The Entrepreneur’s Source: Your Career 2.0 – 10 Tips to Achieve Self-Sufficiency from Terry Powell
Originally Published in Forbes, 2/8/18. 2018 is well underway, the economy is booming, but millions of Americans are still anxious about their professional future. Job security has become a dark punchline, or an oxymoron, like “jumbo shrimp”. The only real constant in business today is the “constant threat” of people being downsized, right-sized, or capsized, as corporations try to wring every bit of profit from their bottom lines. So, what’s the move here? Stay in a job with no guarantees, and a definite end-point, usually NOT of your choosing?
Maybe it’s time to take control of your professional life by creating “Your Career 2.0” – taking a deep dive into owning your own business. Risky? There’s risk in everything. If there weren’t, EVERYBODY would be working for themselves! But is it riskier to stay put, waiting for the inevitable blade, or to bet on your skill sets, drive, and desire for something better, to make a real career change. Toward that end, I’ve prepared ideas to help you start formulating a strategy toward “Your Career 2.0.”
Here are 10 Tips to Help You Achieve Self-Sufficiency
- 1. Discovery- What are your passions? Are you willing to put the money, time, and effort into “Your Career 2.0?” What business would be the best fit for you and your goals? What are the challenges you will face? Are you even cut out to be your own boss? It’s all part of your “Discovery Process”, examining every angle, searching for real, gut-honest answers. This is one area you can’t be honest with yourself.
- 2. Guidance- It never hurts to have another set of trusted eyes helping you on this process of self-sufficiency. That’s why I have a swing coach for my golf game. Doesn’t it make sense to have an adviser to help you in this journey? You will need someone who will look out for you, help you examine every aspect of opportunities in an unbiased manner, and point out the things you can’t, or refuse to see.
- 3. See Your Success- I’ve always been a believer in “See it. Believe it. Achieve it.” We have the capacity to visualize our success, just like great athletes “see” the positive outcome of a play before it happens. So, what is your vision of success? Greater, disposable income? More time for family and friends? Enhanced lifestyle? “See” your success, then write your vision down to turn it into easily articulated goals…but be prepared to REALLY work to achieve them.
- 4. Embrace the Danger- Five years from now, staying on your current career path, will your life be better, the same, or worse? What happens if I lose my job? Can I really build wealth and equity I want for my family in this job? These are some of the questions you must answer, with clear, unblinking resolve, to help you formulate the plans and goals to combat the fears, control your own destiny, and empower you to create “Your Career 2.0.”
- 5. Be Open to Opportunities- You may have a real passion for cooking, and think owning a restaurant would be a great business opportunity. You’ve “locked on” to this to the exclusion of everything else. What’s the rush? Take the time to examine ALL your options. Maybe even dip a toe into a side job you believe would be a great business to own while you’re still in the corporate world. You may find it’s not all you thought it might be.
- 6. Celebrate Your Strengths- Take stock of your strengths: job successes, solid work ethic, accomplishments, high integrity, positive attitude, and adaptability, to name a few. Every one of those characteristics can be used in your strategy to “Your Career 2.0”, helping you write a powerful, personal success story.
- 7. Career Choices- Being an independent business owner means it’s all on you, everything, including business and marketing plans, finding customers, dealing with vendors, etc. Usually, there’s no real support system, either. Franchising might be a better option. It offers the advantage of working from a set, proven system, and replicating that system, with a lot of internal/external support. However, franchising isn’t for everyone, and there are tools to help you find out if you’re even a fit to go that route.
- 8. Overcoming Family Objections- It has been my experience that some of the biggest obstacles to “Your Career 2.0” are your own family, or friends. They can’t comprehend why you want to leave the security(!) of your traditional job and they voice their concerns. To combat their understandable misgivings, it is very important you share with them your process, helping them see your vision, and the careful, strategic, steps you are taking to realize that vision. When they grasp that, they’re much more likely to provide positive reinforcement and encouragement.
- 9. Financing Your Future- Ah, the elephant in the room: funding your dream. There are MANY options, which don’t include asking a rich uncle for the money. Your 401K could be one way to go, as a “pro-active” investment. For example, even if you are younger than 59 ½, you can take loans from those dollars, without the 10% penalty (however, the money is taxable). Your financial advisor can show you how. Also, if you choose to buy a franchise, the franchisor could offer to finance the entire franchise fee, or significant part of it, as well as other costs, sometimes at simple interest.
- 10. Beginner’s Mind- You must be willing to abandon all pre-conceived notions about business ownership, while being curious and open to new information. It’s all about exploration now, not decision-making. Also, never worry about failure at this stage as you examine different business ownership concepts. Remember, Edison tested more than 1,000 light-bulbs before he found the right one. But he also used each failure to learn more about the process, which eventually led him to illuminate the world.
Here’s to your success on your journey to “Your Career, 2.0”!!!!
For more information on The Entrepreneur’s Source, please visit http://www.EntrepreneursSource.com/. About The Entrepreneur’s Source®. Established in 1984, The Entrepreneur’s Source has been North America’s leading alternative career coaching franchise dedicated to the entrepreneur for more than 34 years. The Entrepreneur’s Source offers in-depth advice to individuals striving to become self-sufficient with the release of our new book, Your Career 2.0: A Survival Guide for The Battered Career and Investor Syndrome. The book is a thoughtful examination of how you can make your dreams of self-sufficiency a reality. Authored by Founder of The Entrepreneur’s Source Terry Powell and E-Source alternative career coaches, the book is a must-read for any individual who has ever considered taking the path less traveled and embarking on the journey to small business ownership.
For more information about The Entrepreneur’s Source, please visit http://www.EntrepreneursSource.com/. The Entrepreneur’s Source is a trademark of TES Franchising, LLC. All rights reserved.