Natalie Ekberg mother of two, Founder of LB (Live Better) Coaching is an inspiring entrepreneur, author and career transition coach. Over the past 10 years Natalie has developed a diverse background in helping business professionals from various sectors internationally; make major life changes. Making five radical life transitions her self each involving a big move to a different country, requiring that she dismantle and recreate her career, lead to her becoming “An expert in navigating major life changes with ease, grace and an enlivening freedom and joy.”
Read her advice on 10 tips for a smooth transition from employee to employer below.
Many years ago, I went back to work after a year off doing voluntary work in the Philippines. I was ecstatic to have landed that particular job in corporate human resources and was excited to be getting started.
Except, when I stood by the window of the office on my very first day, a sudden realisation hit me. I wished with all my heart that I would be still out there, doing my own thing, being free and answerable to no one. Looking back, that was probably the moment the first seed of my entrepreneurial journey was planted, unfolding fully much, much later.
If you too, have moments of feeling trapped and wishing secretly to be your own boss and manage your own business, the following 10 tips will help you to get on that much more quickly than I did!
1.) Make the transition in a structured way. There are too many aspects of entrepreneurship that, if you are unaware of them, may cost you time, money and many sleepless nights. If you treat this transition as any other work project (e.g. planning the necessary steps, working against deadlines and doing a thorough follow-up), you will feel in control.
2.) Do your exploration, research and preparation while you are still employed. The pressure of any start-up business can be exhausting and stressful, mostly because you probably won’t be earning what you were used to in the beginning. Do as much “preparatory” work as possible while you are enjoying the safety net of your regular income.
3.) Look up as many of your competitors as possible and research their work thoroughly. How do they advertise? Which social mediaplatforms do they use the most? What is their message? Make a note of what you liked the most and what you would do differently. Over time, you will be ale to identify and develop your unique voice, which will make you stand out.
4.) Talk openly to your friends and family about your plans; the more people know about your intentions, the more of them can be helpful. Networking and having as many contacts as possible is key when you are a “newbie”. Don’t be shy; going “public” will also help you to commit to your goals. You wouldn’t like to look foolish, would you?
5.) Make a solid finance and saving plan and work through your numbers thoroughly. This knowledge will come very handy once your salary is no longer your security blanket. Knowing how much you need to save now in order to allow time for your business to grow will help you alleviating any future stress.
6.) Set up all parts of the bushiness that can be established while you are still working; for example: your website, your social media presence, your business cards. All of these can be prepared in “beta version” and ready for launch once you have left your employment.
7.) Learn as much as you can while you are still working. Many of the basic “being self-employed skills” would be new to you. How to blog? How to write a business plan? What marketing strategies are best for your particular business? You will develop these skills further as your business grows but having some basic knowledge is a necessity.
8.) Be sure that you are absolutely, madly in love with your business idea. There will be times when you might feel very close to giving up your dream and continue with the working life you have known so far. In moments like that, the love and affection for your business will carry you through, if it strong and solid.
9.) Follow your intuition every step of the way. The biggest challenge between being an employee and being an employer, is that you were used to following someone else’s directions and acting on their ideas. From now onwards, you are the one in the driver seat; the ideas, their execution, the follow up actions and everything in between will have to come from you.
10.) Always believe that you are fully capable of achieving the success, no matter what people you are surrounded with think. This is your game; play it to the best of your ability.
Have you made the journey from employee to employer? Share your experiences with us in the comments.