Ever wonder what the path from employed to self-employed to solopreneur would look like for you?
For many of us, the career development path taught to us looks something like this:
#1 Do well in high school, so you can get into a good university.
#2 Do well in college and pick your career path, so you can get a good job.
#3 Do well in your first job, so you can get a promotion to get a better job with better pay.
#4 Keep climbing the corporate ladder. Get more promotions and more raises, so you can eventually coast somewhere around mid-career until you retire.
THERE’S NO ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL PATH
We’ve been taught that if you follow the conventional career path you will feel financially secure, fulfilled and happy.
Then why do so many of us not feel that way after years of following the rules regardless of our profession?
We’ve taken this tried and true career path for granted.
It’s time to question it! (I bet you already are;)
If you’ve spent 10+ years playing by the rules, but you’re not feeling any happier, financially secure or fulfilled, isn’t it time to choose another path?
I can’t tell you how many times people I’ve coached people who tell something like this, “financial success took them away from their life goals”.
As the blur of advancement up the corporate ladder starts to slow down or you fall off (like I did when I was laid off years ago) you realize this isn’t where you wanted to end up!
Too many of us believe there is no other path, but that’s just not true.
Not only are there many other career paths, but there are also infinite possibilities!
I know, that notion can be SO overwhelming! That’s why we stick to what we know, even if it’s no longer working.
EMPLOYED TO SELF-EMPLOYED TO SOLOPRENEUR PATH
We recently commissioned an illustration to show you the “new career development path” we are advocating.
It was designed by Mary Jo Mitchell, a talented graphic designer and fine artist, who was a member of our Winter 2019 Accelerator.
We’d love to hear what you think! Please send us your question or comments.
Does it feel a little overwhelming when you look at it?
We intentionally designed it that way!
This process IS overwhelming!
BUT, as you zoom into the stage of development you identify with most, you’ll discover clear action steps to take! You’ll be able to move forward with greater confidence when the path forward seems unclear.
Instead of fitting into someone else’s ideal of what it means to have a secure and satisfying career, we want to empower you to design your own!
4 DEVELOPMENT STAGES ALONG SOLOPRENEUR PATH
When you have unlimited options, where do you start?
YOU are the starting point!
If you want to create work that works for you, you need to start by assessing yourself first.
We believe most first-time solopreneurs fail because they skip the first and most important step of starting a business: assessing yourself!
There are unlimited possibilities in terms of designing a career path that makes sense to you.
However, I have observed 4 distinct phases along the path toward work freedom from my own 20-year journey and from interviewing 500+ solopreneurs.
The starting point on the Soloprenuer Path for most people is employment. After all, we were taught the only way to earn a living was to get a job.
You get paid hourly or a salary for leasing your skills, time, energy and connections to a corporation, business or government agency.
The best use of this development stage is to learn new skills on someone else’s dime. It’s also a great way to make connections to jumpstart your community of support!
If you’re a recent grad, view any job you get for the next several years as a “paid apprenticeship” to learn a new skill and not as a “stepping stone” to another job.
Listen to some of the student solopreneurs we’ve interviewed on our podcast.
#2 Side Business
Starting a side business is a common sidestep out of employment and into solopreneurship.
As you continue to work as a full-time employee, you begin work on starting a business in your spare time.
When you feel confident your business is giving you enough financial security, you’ll know it’s time to leave your job.
The primary objective at this stage is to validate your idea by demonstrating there are enough people who want to pay you for it.
Learn more from people who have started a side business we’ve interviewed on our podcast.
The initial version of working full time on your own is best describe as “self-employment”. Basically, you’ve created a job for yourself, but you are now responsible for also getting your own clients.
Many people turn their existing skillset into a freelance, consulting or coaching gig.
It’s also common for people to turn their existing employer into their first client, enabling them to leave their full-time job even faster.
At this stage, you can choose when and how you work. However, but you are still trading your minutes for dollars, meaning you only get paid when you deliver your service.
If you want to start earning income while you sleep or are on vacation, you’re ready to graduate to the final step of the Solopreneur Path.
Most people know when their ready to move onto the solopreneur stage when they feel like they have more business than they can handle.
Oddly enough, some even feel like they are on the verge of burnout because they feel like they are working all the time and want to figure out how to work less.
The primary goal at this stage is to create systems, create products, hire a team and implement automation tools, so you can earn more in less time.
You’ll even earn income while you sleep or are on vacation!
So where are you on the Solopreneur Path?
How long do you want to take to go from employed to self-employed?
6 months? A year?
To get you started, we offer free coaching emails to help you overcome the 3 most common obstacles to working for yourself.
#1 Managing Yourself + Creating Time
#2 Finding and Validating Your Idea
#3 Building Support + Finding Clients
Which one of the above is your biggest obstacle? Pick just one, so you don’t get overwhelmed!
Again, take a look at our new illustration of this Solopreneur Path and we’d love to hear your feedback and your questions.
Remember, it’s possible!