As we approach La Rentrée in France, each year I find myself looking back over my years in both the business and corporate world. I have given presentations on the subject and find it fascinating, simply because I have been there myself. I was in many corporate jobs that didn’t quite fit who I was or represent my values.  I always admired those women who were out there making a difference.  Taking that leap of faith from the corporate world to the business world took me quite abit of time, I hope this will help get some answers to your questions so that you can jump ship !!

Having set up many businesses for many women (and men too of course) I do find myself looking as some of the key frustrations that hold people back from stepping into their zone of genius. This is what I have found some of the questions you ask before starting out, all of them are valid fears so just how can you overcome them?   :

  • Financial Instability – how long will it take me to get financial stability
    1. Ask yourself ‘What is the biggest risk or the worst thing that can happen and if those consequences would be acceptable?’
    2. Plan your financial goals, and stick to them!  Get help and advice from your entourage. If you don’t know how to ‘plan’, speak with someone that does.
    3. Be realistic but push yourself. Surround yourself with like-minded people who will help you meet your goals.
  • Investment of time – is it the right time? – do you have the time to invest? It’s your time so do what is right for you and don’t waste it!
    1. Crucial to a successful small business is your investment in time and energy as we are often multi-tasking during the first phase of the business. Outsource as soon as you can, this is key to moving your business forward and freeing up your time.
    2. Ensure you create your business for the right reasons and have the right motivation and drive at the kick off.  Follow your plan and enjoy the process.
    3. Write a list of the reasons ‘why’ you want to create your business. You should have at least 20 reasons why and they should not be just about money, some ideas that have come out of my coaching sessions :
      • Freedom of choice
      • Passionate about my expertise
      • A role model for my children
      • Knowledge
      • To leave a legacy
      • ….. you get the idea
  • Fear of failure – what if it doesn’t work?
    • There is no such thing as failure. We make mistakes, we learn from them and we try again and move on, so again, what do you have to lose?
    • Surround yourself by positive business women and men who can give you the energy and feedback you need.  If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!
    • If you need help, reach out and ask for it. You would be surprised by how much people appreciate helping.
  • What legal structure should the business have? Where to start and what to do? Is the Auto Entrepreneur structure the right one?
    1. There is good and bad in this structure but it is a good idea for service type business with limited running costs.  It’s also very good for ‘testing’ your idea before investing too much of your time.   It’s easy to set up and close down, so minimal risk for a new venture.
    2. Take the time to look at all your options before starting your business.  This is not wasted time !
    3. Speak to other professional business owners and ask about their experiences and ask for their advice.

Is business easy?  Well to be honest, not always, especially when you have a big vision, the mission to get to your vision can take longer than anticipated but each day take a baby step in that direction.

We talk often about the positive aspects of being a business owner: the flexibility, decision making and the feel good factor of running your own ‘show’ and meeting your objectives, but what are the downsides of a small business:

  • Your day never ends at 6pm!
  • You have to be a specialist in many domains (to start with)
  • Oftentimes the first 3 years are financially difficult
  • You may work flexi-time but you usually work more!
  • You can’t cut corners, you have to follow the growth pattern

Despite this, everyone I have spoken too would not go back to Corporate (myself included).  Freedom of choice is addictive !

I hope this gives you food for thought and helps you make a step in the right direction and if you need any help, well reach out.

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