How To Start Working For Yourself
We live in a society today where anything is possible in the business world. Content creators on Vine, YouTube, and Twitch have turned their simply funny/gaming videos to full time jobs (passions) that earn them a comfortable income. In addition to the latter, bloggers, journalists, photographers, and chefs such as myself have also been able to turn our passions into our own brands.
I have said this plenty of times before on the blog and it cannot be stressed enough. Being a sole-proprietor entrepreneur/small business owner is not an easy position nor is it for the faint of heart. One of my favorite quotes of all time that I have lived by is the following...
Here is my personal advice on how you can start working for yourself sooner than later and enjoy life on your terms (not the terms of a company or your boss).
Save up money first foremost
This should definitely go without saying, yet it is a common mistake many individuals make. Definitely plan out your finances accordingly for a variety of reasons.
- Bills: This includes everything such as your apartment rent/house mortgage, car maintenance/car insurance, utility bills, etc. As you begin to take the next steps that I mention later, your bills are simply the lot in which you will build your empire. Without providing yourself the basic necessities (especially if your home becomes your office) you will have a very hard time becoming successful.
- Operational equipment: When you take the leap of faith and start working for yourself full time you want to hit the ground running the very first day (you may hear this again). This does not mean that you need the most expensive equipment to start out with, as long as you have the basics to start out with, everything else will begin to fall in place.
- Food: One thing that artists of all avenues understand is the term "starving artist." I can somewhat relate to this (although I lucked out because I am also a chef). Many artists will actually put the finances of their equipment/tools needed before splurging on food.
(If you are not an artist, this will definitely not resonate in your mind as a logical thing.)
I highly recommend you become creative with food for awhile and cook at home instead of eating out at restaurants. It may not seem like your normal lifestyle and you may not be comfortable with it for the first few weeks (or even month). However, you will definitely save a good amount of money for business expenses. Once you reach a comfortable income flow of your business... then go splurge on steak and lobster (or the most organic vegan dishes/restaurants possible if you are vegan/vegetarian).
Surround yourself with entrepreneur friends
Becoming an entrepreneur and working for yourself is a satisfying achievement. To become a successful entrepreneur is just icing on the cake. If you are looking to take the route of being a sole-proprietor, then you have to understand that a vast majority of your time in the beginning may be spent alone. The beginning phase for you is all about collecting your thoughts and turning your vision into a physical tangible asset.
Keeping this in mind, all entrepreneurs deserve to take some time away from the desk/office doing behind the scenes work. One thing that you will notice as a major difference is the time your non-entrepreneur friends have control of, and the time your entrepreneur friends have control of. In my top 5 list of "why am I happy to work for myself" benefits, having control of my time on a daily basis is in there.
On top of being able to hang out with like minded people at any moment, you can also learn and gain inspiration from being surrounded by friends whom are entrepreneurs as well. This is the most important factor of this element because being innovative is key to success in today's entrepreneur world.
Whether these entrepreneur friends are in the same industry as you or not, look at it as a family. As a journalist/chef/photographer, I consider my friends in those respective areas to be like my brothers and sisters sometimes (those whom I have a close friend-family like bond with).
Have a set plan to what you want to do the day you leave your job
When I started to work for myself full-time, my journey was more of a gradual process that was bound to happen at some point. If you are like me, then understand that you are in a good spot and you definitely do not need to rush this at all. For those whom are looking to become an entrepreneur, yet have no experience at all, as you follow the previous steps you want to be ready to hit the ground running the very first day you declare yourself self-employed (there goes that important lesson again).
Leave your job like a boss
Now everyone may not be able to leave/quit their job the same way Phil did before (which will always be hilarious to me and the way I wish I could have done it)! When you decide to leave your current job, do so in an honest and respectful way. If the people at your job have been a great benefit to your career and skills thus far, don't burn your bridges when you don't need to.
When I say you should leave your job like a boss, I mean that you should leave with confidence knowing that you soon, you are no longer an employee of someone else's company... you are now the boss of your own!
Now that you have the keys to success (and no, this is not a DJ Khaled slogan, this existed way before him haha) it is time for you to start implementing this plan accordingly. Once you officially deem yourself self-employed, we will have another discussion on The Fine Details Of Finally Working For Yourself. (Of course that will be hyperlinked when the blog post is released!)