Updated: Mar 30
With the launch of the AMOUR Business Start Up Boot Camp coming up soon I have been going through the content for the Boot Camp and one of the things that we cover is Mindset In Business and the transition from employed to self employed.
Millions of people dream of owning their own business and working for themselves but why do so few people actually do it AND make a success of it?
Apart from good planning for your business and finances which is imperative to it working there is something that is not talked about as much and that's mindset.
The mindset of an employee is completely different to the mindset of the business owner.
When you work for someone you want to keep their customers happy to keep your boss or the company owner happy but whatever happens you will still be paid your salary at the end of the pay period. When you work for yourself the customers that you were keeping happy to keep your boss happy are now your customers and if you upset them and loose them then you don't get paid. This is a HUGE mindset shift and it can be really scary going from a regular income that you know is coming in to having that uncertainty of will you earn enough, will everyone pay you on time, do you have enough to cover not just your personal bills but also your business expenses.
Being able to choose what hours you work...
Being self employed is painted as such an amazing thing to do, you can choose the hours you work, you don't have a boss standing over you and you're in charge. Which is all true... however most of the successful business owners I know gave up working 9-5 with an hour lunchbreak (all paid) and every weekend off when they set their business up. What got me thinking about this was I woke up the other morning to messages from one of my Clients that had been sent between 11pm and midnight the previous night and I then replied and actioned them at 6am. If either of us worked for someone as an employee we wouldn't make or send calls or texts or reply to them outside of the normal 9-5 working hours but this changes when you work for yourself and if you're not careful you can end up running yourself into the ground, especially in the first few years of having your own business.
I spoke to an Electrician I know recently and we were talking about the Easter weekend coming up and both of us were saying how we were looking forward to 4 days off and hopefully some nice weather but then he said that he would probably be called out and would have to go out to the calls as he didn't want to loose that contract. If he was employed he wouldn't even think about work over those 4 days!
Another important factor in the transition from employed to self employed is being able to keep a positive mindset even on the weeks when everything is going wrong!
We all have bad days and weeks and when you are first starting out there will be weeks that will seem like a complete uphill struggle. We have all heard the saying "it's lonely at the top". It can be a very lonely experience going from working in an office (or at the moment having team zoom meetings) where you have a big support bubble that you can sound off at to working for yourself and having to pick yourself up. The last thing your employees or customers want to hear when you speak to them is all of the bad things that have happened that day, so having tools in place to pick yourself up when you're feeling like this can be a game changer!
I personally go out for a walk and get fresh air if I'm having a day where nothing is going right or I'll take a break from my office and go and read or listen to a motivational you tube video. There is a lot of research on deep breathing and taking a break and taking some deep breaths to reset yourself. When you're stressed your breathing is a lot shallower so taking a deep breath in and then blowing it out and having a good sigh can release some of the tension when you are having a day like that.
If you are just starting out on your own or even if you are years into your own business it is so important to check in with yourself to make sure you are caring for yourself as well as your business. There is a famous saying that if an aeroplane goes down you should put your own oxygen mask on before anyone else's as if you don't have oxygen you are useless to anyone else. This is the same in business, if you don't set boundaries and make sure you put time aside for yourself (and take it) you can end up burning out and then you're no good for your business anyway. I know it's easy for me to say this and I know personally how hard it is to put boundaries in place to make sure you have time to yourself, I still struggle with boundaries and I have run my own businesses for the past 11 years but I can't emphasise enough how important it is to check in with yourself and to make time to take a break from work and do things to relax.
Keeping yourself focused and motivated.
This is where planning is so important. It is easy to get side tracked when there is no one there to keep you focused and before you know it a day has gone by and you've spent the whole day being busy but getting nothing done (if you work in the service industry and you're paid hourly a day like this and you've earned nothing, a few days like this can affect your whole month!) Time management and planning is an important tool to nail early on.
I always plan my day, I have my top priorities that I have to get done that day and unless something comes up during the day that takes importance over those I make sure I don't leave my desk until they are all done.
A tool that you can use if you have set yourself financial targets is to have a whiteboard where you can see it and at the end of each day/week keep it updated with what you have earned for that day/week and where you are against your target. This is a great way to keep you motivated and focused on your goals.
You can do this with your marketing plan as well, if you have your marketing plan you can write out your monthly planner of what you need to do each day and then tick each item off once you've done it.
Ticking items off and reaching your financial daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly goals is a huge mood booster and a great way to stay motivated. If you have an off day and don't reach your goals don't be too hard on yourself, start again the next day.
If you are transitioning from being employed to self employed and you would like a step by step process (where you do each step with a group of liked minded individuals all in the same boat as you) then the AMOUR Business Start Up Boot Camp may be for you. For more information see here