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10 Reasons to Start Your Dream Business Today

10 Reasons to Start Your Dream Business Today

Starting that dream business always seems to feel like a task for “later.” You know, when you’ll have a ton of time, more money and greater skill to back it, and perhaps a better network through which to market it … and on and on. The truth is, there is no better day than today to get started on your dreams, because the more time passes, the more daunting it will become. With that in mind, here are 10 reasons to go for it rather than watching the years pass as you wait for the “perfect time.”

1. The Market Has Officially Rebounded

Folks like to throw the phrase “bad economy” around like candy at a parade, but luckily, the economy is no longer considered “bad” by experts. For entrepreneurs, this means a green light for getting started on those dreams. While consumers are still somewhat tight-fisted, if you showcase your unique goods or services with charm and individuality, you’ll likely do well.

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2. Your Dream Won’t Get Easier to Accomplish

Have you ever noticed that when you put off a chore, it seems to grow in proportion? Even something as simple as cleaning the bathroom or calling your grandmother can become more and more burdensome the longer you put it off. This tendency is especially dangerous with big, scary, overwhelming prospects like starting a business, where you’ll have to do much more than find the Clorox or dial Grammy. Start now, before your dream becomes a nightmare.

3. Waiting Builds Doubt

On a related note, waiting gives you time to second-guess yourself. Slowly but surely, you’ll build up enough reasons that you can’t that overcoming them will take a Herculean feat … and on top of day jobs, commutes, chores and kids, who has time for that? Begin now, and smash your doubts from the outset by showing yourself that hey, look, you can do it.

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4. You Learn As You Go

A common misconception about starting your business is that you must know everything before you can do anything. This is pernicious and false. No one builds a company overnight, and no one knew what they were doing from the very beginning. Instead, learn enough to avoid most failures (avoiding all of them is impossible) and produce enough to show off what you’re capable of. The rest will come with time.

5. Finding a Mentor Is Easier With Something to Show

Experts and old hats love to take newbies under their wings, but only with proof that those ingenues are willing to work. With that in mind, you’re far better off launching your business and then looking for people to help you. You can then refer to your portfolio or website with specific questions, for example. This also ensures that you will know exactly what it is you want out of your company, which many people don’t right away. Once you do, you’ll have an easier time finding the perfect guide.

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6. Starting a Blog to Bring in Business Takes Time

One of the best ways to build your business is starting a blog. Blogs, when well-written, are a fantastic tool to show what you can do and bring in traffic. But you have to be patient, because blogs take time to gain traction. That means starting now is a far better idea than starting later. Even if you’ll supposedly have all your ducks in a row at that point, you’ll miss out on the opportunity to grow in the meantime.

7. Online Businesses Are Cheap

Luckily, we no longer live in the brick-and-mortar days. Now anyone can go online and, with a few hundred bucks and a plan, start an e-commerce website and put their offerings out into the world. You no longer have the excuse of waiting to amass capital or get a loan.

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8. You Already Have a Network

It’s tempting to put off your dreams on the assumption that you haven’t built a good network, but guess what? You’ve already got one. Yep. If you have a mama, you have a network. A best friend, a hubby, a coworker … while it might seem that these people don’t “count,” they are actually key players in your network, able to not only cheer-lead your work, but introduce others to it as well. Your network will mature as your business does, so don’t wait.

9. Your Idea Won’t Get More Unique If You Wait

Wanting a truly original idea that no one has ever thought of before is, well, unoriginal. We all want that, but the truth is, most ideas have been had. Get over it. If what you’ve got to offer is good, then you don’t have anything to worry about. And if it is particularly unique, you don’t want to give someone else time to come up with it.

10. You Want To, Right?

This is your dream, isn’t it? If so, there’s no point in waiting to get older, more fearful, less engaged and more embittered. Instead, embrace your passion in its springtime, when you’re still full of enthusiasm and verve. Get all those good ideas out where people can see them. Only then will you gain confidence, get better and really start to live that dream.

Featured photo credit: photographer photography digital camera dslr camera/PublicDomainArchive via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

How to Change Careers Successfully When It Seems too Late

How to Change Careers Successfully When It Seems too Late

The wake-up call often comes when you least expect it. Maybe you’re enjoying a relaxing get-together with your old college buddies when someone turns to you and says, “Wow, I never thought you’d become an investment banker. I always thought you’d write a novel!” If this leaves you wondering how to change careers, you’re not alone.

Before you know it, you find yourself remembering your old dreams—and comparing them to the career field where you are now. Life rarely goes according to plan. Marriage, kids, and grandkids often come earlier than imagined—or later.

Maybe you pursued one career path because you were considered the breadwinner, but now someone else in the family is the breadwinner. Conversely, maybe you landed a job, thinking you’d stay for six months, and now you’ve been there for sixteen years.

A recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics pointed out that “baby boomers held an average of 12.3 jobs from ages 18 to 52″[1]. For millennials, who are more technologically apt, that number is likely to be much higher.

As this proves, it’s perfectly normal to change careers and begin a job search even when it seems too late! Steering your way through a career change is part calculation, part chance, and part leap-of-faith.

If you feel stuck and are ready for a career change, take these steps to guide you.

Step 1: Be Mentally Prepared

These points can help you master the psychological aspects of a career change at any age.

Now or Never Is a Fallacy

For most professionals, there is no cut-off age for striking out in a new direction. People do it at all stages of their careers.

If you’ve ever dreamed of leaving a large company to start your own business, you are not alone. Similarly, thousands of entrepreneurs and people working for one-man shops decide each year that they’d like to work for larger organizations.

You’ll find hordes of baby boomers looking for a redo alongside mobs of GenXers and Millennials—especially as the boomers now remain in the workforce longer than their predecessors.

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Your Career Is not a Straight Line From A to B

You don’t have to have your career trajectory completely decided from the start. In fact, that’s an unrealistic expectation, no matter how methodical you are.

People change. Industries merge, morph, and in some cases, disappear. Careers rarely follow the straight and narrow.

Many careers can be compared to journeys—there are the adventurous patches, boring patches, downright scary patches, and the hills and valleys, too. The trick is to try to have a little fun while you’re charting out your various careers.

Don’t panic if you find you need to change your career. It may take some work as you sort through job posts, write cover letters, and pursue your dream job, but you’re up for it.

Career Changers Are Among Good Company

Consider these well-known trailblazers whose careers took a radical turn:

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com, studied computer science and electrical engineering at Princeton, went on to establish himself as a Wall Street prodigy, then quit to launch Amazon.com.

Sara Blakely, a billionaire businesswoman, was a fax machine salesperson before creating her signature slim wear line, Spanx.

Jonah Peretti, co-founder of the media sites Huffington Post and BuzzFeed, initially taught computer science to middle schoolers.

Be Ready to Take on the Naysayers

Expect plenty of advice—usually of the discouraging kind—from friends and family when they learn that you’re exploring a career change. Those you know best are often the most vocal in trying to thwart your plans.

Be prepared to field a flurry of pessimistic conjecture and doomsday scenarios. Know, though, that when your loved ones question your judgment, they’re not necessarily doubting your talent but trying to look out for your wellbeing. Stepping out of your comfort zone will make anyone close to you uncomfortable.

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Keep in mind that pessimists avoid the unknown, while optimists invite new challenges. Above all, believe in yourself and follow your instincts. Don’t let your fear of change paralyze you from seeking out your new career path.

Project an aura of enthusiasm, energy, and passion. You’ll find it’s contagious.

Step 2: Be Proactive

These tips can help you master the practical aspects of changing careers at any age.

Take Baby Steps

Ease into your new direction. Start building the skills you’ll need to make the switch.

Find out what skills you will need, and do whatever it takes to add them to your skills arsenal. Make the time to invest in additional training.

Start by devoting a half-day each week to your new pursuit until you’re ready to confidently make a move.

Clearly define where you want to go and what you’ll need to do to get there. Take an inventory of your strengths. Read trade magazines, and study up on industry trends.

Volunteer

Charitable organizations are often looking for volunteers to help them with their outreach, social media, and engagement. You can show up without the requisite skills and learn as you go in a fun, convivial, low-pressure environment, which will help you expand your experience and skills.

Take Online Courses

Today, LinkedIn and many other providers offer online courses in everything from accounting software to time management to mastering Excel. For extra credit, see if you can find classes that award online badges for completing each course.

Don’t be shy about adding these certificates to your online profile. Keep your profile fresh by adding more and more skills to it.

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Take a Temp Job

Depending on your field, it may be possible to freelance at a company where you learn on the job.

Remember that you can’t just show up at a potential employer’s claiming you have the skills. Taking a temporary job that allows you to polish your skills is proof that you’re serious about your career change.

Network!

Build a family tree of contacts. Explore beyond the main branches of your work acquaintances, industry groups, and social contacts. Join your alumni organization. Tell everyone.

Ask friends and friends-of-friends to meet you for coffee to explain what it is they do and tell you which skills you’ll need to succeed in your chosen field[2].

When you want to learn how to change careers, start by networking!

    If you have friends or associates with ties to the organizations where you want to work, ask your contacts to make an introduction. The majority of today’s jobs are found through one’s own networks. When jobs open up, companies invite informal recommendations from internal and external channels.

    Step 3: Take It Online

    This last step can help you master the online aspects of a career change at any age.

    Develop an Online Presence in the Field of Your Dreams

    Reconfiguring your online presence will be a critical step in your career change. Fine-tune your digital identity to reflect your new direction, tailoring your profile to the role and industry you’re after. Include keywords that are relevant to the industry so that recruiters can find you.

    Craft a clever personal statement that states your interests, your values, and your dreams. Once you’ve zeroed in on your message, also pick and choose which outlets make the most sense for it.

    Will your personal statement resonate on LinkedIn? Or is it highly visual—making it a better fit for Instagram?

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    Polish your sites until they gleam, then get active so others take notice. Add insightful content to your social media pages that goes deeper than the information on your resume, such as commentaries on something taking place in your newly chosen field.

    For more on how to build an online presence, check out this article.

    Final Thoughts

    Americans spend 1,800 hours or more each year working. That’s nearly one-third of your life, and it goes without saying that your job satisfaction and career goals have a great bearing on your life’s happiness barometer.

    Set out to intentionally pursue career satisfaction, looking for opportunities to fine-tune your working life so that you find fulfillment.

    If playing the piano is your personal bliss, could you meld your love of music with your clinical psychology background and find a job using music to promote healing? Perhaps there’s a foundation that would fund you in a multiyear study.

    Or, if you’re a movie buff for whom every encounter has the makings of a screenplay, why not sign up for an evening class and see if your years of writing advertising copy could morph into a career move into the film industry?

    Achieving your career change successfully will occur when you mentally prepare, take a proactive approach, and mine your personal and online networks. The pay-off will be in a life well-lived in a successful career.

    More Tips on How to Change Careers

    Featured photo credit: Jason Strull via unsplash.com

    Reference

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