There are a couple of things why would you ask that to yourself, right? You can either be someone who just thinks your job ‘sucks!’ or you’re about to get married and you want something better… that goes well enough with your soon to be ‘better-half,’ too. Your reason can be fed-up, desperate, ‘crumbling worlds,’ a no way out situation or it can also be a sunny, hopeful, visionary, mission-oriented, ‘cool change’ stuff you want to go through.
Becoming an entrepreneur is a no easy task. I’ve read an old article about ‘on-again off-again entrepreneur’ and it describes almost how likely it is here in our country that we go from one job to a small business then back to a job again. For some people, quitting a job and relying solely with a small business is impractical. It’s like the single mom who both has a full-time job and a part-time business. And of course there are those who weigh things considerably, moving out of their comfort zones and decisively strike it on their own business.
If you happen to read Robert Kiyosaki’s “Cashflow Quadrant,” his sequel of his best-selling book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”, he creatively pointed out the different core values of those who are on different ‘Quadrants.’ The book is primarily written to help you transition from the left side of the quadrant being ‘security-oriented’ employees and ‘I can do it better my self’ attitude self-employed to getting to the right side of the quadrant, the ‘team player’ business owner and ‘make assets work for me’ investors.
Nowadays, we just can’t afford not to consider ‘greener pasture’ jobs or not to give ourselves a chance to become entrepreneurs. True as it is, you just have to hold that thought right now… and ask yourself… “Why?”
What I’m about to share is something that’s been helpful to me and sort of served as a quick guideline for me on helping others do the shift from being an employee to an entrepreneur. Though it needs a tweaking for different people on how to apply it. Each one of us has a unique situation, different approach on things and preferences. Mine dwells most on thinking ahead, bottom-line, what matters most and what gets things done.
• “Begin with an end in mind,” is a classic advise I’ve ever came across. (You can read it further in Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.) It’s funny though, how these books may help you integrate your thoughts and efforts and kind of pat you in the back.
Take time to visualize what you want. It can be as simple as closing your eyes, getting in touch with what makes you feel happy and cultivating your resolve to make things better from this time on.
• Make simple calculations. How much money is coming in? Add your salary, interests earned and receivables monthly from someone who owes you or from other investments.
How much money gets out? Add your expenses, amortizations, allowances, bills, credit cards and other monthly payables. If the difference of what comes in to what goes out is positive, you may just be ok and not necessarily have to shift. However, if you’re barely down to zero or negative then you really need a change. You can’t keep on doing something you know is not giving what you need and want.
• Determine the price tag of what you want. How much do you need, want and when do you want to have it? Your basic need will be the total money that gets out (or suppose to get out if your on a negative). Your want includes what kind of future do you want for yourself and for your family. How much it will cost you monthly. If it is a new car, a house, tuition fee for your kids, your post grad studies, traveling expense or charitable commitments.
Write it down with a timetable so you can practically divide those costs per month. With these, you have a realistic first base where you want to be financially. It also prepares you to quickly assess whether opportunities, businesses or partnerships presented to you or encounter will help you or not achieved your financial goals.
• List an inventory of what you know, your skills and what you’re good at. This step will give you a run through of things you do that you can turn into a cashflow machine. These can be anything that other people would be willing to pay you for. And you can add these beside the ‘food business’ everybody else come up with first in their minds and are saving up for their not so near future.
You can convert your job from a local “I’ll take care of it for you fast and rightly-done” to a PSF (Professional Service Firm). I got a hold of Tom Peters’ book “Re-Imagine,” and he explicitly and vividly described how these PSF and BPOs (Business Process Outsourcing) are turning white-collar job salaries to be “done outside for profit.” Programming and IT jobs, customer service representations, graphic designs, accounting stuff, engineering and architectural layout or designs and manpower recruitment are just some of these jobs that have been business entities even at larger scales both domestic and in the global arena.
• Learn how to sell. Whether you’ll be offering a service or a bunch of goods, you can’t pull it off as an entrepreneur without selling. Every good idea or plan or product you can come up with comes down to ‘if you can actually turn it to being SOLD.’ It’s ok if people would have a negative connotation regarding what your doing on the side now. If it’s a new thing for you then it’s best to learn it now, make yourself better even you get into some mistakes, and feel comfortable with it as you go along and make your profits.
Two of the basic guides in selling you can note of is to know your product well, which will give you competence and to know your clients needs and wants so you don’t end up hard selling to their throats. You can also get a hold of “Ziglar On Selling” comprehensibly written by Zig Ziglar, if you want to do it pro.
• Also take note of ‘who you know?’ You will gladly buy from your friends if they would sell you something right? Or you would rather do business with friends or relatives right? Not all the time guys. But you can always turn someone to be your friend if you see or knew someone you would like to be your client, partner, supplier, co-distributor or even a mentor.
Going into entrepreneurship is a team play, just like employment where you don’t get assigned to do all the requirements of a project or assignment. Though most would say that as an entrepreneur, you will do it everything on your own. That’ll be helpful at the start but it would be wiser to employ help, get a good advice and learn from the experts too as you grow bigger.
• Start small but think big. You can always start big time of course, though if you’re on a shift from employment you’ll find it scary and risky. Gradual steps are not for you to venture safely though, it’s to learn fast, cope up with the adjustments with time, funding and people.
Go back to your simple calculations above. Make additional computations of how many clients do you need to offer your service to or how many set of goods you have to sell to achieve your financial goals. Make these sales projections together with a timetable. Set your timetable in a 6-month, 1, 3 and a 5-year plan so you can decide how big can you be when you want it to happen.
• Just Do It. You can listen to all the reason you can hear from anybody that it won’t work or it’s not your cup of tea. You may also have all the how to’s you can get your hands on or all the inspiration you can fill your heart with, but you just have to do it! Don’t be afraid to try. Take action ASAP!
One of the clichés you can learn from is the ‘ready, fire, aim!’ You don’t want to find yourself getting ready and aiming all your life that sometimes you don’t even get the chance to fire.
• ‘Adjust the sail.’ Don’t quit on your first try or even on a couple of misjudgments or mistakes. Learn from it and apply a better set of actions. You’re your own boss now. You don’t fire yourself on your first day do you? And you can always set yourself up as if you’re on your first day.
If you keep on doing what you do today and you can see it can’t give what you want now, you can’t expect it to give you what you want in the future. That is the reason it is important to know your ‘why’ so you can remind yourself of reasons to persevere on doing the things that you know will give you what you need and want in life.
It is not just about money, because you can stay in a job if it fulfills your person hood and gives you professional satisfaction or avenue to grow. It won’t harm you or degrade you to learn a few more financial and entrepreneurial skills, right? Though it will take you more than a thought change like feeding your mind with positive thoughts and inspirations everyday, you really have to decide on and commit yourself to it.
And don’t forget to have fun and get excited every time! It’ll make it a smoother shift for you. Cheers! =)