One Year Later
So I talked to my boss at the time and told him I needed a change. Keep in mind I have worked for this man for two companies and for over 10 years in total. Even though I can't say things were always perfect I learned a lot from him and he was very supportive during this time. He understood that I couldn't stay there forever and agreed to become my first client.
All the signs were pointing to starting my own business. It was something I had dabbled in over the years but never fully committed to. It's scary! Or at least it was. That is until I changed my mindset.
So, what was this mindset change and how did I do it? I pushed fear to the side and made the decision based on numbers, strategy, and faith in myself. I had been building businesses or departments from the ground up my entire career. The only difference is this time it's my money on the line, my income, my family, my name, everything was mine. Still sound scary? It is but it's also empowering. I didn't have to ask someone to make a business decision. I didn't have to wait on a sales person to bring me business. I didn't have to worry that my customers weren't getting the best care. I could do all that!
I was very lucky to have a customer right out the gate. I understand that is not always the case. However, you can build your business on the side while you maintain that 8-5 job. (Sidenote: I hate that it's refered to as a 9-5 job. I have never in my life been offered a job where I don't have to come in until 9.) Yes, having a side hustle is hard but it's not permanent and you have to decide what is most important. Would you rather continue in your current situation forever, switch to a different 8-5 that is a different view but no different in how it effects your life, or would you rather endure a little suffering now to open up a world of possibilities and freedom?
Obviously, you know what I would do. My first step was to evaluate my past experience, my skills, my passions, and what of that could generate me a profitable income within the confines of my schedule. Once I had that I created my brand, filed my federal and state registration documents, set up my website, email and social media, set pricing, and then announced it to the world.
The great thing about social media is that even people you haven't talked to in a while can keep up with you. Over the years I had proven my work ethic, skills, and customer service to those I worked with. It's important to remember that even in your hourly or salaried positions, EVEN IF YOU DON'T DIRECTLY INTERACT WITH THE COMPANY'S CUSTOMERS, you have customers. Every person you come into contact with is your customer, from the receptionist to the sales person to the production crew. This is something my dad taught me as a child and that I carried with me through every job I've ever had. How you present yourself and how you treat others matters! It's because of this that when I announced the start of Slated my past co-workers reached out. They recommended me. They wanted to learn more and I couldn't be happier to hear from them. Not only did it mean good things for my business but I was able to breath life into relationships that had faded away due to no one's fault other than time. I was able to build my tribe on my time now and build it to include people that inspire me.
Inspiration is key to motivation. Now I try to go to at least one networking event in my area a week. This keeps me inspired, motivated, and engaged in my community. It allows me to find new customers and provides me information on other businesses that I can support.
So one year later, what do I have to show for taking a leap of faith on myself and starting Slated? Everything. I have a business with a solid foundation, I have a tribe of inspiring people around me, and I have the flexibility with my time to make sure that my family comes first. What else could you want?
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