The businessman Farrah Gray once said:
“Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.”
Of course there’s nothing wrong with being employed. Millions of people worldwide have jobs that bring happiness and meaning to their lives. As long as you find a career that you enjoy and are passionate about, why shouldn’t you work for an employer?
But there are also many reasons to break from the norm and become your own boss. By setting up your own business or going freelance, you can carve a new path and stand out from the crowd. You’ll have more freedom to live your life the way you choose and get to make your own decisions. Work from home if you want, travel the world, take time off to focus on your mental health. You have the potential to make a huge income, or scrape by on a moderate paycheck while gaining satisfaction from other aspects of your career. The opportunities are endless.
When you work for yourself, your whole life will be transformed. But it doesn’t happen overnight. You will have to put in a lot of time and effort in order to succeed in your new circumstances. To help you achieve your dreams and realize your full potential, here is a complete guide to becoming your own boss.
Articulate your goals
It’s not enough to want to be the boss of your own life. You have to know exactly what you want in order to get there. For example, do you simply want to earn a great deal of money? If so, it might be easier to achieve financial security through a stable job in a highly-paid industry. Or do you want the freedom to explore the world and work according to your own schedule? By becoming a digital nomad you can base yourself anywhere on the planet with an internet connection. Maybe your goal is to create something of value, like starting a charitable organisation or publishing a powerful book. There are countless ways to become your own boss, so you need to figure out what your perfect life looks like and make a plan for how you’re going to get there.
Plan your journey
Now that you have a goal in mind, you need a strategy. Identify the steps you’ll need to take to hit your target and create a plan to guide you on your journey. Your particular plan might involve registering as self-employed and finding a solid customer base to earn a steady income. Or it might involve setting up your own business and seeking new opportunities for growth (see company formation UK for advice on registering a business). Make sure your plan factors in your financial situation, as it’s unlikely you will be making a lot of money right away. Work out how much you need to save in order to make your dream a reality, and start putting your income aside now.
Getting to the stage where you can comfortably work for yourself takes a lot of time and hard toil. You need to be willing to put in the hours to make it happen. It’s essential that you are disciplined in your approach to your business goals and adopt a killer mindset at all times. This means getting up early to make the most of the day, and sometimes working late into the evenings to get things done. You’ll have to hustle to find work and learn how to sell yourself. Laziness or complacency will stop you at the first hurdle.
Grow your professional network
Getting ahead in business is all about who you know, not what you know. You might be trying to succeed off your own back, but surrounding yourself with the right people can be invaluable. You never know where the next lucrative opportunity might rear its head so it’s best to increase your odds by expanding your professional network. Attend relevant industry events and conferences, making an effort to get to know people. Print business cards to hand out and collect the details of those you meet. Remember to connect with them on social media afterwards or send a follow-up email.
Work on yourself
If you want to succeed, you need to believe in yourself. It’s important to be confident and self-assured, but also crucial to look after your physical and mental health. If your wellbeing suffers, so will your productivity and output and it’s only a matter of time before you go crawling back to your old job. No matter how busy you are, it’s essential you make time to exercise. Get up an hour earlier to go to the gym or have a run. Use your lunch breaks or weekends to play sports or go swimming. Prioritize relaxation and self-care to ensure good mental health. Although you need to work hard, you don’t want to overdo it and succumb to burnout. Get plenty of sleep and find time to do the things that make you happy. Life is about much more than just work.
Learn from your mistakes
At some point along your journey, you will make mistakes. Some will be relatively minor, while others will seem like catastrophes at the time. Don’t let them set you back. The most powerful and successful people in the world have all made mistakes at one time or another. The key is using them to your advantage. When life doesn’t go your way, ask yourself what you could have done differently to change the outcome. How can you learn from your errors to inform your future actions? Everything is a learning opportunity if you look at it the right way.
By following these tips you will be better equipped with tools and techniques to become your own boss. You’ll need to work hard and may suffer various setbacks along the way, but if you stay committed to your course and focus on your goals, you are guaranteed to succeed. Good luck on your journey!