Saturday, June 14, 2008

Being in a hamster wheel

After years of being employed in a corporate setting, I've decided to break off from the norm and try out having my own business. 

I've been making stuff, selling online and consigning in stores for a year now, and I am happy with the outcome. This is a repost from my old i.Ph blog. It was first posted March of 2005 when I was a Recruiter at ContactPoint, at the time when I felt like I was in a hamster wheel -- forever running and running without having a clear vision of where I was headed.
 
7 Keys That Helped Me Leave the "Rat Race" for Cyberspace by Marty Foley  

On Friday, Aug. 28th, 1998, I finally achieved what I had dreamed about and worked toward for some time.
No, cashing that week's paycheck wasn't what I had been keenly anticipating... Leaving a job I hated in order to work for myself full-time in cyberspace was the dream goal I had finally achieved!

The goal of leaving the "rat race" and calling the shots in one's own profitable business - online or off - is common to many people. At times it even reaches the point of desperation. Some waste thousands of dollars in an elusive attempt to reach it.

If running your own successful online business is a goal you'd also like to reach, I empathize with your situation. I'll share some tips in this article that helped me "leave the rat race" for my own online business, which may also help you.

Even if you've already achieved self-employment, maybe some tips I share can help increase the profitability of your existing business, online or off.

Keys To Leaving The Rat Race

1) Being a doer, not just a dreamer.

One of my favorite sayings is: "When all is said than done, more is said than done." It's easy to dream and talk about our goals, but we won't get anywhere until we take decisive action.

Before I built a successful online business, I did more dreaming and telling others about my goal than I took action toward reaching it. Finally combining my dreams with action, however, was the only thing that worked.
Caution: Don't confuse taking decisive action with making rash decisions. Temper your willingness to act with sound reasoning and knowledgeable decisions, based on sufficient research. 

2) Effective time management.

Time certainly means money in the business world. The ability to manage your time effectively is an asset that can repay you many times over, in both your business and personal life. Getting maximum productivity from your time is even more crucial if you're working a full-time job at the same time you're building your own business.

Back when I worked for an employer, workdays usually dragged by. Now I find that working for myself, time just breezes by and I often wonder where the time went! At one point, I was making money in my own business while holding down my full-time regular job, but not enough to live on. Moreover, I needed more time than I had available in my spare hours to pursue things I felt would increase profits.

I then decided to cut back on the hours at my regular job, which my employer agreed to because he didn't want me to quit. This allowed time to expand my business faster and made the transition to going full-time in it easier. If you can't or don't want to quit your job "cold turkey," consider a similar strategy.

3) Knowledge of your field.

You don't have to be an expert in your business field when first starting out. You can grow as you go, but plan on keeping abreast of developments in your field. Do so long enough and you'll become an expert. You can also team up with others who have needed expertise you may be lacking.

4) Persistence.

Despite the hype sometimes used to try to sell "instant, lazy-man's way to riches" types of products, success in business rarely comes easily or overnight. Fact is, it takes persistent effort and plain old fashioned work. Be wary of promises to the contrary.

I empathize with those that must commute 5 or more days a week to a job they don't like. However, that can be a plus. It was a strong motivation for me to persist at my own business until I went full-time. Whatever your own motivations to persist may be, they will prove useful.

Tip: It will be much easier to persist if you select a field of business that you like, as opposed to pursuing something just for the money. Then your work can be fun, not drudgery.

5) Focus on presenting solutions, not just on selling products and services.

I'm a believer in the business philosophy of "succeeding by helping others succeed." Focusing on helping clients solve their problems and achieve their goals through your products and services contributes more toward long-term success than just focusing on "selling" them products and services.

6) Self-discipline.

Now that my "office" is just a few steps away when I awake in the morning, it's easy to sleep in. With no boss to "crack a whip" over you as a self-employed entrepreneur, self-discipline is definitely needed. Since likely no one will see that things get done but yourself, you need to be a self-starter.

7) Marketing skills.

Regardless of what business you're in, marketing is the tool used to present the solutions that your products or services offer to the rest of the world. As the saying goes, in business "Everything is marketing."
Marketing is a skill. And like any other skill, it can be developed through knowledge and practice. Entrepreneurs can never learn too much about successful marketing.

You Can Also Leave the "Rat Race"!

As more and more employees of large corporations have been discovering to their dismay, neither seniority - nor years of company loyalty - guarantee any real job security. In view of this, staking one's claim in the digital Wild Wild Web seems even more attractive.

Of course, there's much more involved in leaving the rat race than can be covered in this article, but I've shared seven of the most important keys to success. No, leaving the rat race may not come easily, nor overnight, but it's certainly possible and can be well worth the effort. If followed, these keys can help you leave the rat race, too.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment