If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent hours of your work life sitting at a desk (or other work station) thinking to yourself… “I could be doing so many other things right now.” If that sounds like you and you’re considering trading in that 9 to 5 to become a full-time, dream chasing, goal-getting entrepreneur, you’re going to need a plan! Here are some strategies will allow you to start making that transition from having a boss to being the BAUCE that you are!
Get your mind right
No one is going to fight for your dream harder than you are. Growing a business is not easy (if it was, everyone would be an entrepreneur) and you must be ready to defend your dream against the naysayers, haters, and hurdles that will come your way. The best way to combat this is to be clear on the fact that the path ahead is going to be tough so that you can build the mental fortitude to be able to keep going when it does. If you expect challenges they won’t knock you down when you face them. Try and have a few go to strategies that will help you stay focused and motivated. Examples of this include having a community of friends who remind you why you are doing what you’re doing, focusing on the things that you can control rather than stressing about things that you can’t control, and giving yourself permission to take a step back to assess and readjust when needed.
Calculate your Minimum Viable Income (MVI)
Figure out the minimum amount of income that you need to survive monthly. Calculate you’re rent, transportation costs, bills, food costs, etc., and then ask yourself if there is anything that can be cut or reduced. Look at reducing costs by cutting down your cell phone plan, or getting rid of that gym membership that you’re paying for but not using. Your MVI is your magic number.
Run your business as a side-hustle while you test the demand for your business
Start to sell your products or services before you leave your full-time job. This will help you get a sense of how much people are willing to pay for your product or service, how motivated they are to buy from you, and how much it will cost you to operate your business. The goal is to get your revenue high enough so that you can pay yourself your MVI before you leave your full-time job.
And, while you’re running your side-hustle, try your best not to spend this extra cash! If you get used to having that income as “extra money” it will be even more difficult for you to earn enough to leave your 9 to 5.
Cut down to part-time
Once you’re making some money with your business you might find that it requires more of your time if it is going grow. If you’ve been working full-time and running your side hustle part-time, it might be the time to flip that ratio around. Hopefully, your current job will be supportive and flexible and offer you a part-time position. If not, consider other options. Also, be transparent when looking for a new part-time opportunity. Tell potential employers that you’ve started a business and are looking for something part-time while you grow your business. Employers will appreciate your honesty and, more importantly, you won’t feel like you need to hide that fact that your primary focus is your own business.
Invest in yourself FIRST, then in your business
Everyone knows that to level up your biz you’re going to need to invest some money in a website, a domain name, business cards, supplies, etc., but before you spend a lot of money building your empire, make sure you invest in yourself first.
Investing in yourself can mean investing time into learning about the industry you want to break into, investing energy into building relationships in person and online with others in your field, or investing money into professional development or coaching to fill gaps in your skill set and get you off to a strong start. The time, energy, and money you invest in yourself will ALWAYS generate a positive return because those investments make you a more valuable asset. Transforming yourself into a smart, confident BAUCE will set you up for success in business and life, and reduce the possibility of needing to go back to a job that you dislike. When you leave your job, you want to leave for good.
Look for anchor clients
Anchor clients are people or businesses that are going spend a significant amount of money purchasing your product of service on a consistent basis. For example, instead of selling your organic soap to individuals at a local farmer’s market for $6.00 (B2C), try to sell 50 soap bars to an independent health food store or gift shop for $3.00 each (B2B). That could be a considerable amount of money towards your MVI while you also try and sell to individuals online and in-person while you’re testing your product. If you’re selling a physical product cultivate those relationships so you stay on their minds. Make sure your telling people they can go and buy your product at that store, give the employees samples so they can talk about your product, or ask if you can do a product demonstration. This makes them a partner in helping you sell your product.
For service sector entrepreneurs, think about how your customers become recurring customers or how you can get them into longer term relationships with you. If you’re a consultant, sell clients a full-scale service plan rather than selling your service hour by hour.
Whether full-time entrepreneurship is your dream, or the thought of not having a secure income makes you a lil’ bit nauseous, having multiple streams of income is turning into a necessity in today’s world. Starting to implement these strategies will help you start thinking like a BAUCE and will put you on a path to building the life that you want to live.
If you have questions about any of these or ideas for other topics you’d like to read more about, please drop a note in the comment section below!