In January, the sentiment was clear: many employed professionals expected great things to happen to them in the course of the year. One of those expectations was launching into the world of entrepreneurship. However, year 2020 has turned out to be indeed special for us all. Now, the question is: as the crisis continues into the third quarter of the year, is working for yourself still feasible in 2020?
Having transitioned from a corporate professional into an entrepreneur, I believe it’s still not too late. Here’re six tips to help you get started:
Start a side hustle
If you’re looking to the world of self-employment this year, you can start through a side hustle. This means you can start working for yourself while still in paid employment. After building the dedication and you can now make a living from it, you can then switch to full time self-employment. All you require to pull this off is self-motivation, focus and commitment.
That was how Jack Ma left his day job as a schoolteacher and launched into the world of self-employment. He started an online business, Alibaba, in 1999. It was challenging because only a few people were comfortable with online purchases at the time. But Jack Ma was so successful that twenty years later, he became the richest man in China.
Bring your existing skillset onboard
A common mistake many people make when looking to start their own business is that they often overlook their existing skillset. This is a miscalculation. Your existing skillset is actually one of the biggest assets you have to help you successfully transit from paid employment into self-employment.
As a former schoolteacher and a quality assurance professional for several companies, I drew freely from my skillset at the time to help build my coaching business.
Be willing to re-purpose your skillset
You can re-purpose your skillset to align with the type of business you want to build. At the moment, people are increasingly switching online to cope with life and work under lockdown. This is a huge business opportunity for experienced professionals. To fit in, you can become part of the digital knowledge industry, and then transit into the world of self-employment in that space.
With the way the economy keeps fluctuating, if there’s one thing to embrace when looking to start your own business, it is unpredictability and learning how to adapt to it. Unlike in paid employment where you get a predictable income, a defined work schedule, and a vacation time, in self-employment, predictability goes out the window.
In exchange, you become your own boss, you call the shots, and get the freedom to pursue your dreams. This means you don’t get to spend hours making a business case to the boss anymore, nor be at the mercy of an employer. That’s how unpredictability drives change and progress. So if you’re looking to start working for yourself this year, I encourage you to embrace unpredictability.
Learn the basics of continuous improvement
Being your own boss doesn’t mean you have no one to answer to. You do. You answer to the customer. In my career as a service quality professional, my mantra was, “best is only a moment in time”. By this, we collected and measured customers’ service index (CSI) on an ongoing basis, so that we can keep improving our customer service performance.
That was how we got customers who kept on patronising us. When you learn the basics of continuous improvement, you’ll attract loyal customers when you launch.
Just get started
To start working for yourself in the face of a pandemic can be scary. The major thing that’s holding most people back is the tendency to over-think and over-analyse everything – leading to paralysis analysis. Keep things in motion by ticking some or all of the boxes as mentioned above, and just get started. That’s how you grow.