What would the quality of your life look like if you could make money without a job? How would you spend your time? How would your relationships look differently than they do now? What if you could work with your spouse during the week instead of seeing them when you're not at your current job and on weekends?
I know, it seems to good to be true, right? Is it possible for any or all of these things to be true in your life?
But like any good thing, these can be real things in your life because of hard work. Here at the Factory, we're chasing this dream and helping others do the same. We've been at it for about two years now and we keep learning new things all the time. We have yet to arrive, as a matter of fact, we don't believe there's a place to arrive, just goals we want to accomplish. Once we hit those goals, I'm sure we will set new ones.
Since we've been at this a few years, we thought it would be helpful to create a list of what it takes to start pursuing a dream of owning your own business, creating revenue from a skill you have without needing a traditional job. What do you need to possibly create this life?
Here's six things you can do to move towards this type of life, we call call them the "The Biz-attitudes."
1. Believe you add value - You add a unique value because you have a unique gift. Everyday you use it and it seems like no big deal to you but it's a big deal to others. What is that thing for you? In my own story I discovered I wasn't afraid to try new things, especially in regards to technology. I don't sit around wondering, "Will the Apple watch be worth it?" Instead, as soon as I get excited about Apple Watch I start saving money, this way, I don't purchase anything on credit and hate myself making payments on something I don't enjoy. For most of our customers, we're like an R&D department because we weren't afraid to try something and this is VALUABLE to people. Yes, because we are early adopters we provide monetary value! And you do as well, you need to believe you add value that has monetary value to others!
2. Create or Join a community - The reason your value doesn't return in financial gain is because you don't have community with others who are doing the same thing. We would encourage you to have community with other entrepreneurs prior to having a product or exact service. These people are going to help guide you and you will gain clarity to how you can serve people well. These will also be the people who keep you moving forward in the grey times. Grey times are when you're not sure it's worth it to try to be an entrepreneur. The legend of overnight success is rarely true, most have had a three year overnight success and entrepreneurs are willing to share the lessons they've learned. I found this type of community by starting a Mastermind group. I went to people who I respected and I saw them hustling, which I knew would help us continue to hustle in our own venture and I asked them to meet once a month.
3. Adopt the portfolio life - Jeff Goins has become the leading voice on the "The Porfolio Life." In this article on Entrepreneur.com Jeff writes,
Make yourself indispensable by acquiring more than a single skill, and combine those skills in interesting ways, finding where your talents and passions can align with the demands of an ever-changing market.
Again, I'll use my own life as an example - As an early adopter of technology I started paying attention to social trends. This gave me ideas on how non-profits could share their story well. But to do this I had to build a website, which I learned how and then could build for others. And since I was trying to build a platform, I started to study how to do this. And guess what? Know my business is helping people create a platform through a website and promoting it through social mediums. Crazy, right? My niche as an early adopter is the base and now I'm just stacking skills on top as I try to grow my own business. Each of these skills increases my chance for financial gain.
4. Be excited for people - The biggest fear of a new entrepreneur is having to sale a product. But what I've discovered about the market place is selling is pretty easy. Here's why: Being excited to help someone is the easiest thing to sell. When a potential client say's to me, "I have this idea as I've been thinking about my dreams," I get so fired up for them, I get all geeked up for their idea. And just like that, they aren't alone anymore in working towards their dream. If they can afford to have someone on their team to help them start they gladly pay for it. I watch my friends the O'Reilly's who just kicked off their site studiooreilly.com to help people with home design. They get so excited about picking out paint colors! Paint colors don't necessarily get me fired up, but they sure add excitement and experience to a home remodel and that has a unique value people are willing to pay for. So do you, you just have to be excited for people and serve them.
5. Set revenue goals - Listen, you have to start somewhere, even if it's $10 the first month you have a service or product to offer. Again, you may read or listen to people who make a lot of money but only lottery winners get rich instantly. Everyone has started small, refined their skills, and made their service or product better along the way. But, setting a revenue goal will keep you moving forward. I have a monthly revenue goal I'm pursuing, I'm not there yet but it keeps me working in the fringe hours since this isn't my full time thing. Once you start to make revenue you recognize that anything you do to get better in the fringe hours is profitable. So, do I sit and watch Netflix or do something profitable? Personally, I'd rather do something profitable.
6. Find entrepreneurial fuel - If your entrepreneurial venture were a car, it would need fuel to keep driving forward. So, we find different types of "fuels," or you could call them inspirations to keep our dream moving forward. For Melissa, being a part of The Influence Network has been good. She gets to take a online class once a month to learn more about pursuing online revenue and what's working for other women. Plus, it provides her with community through a small group of women both online and in person. For me, Seth Godin's online class on being a freelancer and the Fizzle podcast has been good fuel lately. You have to find your fuel - Something to watch, read, or listen to that energizes you and gets your entrepreneurial juices flowing and refuels you when you need a boost.
Here's what you're going to find out as you start to build momentum towards this type of life:
- This is really fun
- This is really hard
- This is really scary
- This is really exciting
- This is really challenging
- This is absolutely worth it
What you'll discover in the process is being an expert is secondary to being experimental. Nothing is perfect the first time you do it and you have to be comfortable with knowing everything changes. The service or product you might start with won't be the same service and product you offer three years from now. If you decide to go after this type of life it's not really about the how, it's more about the why. So, as long as you can focus on why you want this life you're already leaps ahead of most people who attempt to start something.
What would you add to this list if you're already started? Or, what on the list is something you need to implement in your life if you're right at the starting line? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.