’t booming though you’re working your tail off.

As an entrepreneur, you’ve gotta prepare for this. You have to have to techniques and tools to keep yourself in a good state of mind, a good mood. You have to be willing to eat cans of tuna sometimes as you wait for the next check to come in. Sometimes you may even have to take an odd job here or there to make some extra cash.

Many people quit their jobs and think they are going to build their first business and have it be a success in a year. This was certainly what I believed when I began and it didn’t happen. It might but more often it takes time. Make sure you have the financial ability to leave your job and start a business before you do this. You don’t want to end up with financial stress. It will ruin your ability to think strategically and create for your business.

This is why it’s incredibly important that you LOVE the business you’re building. This will keep you going when times get tough. Don’t start a business you aren’t passionate about.

You may feel lost, alone confused and totally nuts at times

Building a business requires a leadership mindset. There’s no waiting around for someone else to give you an assignment, a work project or tell you what to do. You have to come up with that yourself. In the beginning this may scare the crap out of you. You may find yourself feeling lost and thinking “am I doing what I should be?”.

Building a business can feel kind of like throwing darts at a dartboard in a dark room. There are times where you’ll be confident as to where the board is and that you’re going to hit the bullseye. Other times you’ll be throwing darts and thinking “what the heck am I doing? How was this ever a good idea?”

Working from home can be an adjustment

If you’re making a move from working in an office to working from home, in the beginning it can be a tough transition. You may go from loving that you can work in your pjs and that you don’t have to sit in traffic to hating the lack of human contact. It’s different for everyone. If your work fulfilled part of your needs for social interaction you’ll certainly need to look for new ways to get that.

When you work from home it’s incredibly important to have strategies to maintain your motivation. Remember, you don’t have to sit at your desk from 9-5. When you work from home you can stop and go for a 30-minute run to get your mood up if you need to. Do what you need to to stay excited about your work. Don’t feel bad if you need to take a nap mid-day or go for lunch with a friend. You’ve been conditioned to work from 9-5 with a one hour lunch break so you may feel guilty if you start to do things other than that. But that is one major perk of running your own business. You set your schedule. So, do what you gotta do to keep yourself motivated and fulfill on what your business needs.

Where to start if you’re working for a company but you want to transition to running a business 

Do you know what type of business you’d like to start? Depending where you’re at, the best thing to do while you’re working for someone else is to train yourself, research your options and learn about your marketplace. Slowly start to build a concept and build your skills. Do this while you have the financial stability of a job.

Start training right away in the primary skills you need to be a successful entrepreneur. While you may need specialized skills depending on your industry, all entrepreneurs need to have the following skills to make it. They are:

Digital marketing – you need to know how to create and sell online. You need to understand why you need a website and how to built a strategic one. You need to understand why you need social media and email marketing and how they work. You need to have technical know-how. The better you at in digital marketing the more quickly you can advance and achieve success.

When I quit my full-time job I went to work for a digital marketing agency so I could learn how to sell online. This was the best thing I ever did for my business career.

Copywriting – you need to know how to write. All businesses need to communicate their offerings to their market. More and more this done primarily online. You need to know how to write great content from blogs to the content on your web site, to landing pages and emails. If you don’t know how to write effectively and with influence, you need to train yourself.

In-person communication skills – you still need to be a people magnet. While most business interactions are done online these days it helps to have great people skills. Learn how to be likable. You will get ahead in all areas of your life.

Techniques for managing your own well-being and mood – this is super important and often overlooked. Many entrepreneurs fail because they can’t stay motivated, or don’t know how to deal with failure, or hate the loneliness of working from home. The best way to train yourself to be an incredible entrepreneur is to acquire mental toughness training. Learn how to overcome your fears. Deal with your personal barriers. Whatever blocks you have will come up when you try and build a bring a business to the world.

Whether you work for a company or have started to build your own business, you can start today in training yourself in these skills. It helps to schedule training to time to learn new skills.

If this article didn’t scare you and you’re still aching to start your own business, what you need to know that this way of life is fast becoming a necessity. Automated systems are fast replacing the middle class. Soon you won’t be able to get a degree and a job like you used to because no one will need you.

So need yourself! Build a incredible business that solves a problem in this world. The world needs you.

how to keep going

How to keep going when times are tough

Visionaries, leaders and entrepreneurs often talk about the importance of being perseverant. It’s that quality that allows you to keep going when you’re in pursuit of your greatest dreams and times get tough. Many say it’s the antidote that separates the winners from the rest. But, how do you keep going when every fiber of you wants to quit sometimes? So, what do you need to keep being persist and  keep going after you’ve suffered a major failure, setback or roadblock? How to keep going when times are tough is about learning how to control your thoughts and attitude when you want to quit though your heart tells you have to keep going…

how to keep going

9 Tips for how to persevere so you can keep going 

1. Shift how you feel by doing something physical

When times are tough it’s easy to feel hopeless, lost, angry or sad. It’s easy to feel one or more negative emotions. And being in a negative emotional funk will not help you get in action. Being negative won’t help you move forward. So the first thing to do is go to work on YOU.

You can change how you feel with velocity (sometimes in a little time as what it takes to snap your fingers!). The fastest way to feel more powerful and to put yourself into a “I can conquer all” mindset is to get moving. Physically move and engage your body.

Go for a run. Take a cold shower. Jump up and down on a trampoline. Go lift some weights. Shake your booty or dance. Send a surge of energy through your body by moving it. It’s the fastest way to get yourself in a better mood and state of mind. Even simply doing reps of breathing, pulling your hands from the sky towards your body while you take strong breaths will help you feel better.

A secondary mood shifting technique is to use your innate powers for daydreaming. Close your eyes and daydream.Think about a time when you felt happy and really see yourself there. Think about a time or something in your life that you’re grateful for. Then, see yourself in the future achieving what you’re working towards now. See yourself winning and when you do (if there is no one around) shout “yes!”.

The more you get into your daydream (do your best to feel like you’re really there) the more you’ll feel awesome. Your brain doesn’t know the difference between actually doing something and visualizing doing something. It’s like a virtual reality trip you can take from anywhere at anytime to feel anything whenever you want.

2. Remind yourself of WHY you want to keep going

Let’s say you’re an entrepreneur and you’re on a mission to have your business be a global success. You’ve spent years working on your brand, your website, your products. You have an incredible brand but it’s not getting seen by enough people.

And so, you find yourself in a period of frustration. You become a walking cloud of doubt. In your heart, you believe in your company, but you are starting to think “maybe I should quit?”, “maybe this isn’t meant to be”. You feel lost and stuck.  These are signs you’re in the thick of a tough time.

At this point it’s critical you remind yourself WHY you’re doing what you’re doing. Keep your whys close always but especially when times gets tough. There is never one reason why  so make an exhaustive list. Keep asking yourself until you run out of reasons. It might look something like this:

My whys to keep forging ahead with this business and make it a success…

  • I want to make a global difference in my field
  • I want to love what I do every day
  • I NEVER want to work for anyone again. 
  • I want every person in this world to have the tools they need to live the life of their dreams and my business will support them.
  • I want to experience what it’s like to be a multi-millionaire and be financially free 
  • I want to build my dream home one day and live their with my beautiful family
  • I want to teach my kids how to build successful businesses
  • I want to be asked to be a keynote speaker
  • I want to experience speaking in front of thousands of people
  • I have to keep going. There is no other way. Making this business work is like breathing. 
  • I want others to see that their dreams are possible.

3. Zoom out then hyper zoom in

Once you’ve reminded yourself of what you want and why you want it you’ve done the work to globally zoom out to the bigger picture of your mission. After that, shift your focus and hyper zoom in to one task.

Choose ONE basic task you need to complete and throw yourself into it. Block out all distractions. Do your best to throw all your attention on that task. Completing that task will get you out of feeling hopeless and back into action mode.

Action produces results. Action also creates traction when you’re stuck. Action causes momentum. You’ll often find you are ready and feeling better to take the next action.

4. Just do it – Take action even when you don’t feel like it 

At any point you find yourself wondering: “how do I get myself motivated to get in action?” you’re killing your productivity potential. You are majorly slowing down your progress! You’re making a mistake that a lot of people make. You’ve collapsed action with emotion. Theses two don’t need to be aligned.

Think about it… have you ever done something that was good for you but that you didn’t necessarily feel like doing. Have you ever gotten out of bed when you didn’t want to? No way! You mean, you  put two feet on the floor even when you didn’t feel like it? You’ve also likely gone to work when you didn’t feel like it.

The thing to get is, you can feel hopeless and still take an action that would forward your life in the direction you want it to go. You don’t need to feel inspired. And, you don’t need to feel happy. You don’t even need to feel any positive emotion that would motivate you. Take action anyway.

This is the biggest ingredient of the whole perseverance puzzle. Winners just keep going even when they don’t feel like it but know it’s good for them. So keep going

5. Seek inspiration from winners who’ve failed and persevered

If you really want some motivation a great way to get it easily is by reading or watching a biography. Hearing the stories of people who have gone through what you’re going through and triumphed can give you a boost.

6. Stay in your lane

Focus on your journey, your goal, and nobody else’s. Do your best to put your blinders on and hunker down. Look ahead to your future. Forget what other people are doing or saying.

7. Go get some love from another human being

Go hug someone you love. Talk to a friend on the phone. Recreationally complain if you need to. Go to a public area and be with people. Book yourself in for a massage. The touch of another human is magically relaxing. It’ll help you ease the fears, the stress, the struggle you’re feeling. You’ll quickly learn you are not alone.

8. Applaud the small victories

Take stock of what you’ve done. Notice even the smallest of victories. Celebrate them. They are a big deal.

9. Perseverance conditioning

If you really want to hone your ability and learn how to keep going when times are tough, condition yourself to do things that are mentally and physically challenging on a regular basis. You’ll train yourself to be unstoppable in the face of the circumstances and obstacles that come your way.

Whatever source story you believe in, this is the perfect time to remind yourself that the Universe has a plan for you. You’re life is unfolding the way it should. The hardships you’re going through now will make you stronger and wiser. Keep going when the times are tough and soon you’ll be able to look back and be thankful you did.

Why more time spent doing nothing will make you more productive

Have you ever had the experience that your greatest ideas come to you when you’re not focused on them?

Like you’re standing in the shower thinking about a work challenge and suddenly you come up with a solution. Or, you’re on vacation, laying by a pool, sipping a cocktail and suddenly you know what direction to take your business in. Or, you go to bed in a tiff with your partner not knowing what to do and wake up with clarity and the actions to take to settle the dispute are obvious?

It’s because you do. Your brain is making critical connections when you’re not focusing your attention on a task, when you’re letting your mind wander.

Why more time spent doing nothing will make you more productive

When you are doing nothing your brain goes into a mode of thinking called your Default Mode Network (DMN). This is opposed to the mode it’s in when you’re focused on a task, which is your Task Mode Network (TMN). Using both these modes of thinking is critical. But most of the time we are using too much of our TMN and not enough of our DMN. When you’re in your DMN, that’s when creativity, rejuvenation and magic happens.

So if you get anything out of reading this post, get this: Relax more, work a bit less and you’ll be more productive, efficient and effective in everything you do.

You own your dreams and what you choose to do with them.

Relaxing more = increased productivity

Massively successful people like Thomas Edison, Leonardo Da Vinci, Einstein and artist Salvador Dali were smart enough to notice this about themselves. They learned that their creative brain was most subtle at certain times. They didn’t necessarily know why — as neuroscientists are beginning to understand today — but, it is said that both Edison and Dali used to fall asleep with large objects in their hand so that the moment they were in deep sleep they would drop the object, wake up and would have a solution or a stroke of creative inspiration.

Einstein went as far as to say that: “imagination is more important than knowledge”. Stimulating useful creativity really involves being able to embrace and use a childlike inclination for play as an adult.

I want you to understand how useful your daydreams are. They are not just useless fantasies. They contain valuable information about what you authentically want and the actions you should be taking to move you in the direction of a future that inspires you.

Eric Klinger is a professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota who devoted his career to understanding daydreams and in his book, Daydreaming, he writes:

“We think of daydreams as scatterbrained and unfocused, but one of the functions of daydreaming is to keep your life’s agenda in front of you; it reminds you of what’s coming up, it rehearses new situations, plans the future and scans past experiences so you can learn from them.”

If you’re willing to place value on your daydreams, to notice them, allow yourself to daydream you can extract valuable information from them about your authentic self and what you deeply desire.

Successful people are big daydreamers. And they use daydreaming very strategically whether they unconsciously see that they are doing this or not. They respect and use their daydream thinking and many learn at young age that when they key into the things they think about and use it in reality it benefits them.

This is especially tough for many of us to do today. We live in the era of information and our environment is constantly demanding our attention and taking up the time we spend daydreaming. Most people go to bed and wake up with their cell phones.

There’s a focus on being productive, being efficient. In fact, it’s how we are conditioned. We are conditioned to work and get things done and not to daydream.

So today, when you’re in the mode of go-go-go take a moment to reset. Even if it’s just for five to ten minutes. Sit down, get quiet. Think. Daydream. Imagine. See what comes up. See if this relaxation time amplifies your output and makes you feel more joyful and connected.

And start honoring your daydreams. Ask yourself:

What is this imagery telling me about what I want and need to do?

Then don’t push it aside. Use it. You are the only owner of your dreams. You’re the only one that has the power to grow an idea, a dream, that you have for yourself. On the flip side, you also are the only one that can stomp out your dream and stop it from becoming a reality.

So, today, take some time to chill. Relax a bit more this week and see how beneficial it is to your life and your goals.

secrets of successful entrepreneurs

Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs

The Internet has made building and running a business far more accessible than it used to be. Anyone can cheaply and easily build a website, set up shop quickly in a global marketplace, and work from home in their pajamas. So here’s a selection of the secrets of successful entrepreneurs that I have learned over my 20s.

As an entrepreneur, I can tell you what a fulfilling career it is. I’m 29 today and I built my first business when I was 21. This is why, like many of my millennial pals, I can’t imagine working for someone else. Though I did initially. As many entrepreneurs do, I worked a 9 to 5 job (until I was 26) while building my own businesses on the side.

secrets of successful entrepreneurs

The view from my office.

So, I remember what it was like to… Have someone else rule my financial destiny. Wake up at 5am for a one-hour (sometimes two-hour) commute to the office. Request permission for time off. Ugh!

I also remember how creatively starved I felt. I had to defer to the higher-ups to make key decisions. They ultimately controlled the destiny of the business.

These are some of the reasons many people switch to entrepreneurship:

The lifestyle allows you to be fully self-expressed in your career. It provides you full ownership of your time and money. And, there is no roof on your income potential! All of these are priceless.

But, if you choose the entrepreneurial route, step into it with your eyes wide open. Its has its challenges.
For wannabe entrepreneurs, and those in the throes of building a business, there are pitfalls you’ll want to avoid. Follow the rules below to fast track to business ownership success:

 

Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs

Build a war chest

Having little money to support yourself is a surefire way to get in action fast, but it’s extremely stressful. Financial stress is debilitating. It will impact your ability to make smart choices for your business. You may find yourself making decisions based on fast-money versus thinking about what the business needs. Too many people quit their jobs before their business is stable.
That being said, it can be tough and exhausting to work in a high-pressure role for another company while building a business.

Before you jump into entrepreneurship, ensure you have an ample war chest, or build it around a full-time job. Make sure you have an income or structure that supports basic survival needs. At a minimum, you need to have enough money to cover housing, an Internet connection (of course), a mobile phone, groceries, and transportation expenses like a car, subway, bike or bus, etc. The private jet comes later!

Don’t expect overnight success

Successful entrepreneurs can make running a business look glamorous and easy. Ever watch an ad for a webinar about becoming an entrepreneur? They show scenarios like this: A millennial entrepreneur stands in front of a giant mansion with a pool, his laptop at his side. He shares a story about how he has automated his business. He makes millions and spends his time traveling the world.

While this life is possible for entrepreneurs, what’s left out of this story is the time it takes to build a successful business, and the struggles most entrepreneurs go through.

Similar to many of my entrepreneur friends, when I built my first business I had a bit of a “build it and they will come” mentality. I created a beautiful website, got some fancy business cards and started hitting networking events.

But I soon found that clients weren’t flocking to me as I had envisioned. It was my first hard lesson in the importance of learning about my target market first and doing more work to build a killer brand that would attract the right people.

Rarely are new businesses overnight successes. It takes time and a great deal of determination. Many entrepreneurs fail because they aren’t patient. Entrepreneurship requires mental toughness, immovable resilience and a granite-chiselled conviction to succeed.

A great idea for a new company is easy to churn out. However, the real work is creating a business that serves an unmet market. You may discover you need to tweak your initial strategy, sometimes many times over before you hit growth and revenue that will support your dream life (or frankly that even pays the rent or mortgage).

A business can take years to build, even when you’re following the advice of experts and doing all the right things. Be patient, determined and believe in yourself.

Be flexible and adapt your plan

Businesses sometimes fail because the person running the company is an artist or creator and not a true entrepreneur. To succeed you need to be both business-minded and creative. You need to be willing to do the books, create the products, build a team and hire people, open the mail and be social media savvy all at once!

Like most entrepreneurs, you may find that some of these jobs are not your strengths. And worse, you’ll hate doing a few of them. For instance, I handle the books for the digital marketing agency my husband and I own, and I don’t particularly enjoy it. But it’s a requirement for the business, and I like saving the money and being involved knowing what’s going on in the company finances.

You also need to be a strategist. That means deciding and choosing what the business needs by listening to what your customers need, not what you want to create. These are two very different approaches.

For example, let’s say you want to run a successful clothing boutique. You create a target market, then purchase an initial inventory of clothing that you love and think will be great. Now, you can be an artist and continue to buy items you like, or you could pay attention to what the hot items are selling, and buy more of those. Too bad if you don’t like the in colors or fashion trends. That doesn’t mean you can’t bring your own flare to the inventory you buy, just make sure it also moves off the shelves and keeps you in business.

Entrepreneurs are willing to crush all their notions and ideas about how their business should work. They let the business lead. They take themselves out of the equation.

Be 100% responsible

Young entrepreneurs often look at business as an easy way to make money in their sleep while they spend their time having fun. And yes, this is part of the beauty of living the entrepreneurial lifestyle.
However, it’s important to remember that even if you automate your business and free up your time, you’re the one in charge.

You always need to be the visionary behind business and, to think ahead. This is true even if you done a great job setting the business up so it runs without you. When your business is doing well, you must consider what it needs to stay doing well, or how it could do better. When it is struggling, you need to double your resolve and get through the hard times.

As an entrepreneur, you pay you. This is both exciting, as you have ultimate control over your financial destiny, and scary. It’s on you, and only you, that ensures the success of the business.

Find a mentor

If you want to build a successful business and you’ve never done it before, seek out a mentor. Look for someone who has a proven track record for success, and choose someone you trust.

I can guarantee that wouldn’t be in business today if it wasn’t for the mentors and life coaches I’ve had along the way. Think of it this way: An Olympic-level athlete would never train for a competition without a coach. It’s the same thing in business.

Your mentor may be someone you hire and get coached by. Or it could be a collection of online experts you follow and learn from. A mentor is paramount for your success as an entrepreneur. Building a business can be a lonely, frightening and confusing process. A mentor will teach and guide you. Use them to answer questions and bounce ideas off.

Find a incredible business person who is willing to be your mentor and suck all the business marrow out of them. For many successful business owners getting to coach a newbie entrepreneur is a joy. They’ll be as grateful to you as you are to them.

Mastermind your way to success

Surround yourself with a group of entrepreneurs by joining or creating a mastermind group. It might be a group made up of local entrepreneurs that meets weekly in your community. Or it could be an online group that meets in forum or on a weekly Skype call.

When I recently found myself stuck in my business I remembered what I learned from a mentor: “go to your community”. I realized that in the new area I’ve recently moved to, I didn’t have a group of entrepreneurial friends. So I quickly made some requests and connect through social media. It doesn’t have to be complicated to get a few like-minded people together.

A mastermind group can provide a weekly accountability structure; a way to make sure you meet the targets you set for yourself. It also gives you a platform to ask questions, share ideas and resources, and learn from other entrepreneurs.

Learn digital marketing basics

Entrepreneurial success requires basic literacy in digital know-how. This is true, even if you hire an agency to build your website, run your email campaigns, or drive traffic to your website. Third parties care less about your business than you do, so understanding the mechanics of digital marketing and hiring experts to execute the strategy is key to your success.

You will save a great deal of money if you learn how to do the simple things like:

● Build a WordPress site from a template.
● Record a video on your mobile phone and edit it.
● Set up an email sales funnel and landing pages.
● Write enticing sales copy.

 

At minimum, you’ll need to learn how to write great blog content, and use social media platforms to promote your business.

Find a digital marketing savvy friend to school you. Or seek out online experts or groups. Take an online course. Watch tutorials on Youtube. Learn digital marketing so your business stands a chance of being seen.

Use failure to succeed

Building a business is a process. You won’t do everything perfectly. Be okay with mistakes and failure, and understand that failure is a gateway to success. The more you fail, the more you can tweak your strategy, and the closer you get to learning what works.

When you accept failure as part of the process, and not something that can stop you, you’ll be on your way to great success.

Yes, there are times when running your own business will be confusing, challenging and frustrating. Find comfort in knowing that these tiny hurdles along the way are part of the process. Believe in yourself and keep going.

Being an entrepreneur with all its challenges is an incredible livelihood. It allows you to be self-expressed in your career. You get to be in complete control of your financial destiny. And, you get to live the life of your dreams.

Listen to the audio version of this post with additional insights. Download the mp3 here.