It is a hero’s journey to go from an employee to an anywhere worker starting a small business of your own. This journey doesn’t start the day you quit your job, it starts much earlier. If you are considering this path, take these 7 steps as a calculated risk approach.
Know your quest.
The hero’s journey starts with a quest. what is your quest?
1. Assess your current situation: This includes your current financial situation; your strengths and preferences at work; and the driving force that started you thinking about opening your own business. This is your ‘WHY.’ Without a strong enough ‘WHY’ you will not be able to endure the start up.
2. Know your Quest: Clearly define the vision you have for this business. Don’t start the business planning just yet, but rather get a picture of the destination. What will your life be like at the end of the journey? What is your goal? What is your business? What do you want to be doing all day?
3. Assess the risk: There is risk on both the journey AND the destination. Not only is there financial risk, but risk to your life as a whole. Are you physically up for the journey? Is your family ready? They will also be taking this journey. There is a great deal of change, struggle, and ultimately a different life at the journey’s end. This is your change readiness assessment.
Accept the Challenge
The hero not only prepare’s himself for the challenges ahead, but his village as well!
4. Make the decision: The decision to take the journey must be made by the entire village. Without the support of your family and friends you will not succeed. Period. This is the first crossroads. Based on the assessment in steps 1-3, are you ready and willing to take the risks? Is your village?
If you accept the challenge, move on to step 5. If not, consider revisiting steps 1-3 and redefine your quest to fit your values, passion, and life mission.
5. Begin training now: Congratulations for making the commitment! Now you train. Training includes two very important things and it is for both the hero and the village:
a. Training for financial goals. The number one stress in starting a small business is money. Start now while you are employed and save 24 months of basic living expenses before you leave your job. The process of doing this while you are still employed will strengthen your budgeting muscle as well as that of your village. If you can’t follow a budget while employed, you won’t be able to while starting your small business.
b. Training for work effort. Starting a business takes long hours over a long period of time. To train for this (and test your stamina) you will begin to work on your small business while still employed. Evenings and weekends will be devoted to planning and startup activities. This is also a test for your village members. If they can not handle your new hours now, they won’t be able to when you launch.
Begin the Journey
What will you be working on during those evenings and weekends? Startup!
6. Business Planning: Don’t cringe! Business planning is essential. If you don’t do it now, you’ll just delay the inevitable. I’m not saying you have to have a leather bond business plan to show to investors (unless you will be seeking investors), but you do need to go through the process of business planning at the very essential levels. Why? It is the journey, the questions that are asked in the business planning process that are so important. They help you to get clear on your business so that you can build it!
7. Gather your resources: As you are building your plan, you will need to gather additional resources. This includes acquiring necessary skills to run the business; hiring advisors; and gathering start-up funds. More money? Yes. But this isn’t the money you are setting aside for your 24 months of living expenses. This is in addition! You won’t know yet what you need until you start your business plan.
The beauty of this approach is that it’s low risk. The number 1 objection I hear from clients looking to start their own small business: ‘I’m not a risk taker.’ Well, neither am I. I take calculated risks. This plan allows you to strengthen your small business start-up muscles BEFORE you leave your steady paying job.
Let’s get started. Work with me as your coach and I’ll help you to step through this hero’s journey. I’ve done it. I know you can too.