The life of an entrepreneur sounds glamorous and exciting with a fly-by-the- seat of your pants type of lifestyle. We see posts on social media of these “entrepreneurs” in private jets and their fancy cars - the allure is strong. Who wouldn’t want to take a walk in those Louboutin shoes, it all looks so perfect. So what’s the reality of this,
how do we get started, and what does it take to have a life like this?
I have clients from all walks of life and all different stages of their businesses. Some are the seemingly “have it all”, and some are dreamers who need some guidance on where to get started. One thing is for sure, each entrepreneur has a fire in their gut that won’t be extinguished, no matter what they do. I often hear people say to me, “I would be so scared to not have a regular paycheck each month and not knowing where the next client is.” So yes, that is the fear of the life of an entrepreneur. Where is my next client? The risk is real! It all lies on your shoulders. There is a transition phase that takes out some risk and gives you some reward. You can keep your existing job and still work on your dream business on the side, or until you make enough for it to sustain the lifestyle you need right now.
For any entrepreneur you will need
some form of investment to get started. In any business I suggest a minimum of $25k to get started. This is a grass-roots
technique to get on your way. Think about where to use these funds most effectively. Otherwise if you don‘t, that money will disappear fast and then you will have nothing to show for it. You need to look like you’ve already got an up and running business (i.e. the fake it till you make it mentality).
Here are my suggestions on where your initial $25k should go:
1. Photography – you need great photos to show off your brand, perhaps products and of you. Make sure you have professional photos,
especially of yourself.
2. Social media – start posting clean, clear images that depict your brand look and feel. Keep track of a color palette and follow accounts you admire. Take inspiration from those.
3. Website – be sure to have a clean, easy to use website. Stay with simple fonts and tones. Be sure it works just as well on mobile. 70% of your customers will go to mobile first.
4. Samples and give-a-ways - think of branded items like mugs, t-shirts, smaller versions of the actual products and/or discount cards you can give our to people who might be interested. Your give-a-ways should be something someone will use and keep for a while, so your branding and name is visible.
5. Networking – Be sure to tell everyone about your business, join local networking groups like Business Networking International, or your local chamber of commerce, so people know who you are and what you do. This is a great resource for a new customer base that you may not have previously had access to.