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Dear Entrepreneur: It’s All Up to You

Dear Entrepreneur: It’s All Up to You


    When you are in the first few years of business it can be a roller-coaster ride. This is the case whether you still have a day job and you’re trying to start a business on the side, or whether you’ve jumped in with two feet and are ready to make something of yourself.

    I have some advice for you…it’s good news and bad news all rolled into one.

    It’s all up to you.

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    The Good News

    You control your time, you have the freedom to choose what to work on, you are an awesome person which means you have the opportunity to build an awesome company! Unlimited opportunity awaits!

    The Bad News

    You now have control. That’s like flying the plane after you have only read the manual. It is a different experience to read about business and actually have a business. You’ll also need to face the hard choices of working or being with your family. Or whether or not to take risks. Or how you are going to handle all of the requests of your customers and still do a good job.

    It’s Scary!

    Amos Winbush III was a songwriter, and started his own company. He now has a multimillion dollar company but here is what he said when he was first starting.

    “I was extremely scared. I was excited and really frightened at the exact same time that this company that we had dreamt about and started to develop was actually a reality and people were using the service. And it was all up to me. It wasn’t an idea at this point. It wasn’t something that was remaining within the four walls of my apartment which is where we launched CyberSynchs and it was actually on the market and people were using it and we had the responsibility of keeping these individuals contents secure and safe and accessible at any given time.”

    Your customers and clients will start to rely on you. Your family will start to rely on this income source that you control. The responsibility will keep growing and growing especially when you start having employees and start being responsible for other people’s families too.

    But everyone is scared at first. I am willing to bet that every new entrepreneur has had some sort of freak out. Just know that millionaires and ultra-successful people have done the same thing.

    You Are Not Entitled

    But we also need to remember and prepare for a lot of hard work. Even if you get past the scariness of it, you’ll still need to deliver in order to feed your family.

    I interviewed Michael Port, millionaire and best selling author of Booked Yourself Solid. I asked him about when he became an entrepreneur and he had these words of wisdom:

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    “When I left my corporate job and I just thought clients were going to fall into my lap. I left with my bonus. I figured okay I’ll be fine; it’ll give me a couple of months. Well here I am living in New York City, my rent was like $3,500 a month and that was like a small two bedroom in Long Island city and I’m blowing through my money.

    It was just a huge big scary experience. I said this is wrong. So I really put the pedal to the metal at that point. I think the first sort of big change that happened was for me to realize that I’m not entitled to anything. I thought I was entitled. I’ve worked hard and I’m an adult and blah, blah, blah. When it didn’t happen, I realized I’m not entitled. You know what, that means… I have to work, I have to do whatever it takes – 18 hours a day, I have to get over my fears.

    I‘ve got to be willing to be bold and fully self expressed and do things that I’ve never done before and really think bigger about who I am and what I offer the world.”

    Many entrepreneurs go through something similar to this when they start. They are told that being an entrepreneur is awesome, and that it’s so great to have the control. They jump in all excited and ready to go.

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    Then that moment hits when you realize it’s going to be a lot of long and hard work.

    That said, remember this quote from Ronco Johnson, a millionaire and President of L.R. Johnson & Associates:

    “We all come with two days – a start date and an end date. What you do between it, you have to make sure that everything you want to do is taken care of.”

    Well, I’m here to tell you that whether you draw the line in the sand and accept that it is hard or whether you decide it’s not right for you at this time…

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    It’s all up to you.

    (Photo credit: Confident Businessman via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on August 14, 2020

    How to Find a Career That Is Right For You

    How to Find a Career That Is Right For You

    There are thousands of careers to choose from. No wonder finding the one that’s right for you can feel like a guessing game.

    Choosing or changing careers can be scary. Even if it’s right for you now, you might wonder, who says it’ll still be a fit in the future?

    The truth is, you have to start somewhere. Whether you’re looking for a first job out of college or need a new career, follow this process to find the right one for you:

    1. List Out Careers You Could Pursue

    It sounds simple, but it’s good advice: Start with what you like. Even before you begin looking for the right career, you probably have an idea of what you’re interested in.

    Next, make a second list, this one including your strengths. If you aren’t sure whether you’re actually good at something, ask someone close to you who’ll give you a truthful answer.

    Once your lists are made, cross-reference them: What do you like to do and do well?

    In a third list, rank these. If you’re skilled at something you don’t particularly like, for instance, that should fall lower on the list.

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    2. Take a Career Assessment

    Standardized tests shouldn’t make decisions for you, but they can get you pointed in the right direction. Career assessment tests gauge your abilities and interests and make recommendations for career paths based on the answers you give.[1]

    Before reviewing your results, take a break. Getting some perspective can help you see whether your answers were guided by your mood. Look at the percentage match and ask yourself whether you could see yourself doing the work of the career or role every day.

    For example, if your responses emphasized helping others, the test might point you to a medical career. However, if you don’t want to work in a hospital or clinical environment, you might cut that option or place it lower on your list.

    3. Sweat the Details

    Every career has gratifying and frustrating things about it. Before you choose one, you need to be clear on those. Reading reviews and job descriptions you find related to each career, make a list of its pros and cons.

    There are a lot of factors to think through. Key questions to ask yourself include:

    • What are the hours required by this type of work? Can they be flexible?
    • What skills are required? Do I possess them, or would I be willing to learn them?
    • What are the education requirements? Can I afford to go back to school?
    • How much do jobs in the field pay? Is the payscale top-heavy or evenly distributed?
    • What does job growth in this sector look like? Are they traditional or contracted roles?
    • Are opportunities in the field available in my area? If not, would I be willing to move?
    • Would I be working solo or on a team?

    In answering these questions, you’ll find yourself crossing a lot of careers off your list. Remember, that’s a good thing: You’d rather find out a career isn’t right for you now than after you’ve put yourself on that path.

    4. Find the Sweet Spot

    The crux of the career question is this: What’s the “sweet spot” between your interests and strengths and the market’s needs? The greater the overlap, the better.

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    Be warned that you’ll have to compromise. Perhaps you enjoy working with animals, but there’s no demand for that line of work in your area. You might be good at math, but you wouldn’t want to crunch numbers in a cubicle for a living. Finding balance is crucial.

    5. Start Networking

    What’s the best way to get the real story about the careers you’re interested in? Talking to professionals in the field.

    Where should you find these people?

    • Reach out to local businesses.
    • Scour your social media networks, particularly LinkedIn.
    • Ask a past employer for recommendations.
    • Sign up for industry events and conferences.

    Schedule a short interview with each of your new connections. Ask them to weigh in on the comments you see online. Every role and company is a bit different, so don’t be surprised if their responses don’t align.

    Regardless of who you find or what they say, write it down. If one interviewee’s responses differ wildly from online responses, chat with someone else in the field. Do your best to find out what’s the rule and what’s the exception.

    6. Shadow and Volunteer

    As valuable as networking can be, you need a firsthand glimpse of the work. If you hit it off with one of your interviewees, ask to do some job shadowing. Sitting beside someone as they work can help you understand not just the pay and the responsibilities but also the culture and work environment associated with each career.

    Job shadowing is a good way to get your feet wet before taking a career plunge. If you felt uninterested or unhappy during your shadowing experience, it’s a good sign that you should ponder a different career path. If your shadowing experience made you want to come back for more, you may have found your calling.

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    Volunteer work is an alternative to job shadowing that can get you the experience you need as you analyze your career options. As a volunteer, you can be more flexible with your time and get opportunities you wouldn’t find elsewhere.

    7. Sign Up for Classes

    Many careers have an academic component that you can’t ignore. If you decide you want to be a lawyer, for instance, you might want to know you can survive law school first.

    Sign up for an introductory class or two related to each career you’re interested in. The earlier you do this, the better. If you’re still in college, the class will count as an elective and may be covered by your scholarship, but if not, look for a community college option to keep costs low.

    Taking a single class is not the same as earning a degree in the field. With that said, it’s a good way to test the waters before you invest thousands of dollars.

    If the content interests you and you look forward to class each week, that’s a good sign. If you start dreading the class or choose to drop it, focus your attention elsewhere.

    8. Enter the Gig Economy

    Contracted work is a great “try it before you buy it” career tactic. Skipping to an entry-level role requires more commitment than you might want to give while you’re still investigating your options. The gig economy offers the best of both worlds: paid work as well as flexibility.[2]

    Gig workers take work from companies or individuals that do not directly employ them. Plumbers and artists are good examples. Rather than receiving a regular paycheck, they sell their services by the task or deliverable.

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    In the gig economy, you aren’t bound by long-term agreements. If you don’t like the experience, you can simply move on.

    You never know if you’ll enjoy something until you try it. And because contractors work with professionals in the field, gig workers naturally get networking and shadowing opportunities.

    9. Market Yourself

    As you zero in on your dream career, there’s one final test you can use to find out whether you’ll be successful: marketing yourself as a candidate for hire. Whether you get bites is a key indicator of how you’ll fare in the field.

    Beware that, as someone without much experience in the field, you’re going to get a lot of rejections. Don’t be discouraged. If you get two interviews out of 50 applications, think of it as two opportunities you didn’t have before to find your ideal career.

    Just as important as outreach is a good inbound strategy. Set up a website, and post your portfolio on it. Describe your dream job on your social media.

    Recruiters are constantly on the lookout for candidates that fit their company. The more exposure you get, the more people will be interested in what you have to offer. Put yourself out there, and you just might find the perfect fit.

    Don’t Give Up!

    Nobody ever said it was easy to find a career that’s right for you. Finding one is tough enough, and even then, you may find yourself looking for a new field ten years into your career.

    Whatever you want from your professional life, you have to be willing to put in the time. Don’t hesitate, and don’t give up. Start your search today.

    More Tips on How to Find a Career

    Featured photo credit: Saulo Mohana via unsplash.com

    Reference

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