From Employee to Entrepreneur – making the change

entrepreneur, startup, business coaching
Fly like an eagle!

All over Ireland, people who thought they were purely a “corporate animal” are discovering their entrepreneurial spirit, and unleashing their skills and talents in new ways to achieve their goals. I know this, because that was me, and I’ve met plenty of others too.

I’ve worked with several coaching clients in corporate roles, who believe that they should be grateful just to have a job, even if they no longer (if they ever did) love it. They have lost sight of what they originally got from working in that role. They may have actually outgrown what that organisation can offer them in terms of opportunities and further development. Ultimately perhaps the organisation no longer shares their values. Many people will say that at some point in the future they want to start their own businesses, in something they are truly passionate about, and look for coaching to help them get clarity about how to take those first steps. Deepak Chopra uses the phrase “wisdom of uncertainty” and I think it sums up how we can learn about ourselves through stepping into the unknown and not wait until we have absolutely everything mapped out, because if we wait for the perfect time, it may be too late.

“Looking for work, not another job” – For many of us, our beliefs about seemingly “secure” jobs in banking and related industries have been challenged. It can be difficult to leave the familiarity and comfort zone of a large organisation, where you know most people and how things work. However, people at many different career stages have decided to seek short term contract assignments on a self-employed basis; they don’t necessarily see any additional risk associated with this, and enjoy discovering the opportunities that they can create for themselves. Similarly people who have been “set free”,  whether voluntarily or otherwise, are grabbing their chance to start a business that they always have wanted, selling products or services that they really believe in.  When our back is to the wall, it’s incredible how much energy, passion and determination we can find in order to survive. People who decide to go this route can often find great freedom in being responsible for their own choices and opportunities, rather than waiting for (and often blaming) other people’s decisions.

Some  things to ask yourself about whether you’re suited to being an entrepreneur…

  • Do you like doing your own thing?
  • How can you combine your passion with a business venture?
  • Can you communicate effectively with people?
  • What skills and talents do you have that will enable you to run a business?
  • What would success look like?
  • Who can help me with areas I might have difficulty in?

If you’re thinking about getting out there and doing your own thing, here are some steps to help you target potential clients and/or employers – this can even be done on a part time basis or as some research before you make your decision about what path to take in the future.

  • Clearly identify what you’re offering (product or service)
  • Figure out who would use your service or product or skills (the market)
  • List client/employer organisations you prefer to work with (this helps you to prioritise the clients / employers that you are more likely to click with)
  • Make a proactive, targeted plan which will show measurable progress.

Most people with corporate backgrounds have an broad foundation of experience and a great network of contacts on which to build a business, so perhaps it’s time to cage your “corporate animal” and let out the “entrepreneurial eagle”!

Liz Barron, Realize Coaching – helping to you achieve your professional  and personal goals.

We’ll be running a coaching workshop soon for people who are thinking of making the transition from Employee to Entrepreneur – check out the details on our site

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