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Entrepreneurship rates have been trending upwards in the United States for the past 19 years, and over the course of the pandemic, the unemployment rate reached a high of 14.7%, a rate not seen since The Great Depression. The lack of job security and massive layoffs have caused more people to turn to entrepreneurship in hopes of taking control, and I’m here to help. Here are my ten tips on how to be your own boss.
Related: The Complete, 12-Step Guide to Starting a Business
1. Don’t quit your day job until your new business income exceeds your day job income for 8 months straight
I can’t stress enough how important this first tip is. Some people think entrepreneurship is something you can learn overnight: it’s not. You want to ensure that you are at a point in your entrepreneurial journey where you can be financially stable solely from your new venture. Quitting your day job to become an entrepreneur overnight is a recipe for disaster–wait until your new business can consistently exceed your current income.
2. Save every penny of your day job income of those 8 months in a safety net account
Saving up your earnings from your day job can come in handy once your new business venture starts outperforming your nine to five. Having a safety net mitigates your margin for failure and works as a calculated risk before a proof of concept. You aren’t taking the leap until you consistently outperform your current income for 8 months, so use those funds to create your safety net–this past year showed us always to expect the unexpected.
3. Build your business around The One Play: Build one program that solves one problem for one type of person at one price point
Anything else will create complexity, and complexity kills growth. Incorporating The One Play model will ensure your business model remains clear and digestible while also strategically targeting your niche audience. Prepare to put at least one year of pure focus and 100% effort into this process before expecting any real traction. For example, I target fitness professionals looking to create successful online businesses through high-ticket coaching. I offer The 7 Figure Mastermind at one price point. This program is designed to level up your income with 4 unique funnel-building models to increase income, impact, and independence without selling your soul in the process. For my conversion tool of choice, I prefer long-form sales pages. Other options are email sign-ups, webinars, phone calls, etc. As for my one traffic channel, I like to utilize affiliate/email marketing. Many coaches use Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, etc. Choose one channel to dominate. My brand evolved from initially focusing on people looking to gain their first 30lbs of muscle to fitness professionals looking to start their own online coaching business. Vertical marketing is important since it’s better to dive deeper into one audience before going wider.
Related: 8 Tips to Get Your Business Going, Even if You Don’t Know Where to Start
4. Hire a business coach who’s already achieved what you want to do in excess
Hire the coach to organize your goals into step-by-step marching orders skillfully. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, especially when it comes to entrepreneurship. Starting out as an entrepreneur, you’re likely to come across various obstacles and will definitely have a million questions. Having a business coach or mentor by your side through the process puts you way ahead of where you would be without one. Why make mistakes to learn from them when you can have someone show you the common mistakes, learn from them, but also avoid any harm that might have come to your business.
5. Understand that your job as a boss is to sell, sell, sell. Your #1 job is to make money, so begin with your offer
For fitness coaches, a great offer means having a program with step-by-step deliverables, support, and personalized help. Step by step, deliverables can come in the form of apps, PDFs, and training videos. For support, this means having a community where like-minded individuals can connect, whether it’s through Facebook or in person. Lastly, there’s personalized help that can be done by having one-on-one calls to show personal attention and support.
6. Your business needs to be built around MOM: Marketplace, Offer and Messaging
Who is the one person you’re speaking to? What is your Godfather offer? What is your unique messaging that sets you apart from the competition? M.O.M. should be on your mind at all times when planning out your new venture. Narrowing down your audience to that one niche, whatever it may be, will prove effective down the road. When you know exactly who you are targeting, what they’re willing to pay, and how you can connect to them with proper messaging – you end up saving yourself a whole bunch of time trying to understand your audience, ultimately making your entrepreneurial journey a lot less complicated. Plus, your audience and niche can grow with you. Just ensure the target is one group at a time.
Related: 63 Businesses to Start for Under $10,000
7. Join a mastermind with other business owners who are dominating your space so that you can go to school on their mistakes and know what’s working and what’s not
Connecting with people in your space seems pretty intuitive, but there’s more to networking than simply connecting with them on LinkedIn. Engaging with your peers in a mastermind or podcast will allow you to understand their entrepreneurial journey truly, relate it to your own, and apply any new knowledge gained while avoiding the mistakes of your peers.
8. Once you hit your first 50K month (you can do this without a team), begin to hire and build out a team
While entrepreneurship may start as a lonely process, you should start building out your team once your new business is up and running successfully. Hiring employees will allow you more time to be a leader and tackle big picture, macro-level goals.
9. Be prepared to spend 10X more time, money and effort than you’re currently anticipating to get your business off the ground
The entrepreneurial journey can bring many twists and turns, so you have to be prepared for the unexpected. New problems can arise out of nowhere which might call for spending more than you thought on a certain business goal. No one can ever truly know how much your start-up will cost to get up and running, but preparing for the absolute worst cost case scenario will serve as insurance for when said hiccups do occur.
10. Set clear objectives and focus on your core projects to ensure you scale with success
Every 90 days, clearly define your goals and objectives for the next 90 days. This should only involve one or two core projects at a time, such as creating a sales page for your business or growing your Instagram following, and yes, that means breaking your social channels into different projects, too, since the audiences and content vary! Setting these specific objectives to focus on will help prevent you from becoming scattered.
Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy, but hopefully, after reading this, you will have some actionable tips and strategies for getting started on your road to financial freedom. I’ve helped thousands of people transform their businesses (and physiques!) through my coaching and online programs, so if these tips can be of use, then I know I did my job.