If you’ve been dreaming of escaping your cubicle with an amazing business that’ll sustain you when you quit, I know you’ve been busy. There’s an array of things to do or learn, and sometimes you feel that you’re overwhelmed with trying to juggle building your dream business and working a full time corporate job.
You want to make sure all your ducks are in a row before you hand in that resignation letter, so you’re hustling like a mofo. Or maybe you’re not hustling at all, because you may be waiting for the perfect opportunity to finally tell people you’ve got your business idea in the bag.
But when is that lightning of inspiration going to hit you? Most of the time when we’re procrastinating or doing ALL the things because of the fear of missing out, we tend to not move forward at all.
Today, I want to share the 5 mistakes to avoid if you’re a wannabe corporate escapee, because I definitely did all these mistakes. And knowing what I know today, I want to help shift your focus on what’s most important to really get you ready in your mindset and intention for full escape of the cubicle.
Waiting for the perfect time to build a business
I get it. It can sound like a good idea to wait for a better time to start building your business when you’re busy in your corporate job, trying to navigate all life’s busyness, and whatever else that’s causing you to put your dreams in the back burner. I’ve been there trying to get all my ducks in a row for years before even allowing myself to think I am ready to start thinking about my business idea.
The truth is, your life will always seem busy. If it’s not “I’ll do it when work gets less stressful”, or “I’ll do it when the best idea pops up in my head”, it’ll always be something. But that is not a great excuse to JUST START.
You have to treat your dreams to build a business that’ll get you out of your cubicle with the same priority as going to your job every day. It has to become a part of your daily and weekly routine. Just as it’s important to commit to things like going to the gym, seeing your friends, or completing a project at work, your dreams deserve your focus and energy to make it come to life.
You’ve got to start where you are. Now is as perfect of a time as ever because you’re alive.
You can start in small actions, but commit to it every single week. That means blocking off 2-3 hours a week at minimum to be focusing on learning and experimenting with your ideas.
That may also mean getting yourself in front of people or support systems that are going to help motivate you to continuously be keeping your eyes on the prize. Which brings me to the next mistake you may be making…
Not learning how to manage your time
We’ve all got 24 hours a day, and a good chunk of those hours are spent at our jobs or sleeping. So, you’ll need to manage your time more efficiently to be working on your business if you want to gain traction and momentum for it.
One of the things I do that has improved my productivity and stress less about “all the things” I’ve had to do in my business is by creating Theme Days and Time Blocking specific tasks that fall under those themes. Even if you haven’t started your business yet, but need to create time for it. this method is very very useful. If you’re working a full time job, choose one or more days in your weekly calendar that is the most efficient time for you to be immersed in building your business.
Perhaps it’s Fridays from 7-9pm, or Sunday afternoons. And these days become your non-negotiable days where you focus on moving your business forward without distractions.
Here’s a tip: Batch tasks that “go together” so you’re not spreading yourself too thin trying to use different parts of your brain on multiple tasks. For example, if you have to write blogs or plan content to submit to publications, you’re being creative.
Batch those tasks under a “creative theme day”. If you’re needing to learn how to build your website or finally dive into the course you bought months ago, batch those tasks under a “learning theme day”, so you can immerse yourself in learning and nothing else.
Here’s a sample of mine made on a spreadsheet including Theme Days and coloured Time Blocking to get you started. Click on the image to get this template to make your own!
Doing it all alone
When you leap into the world of self employment and entrepreneurship, it can all seem overwhelming. Why? Because it’s a territory you’ve never been before, and when we do new things, it can be scary. And it’s totally OK to say this.
My advice? Don’t do it alone. You need all the support you can get, and the motivation from others to help.
When I first started working on creating my business while I was still in my full time job, I remembered feeling very alone. And I thought that was just the way it was going to be, because most of my friends and family didn’t really understand the reason for my wanting to give up a secured corporate job for the unknown territory of entrepreneurship. And it wasn’t really their fault, we just had different types of dreams.
There was so much learning that I had to do at that time and wished I had other people to talk to. Mainly to keep my motivation up that I wasn’t crazy and to be inspired to continue reaching for my dreams!
It wasn’t until I discovered online communities on Facebook that connected me to other like-minded humans that were crafting their own dream life like I was. A lot of my “online business friends” have been people that I have never met in real life, but I hold them dear to my heart because they’ve been there for me through thick and thin. If you are like me, having people around you that believe in your dreams and support your work is literally a game changer. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to give up, and either picked myself back up again because I heard something inspiring someone shared, or when I asked for help in those groups and received an overwhelming amount of love and support to continue going.
The other aspect of not doing it alone is this – try to accelerate your learning and confidence in your business by investing in coaches, mentors, or mastermind groups that hold you accountable. You only know what you know, so if you’re around someone that has gone where you want to go, and can help you decipher what is actually needed for you to be successful, there’s less of a guessing game and self doubt.
Use the experience of others’ success to help bring you to yours. And be a part of communities that don’t allow you to fail. Those two things were essential for me to reach new heights with my business and be courageous in launching big ideas that I didn’t think I was ready for (but was, and just being a pussy about it).
If you’re looking for a kickass community to join, you can start by joining mine, The Unconventionalists! It’s a free community with almost 1000 people just like you that are dreaming and crafting up their dream lifestyles and careers. And you get me every day there leading the group and supporting you in your journey!.
Doing ALL the things
I bet you’re running around feeling like a chicken with its head cut off trying to juggle everything you think you need to create and launch your business. From learning how to do webinars, to building a website, to figuring out how to use all the tech and tools you see everyone using, the list is endless. Am I right or am I right?
The mistake that I see a lot of first time entrepreneurs making is going straight for the shiny objects first. Things like website design, pretty logos, or what they should name their business. And I get it. It’s what people see. And you want it to be smashing. But here’s the real reality check.
It doesn’t matter how lovely your business “looks” on the outside. If you haven’t taken the time to figure out what your business really does, what problem it solves, and who specifically it solves it for and why, no one is really going to get what you do and feel attracted to your business. Knowing the foundations of your business and being able to package up your skills and value so it makes it easier for people to buy what you do is the PRIORITY of what you should be spending time creating from the get-go.
THEN spend the money and efforts on logo and websites when you know that important piece that will help you create a better story in the branding of you and your business. Trust me. I wish I did this before I spent $5,000 on my first business on designing a beautiful website, and then not have anyone come to it because I wasn’t clear on what I was solving and being uber confident in my message.
And I had to spend a few more thousand dollars hiring someone to help me figure out the “meat” of my business idea and teach me how to market that to the world. Now the latter was a much better investment because it gave me the confidence to get out there and start spreading the word, and know exactly what I work on with my clients to be paid for it.
Comparing yourself to other people’s businesses
Ugh the biggest demotivator of all. Have you been catching yourself saying these things?
- Someone’s already doing what I’m doing, so why bother?
- This person’s brand is so good, it’s making mine look so mediocre
- I’m never going to do it as well as this person
Please do not fall into this trap of comparison. It’s totally cool to get inspired by something someone is doing, but when it starts to demotivate you on your own journey, you need to stop stalking them.
Here’s a reality check: Most business ideas have already been done before, but you are always going to be doing it differently if you commit to being yourself and delivering your value in your style of connection and influence that only you possess.
Your combination of skills, personality, and life experience is what will ensure your business will never be the same as someone else’s just because they are doing similiar work. Actually, if there are people doing similiar work as you, this is positive news.
You now know there is a market out there for your type of products or services, and that is much more of a relief than NO ONE doing what you’re doing. Focus on YOUR own journey. There are so many people globally that need your help, so focus on how you can help them solve their problems rather than focus on what someone else is doing. Figure out your own approach, your own way of delivering information and leading people to solutions.
Commit to doing it your way and in your style. This is the only thing you should be focusing on. 80% of your time should be spent on crafting up your own creative ideas to share your message and create ways to give value to others that need your work.
Don’t try to take on marketing strategies that do not fit your way of delivery or personality. Every strategy out there works, but you SHINE best in specific ones. Figure out how you want to SHOW UP in your business and pick ONE format of delivery (i.e. webinars, Periscope, Youtube channel, etc.) and get REALLY good at committing to one first before dabbling into multiple ways of marketing and feeling overwhelm.
Do it your way because that’s the point
In order to stay on the path of achieving our dreams of having our very own lifestyle and career on our terms, we have to do it our way, or we won’t be motivated to do it at all.
Press pause on the overwhelming amount of information that you are allowing into your life right now. Use that time to reflect on this: In my ideal world, how do I want to impact and how can I show this to the people I’m meant to help?
After you’ve drown the noise out from the online world, what is your answer? Share it with me below 🙂