Through the twists and turns of my own transition out of my corporate employment and into working for myself, and through supporting my clients and community, I’ve identified 5 key areas that you need to focus on in order to make your escape plan, and your business, viable for the long term. This is not just about financial success but about creating something that is meaningful, enjoyable, and manageable in the context of all the other things (and people) that you’re dealing with in your life.
*Resources mentioned during the episode*
The 9-to-5 Escape Plan workshop: In this free workshop series, discover how to plan to quit your job as we take you through the 5 pillars you need to work on to make your ‘escape from the 9 to 5’ work for you. Secure your spot at onestepoutside.com/escape
The Outsiders Business Incubator: This is your roadmap to transitioning from a corporate job into setting up a meaningful business that will bring you more freedom, flexibility and fulfilment outside of the corporate 9 to 5. www.onestepoutside.com/9to5
A life outside the 9 to 5
Hello there. Welcome back to the Reimagining Success podcast. I’m your host Anna Lundberg And we’re looking at building that life outside of the9 to 5. And so as we speak, if you’re listening in live, but probably if you’re listening anytime, because really this is something we’re always working on in the One Step Outside community and the outsiders community. But as you speak right now in August, we are running the Nine to Five Escape Plan workshop. So if you’d still like to sign up, if you sign up today still you can join us onestepoutside.com/escape. And if not, if you’re listening later in the year, which I’m sure many of you will be doing, you can still check that URL, onestepoutside.com/escape as we do run this workshop a couple of times a year and there will be other resources available for you too in the meantime.
So we’re talking about building this life outside the nine to five and what we’re going through in the escape plan, to give you a bit of a teaser, is the five pillars of building that life outside of the nine to five.
And these are my five pillars that I’ve developed and formalised relatively recently, a couple of years ago. But in reviewing my websites now and relaunching both my personal brand website and limbo.com and the business site onestepoutside.com. I’ve been reviewing blog posts and I’ve got the [inaudible 00:01:14] agency working on that, which is great. Hopefully will make a big difference. Search is actually a big source of traffic for me already. It’s the biggest, in fact, so it can only get better. Lots of people finding me, hopefully, through all the articles I’ve written. And however, looking at the articles from a very early stage, I was talking about these five themes that I’m introducing in these five pillars to you today.
So, say this is not just a random thing I’ve come up with this morning to talk to you about. This is something that’s rooted in research in my own personal experience. In years of reflecting on this reading, immersing myself, learning, training as a coach, working on my own business, based on my own business and branding experience in the corporate world as an entrepreneur myself, and of course now working with clients the past 5, 6, 7, 8 years or so. So really robust, really strong framework, which absolutely sits at the core of all the free content I do podcast, Facebook group, blog and so on, as well as the paid programmes I work with my clients individually and in a group. Of course, they continue to evolve and I’m always working on making things more clear and strengthening and improving and so on. But really the foundation, the fundamental principles apply.
So with that little teaser, what am I talking about? Hey, well, to give you a bit of a background, especially if you’re new to the community. I quit my job back in 2013 and I quit without a plan as the headline goes. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do instead. I just knew it was not this. It took me a whole lot of twists and turns from travelling and just enjoying that crazy freedom initially to almost taking another job to falling into, as it were, a consulting business, which was very successful financially. I had lots of freedom to travel in between and so on. Really worked well for me then. To then discovering coaching, studying certifying, training as a coach, to going through what I like to call my hippie phase when I wasn’t earning a little money, but I was having an amazing time to travelling the world, to then focusing more on my business, to falling in love, to having children and rooting myself now in the UK, originally in London.
Now I’ve moved to the south coast. I’m looking out now at the beautiful blue sky. Don’t quite have the sea view here. In our next house, maybe, but certainly it’s just a couple of minutes away. So all that to say there’ve been twists and turns and that initial decision to quit my job in 2013 was only the beginning. And so if you’re at the beginning, congratulations and best of luck with that initial step, because it’s a massive step and you’re so courageous for considering it. You’re so courageous for having taken it. It’s a huge commitment. It’s a really exciting and life-changing moment. If you’re further along, you’ll know as I do there is that first moment. it’s one of many brave decisions you’re going to make and we’re in it for life. We’re in it for the long haul.
So there will be twists and turns. You may get confused by, hang on, I have all these different ideas. Is this the right one? Is that one? What do I want to do? What should I do? You’ll inevitably have dips in your results and therefore also in your confidence. You might see things as failures. This hasn’t worked as well as I hoped it would. Do I need to pivot? Do I need to change completely? People might give you negative feedback. Frustration, you’re working with difficult clients. We talked about setting boundaries last week, and maybe you’re not getting paid enough and clients are really contacting you at all hours and giving you a hard time and so on. You’re anxious, you don’t know when you’re going to get your next client. How is this going to work? And then of course, if you don’t have those boundaries, if you don’t take care of yourself physically, emotionally, mentally, then you may ultimately burn out. So you may have created a [inaudible 00:04:59] back created an even worse, or at least as bad, cage for yourself as you had in your corporate life.
So again, I’ve developed these five areas to focus on as you make your business and your lifestyle viable for now, but also for the long-term. And there’s of course a balance between having that big picture vision for the future on the one hand.
In the future, looking ahead and being pragmatic and practical in the short term, and I don’t want to say compromising, but you may choose to work with clients, work on projects, experiment, explore, be curious in a way that will help you learn, get all important income while you’re setting up your longer-term businesses that went right. So it’s not about getting it perfect from day one. It’s knowing, “Hey, I know my bigger why I know what’s important to me. I know why I’m doing this. Why this freedom, flexibility [inaudible 00:05:46] so important and I’m determined to, and I will, create that in my life and business. It’s just going to take time.”
So without further ado, let me introduce the five pillars to you. Again, the names have evolved over the last year. So if you’ve listened to previous episodes sometime ago, they may sound a little different, but again, the core values are the same. So the first one is to identify your personal definition of success. Second pillar is cultivating confidence and resilience. The third pillar is choosing the right business model. Fourth pillar is building an effective personal brand and the fifth pillar is designing flexible work-life integration. So I’m clicking through as I look at my scorecard here, which I have, which you can get by the way at onestepoutside.com/5pillars, and five is the number 5. onestepoutside.com/5pillars.
And you can tick the box. It’s simple as that. There are 10 statements for each of the five pillars where you can check how you’re doing. And if you’re at the beginning of the process, I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed. If you feel like you’ve got a low score across these, that’s great because that means that there are clear priorities, clear actions you can take. And of course, if you’re further along, it’s always great to see where you’re a bit stronger, where you have some opportunities.
But the first one, that definition of success is about being clear on what really matters in your life and business. Knowing what you don’t want, your push reasons for wanting to escape the nine to five. Knowing what you do want, your pool reasons. Knowing what matters to you, who matters to you in your life. Knowing what you enjoy doing work-wise, jobs, tasks. Knowing what you’re really good at doing. Knowing the why that’s driving you. Knowing how you’re going to be wanting to spend your time. I talk about your ideal day. That’s a great exercise to do. Knowing of course, what financial success looks like for you and more broadly, what does success mean to you? So that’s your definition of success, the first pillar. Are you clear on what really matters in your life and business?
Pillar two, do you feel equipped to deal with the inevitable ups and downs of working for yourself. So whether you’re afraid of that feast or famine roller coaster, or you just feel reluctant to let go of that really stable salary. There will be ups and downs. They get smoothed out over time and certainly if you diversify your income streams, if you have a portfolio career, it’s going to be much more stable and more secure in fact, than having an income with one employer. But there is that uncertainty. So this is about having the confidence in yourself, knowing, believing, having the faith that this is going to work out. Having the internal resources and the external support, as well, to help you through this process. To be focused on a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset, as Carol Dweck would call it. To be looking for solutions rather than focusing on the problems all the time. To have that inner strength and confidence and not just be relying on external validation, which so many of us are and it’s really tough to be part of a professional supportive community, whether online and offline. To have a support network of friends and family cheering us on and to have a coach, a mentor, to guide you, to help you through that process. So that’s pillar two, cultivating your confidence and resilience.
Pillar three, do you have the right business model? Do you have a plan for how your business is going to successfully operate, having a clear vision, having a strategy that’s going to guide your decisions, knowing who your ideal client is, knowing how you’re going to solve, what problem for that client, knowing the products and services you’re offering. And of course having the pricing in place, that’s going to get you to your financial goals. That’s going to work for your ideal clients, knowing how you’re going to reach, how are you going to attract those clients?
How are you going to convert those prospects into clients, knowing what do you need to invest in to make your business work and consistently bring in that revenue to the business? So those are all things, a business plan, basically a business model is how you’re going to bring in money is the fundamental definition. I guess, officially for me, it’s how you’re going to achieve that broader, meaningful definition of success. Pillar four is building an effective personal brand. And so building an effective platform, that’s going to consistently attract clients. So you need to be clear about your elevator pitch, have a professional website. Of course, that’s right away communicating who you are and what you do, know what you stand for, knowing your value proposition, having that ecosystem and funnel that’s going to bring in the right people to you consistently growing that audience, helping them know like, and trust you, building your credibility and authority. And of course, ultimately you have to have confidence in yourself and in your services to be able to sell yourself and to sell your products and services.
And finally, pillar five is designing flexible work-life integration. Finding a way to balance your business with everything else. I prefer work-life integration over work-life balance. It’s knowing where and how your business fits into other priorities in your life. Knowing the hours you want to work. Having those clear boundaries that we talked about last week. Having proper time off that you’ve planned. Being able to turn off when you want to, evenings, weekends, holidays. Integrating your personal professional appointments and calendars so that that all works for you so you don’t have clashes and learning to say no to the wrong projects, the wrong clients. Ultimately it means having that freedom of flexibility that we all dreamed of when we started our business.
So those are the five pillars of building that life outside the nine to five. Again, we are working on the Nine to Five Escape Plan over in the, what I was going to say in the Facebook group.
In fact, we’re running it on Zoom this time round, so you don’t have to be part of the Facebook group this time. If you still want to join, do message me. You can get me on Instagram, Facebook, wherever we’re connected, LinkedIn. I’d love to get you in today still, as we’re starting today. You can also register at onestepoutside.com/escape. And we’ll be working through these five pillars, so this is for you, especially, if you’re right at the beginning of the journey. And if you want to go through each of these steps, I’ll be holding your hand along the way. It’s little mini sessions, mini sessions with maxi impact. But easy to fit in around your other priorities in your life.
I know it’s hard and that’s one of the biggest complaints or concerns I get from people saying, “I don’t know how I’m going to manage this with a young child around my full-time work. It’s already quite stressful and I don’t have any time. I want to still do my fitness and my hobbies and so.” Absolutely. If you can’t manage these little mini sessions, maybe this week is not the right time. You can do it another time. But if you can’t then probably starting a business right now is not the right thing for you. Because if you can’t find a few half hour, 20 minutes slots here and there in the week, then it’s very unlikely you’ll be able to build a business that’s going to be able to replace your full-time income. So then absolutely I’d encourage you to focus on your family, focus on your health, continuing your job if you’re able to do that, if that’s something you’re happy to do.
If not, if you want my help of course, to carve out that time and make it work, then again, join us in the Escape Plan, message me, get in touch. We can get on the phone and I can help you move forward and find a way to make this possible for you. Even if maybe it’ll take longer than perhaps you hope originally, slow and steady wins the race, as they say. Much better to take little steps consistently. And of course my whole brand is One Step Outside. You don’t have to take a massive leap. You don’t have to make massive progress in one day and we’ll find a way that works for you because that’s what it’s all about. Thanks so much for listening. That was the five pillars of building a life outside the nine to five and I’ll see you next week. Bye for now.
If you’re ready to start to reimagine what success could look like for you, here are some of the ways in which Anna can support you:
Get private mentoring for your business – Partnering with a business coach can help you see those blind spots and get both external accountability and expert guidance to take your business to where you want it to be. www.onestepoutside.com/freeconsultation
Get private career coaching – Individual coaching is fully tailored to your specific goals and desires so we can create the programme that works best for you, with the support that you need to move forwards. www.onestepoutside.com/claritycall
Grab a copy of Leaving the Corporate 9 to 5 – After interviewing 50 people who have left the corporate 9 to 5 to forge their own path, Anna has collected their stories in a book that will inspire you with the possibilities that are out there and reassure you that you’re not alone in looking for an alternative. www.leavingthecorporate9to5.com
Join the One Step Outside the 9 to 5 Business Incubator – This is your roadmap to transitioning from a corporate job into setting up a meaningful business that will bring you more freedom, flexibility and fulfilment outside of the corporate 9 to 5. www.onestepoutside.com/9to5
Level up with The Outsiders Business Accelerator – This is a mastermind for entrepreneurs, freelancers and small business owners who want to create a long-term sustainable brand and business. www.onestepoutside.com/accelerate