For many of us the entrepreneur spirit lies deep within, just waiting for the right moment to fly free. For others, there is a deeper comfort level in being a part of larger firm or business entity.
I can’t tell you what it is. Is it the structured environment, the steady paycheck, maybe the company insurance plan that drives us toward the corporate life – or for others makes us feel like there’s something bigger out there just waiting for us to take the bull by the horns?
I can tell you this, there will be a time when you’ll look at your life and decide if you’ve taken the path you want. Hopefully, that moment alone will help you along.
Other things force our hand. Most often it is a simple as being fired or as complex as being let go at a “certain age.” Sometimes, people retire, then yearn to start their own businesses.
In 2008, I saw a large professional force being faced with a sudden economic decline and joblessness. Many were left without lofty positions and generous paychecks. To their credit, a large portion let their entrepreneur flag fly, some quicker than others.
My phone rang with newly minted business owners, all asking to be a part of this business networking thing they had heard about. The entrepreneur boom had started. It was wonderful and scary at the same time.
Here we are, well over a decade later, and our hand is being forced again. Due to the pandemic, small business owners are being hit equally hard. Large chains are shuttering as well as small community operations. Franchises are closing down.
Out of the ashes the phoenix rises
Bess Myerson said it best “I’m like a phoenix. I rise from the ashes.”. Like Myerson, the Pandemicpreneur has seized this moment of crisis and turned it into opportunity.
Turning passion into promise isn’t easy. Believe me, I know. It’s not just self-doubt or financial security. We’re faced with older skill sets, like disk or tape backups, on-site servers, CDs and *gasp* DVDs which are no longer relevant. However, being an early adopter or adaptable is very much so.
Our current skill sets to communicate or survive in this contactless world have been replaced by QR codes, Cloud Storage, USB, USB-C, Zoom and no printing!
Even marketing has changed, blogs have been replaced by podcasts. What’s a business owner to do?
My advice? You know it’s time to pivot yourself and your career; that was never in question. The reality is those that take the bull by the horns are the ones that thrive. But what about the rest of it?
Here are my 6 foundational items for you:
Ease into it.
Don’t wait until you have everything perfect. Add the elements you know before leaping into the ones you don’t.
Work on your business as well as in your business.
It’s easy to get stuck in the day-to-day business, but you’ll never get out of the weeds if you don’t spend a bit of time planning your next steps.
Grow with the support of others.
Sure, you can do it alone, but why? Join a supportive business network of professionals who are working together in a positive business environment.
Get a Mentor.
If your business networking group doesn’t have a Mentoring program or there isn’t someone in your new field that you already know, I highly recommend seeking out a mentor at Score.org.
Out of sight, out of mind funds.
This is where auto-pay and electronic transfers are golden. Create a bank account that is not in your usual bank statement. Transfer funds to it weekly, even if it is only $20 to start. Increase that weekly amount as each quarter passes.
Structure your day.
Your calendar is your budget, that’s my mantra. Successful people are proactive, not reactive. They ensure that they have set time aside for the daily items that are the foundation of their business and know where to prioritize. They also set aside a start and end time miscellaneous items that can crop up.
Cys Bronner is a BNI executive director and founder of Constant Social Media Networker. Contact her at 866-889-3466 or email her at [email protected]
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