Starting my own business: what do I need to know?

starting my own business what do need know

Starting my own business: what do I need to know? The number one area that comes up with my clients when considering making a career and lifestyle change is to do with money:

What if I don’t earn enough?

What if I can’t pay my rent?

What if…?

It’s completely natural to have these fears.

We all need money to survive in society today. In Maslow’s hierarchy, money sits right at the base of the pyramid. It is a means of fulfilling our most basic physiological needs of food and water, as well as the need to feel safe and secure.

We can fantasise about all sorts of self-actualisation and purpose but if we don’t have these fundamental needs met we’re unlikely to feel comfortable exploring those higher levels of needs.

Beyond that very basic level, however, the question is: what’s really important when it comes to money?

What should you be considering when it comes to money when you’re leaving a job with a comfortable salary and starting up on your own?

1. Why is money important to you?

There are few people who are motivated by money just for money’s sake. (Mr Burns in the Simpsons and Scrooge McDuck come to mind.) Most of us need to dig a little deeper to understand what’s behind this obsession with money.

What is it that money gives you? Security? Financial independence? Is it the ability to buy nice things? To travel? The freedom to live the life you want? To not have to worry about counting the pennies?

I must admit that I’ve gone through a bit of a hippy rebellion against the capitalist world (in my own little way!). I created beliefs around money being ‘bad’, that I didn’t need money to be happy, and that freedom and independence were much more important than earning lots of money.

Now, I’ve reached a new phase in my personal development where I can appreciate money not for the superficial attributes of financial success, prestige and wealth but for all the things it enables me to do. Earning more money means that I can invest more in my business and serve more people. It means that I can feel secure in my own wellbeing so that I can focus wholeheartedly on others. And it means that I can do the things I want to do in my life.

So find out why money is important to you and how it can support other areas of your life, and let those deeper motivations be your guide rather than simply focusing on ‘money’.

2. Work out your break-even numbers

When you start out on your own – whether you’re freelancing or coaching or building a business – you often go to one of two extremes. Either you look to the skies and dream of creating a six-figure business, making your millions, and becoming the next [insert your successful role model here] – or you ignore the money topic entirely and close your eyes to the reality of what revenue you’re actually creating.

In the first iteration of my business, I was taking on big digital marketing contracts and making more money than I had in my full-time job. As I ‘pivoted’ towards a more location-independent model in which I was working with smaller clients and introducing coaching into the mix, my income dropped dramatically. But because of those hippy beliefs that I mentioned and a faith that the money would come eventually, I must admit that I didn’t look very closely at the finances of what I was doing.

In your first year, it’s actually a huge achievement to break even, i.e. to make as much as you are spending. So a good first step is to look at your living costs – rent or mortgage, insurance, groceries, etc. – as well as your business costs – website hosting, software, advertising – and work out how much you need to bring in just to cover your costs.

You may have heard the statistic that most businesses fail in their first year, and in my experience a lot of people definitely give up in that time, so focus on at least breaking even in year one and you’re already ahead of the game!

[You might want to have a listen to my interview with accountant and finance coach Michelle on this topic.]

3. Explore your possible revenue streams

Maybe you have different business ideas that you’re considering, or you’re clear that you want to become a coach or a freelance consultant. Either way, you’ll want to carefully consider the different ways in which you’re going to bring in money.

Let’s say you want to be a coach.

I won’t get into the basic considerations of what problem you’re solving, who your specific target is, and what programmes and services you’re providing to solve that problem – that’s for another post (or series of posts!). But you need to consider: Will you work 1:1 with clients or in groups? Will you run face-to-face workshops or online programmes? Will you work with individual clients or via companies and organisations?

In addition to the coaching itself, where else might you bring in income? Paid speaking engagements? Writing articles? Books or e-books? Physical products? Affiliate commission?

With each option you’re considering, map out some numbers of what you think you might be able to achieve financially. How much would you charge an individual client and how many clients do you think you can get? What about the workshops, how much would you charge and how many can you run?

Then ask yourself: How confident are you that you can bring in this income? What’s the effort you’ll need to put in to generate it? How excited are you about spending your time working on this?

You can’t do everything (at least not right away) but you’ll want to choose a few different income streams to focus on to provide you with a diversified portfolio and to add up to more substantial numbers as well.

4. Don’t just focus on the money

For all this talk of money, if you only look at income-generating activities then you’re missing the bigger picture and you probably won’t create the income you’re hoping for.

In the past, marketing consisted of a TV or print ad that basically said: buy my product. That’s no longer the case today. Marketing and selling is now much more about building relationships. We talk about letting people “know, like and trust” you.

In my case, I would never put up a Facebook ad that told strangers to “buy my coaching for x amount of money”. They have no idea who I am, they might not know even know what coaching is, and I’ve made no effort to understand the challenges they’re facing right now and how I might be able to support them.

Instead, I’ve found success in a much softer approach. I write articles that get published on big media outlets and then when people come across my writing, and the message resonates, they’ll get in touch to see how I might be able to support them. I run webinars and share free resources to help people with a specific problem so that they can see that I have knowledge and expertise to share. And I do both pro bono coaching and unpaid speaking engagements on top of my paid work.

Providing that value for free is about generating exposure, building credibility and getting your message out there. This is what’s going to make those income streams that you’ve identified possible.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You might also be interested in these articles

“Everything you’ve ever
wanted is one step outside
your comfort zone.”

Book a free consultation

Get on the phone with Anna to discuss your unique goals and situation to determine the best programme for you, so you can start taking action towards creating the business and lifestyle you desire.

Get a free assessment of your business

Download this scorecard to review where you are on each of the 5 pillars of building a life outside of the 9 to 5, and get clear action steps to help you fill the gaps.

We will use and protect your data in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Looking to grow your expert business?

Download this FREE Business Assessment to identify the gaps that are preventing your growth so that you can take actionable steps towards building a more successful and sustainable business.

We will use and protect your data in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Download the brochure

Find out more about our flagship mentoring programme for experienced professionals who want to translate their skills and experience into a profitable business that brings them more freedom, flexibility, and fulfilment.

We will use and protect your data in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Privacy Policy

This privacy policy sets out how One Step Outside uses and protects any information that you give One Step Outside when you use this website (

One Step Outside is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Should we ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified when using this website, then you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement.

One Step Outside may change this policy from time to time by updating this page. You should check this page from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any changes.

What information we collect and why

We only ever collect the information that we need in order to serve you.

Generally, this just means collecting your first name and email address that you enter, for example, when you request a resource, register for a webinar, or submit a message via a contact form.

If you are a paying customer, we also collect your billing information including your last name and your postal address.


When visitors leave comments on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection.

An anonymised string created from your email address (also called a hash) may be provided to the Gravatar service to see if you are using it. The Gravatar service privacy policy is available here: After approval of your comment, your profile picture is visible to the public in the context of your comment.

Contact forms

We use Gravity Forms to allow you to contact us via the website. We will use the information you submit for the sole purpose of that specific form and will explicitly ask you to provide your consent to allow us to do so.

Embedded content from other websites

Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website.

These websites may collect data about you, use cookies, embed additional third-party tracking, and monitor your interaction with that embedded content, including tracking your interaction with the embedded content if you have an account and are logged in to that website.

Advertising and Analytics


We use Google Analytics to track and optimise performance on this site as well as embedding video content from YouTube, and this means that your web browser automatically sends certain information to Google. This includes the URL of the page that you’re visiting and your IP address. Google may also set cookies on your browser or read cookies that are already there. Apps that use Google advertising services also share information with Google, such as the name of the app and a unique identifier for advertising.

Google uses the information shared by sites and apps to deliver our services, maintain and improve them, develop new services, measure the effectiveness of advertising, protect against fraud and abuse and personalise content and ads that you see on Google and on our partners’ sites and apps. See their Privacy Policy to learn more about how they process data for each of these purposes, and their Advertising page for more about Google ads, how your information is used in the context of advertising and how long Google stores this information.


We use the conversion tracking and custom audiences via the Facebook pixel on our website. This allows user behaviour to be tracked after they have been redirected to our website by clicking on a Facebook ad and enables us to measure the effectiveness of our Facebook ads. The data collected in this way is anonymous to us, i.e. we do not see the personal data of individual users. However, this data is stored and processed by Facebook, who may link this information to your Facebook account and also use it for its own promotional purposes, in accordance with Facebook’s Data Usage Policy

You can allow Facebook and its partners to place ads on and off Facebook. A cookie may also be stored on your computer for these purposes. You can revoke your permission directly on Facebook here: For more guidance on opting out you can also consult

Who we share your data with

We use a number of third parties to provide us with services which are necessary to run our business or to assist us with running our business and who process your information for us on our behalf. These include a hosting and email provider (Siteground), mailing list provider (GetResponse), and a payment provider (Stripe).

Your information will be shared with these service providers only where necessary to enable us to run our business.

How long we maintain your data

If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognise and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue.

For users that register on our website, we also store the personal information they provide in their user profile. All users can see, edit, or delete their personal information at any time (except they cannot change their username). Website administrators can also see and edit that information.

The main reason for collecting this information is to be able to send you resources, updates and, sometimes, information and products and services, as well as for internal record keeping.

The rights you have over your data

If you have an account on this site, or have left comments, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes.

How we protect your data

We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure.

Where we have given you (or where you have chosen) a password that lets you access certain parts of our site, you are responsible for keeping this password confidential and we ask you not to share a password with anyone.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to our site; any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.

Links to other websites

Our website contains links to other websites. This privacy policy only applies to this website so once you have used these links to leave our site, you should note that we do not have any control over that other website. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.

Changes to our privacy policy

We keep our privacy policy under regular review. Initially created on 18th November 2016, it was last updated on 23rd May 2018 to be compliant with GDPR.

Contact information

If you have any questions or concerns related to your privacy, you can get in touch here >>