Why you shouldn’t turn your hobby into a business, how to deal with imposter syndrome, and learn to distinguish constructive criticism from cynicism.
What to be prepared for if you decide to radically change the field of activity and start your own business?
1. Don’t be in a hurry to quit everything
There is no hurry to teach scuba diving or open an early childhood development center just because you are tired of sitting in an office. Think about which of your existing skills, knowledge, and connections you can capitalize on. HR can become a career coach, a PR specialist – an expert on personal brand, a financier – coach on financial literacy and investment. What if some of the things you do in the office could be done elsewhere and realize your ambitions?
2. Don’t think that a hobby should become a second career
Often a hobby is not a way to make money, but a way to spend what you earn with pleasure. Do you feel the difference? You need an idea that makes money. And it often turns out that the less original it is, the more profitable it is.
3. Test the idea
Tell others about it. Find potential customers (optimally, these should be people who know you as someone with a certain level of expertise in what you are going to offer in the market) and talk to them. Find out if there is interest in what you plan to offer, and if so, what criteria they use to select these kinds of products or services. And the most interesting part is what they will criticize in your idea. This is a treasure trove of valuable information.
4. Prepare to deal with imposter syndrome.
Even if you’ve had success and recognition in your corporate career, it all comes to naught when you enter the marketplace in a new capacity. Here’s what helps in such a situation:
From day one, gather a collection of feedback and appreciation from customers (letters, comments – everything comes in handy).
Include logic: “I was just as worried when I started a new project, accepted an offer for a management position, changed companies. But I did it, and I did it well. I’ll do it this time too.
5. Form a supportive environment.
Former colleagues who think you are a strong professional and are confident that you will succeed. A best friend will say, “You are a very motivated person. You always achieve what you want.” Family members can help on a variety of occasions, from meeting helpful people to offer to take over some household chores.
6. Learn to distinguish constructive criticism from cynicism
“How are you going to do it, you need connections,” and so forth. Turn on your internal filter and do not miss the whining, complaining about the difficulties, and advice to “keep your head down. Download an audiobook on motivation and listen in traffic. Who else but you?
7. Develop a financial plan.
What financial commitments do you have? How will you be able to meet them at a time when the new business will not yet be profitable (and will likely require investment)?
You need to prepare ahead of time for major changes. You may have to invest in new knowledge, equipment, materials and rent, calculate taxes, research more calculating tax on 1099 misc income. Investment in the promotion will be required. This should not come as a surprise to you.
8. Don’t forget the business plan.
How much does it cost to start a business, what other expenses will be needed in the next steps? When will the business start making its first money? How will it grow? Answer these questions honestly. You’ll have to answer them more than once, especially if you want to raise money from investors.
9. Work in demo mode.
If you’ve figured out what you want to do, don’t rush to quit your job and start a company. Take a vacation or do it on your own time away from your day job. Put on your entrepreneur’s hat and listen carefully to yourself – does it sting? Is it interesting to pursue a new business not as a hobby, but regularly, according to a plan and with clear deadlines?
10. Once the decision is made, announce it to the world.
Announce the public space, tell your loved ones. Now there’s no turning back, we’re working. And by the way, that’s how your first customers will appear.
Most importantly, you have to understand that you have to go through periods of burning ideas and doubts. This is something that every entrepreneur has to deal with. And if in a corporate environment you meet your goals and deadlines at least because you have a manager, now you have to remember, “Now I am my new boss.
People don’t start their businesses. They’re afraid of failing. They think it’s impossible to start a business without a lot of money because they think they won’t have enough time to grow their business. Everything is in your hands!