Yes, this is a post targeted directly at some of my closest friends who are still tied down by the chains of Corporate America. I probably don’t speak to them often enough; it’s not because I don’t like them, it’s simply because each time we meet and begin talking, the conversation turns negative nine times out of ten.
Why is this you might ask?
I personally don’t think I’m a negative guy. In fact, when I worked in “Corporate America” I was given the “Best Attitude” Award…ha ha!
The reason things tend to turn negative, in my opinion (IMO), is because my friends know that what I’m doing as a self-employed entrepreneur is EXACTLY what they want to be doing…but they’re afraid to take the leap from that “security”.
SECURITY MY EYE!
It’s also because, due to the “chains” that have tied them down, there really aren’t a lot of positive things for them to share with me.
In an effort to give you more than just my own biased opinion about self-employment, I reached out to some of the people I look up to in this world of self-employed freedom. Here’s what they had to say:
I worked as a consultant for two years, in those two years I saw my dress sense, hygiene, sleep patterns, health and body go to complete shit. I was working all the time I wasn’t sleeping, and I wasn’t sleeping enough, I would wake up and start working often without showering or dressing, often without having breakfast, never at the same time, I would order in and eat unhealthy foods, and I was almost completely sedentary.
So my advice, have a room in your house that is a dedicated office space. Make sure you wake up at the same time every day and start work at the same time every day, make sure you have breakfast, shit/shower/shave and dress appropriately. Cook your meals, take frequent breaks and go for walks, do stretches, etc.
Do everything the opposite of what I was doing. I was young and learned it the hard way. I was wide-eyed at the prospect of working from home but honestly, you have to pretend you’re not at home so you work smarter if not harder, work in an office space (don’t forget it’s tax-deductible), make sure you don’t let yourself get distracted by kids/wife/tv/anything else.
To get all of the influential people in his/her life on board with the decision being made. You need to make sure that everyone understands the decision you have made, why you have made it, and that you simply can’t deal with detractors and doubters over the next couple of months/years.
In the words of Nike: Just Do It – make sure and have a plan though, set goals and work your ass off to achieve them. Leave all fear behind. There is no room for fear in self employment. Network. Use your connections and social media to let the world know what you are doing and how they can help. If you do, you will realize quite soon how much money you were losing by limiting yourself to a 9-5 Be prepared for trials, but know after much adversity comes much success.
- be out of debt
- be willing to lose
- have the funds to make educational “gambles”
- be smart, if someone can do it better than you, hire that person to do it
- stay connected with your market
- be flexible
- and work with your pants off
From time to time I get to work with clients who are classic “Corporate America”:
- They have to asked permission to speak in turn
- They have to bring in 5-7 people to make simple decisions and get everyone’s complete buy-off
- They have to use lots of acronyms and corporate “jargon” to sound more sophisticated
- They use lots of cliches like “Win Win” and “ROI” and “High-Level”
Granted, there may be some “Corporate America” jobs that are to die for. But in my experience and in talking with many others, they are definitely few and far between.
So what can be done?
Gary Vaynerchuk, one of my favorite social media rockstars, shared this advice:
The key concept you have to take away from all of this advice is you have to WORK; you have to WORK; you have to WORK! Continuing to work at your crappy day job and doing your self-employed dream on the side for a while is ok.
But don’t fall into the trap of “someday I’ll take that leap” because that someday may never come.
Here’s my list of suggestions on how you can take that leap and work your way out of “Corporate America Hell”…
The Hell-Hole Release Formula
- keep working on your businesses while your at work (or before or after hours if that’s more safe)
- set specific, measurable, reachable goals and HIT THEM
- make a list of ALL your contacts
- make a list of all the special skills you have that you can offer as services
- set up a freshbooks account: http://bit.ly/mm-fresh-books
- it’s a free invoicing tool that helps you keep books as you do work
- it also has a timer to keep track of hours you’re working on projects
- it took me a bit to figure out how to best use it, but now it’s basically something I HAVE to use to keep up on book keeping
- it will save you money from paying a slimy accountant the beaucou bucks
- use a tool like GoalForIt.com to keep track of progress
- write out what you would LOVE to do if money weren’t an option
- write out what you’d love to do for work if you could pick one thing
- learn how to sell, sell, sell
- EVERYTHING starts with a sale
- Most Important Tip: go to all your friends who have taken the same path and ask them lots of questions (ie. insurance, accountant, tips, tricks, any partnership opps, etc.)
What do you think?