Are you an employee who dreams of starting your own business? You have an idea that excites you when thinking about it. You visualise the finished product coming to life. You imagine all the money rolling in from sales. That is great but it could be months or years down the road. Do you really need to wait that long to start a business?
No. You already run a business, and that business is You, Inc.
No matter if you are an employee or employer, you are operating a business. Each month you have revenue (income) and expenses. You have a balance sheet (whether you realise it or not). You have at least one customer. Sounds like a business.
One of the best realisations I have had in my career is that I am not an employee, I am a business of one. As an employee, I choose to provide my services to one client. As a business, it is quite risky to have just one client. However, if you choose to do so, you need to be aware of the pros and cons.
Thinking as owner of You, Inc. puts me in a different mindset than if I consider myself an employee. As an employee, the company is in control of the work I do. As a business owner, I am in control. It helps me question things like: Is this the kind of business I want to be in? Am I providing good value? Will my clients want to work with me again?
When you start thinking of yourself as You, Inc., different questions start to come up? Am I running my business well? Am I investing in the future of my business? How can I grow? Is it smart having only one client? What are the goals for my business?
It is important to run your business well because how you run You, Inc. today is the way you will run a “traditional” business. If you do not communicate well with your client now, then you will not communicate well with clients in the future. If you are running a loss every month, you will do the same with your business. Does You, Inc. operate with little or no debt? It is important to get You, Inc. running smoothly before moving onto bigger things otherwise you won’t be able to handle them.
A year after winning the lottery, most winners say they wish they had never won. Generally, life only lets you move on to the next step when you are ready. If you jump too far ahead, such as in the case of lottery winners, it usually causes too much hardship.
To run You, Inc. successfully, copy what successful businesses do. Just do it on a lower scale.
Good businesses spend money on sales and marketing.
Good businesses do not rest on their past. They are constantly investing in development of new products (skills).
Good businesses demonstrate values and try their best to live up to them.
Good businesses reward those who help them.
Good businesses treat others fairly and courteously.
To shift your mindset, spend a little time each day thinking about your business. If you were in control, what are some things you would do differently? Then realise that you are in control.