Career Orientation

6 Best Steps to Becoming Self-Employed

6 Best Steps to Becoming Self-Employed

Would you like to start a business and become self-employed but don’t know exactly how to startNot to worry: we’ve outlined some steps that will take you from “thinking about it” to “doing it” in no time.

Here are some simple basic steps to get you started.

1.     Make up your Mind (the decision to Start)

This will be the first of many decisions you’ll have to make on your own. And it may feel strange at first, especially if you’re used to getting direction from your parents, friends and others. All that goes away when you’re self-employed, and you suddenly realize that you’re the person who has the final say on just about everything.

So the first step to becoming self-employed is to decide to do it. To quote Aaron Sorkin’s HBO drama Newsroom: “In the old days, we did the news well. You know how? We just decided to.

Do you know what separates all the people who won’t be self-employed from the ones who actually do it? Deciding to. So make the decision to make the leap. It sounds simple, but there’s nobody else who can do this for you.

2. Overcome your Fears

Fear can make people change their minds about their ideas just because of that failure of failure. The fear of not being welcomed, what if people don’t buy my idea, what if it fails, what if I just lose my capital in the end, what if I can’t do it. So many “what ifs”.

Ask yourself: what’s the worst that can happen?

  • For some, it’s that you’ll lose your mortgage and become bankrupt. But that’s happened to millions of people recently, and they’re OK. They just can’t get another loan soon, but they’re still living.
  • For others, it’s a fear that you’ll be out on the street or hungry. Ask yourself, though, if you have a safety net: family and friends who will take you in if it ever comes to that.

Also ask yourself: is that likely to happen? Probably not.

If things get bad, you can take a job with someone else, or try a new tactic, or figure something out so that things don’t get that bad.

3. Stay Lean and Small

Lean and small and hungry and nimble and flexible are good things. It means you don’t need to pay a lot of bills. You don’t need a huge amount of revenue. And you can change as you need to. You don’t need to start with a lot of expenses — start small, with zero or almost zero expenses. After all the biggest companies and corporations in the world started very small from scrash. It’s one step at a time.

Sure, not everyone can start for free, but you can start small.

  • Want to run a computer centre? Start with a single machine and printer.
  • Want to start in retail? Start online, with a cheap host and free web software.
  • Want to be a marketer? Do it out of your home, with a cell phone, a computer and a car.
  • Want to be a landscaper? All you need is a lawn mower to start out.
  • Want to start a health clinic? Operate out of your home, or make house calls, in the beginning.
  • There are lots of ways to start out cheap — if your business requires lots of money, think about scaling it back or finding a different way of doing it, for free.

Starting out cheap doesn’t mean little growth it simply means it’s hard to fail and easy to succeed.

4. Choose What to Do

First, you should choose something that you love and know a lot about.

  • If you love gardening, do something related to that.
  • If you love writing, do that.

You should ideally have some experience, or be willing to put in a lot of hours learning at first. If you’re already good at something, and you love doing it, you’re off to a great start.

Next, you should figure out what you have to offer, and how it will be different than what’s already out there.

Then never be ashamed of what you find pleasure in doing no matter what it is, so long as it is legit and will bring forth good returns.

  • How will you meet people’s needs in a new way?
  • Who needs your service or product?
  • How will you reach them?
  • Where do they go now, either in the real world or online?

And what’s the simplest way you can reach them and offer your product or service? Simplest means the least work, the least amount of steps and complications, the easiest for the customer, the least expensive, the amount to start up, and how fast can you get started? What’s the bare minimum you need to get started? And that’s all — get the basics started, and add the rest later.

You can get the business card later. You can figure out accounting and corporate structure and all that later. You can refine your marketing and product later — just start, and keep improving.

5. Start Right Away

Don’t wait for perfection. Figure out the simplest way to start, and just start. Don’t worry about taking a bunch of expensive courses — just do it, and learn as you go. You might even start for free if possible so that you can gain experience and as you get better, you’ll get good word of mouth. Start out without an office, a website, business cards, employees, and a lot of equipment and software.

Sure, you’ll need some of those pretty soon, but you don’t need them to start. Well, unless your business is a website — then you’ll need a site, which is not so expensive. You should give a lot of thought to what you’re good at, what you can offer, who your target customers are, how you’ll make money, how much you should charge, and how you can add value beyond what is already offered out there. But don’t let it stop you. if you can’t decide on something, just start and adjust your targets as you learn.

6 Never Stop Learning and Never Stop Failing

Failure is not the end of your business. It’s just the beginning. You have to take the attitude that failure won’t stop you from making it on your own. If your business doesn’t get off the ground, learn from that. And try again, but do it better this time. You might need to get a job temporarily to fund your life as you make another attempt, but that’s OK. You do what you got to do.

Failure isn’t a reason to get depressed, to quit. It’s a learning opportunity. Failure is a stepping stone to your success. And if you make it, don’t consider it a reason to get complacent. You should always be learning, always improving — not because you’re not satisfied with what you’ve done, but because if you stop learning, you’ll stop having fun. There should always be new challenges, new things to explore, new skills to learn, and new ways to grow.

One more thing: do not be afraid of hard work. You’ll work harder than you ever have.

Becoming self-employed is not about laying around in a hammock and drinking Margaritas. Although you can do that when you want to. It’s about loving what you do, about working hard to build something you’re proud of, about pouring your heart and soul into something rather than giving it to someone else. Make no mistake about it: you’ll work hard, or you won’t succeed. But you’ll love every minute of it.

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