Recently, I’ve had several clients hire me to coach them through a “career transition.”
That transition? Shifting from “self employed / entrepreneur” back into “working for someone else / paid employee.”
Our conversation usually goes something like this:
Client: I really thought I would love being self employed. I gave it a try. But I’m not making enough money and it’s becoming really stressful. I need a change. I’d like to geta regular job again.
Me: OK, so tell me about the kind of career you want. Describe your dream job.
Client: Sure! For my dream job, I would start each day at 8am and finish up around 4pm. I would be able to spend evenings and weekends with my kids. I would work about 40 hours a week. You know. Pretty standard.
Me: So tell me… if you are going to work 40 hours a week for someone, would you rather spend that time working for somebody else? Or working for yourself? Building someone else’s dream? Or building your own?
Client: Well, I would prefer to work for myself, but I tried that already and it didn’t work…
Me: Yes, but… were you really spending 40 hours a week (like, 40 “real” work hours) working on building your own business? Were you really showing for your business, just like a paid employee, putting in 40 hours a week, with a specific list of tasks and responsibilities to complete? Were you doing the kind of focused work that a “real boss” would be proud of? Or were you just kind of “winging” it?
That “Uhhhh….” is the sound of my client realizing, “Oops. Maybe I didn’t really ‘show up’ for my business as professionally as I could have. Maybe I should give my business one more shot, for real this time, before I give up.”
If you are currently self employed, freelancing, or trying to get your business off the ground—and it’s just “not working”—I completely understand that you’re stressed and unsure. I have been there. Every business owner has been there.
And honestly, there is NOTHING wrong with choosing to get a full-time or part-time job working for someone else—if that’s ultimately the right career choice for you. But if that’s the choice you’re going to make, it’s always best if you can make that choice froma place of excitement and confidence, not defeat and desperation.
So before you walk away from your entrepreneurial dream, entirely, here is what I want you to do:
Take four weeks—one month of your life—and during those four weeks, I want you to show up for your business like it’s a real job that you’re being paid to do…even if you’re not earning much money yet.
This means clocking in at a specific time, working diligently through your to-do list (introducing yourself to potential clients, setting up lunches and coffee dates, doin’ your social media marketing, blogging, putting together proposals and pitches, reaching out to past colleagues to let them know about your new business, reaching out to the media, all the things you know you need to be doing to spread the word about your products and services) and then clocking out at a specific time, too.
40 hours a week. 40 “real” hours—not just fluffing around Instagram and Facebook.
If you work 40 hours a week for four weeks—for a total of 120 hours—and you give your business everything you’ve got, just like it’s a “real job,” just as if a “real boss” is watching you and evaluating your efforts, I can guarantee… you will see some results.
40 hours. Four weeks. Show up like you mean business. See what happens.
And after those four weeks are up, THEN decide if you’re going to keep going or back away. No matter what you decide—remain self employed or get a regular job or some combination of both—at least you’ll know that you honestly gave entrepreneurship your very best shot. You can take pride in that.
40×4. See what it does for your biz. You might be surprised.
PS. Do you work as a coach, consultant, mentor, or run a business in the self-help / personal development realm?
Imagine what could happen to your coaching practice—and your income—if you started treating your self-created job just like a “real job,” keeping “real” office hours, setting “real” boundaries, charging “real” money for your services and doing focused work that a “real” boss (aka: you) would be proud to witness. Ready to bring things to that level? Then join me for CLEAR COACHES LIVE.
CCL is a weekend-long training event for people who are ready to take their coaching business seriously. It’s happening this January—the perfect kick-off to the New Year.
You’ll spend two and a half days with me and a group of coaches from around the country—tons of #LadyBosses who are passionate, focused, and definitely not half-assing their businesses—and you’ll walk away from this event feeling more deeply in love with the art of coaching than ever before.
Read the details and lock down a ticket here. See you there!