We all come to the awakening that employment alone is surely not going to fuel our dreams. It will pay our bills and ensure we survive but that life we always dream of is rarely served unto us on the plate of employment. The otherwise larger tray of entrepreneurship may sound romantically enthusiastic and adventurous but those who have traveled that road can tell you, the roses are simply growing above the thorns on the stems and therefore when you look from a distance, you only see roses but when you good deeper you are sure to be pricked. I am not saying this to discourage anyone but rather to ensure there is preparedness in the mind of the young person choosing to take this road. The sacrifices and the price to be paid for entrepreneurship are high but the outcome I can promise you is worth it. Employment has its joys of a regular and sure income and we therefore pass risk onto our employers but the outcome is minimal and the limitations are too many. Let us therefore find out what steps are necessary for a fairly smooth transition from employment to entrepreneurship.
Do not Quit your Day Job!
Many people start out by scooping up their life savings and starting out on a journey they have very little knowledge of and move on by faith. If it is a worthy opportunity, take time to educate yourself of the ropes of the opportunity you are looking at. Sometimes even work on getting a part time job in an organization providing a similar service like the one you are planning on investing in. Instead of losing all your savings and time in the name of “experience”, save yourself and educate yourself. There is no need worrying if it turns out not be the right thing to do, you will simply move onto another since you are now wiser than before. Let me also say that experience is overrated, this though is a topic for another day.
Work with a plan of a minimum of 6 months, after which, if your business venture cannot be able to pay you atleast three times what you are currently earning in employment, don’t quit yet. Plan on starting part time for a minimum 6 months then if the income you get from the business is triple what you earn at your day job, you can now leave and concentrate on the business to make even more money. I understand the whole “risking” thing preached out here and by the way I love to risk but in the least, let those risks be calculated. The first way of calculating a risk is having a plan.
Keeping your day job will ensure first of all that you are not desperate to make a sale and therefore allow you to keep integrity as you build your business on a strong foundation. Those who have been in sales can attest to how sometimes people end up lying to make that sale, and this is as a result of desperation to either hit targets or take care of bills. Your day job will take care of your bills while the business works to grow itself without you taking money from it. Avoid passing risk and bills from your personal life to your business, it is still young and in any case the business might just demand that you keep pumping a little cash here and there as it grows. What happens to your business if you start taking from it right from month one? Your job also ensures that you are able to reinvest the profits if any, from time to time and the business can be sure to grow if you are aggressive enough.
First of all have a plan of how much time you are willing to dedicate daily to work on your business. These hours should be counted outside your normal working hours. Remember you cannot be a good employer by being a bad employee, keep the discipline and it will take you a long way even in your own business. Agree with yourself and stay strict on the schedule of how you are going to spend that time you have dedicated to your business per day. If it is 2 hours per day let it be so and if used well the two hours are going to yield.
Do extensive research
Did you know that top corporates conduct extensive market research before launching a new product line? They go further by spending lots of money in advertisement, marketing campaigns and sales. Why don’t entrepreneurs do this? How much research do we do about our product or service before we launch our business? What information do we have about the market trends or consumer behavior of our product before we launch? All these questions are best answered if we are able to do research extensively from the market, corporations, government parastals and other businesses in the same line of work as you. Ask all the relevant questions so you can to be sure of where you are going to put your hard earned money and time. Come up with questionnaires and short surveys to help you gather information. Find someone who is knowledgeable in scripting questionnaires and surveys and you will agree with me on the much service this research is going to do to you.
What goals do you have for your business? Where would you want to see your business in a particular amount of time? In short draw the roadmap of your business with keen consideration of the time that you are dedicating to your business. Say how much you want to achieve and in how long, state also just how you are planning on achieving the same and with proper timelines, discipline, dedication and determination, you just might be able to achieve those goals. Goals will guide your effort, activity and discipline and they will keep you focused. Set financial goals, set market share goals, set employee goals all sort of goals that you want to achieve in your business.
Find a Mentor
This area has much been looked down upon by many entrepreneurs who have no idea of how much importance mentorship is. In their co-authored book “the answer” Murray says that it would take years to arrange a Rubics Cube with your eyes closed, but with someone who knows how to do it, still with your eyes closed, only saying “yes” when you make a right move and saying “no” when you make a wrong move, you can be able to arrange it in less than 15 minutes! Can we all see the importance of mentorship? It means you can achieve so much in very little time once you have the help of a mentor. Again let me say if you do not have a teachable spirit, even a mentor might not help you as much. Ditch the self-righteous attitude and give yourself to learning and growing and at any change of learning, do just that, Learn! After you learn apply what you learnt and later review what you applied after learning, you will be sure to grow yourself and the business.
Improve your associations
When you chose to be an entrepreneur, surround yourself with people who are on the same mission as you, if possible those who are better than you that can provide value, motivation, support and advice to you. Ensure in that group you also offer value of some kind otherwise they will avoid you! No one wants to be around a total taker who gives no value at all. But if they see the hunger to succeed and you level of activity they might just keep you around them. Avoid negative people like a plague! Often people confuse negativity and criticism. Learn to tell the difference between the two and accept positive criticism for you to be able to grow and improve.
Leaders are readers, no question about that. Ensure you set aside at least 30 minutes every day to read something in your area of business. This ensures that you remain sharp, have the latest details on your line of work and you are always informed of the latest market trends and information that is of value to your business.
That being said, don’t just read. Read and apply what you see is of value otherwise there is no need of reading at all if it will not change the way you think and operate your business.
Believe that you can do it and above everything, as soon as you have confirmed that this is the right thing to do, just start!