In our ‘How to Leave The Rat Race’ series you have now left your day job and are working for yourself. Congratulations! This is an exciting time. You no longer have a boss telling you what to do. You’re the boss! You can do whatever you want. Or can you?
Yes, you can. However, you are now responsible for everything. You decide what needs to be done and what doesn’t. You are no longer an employee being told what to do. You are the CEO and in charge of all things happening.
In the beginning you are usually all the departments too. You are head of marketing, sales, IT, accountant, web developer, event organizer and all the other departments.
Now, continuing to be so throughout the time of your business will make you hate life. You cannot continue, and should not continue, to be all the departments. Leaving a job just to work even harder, even if it is something you love to do, isn’t the idea of building a business.
The idea is to build a business you can remove yourself from as soon as you can by hiring people that can do all the things you are not good at so that you can focus on working on the business and not in it. Hence the name ‘freedom business.’ If you’re not good at all strategy you need to hire someone that is. If you’re not good at social media, marketing and so forth, all that needs to be outsourced.
But until you can do that most of that will fall on you. It’s a period that I call the “messy middle”. It’s the time in your business when your revenue doesn’t support paying a lot of people to help you.
Which only means one thing: you have to do it yourself the best you can.
In order for you to make money you need customers, clients and buyers, right? You need people spending money or you will go out of business fast.
Which means you need to promote yourself and what you have to offer. And that can feel really awkward. Promoting other people’s products? Not a problem. My own? Nah, never been my favorite thing. Even if you know you rock at what you are doing, and that whatever product, service or experience you are providing helps people live better lives.
Being the Marketing Director, Social Media Ninja, PR, Email Marketing and Sales can be a challenge but unless you step into those roles no one will find you, no matter how awesome you are and how awesome your product or service is. Especially in today’s crazy, busy online world.
What to do?
Prepare the best you can for this step. Connect with others that are good at the things you are not and learn from them. Take courses. Read books. Learn how to promote yourself and your business without being spammy. Try to barter services if you need to. Ask if you can hire them just an hour a week to help you strategy. Don’t take any money out of the business for a while (hence why you need a big savings account) so that you can contract out those services as soon as you can. Hire a virtual assistant. Get an intern.
Create a team of advisers. Get a mentor. Join more groups where you can network. Let others know you are in business. Get a coach in areas you need help with.
And as soon as you can create an organizational chart outlining all the different positions you need in order to run your business successfully. Then decide upon which position to fill first as soon as you’re able to. That way you can hire someone else to promote what you have to offer when time is right.
A great book to read on how to “promote yourself” without constantly asking is Gary Vaynerchuck’s Jab, Jab, Right Hook (affiliate link). An excellent book on how to tell your story in a noisy world. Gary is one of the leading experts in advertising and social media and definitely knows his stuff. Plus his YouTube video show is super informative.
What “departments” would you hire someone to help you with first? What are the things you don’t like doing? Share in the comment section below.