Being an entrepreneur is one of the most empowering things we can do in life. I love my experience on this path, both as Founder & CEO of Life Coach Radio Networks, and a solo entrepreneur with my own Coaching business. It’s amazing when YOU are in 100% control of what you do and when you do it. I didn’t discover the powers of it until later in life, but I’m a firm believer that a purpose can be found in everything and this was when the universe intended for me to experience being an entrepreneur.
These days, as big companies are down-sizing, less corporate jobs are available. Further, many in the Millennial generation don’t want to be in a job like that anyway. Put these two facts together and it’s no wonder being an entrepreneur is on the rise.
The big question though is how to make it happen. There are plenty of ways to become an entrepreneur. What I share below is my experience.
1. Have money saved up before you start. One of my expert mentors and friends told me 3-6 months’ worth of living expenses (rent/mortgage, phone, utilities, food, etc.) is a good amount. I agree with that and personally had more. As an early entrepreneur, I had to dip into my savings a few times in the first 2.5 years. I’m grateful the funds were there and am glad that now that money is no longer a worry.
2. You don’t have to go from employed one day to starting your own business from scratch the next day. You can build it up over time so that eventually you’re making a good bit of money on the side and feel comfortable (i.e. less afraid) to quit the comfort and income/benefits of your day job and go “all in” with your own business. Get ready to watch it grow! (Actually, you won’t be watching, because you’ll likely be working hard, but you will enjoy it!)
3. Don’t be afraid to have some kind of “side hustle” to make ends meet, but I encourage you to do something on strategy with your main business venture. I’d be very hesitant to take a full-time job, but something that you can do on your terms, where you’ll learn something relevant, make more connections and have some extra cash in your pocket.
4. Many experts say the best entrepreneurial ideas are those that meet an unmet need. I agree.
5. Share your idea with some people you trust and get their feedback. Two years ago, before I founded the Life Coach Radio Networks, I mentioned it to a few people (none of whom knew each other) and they all thought it was a great idea. My original goal was to have 15 Hosts, and I’m very proud to say we’ve exponentially beaten that, with now close to 100, many of them from outside the United States.
6. Supplement your skillset with people who complement it. For example, I’m not the most tech-savvy person around, so I have bartered with those who are. They’ve worked on my website (for free) and I’ve provided a service to them (Coaching, drove them on a long trip, etc.). Great minds think alike but different minds get more done! That’s an RTO (Russ Terry Original) quote!
7. You may have many meetings or phone calls with people to brainstorm on a potential collaboration. I’ve had mostly great discussions but some that were not-so-great. I usually keepall of these conversations to 30 minutes, and then if it’s fantastic (which it usually is), we can set up another time to talk more. If it isn’t going to lead to anything, I feel like I limited the “wasted time” (sorry for being blunt).
I’m going to shift gears now to talk about Leadership as an entrepreneur. This may not happen for you right away, but hopefully will over time. It’s very cool to be in a Leadership position, especially if you haven’t been in a situation like that before. Among things to consider when this happens are:
· First and foremost, consider the Platinum rule: “Do unto others as they want done unto them” as opposed to the Golden rule “Do unto others as you want done unto you”. There’s a difference! You may thrive on verbal recognition, whereas someone else may focus primarily on how much money they’re going to make. Know each of the people on your team and how they like to be treated.
· Be aware of extroverts and introverts. This is a follow-up to that last point. Some people are more likely to speak up. Others may have excellent ideas but they may not feel comfortable sharing them, or they may not get the chance to because of “us” extroverts. (I say that because I am one!) Study the difference and have a plan for how to work best with your people.
· Recognize the concept of win/win situations. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made these happen, which I am very proud of. Seek out circumstances and people to create your own win/win situations. For instance, hiring someone can be a win for both of you AND for the business you’re building. The same for a potential collaboration.
· Give feedback honestly and promptly. Do it in a caring way, but don’t sugar-coat it if it needs to be delivered bluntly. Speak to someone 1-on-1, without others around. Be aware of your nonverbal communication and tone. For instance, don’t tell them at night (in a gloomy way) “I want to talk to you about something tomorrow”. Trust me, if you do that, they’ll stress about it all night.
· Coach! Coaching is a discussion where you ask open-ended questions to get others to reveal solutions about a situation, themselves or both. When we come up with our own answers (at work or in life), we are much more likely to ‘buy into it’ and go out and accomplish it.
So there you have it - my take on how to become an entrepreneur and how to be a great leader once you are one (or even now). Hope you found what I shared to be helpful. Feel free to connect with me via any of the means below to continue the discussion.
Certified Professional Coach
Founder/CEO, Life Coach Radio Networks
In addition to serving 50 clients in his first 18 months as a Life Coach, Russ Terry is Creator, Executive Producer and Host of the Life Coach Radio Networks (on Blog Talk Radio) and the Life Coach Television Network (on YouTube). For more on him and to inquire about a session, go to his website (www.russterrylifecoach.com) and/or the site for his fast-growing media empire (www.lifecoachradionetworks.com).