Welcome back to Your Greatness Magnified and to this four-part series where I share with you what I’ve learned about building a successful business that you love. My hope is that it will benefit you in understanding the endless possibilities of going out on your own – whether that’s your current situation or something you’ve considered, “one day,” in the future.
So, this is my heart to yours; what I’ve done in my business that I believe has enabled it to grow into a profitable six figures in two years while also prioritizing family and health. First order of business (no pun intended) is debunking the most common reasons folks say they cannot make it in business or what stifles people’s profits or happiness (the lack of either, I would suggest, make it hard to, “keep the doors open”). For this reason, feel free to share with others who are entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs (as there are relatable lessons) or one-day entrepreneurs.
- Understand Your Costs
What are your “fixed costs?” Consider the non-variable expenses – what it costs to keep the lights on (literally and metaphorically) pay the mortgage or rent, to keep the business running day-day or annually. You may have actual numbers (if you have them, use them rather than approximating…we’re notoriously good at underestimating how much things cost and how little we will have in expenses). If you’re not in business yet, give it your best guess then add 10%. This is how much your business needs to make. Then, you can understand your “variable costs” – what fluctuates month to month that you have control over – lunches, extra marketing, clothes. Adding these together is what you should make. Now how much do you want to pay yourself? Add that on as well as 15% for business taxes (which of course varies according to where you live) and that’s what you are aiming to make in your business. I bet you can reach it. If you’re not sure, hire a business coach; my business coach paid for herself many times over by helping me stay focused on the growth areas of my business and help me counteract self-doubt that only pulls energy away from my focus.
- Consider Your Network
I strongly encourage you to understand what resources you already have available in your network. When I started out, I didn’t have to pay for graphic design as I’m fortunate to have a father who is a Graphic Designer. What help can your parents, siblings, spouse, kids, neighbours, friends and others do for you? I’ve pulled folks in to review contracts, put together handout packages, brainstorm product ideas, create illustrations, give me feedback on my speeches, editing, etc. all at no cost or an exchange of services.
Now, I don’t want to minimize the importance of hiring professionals, I simply mean, if a barrier in your mind to getting started is, “no money to hire anyone,” look first to who is ready and able to help you. Guaranteed there are people in your personal or professional network.
Those first two points were about how you manage and reduce expenses. These next two points are going to be about how to bring in income.
- Bringing in Clients
Now let’s talk about bringing in clients. Again, I’m going to suggest that you tap into your existing network. Who are the people who already love what you do you? Who needs that expertise right now? If they knew that you were available, whether it be a service or product you offer, I bet they would want to know about it for themselves or to refer to someone else who needs it. How will they know if you don’t tell them? Even if you’re not offering it yet, tell them it’s coming. Get some business lined up.
There’s a wonderful woman, Angela, who I met after speaking at an Operating Room Nurses Association conference. She works fulltime however after she heard me speak, she mentioned if I ever needed a cake for a celebration, to call her! I can’t wait to have the next event where I need a ‘frog’ cake because you know that I’m going to phone her up. Every time I hear somebody say that they need a cake and they’re living in Southwestern Ontario, I send them over to her Facebook page. She has no plans to leave her full-time position, but she’s a rock star when it comes to cake making and loves it. So, who do you already have in your network that will refer you? Are you telling anyone that might hire you or know someone who might need what you offer, just like Angela did?
- Leverage Your Existing Greatness
Do you have a full list of your skills, experience, strengths and abilities? When you do, take that long list of your greatness and consider how it can be monetized. A lot of times people think about, “What other training and certifications do I need to get started?” But, you have led a greatness life, you have so much to offer already. The most important thing is to get started!
Don’t let it limit you if you don’t have all the formal credentials that you, “think,” people are going to need to work with you. People are going to hire you for you because there’s nobody else quite like you, but you have to believe that yourself. And focusing on what you don’t have rather than what you do will give people the impression you’re not ready or not worth as much. People hire experts. People trust experts. How are you already an expert?
What greatness do you have to offer the world that you don’t need any additional training, support, or resources? How would you simply package it, explain that it’s available so people can start to work with you or buy products from you? Sure, if you want to keep developing, I’m all for it! And I’m certainly not suggesting you do anything that’s a protected or regulated act under legislation – you need to go through the certification process for that – but most of all you will not be needing to train further in this way. Most often, people overlook their gifts, skills and strengths rather than honour what they already have.
So, that’s the first part of our video series around this abundance thinking about your next possible career and growing further into your successful entrepreneurship role. I encourage you to share it on to all those other rock stars that you think may benefit from some of these fundamentals.
If you’re feeling stuck; you have a dream that’s so juicy but you’re not sure how to get started, many folks have found it helpful to focus on their greatness in community week after week through my virtual program called 52 Weeks of Greatness: Satisfaction, Clarity & Direction in Work and Life. If that’s something you wish to check out, jump in here and sample a few modules!
Join me over the next three weeks as we build out on this topic. Next week we’ll focus on creating a powerful vision for your business. Enjoy!