My whole brand is based on the idea that “Everything you’ve ever wanted is one step outside your comfort zone.” Staying stuck in that apparent comfort can create stagnation, frustration and, ironically, a great level of discomfort. Leaving the corporate 9 to 5 will absolutely require that you get out of this funk and, as a result, you’re going to have to get comfortable with some pretty uncomfortable things!
Here are 3 uncomfortable things you’ll need to get comfortable with:
1. Investing upfront
Questioning everything you’ve done in your life so far, working out what you want to do instead, and making that happen for you is first of all going to require a lot of emotional energy as well as your time and effort. This is incredibly exciting, but it will also be incredibly scary as you wonder what’s the best way forward for you and whether you are focusing on the right things. You won’t be seeing the results immediately and that means you’ll need quite a bit of faith to keep going in the meantime.
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Secondly, you will need to make some monetary investments. As I’ve said before, you don’t need to be investing in an expensive MBA or even necessarily a formal certification, nor getting a custom-designed website, stationery, business cards and so on. However, there will be some initial costs to set the business up and then to have it running smoothly and growing steadily. These costs can include getting an accountant, web design and hosting, a business coach and eventually some advertising.
Getting comfortable with investing before you see the results will be critical to ever getting those results!
2. Living with uncertainty
Contrary to popular opinion, having your own business (whether it’s consulting, coaching, freelancing, or whatever) does not have to be riskier and less stable than working as a full-time employee. In fact, as a business owner you are fully in control of what you’re doing and when, and you can also develop different revenue streams, reducing the risk and balancing out any ups and downs. However, when you’re first starting your business, there will be a certain degree of uncertainty as to what exactly is going to work and how things are going to turn out.
As you grow, you’ll feel more confident in your abilities and your strategies that you’ve implemented so far but there will always be new challenges and questions to answer. There will be no boss to tell you the answers to questions and challenges that arise – but remember, that’s also the exact reason why you’re doing this! You wanted freedom? Well, you’ve got it!
There will always be a degree of uncertainty so you’d best get used to not having all the answers laid out in front of you.
3. Asking for help
You are successful, strong and independent and you have a great track record of results so far in your career. However, as the saying goes, “what got you here won’t get you there” and it’s a massive change to go from being a full-time employee to starting your own business. It can be very challenging to go through this alone. I believe that one of the biggest reasons why people fail in their career change and business plans is that they give up too soon. That, in turn, is because they lack a support system: the structure, the guidance, the encouragement and the accountability to take the right actions to move forwards.
Rather than sitting at home struggling needlessly as you try to work through this alone, wasting time on things that probably aren’t getting you the results that you want, take the time now to reflect on the kind of support that you need – and then get that in place. This can include emotional support in the form of friends and family, or a group of peers, who will cheer you on no matter what; expert help in the form of a professional coach or a structured programme; and support in actually executing your plan, whether that’s an admin assistant, getting your partner (or children) to take on a greater share of the household chores, or even getting a cleaner to help you out at home!
I can tell you from personal experience the accelerated results and maybe more importantly the fun and peace of mind that comes from working with someone who is a few steps ahead of you!