Great! You’ve decided that you’re going to become an entrepreneur! What are the downsides to being your own boss, being the master of your own domain and not having to answer to a supervisor? Well, there are a few and they include:
- The hours are long. When you’re an employee, you punch a clock and go home at the end of the day. As an entrepreneur, you don’t have a clock to punch and you may find yourself putting in more hours than you originally imaged and when you take the hours worked and divide that by the money you bring in you may find that…
- The money isn’t as good in actuality as it was on paper when you put your business plan together. You should have a bank account that can support you and your current lifestyle for at least three (preferably six) months while the business gains traction.
- It can be stressful knowing that you don’t get paid unless you sell your goods or services and that means you have to be constantly selling. It can be stressful when you’re making a sales call that could make the difference between filet mignon and rice and beans. You don’t want to let desperation seep into the tone of your sales calls.
Take heart, though, there are benefits to being a business owner and they include:
- It is so rewarding to see your successes and know you were the one responsible for it.
- You have flexibility to work the hours you choose whether you’re an early bird or a night owl or if you want to work on the weekend and take a day off during the week.
- You can create your own destiny and perhaps even a business that you can pass down to your children.
If you’re ready to take the leap from employee to entrepreneur, working with a business coach may be your first, best step!
In order to make the most of your business coaching session, you should take steps to prepare for it so that the time you spend with your coach can be beneficial and help you walk away with a plan in place to grow your business.
Here are the five steps we believe should occur during the course of a coaching relationship:
- Be clear in the goals you hope to achieve in your coaching session. Do you want to find a work/life balance? Bring in more clients? Make a conscious decision to expand your organization? What outcomes are you ultimately seeking from your coaching relationship?
- Once you have honed in on a measurable goal your coach will work with you to put a time frame into attaining that goal. Once you have a time frame, you will need to “work backwards” to break the large goal into smaller, measurable steps.
- Your coach will hold you accountable for the goals you’ve set and the time frames under which you want to meet them. He will walk you through specific tasks you will likely need to complete in order to achieve them.
- You and your coach need to acknowledge the goals you have set for yourself. Both of you will talk through roadblocks or mini-setbacks you may have — and you should be prepared for them and look at them as learning opportunities.
- Celebrate your successes! Once you reach a milestone in your goals or complete a major portion of a task pat yourself on the back. If you’re struggling to get over a hurdle, celebrate when you clear it!
Coaching is a two way street with the client (you) knowing you need assistance reaching that next level in your business and having that outside source (your coach) showing you ways to reach them!
Is there a magic formula for achieving goals? We believe that while there is no magic formula, there are specific steps that business owners can take to help them attain the goals they have set for their businesses.
These steps include:
- Setting goals that are time sensitive and deadline oriented. Rather than setting a goal to “get more clients in 2014” set a goal such as, “get new clients a month in 2014.” This goal means you have made it time sensitive and deadline oriented. Having a measurable goal brings it into focus.
- Set a goal that “forces” you to persevere. Goals that are too easy don’t challenge you as a business owner and will not push you toward greater heights of success. While you don’t want to set goals that are continually unattainable, you do want to set goals that make you work to achieve them!
- Finally set a goal that showcases your expertise and helps you achieve the measures of success you’d set for yourself at the beginning of the year. Setting a goal to “clean off your desk” isn’t helping your business grow. But setting a goal to “increase revenues by 25% by year’s end” pushes you toward success.
What steps do you take to achieve your business goals?
If you’ve spent any time on social media such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn you have seen the individuals who only post what we refer to as self-serving, buy-me posts. We call those individuals social media leeches and that is something you don’t want to be.
When it comes to social media you want to be a social media giver. How can you do that? There are at least three ways that we have come up with and they are:
- Share the information of others. Facebook loves it, and you, when you share the links that others have posted on their pages. Also, when you’re sharing that link, you are helping a colleague get his or her name known and they may return the favor.
- Be part of the conversation. Social media should be just that — social. Comment on the posts of others. Yes, it’s easy enough to give a post a “thumbs up” but it’s even better to write a few words on why you’re liking it.
- Your posts should be a ratio of 80% sharing good information that makes you the go-to person for your particular area of expertise to 20% buy-me posts. Yes, you want to let people know that you have goods or services to sell, but they will know that simply by the fact of your being online posting because they will see your name.
What can you do to be a social media giver?