So many of us leave corporate life to start up our own business with goals of finding freedom, self-expression, more say in how we spend our time, flexibility etc. We think we can just focus on delivering the skill or service we are best at and ignore all the “stuff” which corporate life distracted us with. Then what happens? We find that we still have stuff to deal with, and are pulled away from the very thing we set out to do in order to run a business. We are forced to step out of the comfort zone to present, network, do taxes and VAT returns, cold call etc., etc. and chances are we are doing this in the splendid isolation of a home office. It is a very different life that of an FTE!
Away from the energy and support of the office banter, the power of the corporate brand, an IT department a phone call away, self-doubt can set in – especially if you are not getting the business – and you find yourself asking “now what?” Self-doubt erodes your credibility and your business’s potential becomes suppressed by your fears. You can find yourself under-pricing or you give up on your business before it had a chance to get going mistakenly thinking that your business model is flawed. It could just be that you haven’t shed your old mindset and behaviours. You walked out of the corporate office but you took your thinking and behaviours with you. You need a new mindset to meet the needs of your new business; a sense of who you are now and what you need to be in order for your business to be a success.
Doing something different for a living means being something different!
I spent over 25 years in the corporate world before starting up my coaching business. Yet even as a coach, the pressures of being in business could leave me frustrated and isolated. Much of that pressure was self-inflicted. A pressure to succeed without knowing how long it should take to get results – or even what success looks like. More importantly, without even knowing what a successful coaching business looks like for me; my personality and aspirations.
It took time for me to recognise that I needed a new mindset and sense of self to overcome this. I was no longer in corporate life. Everything changed from where I work in the morning, how I manage my day, how I got work, no boss telling me what to do so having to think for myself, no office gossip etc. And I had to change too. I asked myself what I really wanted from my business, how I wanted to run it and most importantly, how I wanted to show up in the world. Then I learned to act accordingly. I kept the faith and cut out the noise from the “get rich quick schemes” and all the “free” advice telling me how I “should” be doing it. I substituted office banter for some great networking groups (and also cured my isolation) and a boss for a business coach to hold me accountable. It was then that I started to see results and to really embrace what being in business for myself was all about. Which is why I like this holiday photo.
So after a few months of wobble and angst, I began trusting in my own capabilities as a business person. With my new mindset I trust that the business is out there and that I am most likely to attract clients when I’m my most relaxed and creative self. It so happens that this is the version of me which enables me to meet the needs of my business in a way which aligns with who I am. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t arrogance or “I know better than everyone else”. I am not going it alone. I seek the advice and support that I need when I need it and with clarity over what I am trying to achieve and how I like to operate. I am able to be selective and engage with the wider world on my own terms, knowing who I am and what I am about.
Do you have a head for your business? Does your mindset support your business or is there some catching up to do? Book a clarity call and find out how I can help you embrace your new identity as a business person and enjoy all that this entails!