- Know your financial obligations. Your financial goals will dictate your process. Start by creating an annual budget, splitting it down to monthly and weekly. Budget sheets are even preloaded into Excel templates now and easy to use. Then apply your knowledge to how to design your practice. Use a development model that you are familiar with and start coaching yourself.
- Do your research, then take action. Avoid the over-excited early rush of eagerness. Learn to play your cards right early on. Great things take years to build and the journey can be daunting so have a road map and do your research. There’s a huge amount of information on websites as well as on blogs and LinkedIn. Include your own direct experience as part of your exploration. Contact people, attend events, network, ask to be connected. Getting more information will give you a clearer perspective on your industry and market.
- Learn to pick up on what is not said. When networking with experienced people and asking for advice, paying attention to what someone doesn’t tell you is a valuable habit to develop. Ask more questions, use your inquisitive skills and get delving into more depth. Apply what you already know, the first answers may not necessarily be the most accurate. Be open and curious. You’ll get far more useful nuggets of information than what you get as a first response.
- Realise that someone else’s experience is not your own. As you gain information from other people, always remember that it’s their experience they are advising you on and not your own. Research is one of the most valuable things you can do. When you hear a negative account that resonates with you, refer back to your road map to gain more clarity and structure. Also, know when you perhaps need to see a coach. Experienced coaches, like successful senior executives, have coaches and mentors to help them make the right decisions.
- Honour your uniqueness. Before you invest heavily into marketing yourself within a specific niche, take time to understand how you and your unique mix of talents and interests fits in with the wider market and industry. As your impression and assumptions get replaced by your direct experience, you will have more confidence and better gut instinct on the benefits of going solo. Take your time and keep practicing, it will soon come together and make more sense.
When you dream of a life of freedom from the mundane, where you get to choose what you do, where you can be and do your best and take all the returns for your hard work.
There is truly nothing like direct experience as you dream and make your plans, remember that you already have so many tools and resources at hand that are helpful. As you go through the events remember to walk your talk. Turn failure into feedback, practice changing perspective, use SMART goals/actions and hold yourself accountable. Not only will you have a wealth of anecdotes and metaphors to share with your clients, overcoming all the bumps in the road will serve to enable you to discover your own true potential.