I recently interviewed Melinda Emerson, author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months: A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business that Works. Like me, over ten years ago, Melinda left a well paying job to pursue her dreams of small business ownership. This Indie Business TV segment features the book, and under the video, you will find a short written summary of my interview with Melinda. (Warning: the video features burnt vegetables and my daughter, who started playing the drums in another room in the middle of the video. You'll laugh out loud!)
On the show, Melinda shared some fantastic tips that all small business owners can use to successfully transition from a full-time job to owning and managing their own business.
Develop a life plan first. Identify your life goals, then build your business around them. Whether you leave a job of your own free will, or are laid off, planning a life before planning a business makes a lot of sense. If you do it other way around, you may have a successful business, Melinda says, but you may not like your life very much.
I absolutely agree with Melinda on this critical point. In fact, my business was built on this principle, which I call the Lifestyle CEO approach to business planning. Become a life CEO, then add the title of business CEO to that. Getting clarity about what you want in your life first positions you to choose a business model that supports your life goals. You are more likely to wake up feeling excited about what's in store for the day, and this will naturally attract more people to you and expand your sphere of influence.
Be realistic about your entrepreneurial capabilities. Melinda says, “Know thyself before thou starts a business.” She says that not everyone is cut out to handle the multi-tasking and stress that is required to manage a profitable business.
One way to assess whether you have what it takes is to ask your friends to tell you what they have observed to be your biggest strengths and weaknesses. This will help you know whether your assessment of your capabilities matches up with a more objective view. The evaluation of others will not answer all of your questions, but their perceptions can enlighten you and help pave the way to better business decisions.
Cut back and conserve. Melinda recommends starting your business, if you can, as a “side hustle”, simultaneously as you work your full-time job. Use the transition time to get your financial house in order. Making sure you and your family are on solid financial footing will free you up to make decisions based on what's best for your business, and not on what's best for your creditors.
Melinda suggests paying off all credit cards and lowering down other types of debt as much as possible so you can be free to make and follow through on financial projections.
Create a household budget and stick with it. (You will need to do the same in your business.) Cut back and conserve wherever you can as you transition out of your job so you can run your business without the added burden of financial worries.
Listen to the Show
You can get an overview of the Melinda's Emerson Planning System by listening to my interview with her wherever it's convenient for you:
- You can download it on iTunes.
- You can stream or download it at my radio show website.
- You can stay where you are and simply click on the arrow at the bottom of this post to listen right now!
Coming Up Next Week!
Coming up on April 12 at 1:00pm EST on Indie Business Radio, my guest will be Charlon Bobo, author of “Write Your E-Book Using a Trusted and Proven System While Maintaining Your Busy Life.”
See you then!
Question: What do you think of Melinda's advice?