Have you been thinking seriously about being your own boss? Transitioning from employee to entrepreneur can be one of the most daunting yet rewarding decisions you can make. Most self-employed workers (62%) say they are extremely or very satisfied with their job, compared with 51% of those who are not self-employed, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. In addition, they express higher levels of enjoyment and fulfillment with their job. Finally, those who are not self-employed are more likely to say they find their job stressful and overwhelming.
One reason employees feel anxious is their lack of control over their careers. A prime example of this is the layoffs dominating the headlines. When workers lose their jobs, often with little to no warning, it creates a sense of uncertainty and disruption that is hard to recover from. Humans have an inherent need for freedom and control. Yet, when that’s missing, it can drive employee burnout.
If you know deep inside that you’re meant to work for yourself, it’s possible! But first, you need to break free from the fear and doubt. Here’s how to manage that inner voice so you can go from employee to entrepreneur.
Identify your fears
The first step in getting unstuck is to figure out what is holding you back. Some common career change fears include:
- Fear of failure
- Fear of starting over
- Fear of making less money
- Fear of what others may think
- Fear of being too old or too young
Once you identify your fears, face them head-on. Write them down and ask yourself if they are based on facts or assumptions. Look for people who have transitioned from employee to entrepreneur to discover how they overcame similar concerns. Remember, fear often appears when you are about to embark on something great. It can actually be a good sign because it means you’re pushing yourself and dreaming big.
Use fear as fuel
Everyone from Beyoncé to Richard Branson experiences fear. It’s always present. The trick is not to let fear prevent you from achieving your goals. One way to do this is to take steps forward—even small ones. When we feel stuck, it’s usually because we’re ruminating over what may or may not happen. By taking action, you take your power back. Another tip is to shift your mindset. For example, instead of thinking about how you might fail, the critical question to ask yourself is, “What am I giving up by not trying?”
Plan and prepare
One way to mitigate your risk is to set realistic and clear goals. Define what you want to achieve and create a plan to get there. By breaking your bigger goal down into smaller steps, your dream will be more manageable and less daunting. A key step includes acquiring the knowledge you’ll need to succeed in your new business. When you become an entrepreneur, especially in the beginning, you must wear multiple hats. So, it’s a good time to seek training in subjects like marketing and bookkeeping. Also, find out whether there are any additional degrees or certifications that will strengthen your credibility in the marketplace.
Assemble a board of advisors
A strong support system is essential if you’re going to succeed as a business owner. In addition to family and friends, assemble a board of advisors to provide guidance and mentorship along the way. Look for people in your personal network that could add value to your business. Seek out successful individuals in your new field to find out how they overcame obstacles and challenges. In addition, it’s wise to hire a career and/or business coach. The right professional coach can help you achieve the right mindset and provide the accountability you need to succeed.
Celebrate small wins
Finally, it’s important to understand that transitioning from employee to entrepreneur takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight. Plus, you will experience many ups and downs on your journey. So, it’s essential to celebrate small wins along the way. By focusing on progress, you ignite passion, engagement and motivation. Mini victories also help you stay positive and remind you how far you’ve come.
Transitioning from employee to entrepreneur isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes focus, flexibility, determination and an incredible amount of persistence. But if it’s right for you, it could be the best choice you ever make.