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How to be Self Employed

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Posted 12th January 2015 at 06:04 PM by imarkedy

In this article, we continue answering the question on how to be self-employed. First, while others will make self-employment (starting a company) some sort of magical adventure, nothing is further from true. The first task isn't something which can be written down on a piece of paper or cataloged using project management software.

No success can occur without first changing your paradigm from that of an employee to business owner. For years, you’ve made others tons of money. It is time to take those same skills and earn a living by the work of your own hands. When the truth is told, the journey towards self-employment begins with making a decision to act on an idea regardless of obstacles in the way.

In previous articles on the topic of entrepreneurship, I’ve openly admitted to building this company during previous employment assignments. Put more simply – I used ‘dead’ work hours to further my own personal goals. Some may find shame in this but I find none and neither should you. I learned, years ago, that the idea of working for one employer, over multiple decades, and receiving a pension or retirement salary is largely dead.

That is, unless you work for a local, state or federal government agency to include school districts as well. However, each career opportunity must be viewed in light of how it helps further your goal of self-employment. During one particularly difficult time 13 years ago, I realized that loyalty is non-existent in corporate America. Perhaps your situation is different but I doubt it!

On your journey to becoming self-employed, there is little (if any) room for wishful thinking concerning the intentions of those who pay your salary. When the time arrives, and it will, you are no more important to your organization's leadership than old computers which need to be discarded and/or replaced. Ok - that sounds harsh but decades of life experience have proved this true over and over again.

For the savvy, you will have noticed thus far, the general theme has been changing your paradigm - mindset. Far be it from me to suggest that all you need is to change ‘negative’ thoughts into something more positive. This is untrue and will hinder your progression towards financial freedom. Isn’t financial freedom what self-employment is really about? While financial freedom is a noble and worthy goal, it must be tempered with responsibility.

There is an urban myth which says “entrepreneurs can work their own hours.” This fallacy lures the inexperienced into business ownership only to be faced with the reality that until your company is financially healthy, irresponsible work schedules will be the death knell of a dream. There is no freedom without first accepting responsibility! I’ve never worked as hard for an employer as I do now that I am the one signing paychecks. For everything there is a season - don't let any urban myth turn you to the right nor left no matter how tempting.

Let's now deal with what must be done once a paradigm shift has occurred. You may not have a solid grasp on the exact type of business you want to start – yet. That is actually a positive thing because it demonstrates a characteristic essential to any entrepreneur - flexibility.

While it is best to use skills gained in previous job assignments to start a business, this isn’t entirely necessary with the advent of online learning opportunities. Is there something you've been meaning to learn but just haven't found time to do so?

We urge you to revisit that learning desire to see if it can be parlayed into a money-making business venture. For those who have their hearts set on a particular idea, we urge you to remain as flexible as possible. There is a temptation, especially with those desiring to start a more traditional retail business, to go out and secure store space immediately. Very few things kill promising business ventures as much as being locked into long-term and often expensive lease agreements.

Is there a possibility of locating an online drop shipper, setting up a business website, and then selling products and services before transitioning into a retail location? For most, the answer is an unequivocal yes! Whatever you choose to do on the path to self-employment, most important is to get started right away. If not, it is sure you’ll be sitting in the same position (as the old folks used to say) “this time another year.”

Brian D. Dale
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