At one time or another in your career, you've probably day dreamed about being your own boss and working from home. Maybe you want to spend more time with your family. Maybe you want to do what you love instead of what someone tells you to do. Whatever the reason, you’re not alone. The dream of being your own boss and working from home is one that you share with hundreds of thousands of people around the world.
What’s Your Plan?
When my family and friends ask me why I wanted to start my own business, I simply tell them that I was at a point in my career where I was really tired of following someone else’s rules and settling for a salary they felt my skills and experience were worth (which was usually not the same as what I felt they were worth). I wanted to do something that I truly enjoyed and was good at. I had a pretty clear picture of what I wanted to do, but I still ran into the occasional bump in the road. I’ve learned that no matter how dedicated and prepared for the switch you think you are, there will always be some type of obstacle or issue that will pop up and throw a monkey wrench in your plans.
In order to minimize the amount of bumps you run into along the way, it’s a good idea to have a written plan in place for your transition. Use that plan to refer back to for guidance and inspiration when the road gets bumpy.
At the very minimum, your plan should answer the following questions:
A. Have you evaluated your skills and experience to determine if you are qualified to pursue a career in that field? If you don’t currently have the skills you need, have you developed a plan to obtain those skills?
B. Have you researched the field you’re interested in thoroughly, including talking to someone who’s currently working in that field?
C. Do you have a plan for how you’ll handle your finances until you actually start to make money from your new gig? Depending on the industry you want to go in to, it could take several months or more before you start earning a decent salary. Are you prepared for that?
D. Have you discussed your plans with your family and gained their support?
E. Most importantly, what is your back up plan just in case things don’t work out quite as you hope?
There’s no doubt that being your own boss is very rewarding and exciting. But it can also be very stressful and demanding. I found that it helps to be able to network with others who have also taken the plunge. Below are a few of my favorite sites for information sharing and networking among women business owners:
Project Eve – A growing network for women in business. From their website: “The most progressive women’s business media platform in the world, Project Eve challenges and inspires a new breed of innovative and creative women who are actively reinventing their careers and with it the future of business. With engaging articles and interactive tools, Project Eve motivates women to think beyond traditional boundaries, support one another, embrace change and view challenges as opportunities”.
Female Entrepreneurs Association – An international hub with the mission of inspiring and empowering women from around the world to turn their ideas into a reality, build successful businesses and live a life they love.
Young Female Entrepreneurs – YFE is specially dedicated to women entrepreneurs in their 20s and 30s and strives to connect aspiring women in business with big brands and new people to help them build and grow a sustainable business.
Chic CEO – A free resource for female entrepreneurs with lots of detailed articles on starting a business, inventing a product, buying a franchise, and running a home business as well as funding options for your business.
These are just four of the many resources available to any woman who’s considering starting her own business. It’s really important that you thoroughly research your business idea and answer the questions above before you jump right in. Once you have completed your research, you can feel more confident in moving forward with your plans.
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