This is a revised and updated post originally published in 2016.
“Is freedom anything else than the right to live as we wish? Nothing else.” ~ Epictetus
Are you fed up with being an employee?
At first, you were excited about your job. You were on your way to building a nest egg, having money and time to do the things you wanted.
You felt you had a solid position in a business where you could grow, advance and have the success you imagined.
But soon you found the reality in the “work for someone else” world is not quite what you were led to believe? And now you feel stuck.
Enter the world of the entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurs have the advantage of both time and money.
They have an unlimited potential to create wealth and control their time, and therefore, their freedom. They are free to chart their own course, make decisions, make mistakes, try new things, and determine their future.
A far cry from the job world.
Entrepreneurs create value
Entrepreneurs build brands, companies, and supply chains; create intellectual property; and invent products and processes. Each of these assets can be sold, leveraged, or traded for another opportunity, creating wealth, not just an income.
As an entrepreneur you don’t get paid for the time you work, you’re compensated by the value you create. The business can grow exponentially in net worth, without a corresponding involvement by the owner.
A coaching client of mine developed a line of organic and gluten-free cake, cookie and bread mixes. She sold them on-line and demand was far greater than she expected. She was working long hours, but couldn’t keep up with the growing sales.
She hired employees and virtual assistants. With their help, she cut the hours she worked, and still increased revenues by 50%.
That’s the beauty of owning the business, you determine the products and services to sell, the prices to charge, the marketing channels to use, and the amount of time you work.
If demand for a product dries up, you can stop and diversify to a more viable and lucrative business.
For instance, imagine running a start-up selling higher-end travel gear. One product you offer is custom made —travel-friendly shirts. You quickly realize co-ordinating the sizes, colors, styles, and alterations are difficult and time-consuming. Still believing in the travel market, you design an alternative product — a stylish, durable and quality travel case. You offer it to your customers as a test. If the product is a hit, with fewer complications you can change course and move forward.
An entrepreneur makes decisions about the future and direction of her company. The entrepreneur has control.
Mindset-The key to becoming an entrepreneur
To make the transition from employee to entrepreneur you need to think like an entrepreneur and act like an entrepreneur.
Think like an entrepreneur and develop an entrepreneur’s mindset, which is where you believe in yourself and what you’re doing. You’ll create a product or service, put it out into the world, take responsibility for its outcome, and work toward success.
It allows you to overcome obstacles. It gives you the courage to have a vision and follow-through. You make a decision, get started and refine later.
When you are an entrepreneur, you put the wheels in motion and strive for results or make the necessary changes. You take action and see what happens. You adjust, evaluate and make alterations as needed. Often referred to as launch and iterate, You believe in your idea, but you validate first.
Most importantly, you have confidence in your abilities, and if not, you do what you need to get the skills and knowledge necessary. You understand that nothing is impossible if you keep putting forth the effort.
Act like an entrepreneur means taking action. Get your idea off the ground. You don’t let obstacles, indecision, or fear stop you. You stay motivated and keep your end goal in mind.
Action is key. Without taking action your business is only a wish.
How do I start a business?
Now that you decided the self-employed world is for you. Where do you start? Here are the major decisions you need to make. We’ll go into details and give you additional sources.
Decide what business you’ll start
First, decide what idea you want to pursue. Will it be consulting, freelancing, an e-commerce store, or digital products in an online business? To help you get more focused, read Find the Right Idea that You Can Turn Into a Business. or try one of these ideas.
Get specific about your niche
A niche is just a small segment of a big market. You can’t service everyone, nor can you be an expert in all areas. You want to define the specific people you want to serve so you can market to their needs. Selecting that niche is a process and you can read more about it at What is a Niche Market and Why Do I Need One?
Check out your competition
Who is your competition? Once you decide who most closely does what you plan to do, look at their website, see what they offer, how much they charge, read what their clients are saying, and what content they create. You can see what keywords they rank for by doing some online snooping. Here’s a description from Social Media Examiner, 8 of the Best Tools for Spying on Your Competitors.
Or you can read how to do social listening to do your own research.
Once you have a good understanding of what’s out there, you can decide how you will be different, what you can offer that they don’t.
What product or service will you offer and is it a valid idea?
The next step in this process is to determine if your product or service has a good market fit and who that market is. To do this you must validate your idea. The first step is to be crystal clear on what problem you’re helping your customer solve, what the benefits are, and how it works,
Armed with this information, you can create a simple landing page that can test your idea. It’s a powerful way to identify a winning idea so you can move forward with confidence.
How will you earn money from the business?
Next thing to consider, how will you make money from your online business? There are many revenue models and some work better for different products or services. There is a review of the seven most popular and how they work.
Enjoy the challenge of creating a business from scratch
Maybe you have knowledge that you want to share with the world. Or you have invented a new product or service. Or have you seen an unfulfilled need in the market?
Don’t let your inspiration die. Follow your curiosity. And grab the opportunity to design your life around your goals and desires.
Becoming an entrepreneur is not difficult, risky or expensive.
The opposite is true. Starting a business, even a part-time one leads you toward independence, wealth, and freedom.
Still feeling uncertain? Start your business as a side-hustle, build it while you keep your job and when it turns profitable, you’re free to do it full-time.
You can do it. Like many others have before you. And the numbers are growing.
Don’t wait. Live life on your terms. Enjoy your freedom.
Two Things Before You Go
Idea Finder Course
If you’re ready to move forward on starting your business and need further help to find the right business idea. Get my Idea Finder Course.
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