Updated: Nov 12, 2019
As a recently self-employed entrepreneur, I know what it feels like when your dream of financial independence seem to be out of reach. Maybe you're like me, and spent years envisioning a life that seemed like it was meant for lucky people or people who are smarter than you. Maybe you dived head first into the world of entrepreneurship only to find yourself lost at sea looking for a savior.
Well, I'm here to tell you there is no miracle that will come your way, but that doesn't mean you can't achieve your goals.
The truth is that if you want to work for yourself, or have people work for you, then you need to put in a lot of hard work. But what most people don't realize is a lot of that work takes place during the inner monologue you engage in 24 hours a day.
You also need to realize that good things take time. You will need to be willing to fail, be open-minded, and you'll definitely need to do some soul-searching, and sometimes that can be the lengthiest task you need to accomplish.
Luckily, I've laid out some of the ground work for you so you can get clear about what you want and get into the mindset that will take you there. Check them out below.
Decide what you really want
If you really want to go somewhere you should probably figure out where you want to go, right? I know this sounds like common sense, but so many entrepreneurs have the passion, but don't have the direction (guilty as charged).
You might have many a lot of ideas (again, guilty as charged) about what kind of business you want to pursue, and that's great, but to become truly successful you need to focus. The reality is that you can't perfect any one area if your mind is in 5 different places, or more!
That's why the very first step you need to take on your journey to self-employment is figuring out EXACTLY what you want to do.
So take some time, meditate, journal, or do whatever you need to in order to develop a clear understanding of your goal. If you need help figuring this out then asking yourself questions like these to get you started.
"What is something I am an expert at and love to do?"
"What have I loved to do since I was a child?"
"What are talents and skills that other people have pointed out to me?"
Questions like these will help you get to the core of what you want out of life.
Figure out why you want it
It's one thing to know what you want, but it's a whole different story knowing exactly why you want it. As Simon Sinek says, your 'Why' is the thing that is going to keep you going. If you don't know why you're doing something then it's easy to fall into the trap of going on autopilot and just going through the motions.
Your why is the flame that ignites your passion and drives you to the finish line. By knowing why you're doing something, you can have greater control over your actions and can create goals to get there. Some good examples of your why would be:
You want to create opportunities for others
You want to fill a gap in your industry that others can benefit from
You want to share your knowledge
You see where I'm going with this? If you need help discovering your reason why, then check out this PDF worksheet created by Jordan Harbinger that goes along with Simon Sinek's Start With Why philosophy.
Figure out how you will do it
To achieve anything in life, you need to create an action plan, and create a plan that works for you. Once you know what you want to do and why you want to do it, creating actionable goals might seem like a cake walk, but it can quickly become overwhelming once you notice all the little pieces that make up the big picture.
The best way to organize your to-dos and know where to start is to create S.M.A.R.T. goals. Maybe you've heard of this before, but basically it stands for Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Time-based.
There's no right or wrong way to set S.M.A.R.T. goals other than making sure they fit the criteria. For instance, if you're a painter and you want to start selling your paintings then it would make sense to have creating an online store by a certain date listed as a goal. It wouldn't make sense for you make a specific goal for eating healthier.
Used correctly, though, this system is great for achieving gradual growth and seeing how each task goal builds off one another to get you to your ultimate destination.
Just do it!
Not that I like using warn out adages and slogans, but at the end of the day you really need to "Just do it"! Now this doesn't mean quitting your day job and jumping in head first, but it simply means taking small actions every day that will get you where you need to be.
If you are looking to start an e-commerce business then taking 30 minutes to an hour every day to learn social media marketing and SEO will be a worthwhile investment in your time. In the end, this knowing about these 2 areas will add to the bigger picture and help your business thrive.
Just for good measure, and shits and giggles, I'm going to use another warn out saying to drive the point home. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither was anything else worth doing. So start taking action and staying patience. Over time these small achievements will multiply and next thing you know you're running your own business!
I hope this helped push you in the right direction. Let me know what you want to achieve and how you plan on getting there. I'd love to hear from you!