Sunday now, and you are getting a sick feeling about going to work tomorrow. You must get up early on Monday morning and get ready for the office. Now even the distraction of the idiot-box could not stop this anxious feeling.
A thought strikes that you may feign sickness tomorrow and take one day – just one smallish day off but the client meetings and responsibilities at your office will not let you do so. You want an extra day’s rest from the dog-eat-dog corporate world but you cannot do so.
This anxiety is simply because you are not able to tap your inner bliss and passion. You are not living up to your best potential. Rather than being in the moment you are living more in the past or future. When you live a fulfilled life you spread happy moments throughout each day.There is something to enjoy even on Mondays, your boss does not look any different on Monday! Does he? Maybe you are not pursuing what you always wanted to do!
Maybe you wanted to have your own business, or become an entrepreneur or open a restaurant near your favourite location. Maybe you wanted to be a writer? Think back, what dreams did you have growing up? I am sure it’s not the Dilbert’s cubicle you dreamt of! Maybe you always a wanted a business which allows you to visit Paris, London, Zurich, Spain, Portugal, whole Europe and live for an extended period of time there. Maybe you wanted to go to wild safaris in Africa, snorkel in Australian reefs or watch Monasteries in Japan.
Due to family pressure and social norms you had to school yourself for ‘a good job’. When I was in college I wanted to have a business, what business? I had no idea. I did start a sales business but could not stick with it. Why? Because parental and social pressure says you must have a ‘good job’. I got into a good job but I always wanted something more, something that gives me freedom and passion.
Think of this freedom like your relationship. Suppose your partner always taunts you for your clothes, what would you do? You will push back like “I don’t need your free advice; I am OK (which you are).” But if your partner bought you brand new Fashion-TV type clothes and marvels how good you look then chances are you will look into the mirror and think “hmm… now this is something I like.” Which will make the relationship grow strong.
The imperial corporate world is built differently by its ‘champions’ and ‘leaders’, because they mean only business. “Work hard and go home, keep your feelings with yourself.” Most importantly the current profile and enormous responsibility at your office are not translating your dreams into reality. The only hope of getting out of the rat-race in a job is winning the lottery.
I know you can’t just leave your job and get set for your dreams, unless you have a good chance of consistent stream of income. I know it is not that easy – but yeah with correct knowledge and drive we can fulfill our destiny.
Now working at a Fortune 500 Bank in Loans and Credits Department for six years I was always tempted to compare successful companies or businesses and their successful owners to losing companies and their losing owners. I have worked right from the front-line desk guys who consult prospects for loans (and their dreams); to the cabins where dreams of entrepreneurs are presented and sanctioned. I can tell you what I have learnt from many successful entrepreneurs and what I am observing to be working best.
Here are the 7 Lessons I have learned:
1. Interact and validate your business idea
If you want to open a restaurant, then go out and meet some successful restaurant owners. Winners are good at heart. You will be surprised by their readiness to teach an open young mind. They can tell you critical information about the suppliers, buyers, market condition and more.
If you wanted to be a real estate agent, then meet few agents in your locality. They will be able to provide you some insider knowledge that you must know to start. They may offer you commissions if you bring business to them, and this way you learn in the process.
You can contact on email or phone first and then take 15-20 minutes appointment. Before becoming a success coach I interacted with lots of people by email and Facebook. Some responded some didn’t, that’s OK. But I met some really nice souls this way and they motivated me to pursue my passion of becoming a success and life coach.
Another shortcut, take your banker out on lunch and ask them, how the industry is doing? Are the loans or other accounts doing well? If most of them are bad, it does not make any sense for you to enter, as many professionals are not making money in the industry.
2. Start taking baby steps towards what you want
Do some free work for people and you will discover some new knowledge in the field. You do not have to see the whole stair case to go up the stairs, just climb one step at a time.
Author, Mike Dooley observed that in his earlier business of selling T-shirts whenever he was out for marketing, even if he didn’t sell anything, someone at the office would receive an order. So make a definite plan and start taking action from today.
3. Winners are students throughout life
Brace yourself to learn entrepreneurship, marketing, communications, and networking. There are some things that you can outsource, but marketing, communications and maintaining relationships with your clients – you cannot and should not outsource that.
Learn as much as you possibly can about the industry you want to make a career in. A lot of people assume learning stops when you graduate High School or University. Little do they know that is when the learning actually begins.
4. Take a course in communication and marketing
If you did not take the course on communications at your college then take one now. You will be amazed to know how to communicate from your clients’ perspective, what do they want and critical non-verbal communications and body-language.
Most of the companies start with these types of courses during probation so maybe you have already done that. If not then make some arrangements this weekend. It can make or break your chances of success.
5. Do not become cocky at your new business
I have made costly mistakes of loaning to cocky people, assuming it is a sort of self-confidence. Cockiness can get you a few dates at the Pub but not long-term repeat clients. Nobody cares how hot your business idea may be.
Venture Capitalists, unlike bankers, are ruthless to break through cockiness and decide if the idea is viable or not. Take care of your clients like your own brothers and sisters and they will take care of your business and expand it.
6. Maintain savings for at least two years before you leave your job
Generally speaking new businesses often take somewhere around one to one-and-half years to break-even. You may break into profit even earlier also but it makes sense to have at least two years worth of savings with you.
If it is hard for you maybe due to the high credit card debt in our society then you must first pay off the debt as soon as possible before you even think of leaving your job and becoming an entrepreneur full-time.
7. Take your business as a part time hobby first
Now before you go full-time in your business. You must have family responsibilities and rent to be paid. So instead of going all out with that restaurant plan, why not follow another plan and open a food-truck first, this way you accelerate your learning. Or if you want to become an author, complete your novel in free time and try to get it published.
Famous fiction Author, Stephen King, did not leave his teaching job long before he started earning enough from his published books. Thereafter, he churned out over fifty popular fiction books.
You must test the waters first and take an overall view for what it takes to launch a business. You will find water is deep indeed, but like Mr. Darby and his uncle of the famed story ‘Three Feet from Gold’ said, you must persist before you see the success you always wanted. Do remember to have fun throughout the journey.