Perhaps you have a nagging feeling that your career isn’t secure, your future is wobbly, or perhaps you’ve already been shaken to your core with unwelcome change and now you’re just seeking answers. Perhaps you have a great career but you’re maxed out, stressed-out, and desperately want or need a transition. Perhaps your family has been laid off. Perhaps you took a pay cut…
The recession is real and we’re affected. Let’s talk about what we can do about it.
No Such Thing As Job Security
Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, and Job Security all fall into the same category. They just don’t exist. They’re fun to think about and easy to believe in, but when the truth finally comes out—and it always does—there is a sinking feeling and a wondering why “no one told me this before.”
Building a business will require a rebel attitude and a maverick-type resolve. This is against the status quo, it’s not easy, and not everyone will be supportive of your efforts. That’s okay because you can get some “peer insurance” for those tough times. Peer insurance? Surround yourself with like-minded and goal-oriented individuals, using one or more of these methods:
- Networking groups like BNI and your local chamber of commerce
- Social networking sites
- Online forums (choose wisely and don’t overdo
- Hire the support of a coach or mentor
And finally, quit believing that you have to “credentialize” yourself or qualify yourself before you are able to successfully run your business. You already have great experience, skills, and an opportunity to serve. Don’t wait for someone to give you permission. Consider it granted!
3 Mistakes You Cannot Afford
Pursuing any one of these three will not get you the results that you are seeking, whether that is consistent part-time income or radical full-time income:
- Pursuing something in which you have no experience and that is totally unrelated to your primary stream of income.
- Being distracted and developing too many ideas and income streams at one time. Focus on one priority until “positive cash” before you stray to another idea.
- Chasing hot trends, bright shiny objects, and functioning out of “opportunistic fear.” (What if I miss my chance at profiting at this? What if there is a limited window?)
Believe Alone Will Only Get You Far
Don’t necessarily believe that “if you believe it, you can achieve it.” Some things are simply out of our realm of giftedness, talent, or expertise. But before you can achieve anything, however, you must first believe you can.
Consider this: If I don’t believe I’ll ever be able to dance and I’m convinced I’m a clumsy oaf, then I will never be a functional dancer, much less a great one. If I believe that I can dance, then I follow up with action in the form of lessons and practice, I study with a good teacher, I spend time with other dancers, and I focus on that skill. And I will eventually be a dancer.
Your business is the same way. You must believe you can work for yourself. You must believe you have skills and gifts and you must believe that this will work even before it does.
- Mind-set Keys: Stop comparisons right now! Swim your own race. Stay in your lane. Do your best work. Avoid negativity like a disease.
- Massive Action: Quit waiting for your ship to come in. Swim out to meet it. You must know what your motives are and then rank your priorities accordingly. Remember that “hocus pocus, the magic is in the focus” and get to it. You can! Then, commit to a deadline.
- Masterminding: Choose a powerful peer group for advancement and accountability. When you invest and throw your money over the bar, your heart tends to follow. Get vested and choose to move forward in a big way.
- Mentoring: Save yourself time, money, and heartache by learning from one who has gone before. Choose wisely and intentionally.
One-Size-Fits-All Does Not Exist
There is no cookie-cutter business system that works for everyone, and there is no “set” model for instant success. Rather, you should look at the models which is a best fit for you to focus on. You might choose to pursue multiple models later on, but you need to get your first one to extreme profit before you start distracting yourself.
- Service Based: Whom can you serve and how? This is one of the fastest and lowest-cost options. Almost anyone can be generating cash quickly with a service-based business.
- Expertise Based: What have you done, and what do you know that is specialized? Is there a population that you can serve as a coach or consultant? Coaches are not the same as consultants and vice versa, but these are both powerful models that capitalize on your experience and your skill set.
- Knowledge Based: Take your brain to the bank! If you can write or talk, you can create information products based on your past and present. Books, audios, videos, courses, and even live events fall into the information category. And whether you realize it or not, you are a treasure trove that someone else is looking for. Your experience is valuable. Let’s get it out there.
- Goods Based: Should you create something? Do you want to represent a product that already exists? Selling a tangible good is commerce, and there is a huge range of opportunity from eBay to self-driven sites for those of you who are interested in creating goods, representing a big company and their product line, or even seeking and finding goods like antiques, collectibles, and more.
- Referral Based: Also called affiliate marketing, this is being paid for recommending products and services that someone else provides to your audience. A viable model along with another or as a stand-alone, this adds about six figures to my income a year, and you can do this with zero inventory, no fulfillment, no customer service, and still earn a nice income.
- Multiple Streams of Income: If you already have a great stream of income, this might be something to consider— adding one of the models above to what you already have in the works for layering of your income.
Who Wants What You Have?
No matter how great your product or service is, you have to know who wants it. You need to know that a buying population exists.
- Does your market have money? Do they have income to spend?
- Are they reachable online or off?
- Can you get to your market, and can they find you?
- Is there pain you can solve for someone?
Ideas to Income
Entrepreneurs have no lack of ideas. As a matter of fact, ideas are almost our curse. The key is to follow a plan or system for taking your ideas into implementation and then to income.
Here are some suggestions:
- Qualify your ideas based on your motives and priorities.
- Identify potential obstacles, roadblocks, and discouragements.
- Name the benefits of moving your idea to action. Be specific.
- Be accountable to your family.
- Break your idea into action steps, about five at a time, so you’re not overwhelmed with the overall picture.
Where Will They Find You?
Be online or be invisible. That’s the hard truth for where we are in this technology age. Your audience lives on social networking sites and does extensive research online before buying. You must also be there.
From name and e-mail capture to social media friending, there are ways to corral your audience so that you can continue the conversation with them. Let’s break this down into the four Ws:
- Want them—know who you want and why you want to serve them.
- Woo them—this is the courting phase, the “dating” segment of the relationship.
- Win them—make them an offer; come through on the problem you’re solving for them.
- Wow them—surprise and delight them; over-deliver on their expectations and they will stay with you for life.
Where Will You Find Them?
- Offline: live business events, trade shows, industry conferences, and networking groups
- Online list building: name captures on your blog, swapping articles with other topic-specific publications, blogs or other sites, paid advertising
- Social networking: joining or leading niche-specific groups and discussions
Don’t Bang Your Head Against the Wall
I’m more than a little distracted by the sound of tiny birds crashing into my office window. This has been going on for weeks and weeks. It’s not cold outside. My windows are not especially clear; they have wooden blinds. And the birds don’t seem to learn from their mistakes. They are doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting to get to the other side of the glass pane. They must be hurting, frustrated, stressed-out, and confused. I can’t even imagine the bruises they are sporting. But I know that while they are trying harder and harder—and determined to never give up—they will never reach their goal.
Sometimes repeatedly doing what seems to be the logical thing isn’t the logical thing at all. It’s when you take a step back from the glass, to look over it, around it, under it, and beyond it that you can find a different way to achieve your dreams.
That is what being a Barefoot Executive is about. Your life. Your dreams. Your way.