It’s magic. Your professional life can take you to places. It can require you to use your skills in many different ways. It can trigger you to accept a variety of assignments. It can give you the chance to manage a team. It can also inspire you to start working for yourself. This is the topic I want to discuss today.

When transitioning from employee to entrepreneur, what should you be fully aware of? Let me share 7 tips with you.

1. Start with your why

What makes you wake up, stand up and jump out of bed daily with drive and in harmony, knowing that you are needed and have your part to play? What makes you feel you are in the right spot, your sweet spot? What makes you experience personal and professional alignment? We’re not talking about philosophy. We know it does matter. For every type of brain, every type of professional. It really does. 

Unless you know precisely how you want to contribute resources to help the world walk the path that YOU find good, relevant, healthy, meaningful etc, it will be hard to navigate the ups and downs of solopreneurship. For the greater good and in order to give roots to your growth, start your entrepreneurship journey with the exploration of your WHY. Why will you be doing what you decided to do in this new professional life?

2. Frame up your professional space

Define how much you want to work, and how intense or slow you want your ideal professional life to be. YOU draw the frame within which you’ll draw the lines. It varies so much per person that no one can guess or dictate what will work best for you. Only you know what the big blocks of your life are, and how much time you need to “save” to read, sleep, socialize or work out. Your decision has to work for good, in the long run, to be sustainable. The frame of your professional life doesn’t have to look like the one of your friends. What works for you is personal and does not need to tick boxes. You are the boss.

3. Don’t sign up to any one-to-many training out there

The shiny object syndrome also applies to “e-learning”. Too many neo-entrepreneurs get lost in the jungle of cheap or affordable online training. They keep on buying them, receive tons of emails from various sales funnels, can’t prioritize anymore and waste precious time -on top of over-spending. Very often, the content of these trainings is not actionable enough to translate into a strategy, a plan, results or skills development. They look exciting at first and are full of promise, but end up destroying more value than they can create for you, in your very specific situation, with your very specific needs. And guess what, if they are cheap, it’s just because the next step is more expensive but still cheaper than the following one… Now, you know. Focus rules. If you need help, buy niche expertise under the shape of one-to-one custom individual support.

4. Be fine with the drop of your social status

When transitioning professionally, you may very well lose your social status or the comforting label you’ve lived with, stuck on your forehead for years. Who do you say you are when you are asked what you do, now? How do you define yourself when no company defines you anymore? While this may look like a detail, it can become a pain. Why not think of a personal tagline upfront, at the start of your project? What is your new individual professional surprising punchline, the one that will generate a wow or a how?

5. Don’t run to register your company

No need to run to the Chamber of Commerce on Day 1. It will most likely take you several months before you are up and running and can invoice clients. Until then, admin worries and tasks can be left in the background. You can explore, question, gather insights and start making decisions, but first things first, refine your business concept and see whether it can be turned into a valid business model.

6. Reflect on your relationship with money

If you’ve been used to having a predictable paycheck every single month, explore how impacted you’ll be to break this circle. If you feel it makes you lose control, balance or security, decide the budget you want to allocate to working on your new entrepreneurial project without being able to generate revenue. Then split the budget into a number of months. Once you’ve reached the last budgeted month, re-assess your new reality, expectations vs. actual life. If it becomes clear you need funds or subsidies, enter this following phase. Working hard without being able to generate revenue in the long term is neither healthy nor normal. Your personal capital should not be put at risk in your entrepreneurial endeavour, and neither should your mental health.

7. Be ready to work more in first instance

Passed the first six months of professional discovery and personal adjustment, you’ll most likely be up to speed in your new venture. There is a chance the following 1,5 to 2 years of activity will be a bit more dense than desired or expected. At this stage, you’ll have cracked many codes that were holding you back, had clarity on several major questions, and refined your strategy. You start executing your plan, having very interesting contacts, serving more clients, launching extra projects, developing more products or services. Where Phase 0 was OK, Phase 1 is very intense until it takes you to Phase 2, a more “established” business routine and day-to-day activity.

Overall, all along your solopreneurship journey, the self-discovery is enriching, the options are many, and the potential is huge. Enjoy every bit of it, cultivate the magic! Transitioning from employee to entrepreneur when you feel the call is a gift in many ways.

Incubator Studio is an Amsterdam-based | Parisian at-heart branding & digital marketing agency for small businesses with high ambitions.

We [re] position & [re] brand [new] businesses for accelerated growth & sustainable success, with a coaching-based approach to consulting & structured methodologies, in French & English.

Whether you need to work on your business positioning strategy, brand messages, visual brand identity, website[re] construction or growth strategy, let’s discuss !

by Aurélie, Brand Therapist    Photo by Andy Beales on Unsplash