Taking the leap and being your own boss is no easy step, however it should be something that everyone gives a go during their lifetime. Mark Condon, CEO of Shot Kit, claims that owning your own business teaches you the discipline and work ethic that no 9-5 can offer. This is because you know exactly what you need to do in order to keep your business afloat and make money for food and bills.
He believes that trying to be your own boss can be easier when you’re young and you don’t have as many overheads as some of us older folk. With that said, there are still plenty of older entrepreneurs who have never given up on their dreams and made the transition later on in life. One thing is certain, you need guts to do this, as there’s no point in going 50% on it as you already know you don’t have the drive or ambition to work hard.
It’s all or nothing, and that’s the best piece of advice we can give you. You must work hard to put yourself out there, and with today’s technology it’s easier than ever before.
Aside from Mark, we’ve also picked the brains of some of our friends in the industry to share with you—our dear readers—tips on how to be your own boss.
Joe Wilson, a Senior Career Advisor at Mint Resume shares:
My biggest piece of advice for being successful at being your own boss is to do with changing the way you work. Get out of the corporate mindset of working set hours, whether it is effective or not. It’s now about working smart.
Your work is going to be about completing tasks regardless of the time frame. It may take an hour, it may take all day, but you don’t have to sit there doing it for an allotted time. It can take a long time to move from corporate to boss mindset but it’s the switch that will impact your business the most.
William Taylor, a Senior Recruitment Advisor at Velvet Jobs says:
Become your own boss by launching a startup. Startups are fast-growing businesses that use innovative products or services that are in demand. What you can do is to look into startup trends (e.g. Artificial Intelligence) and work from there. Then you can propose their ideas to potential investors.
Tal Shelef, a Realtor and Co-Founder of Condo Wizard explains:
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Having a mentor or a coach who’ll help you better yourself and succeed in your plans is one of the best things you can do when on the journey to become your own boss. While some of us are raised to think otherwise, we all need a little help sometimes. And surrounding yourself with people who are committed to helping you be the best you can be is a big step closer to achieving your goal.
Thierry Tremblay, a CEO and Co-Founder of Kohezion elaborates:
Well, being a CEO and founder, I’m familiar with the feeling of every amateur entrepreneur to be their own boss. It’s not difficult but it’s a little strategic. I’m going to share with you what my tips would be for anyone wishing to run their own business.
Take Time to Transition from Working for Someone Else to Running Your Own Business
So, you’ve decided that you want to run your own business which makes you feel really excited and you dream about going into work tomorrow with a letter in hand and, in a loud voice, saying to your boss “I resign.”
If you’re so unhappy in a job that’s making you ill and you don’t need to work, I absolutely agree with doing that. Otherwise, I’d encourage you to be more strategic in your planning. When I decided that I was going to leave college, my hubby and I agreed that I should track how much private work I was getting over the next 12 months alongside working for my employer.
Using my salary at the college, I worked out how many private assessments I would need to do each year to earn close to lecturer salary. After 12 months of realizing that I could get enough work, it was a still scary thought but I truly haven’t looked back.
If the economy took a hit, how recession-proof is your job? Do you have a job where, with some extra training, you could add more strings to your bow?
I started out assessing only people aged 16+, but realizing that my work could be affected if government funding for university students stopped, I widened my portfolio to assess children too. Although I can’t Skype in my job, embrace technology where possible so that you reach a wider audience.
Put the Client at the Center of Everything You Do
Basic communication and reliability are key. When answering the phone or dealing with emails, I work hard at striking the balance between being professional but also being friendly. I don’t do formality anyway but I keep phone calls really chilled, really listen to what people are telling me, and often find people tell me it’s the first time that someone has truly listened to their concerns.
If you visit clients, be punctual. I can’t emphasize enough how word of mouth is the cheapest way to spread the news about your business so if you give someone a good experience, they’re likely to tell others. In my case, it’s not just the school gate or colleagues talking but it’s on chatrooms, Facebook groups, etc.