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Leaving the Corporate World for Your Own Full Time Gig

I like this guest post because although it is meant for a full time entrepreneur, hence the title of this post, it contains several pieces of valuable advise that even a part time entrepreneur running a side gig can benefit from.

The author talks about setting up systems and thus automating business processes, how saying NO is completely fine, leveraging effectively, outsourcing and setting clear boundaries to create a good work-life balance.

I am all about that! I hope that you too get good value from this post.

This is a guest post from Jackie Purnell of Building Businesses Creating Brands, a blog about how to Build, Brand and Grow a Kick Ass Business

You’re ready to dominate the business world. You’ve planned your mission and have your vision firmly in place, you’re keen to leap into the abyss with unbridled enthusiasm?

Hold up…just for a second..

Knowing what you want to achieve is one thing. You may have tested the waters and defined your market, you may have even done the preliminary workings for your launch.

My question is; Have you taken the time to look at some ground rules for your business?

No…then let’s take a closer look before you get too carried away.

Setting solid foundations will stand you in good stead as your business grows. It’s important not only to your survival as a business, but also your sanity as a person.

You want to be able to measure and track your business operations, to create systems that easily allow for change and integration of new people, and create operating policy so that staff, customers and other stake holders feel they fit with your business.

You also want to have a life, after all that’s why most of us move into the realms of entrepreneurship (aside from having that internal drive that is). So let’s take a look at some of the areas that may get you into trouble if they are not clearly defined right from the outset:

You Don’t Always Have to Be Contactable

It can be exhilarating creating a new business, you’re so wrapped up in making things happen that all too easily you can forget to set boundaries. The power and freedom you thought came with running your own show, quickly heads south, as you become a puppet with someone else pulling the strings.

Your primary objective should always be to provide great value and service to your clients or customers, but you certainly don’t want to be at their beck and call 24/7.

Unfortunately your clients can think that they are your only client and you are there solely for their benefit. Make sure that you outline your availability and stick to it.

Once you deviate you will only have yourself to blame, and it’s very hard to come back from.

Always start how you mean to carry on.

Working Hours – All Or Nothing

Just because you’ve entered the entrepreneurial zone, doesn’t give you license to work all hours under the sun. If you were working for someone else, you would have set hours wouldn’t you? Why would you view your own business any differently.

In my experience you will either lean one way or the other:

  • Working all hours on God’s green earth
  • Working only when you feel like it

Neither of which work. Set your hours and stick with them.

I’m A One Man Band

Maximum leverage from your time is what you’re after here, and it’s a skill that you should focus on developing and refining very quickly.

Decide early on what you have to personally handle and what you can or need to hand off to others. Nothing creates burnout faster than trying to handle everything yourself.

Sending a Message To The Family

I’m not talking the horse head in the bed scenario. But family have to be taught to respect your boundaries too. They can be the biggest problem where you wouldn’t think so.

I’ll paint the picture:

You’re closeted away in your bear cave, doing brilliant work, creating, in the zone. The door flies open and in runs youngest child squealing with delight, closely followed by wet dog intent on rubbing every ounce of wetness onto said child. Your reaction follows, suffice to say it’s not a happy Kodak moment. Suddenly Wife/Husband appears in the doorway with a look of sheer contempt for your behavior and reaction.

Here lies the peril of working in the home. Hey, ya gotta live with these people at the end of the day.

Unfortunately you will be seen as being “at home”, not “at work”. Unless you clearly define your personal workspace and time, you will constantly have this issue on your plate.

Work is work, just because its family doesn’t mean it should be any different.

Saying No is OK

We have this thing about pleasing people, and generally that seems to equate with saying Yes. I’m here to tell you that it is perfectly okay to say No. In fact I encourage it. Never for one minute let yourself start to think that you will miss opportunities by saying no. It’s this kind of thinking that gets you into trouble.

You really need to assess the value of your time, stay true to the foundations of your business operations and if something doesn’t fit with your plans then say no.

Nobody said that business is easy, but I hope that these 5 keys provide you with a little food for thought and show you perhaps where you have capacity to make some changes which will better serve you and your business along your trail of success.

Are you a part time or full time entrepreneur? What do you think about the 5 Keys highlighted in this post?  Do you agree or disagree with any? Can you add others to the list?

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7 Responses to “Leaving the Corporate World for Your Own Full Time Gig”

  1. Justin says:

    I work from home and yes the rest of the family has difficulty understanding that I am actually working and not just playing on the computer.

    I do have trouble maintaining a work schedule. I work too much and too often. I don’t have a problem saying no to people, it’s their reaction that is the most difficult to deal with.

    • Sunil says:

      This is a valid predicament Jackie brings up in her post. Justin – have you considered two working stations? One in your room and a free floating tablet / laptop to carry around the home as a “play” device? Either that or pre-communicating your workload / schedule with those @ home? I have a friend in internet marketing who punches in and out of an old school time clock he has installed at home to prove to his wife that he is not always working. No joke!

  2. Justin says:

    I have a laptop that I could use around my house. My wife even suggested that I use her office upstairs instead of my office in the basement.

    I like the time clock idea. I am working right now, it is 8:48 Eastern time U.S. I probably won’t stop for a couple more hours. It’s quiet now my wife and son are watching tv. Thanks for the advice.

  3. I don’t see how one DOESN’T work ungodly hours the first year or two of the start up. It’s all one will ever think about.

    Over time, as the frame work is put in place, things get better and work becomes more balanced.

    I’ve thought of a lot of things with the Yakezie Network, but am careful not to focus on too many things and too much. We’re building our stable of clients, and I love the Yakezie Writing Contest of helping and empowering people to compete, market, and write for a better education.


    • Sunil says:

      You are right Sam, starting an entrepreneurial venture can involve “ungodly” hours, especially when one is trying to balance that with a demanding full time profession. Things do get easier over time as you mention. I believe Jackie is suggesting a solution to balance workload and saneness. After all, we all do work to live life (at least I like to think so).

  4. vala says:

    Yes i am agree with this guest post. Whatever the situations these things are very useful. I appreciate your way of writing very good article.

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