Little over a year ago, I was far away from the place I am in now. I spent Monday to Friday feeling pretty miserable, hugely unfulfilled in my career and lost as to what my plan was. Despite earning well, I was living paycheck to paycheck, compensating for my lack of fulfillment with excessive shopping and partying. On top of everything, I was starting to suffer badly with anxiety, something I’d never really experienced before.
I think the main trigger point was entering the final year of my twenties with that all-important milestone of thirty straight ahead. I’d always seen thirty as the year I’d hoped to have everything figured out in terms of my career, yet I was inches away from wanting to throw it all in.
A year later, life looks very different.
I am now founder of an online business that has grown to be more than I ever anticipated, am earning more than I ever did in the corporate world and no longer spending every last drop of money and, for the first time in my life, I actually love my work.
Amazingly, it didn’t take that long to turn my situation around. Approaching thirty I vowed that I would never settle in a job that I didn’t love and would create a new story for myself on entirely my terms. I started a side hustle as a social media strategist, launched my blog and within six months after launching my business, I was taking it full time.
I really do believe that anyone else can do the same and I want to share some of my tips for anyone who is looking to break away from a career that doesn’t fulfill them
1. Be willing to sacrifice what you want now, for what you want more in the future.
My biggest sacrifices I made to get my business off the ground were the three things I enjoyed the most: Shopping, socializing and Netflix.
I was launching my business alongside a full time job so knew that the only way to make space for my new venture was to cut out the things that weren’t of benefit to it.
It’s amazing how quickly you can adapt to these changes. Its also amazing how much time you really do have once you start to cut out the unnecessary.
Many people protest that they don’t have enough time to start something new, but my guess is that you have far more time than you think. Look at how you spend your day and those little things you do that aren’t necessary. Spending fifteen minutes shopping online may not seem a huge deal, but those fifteen minutes a day can actually make a huge impact on a new business. Use your time wisely.
2. Don’t try and please everyone – nail your niche
When launching a new business, it’s so easy to think that in order to attract the masses, you need to appeal to the masses and do as many things as you can and be everything to everyone.
From what I’ve learned, the quickest way to grow your audience and business online is to really hone in on your niche and really get specific about who it is you are trying to attract. I think one of the reasons my business took off so quickly was because I knew I wanted to work with a specific type of woman so that everything I created, I made it appeal to them specifically.
3. Get a savings plan in place
Unless you’re a trust fund baby or a lottery winner, you need to think about how far your cash is going to stretch once you leave your job. Many of my clients come to me telling me they want to quit their job and the first thing I ask is whether they are financially in a position to do so. You need to get a saving plan into place to cover at least three months of living costs.
Break down the bare minimum of what you need each month and start from there. You also want to take into account investments you may need to make in your business to get it off the ground. Don’t go quitting anything until you have these finances in check.
4. Network online and offline
Businesses don’t exist in a vacuum. They require people to know about them and to talk about them, which is why it’s really important to engage with your audience and others who may buy from you/hire you or spread the word about what you do.
Whilst there are many great places to network online (Facebook groups are a favourite of mine) don’t underestimate the power of offline connections too. Seek networking event within your local area, talk to people you meet about what you do.
It can be difficult talking about your new business idea in the early stages and many women lack the confidence to do so. My advice would be to nail your elevator pitch and rehearse how you would tell someone in a few short sentences what you do.
5. Surround yourself with people who get it
The quickest way to get a business off the ground is to surround yourself with people who are going to keep you motivated and also those who have more experience and who are able to offer you advice.
Starting out, I had and still do have a strong network of ambitious women who inspire me to keep going. Some of these have been mentors who have had a wealth of experience in the online world and whom I’ve been able to learn from, others were women in my own position who were just starting out trying to carve something from scratch.
I don’t believe I would have been where I am now if it wasn’t for these support systems in place.
Although I initially launched my business doing social media consulting and this is still a huge part of what I do, one of my greatest joys now comes in helping other women stop settling and to start living life on their terms by creating businesses that they are passionate about. If you would like to hear more, I’d love to hear from you so please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org