In this post we’re wrapping up a fantastic conversation I’ve been having with my friend and mentor Kelly McCausey. If you need to catch up on the convo, click through to read…
- Part 1: Entrepreneurship and Mindset
- Part 2: Self Development & Online Entrepreneurship
- Part 3: An Open Letter to Mindset Skeptics
- Part 4: Tangible Results: The Power of Mindset Work
- Part 5: How to Know What You Want
In this final post, I’m answering two questions from Kelly:
Part A: Is there a particular set of thoughts you had to change in order to make a successful transition from employee to self-employed service provider?
Part B: What else had to change for you to make the leap from service provider to being a coach/trainer/digital empire owner?
Required Thought Work to Move From Employee to Entrepreneur
Quitting your day job to start your own business is a huge leap for anyone to make, and looking back, I’m a bit shocked I actually did it. I’m not what you’d typically call a “risk taker.”
Growing up I was taught that you got a good job and you kept it until you retired. My dad held the same job for 40+ years, and when I got hired at my last position, I even said, “I’m going to work here until I retire.” That was my goal.
At the same time though, I had enough insight to realize I’d hit a salary cap. There was nowhere else to go in the company I worked for, so I was facing potential decades of doing the same job and maybe earning a 3% cost-of-living raise each year if I was lucky.
Changing companies wasn’t an option either. We were just coming out of the worst recession in recent history, and the few positions available that I was qualified for actually paid less than I was currently earning.
It was clear that if I wanted a better income, I’d need to do something drastic. So with some encouragement from two early clients, I worked up my confidence (that was the first big hurdle) and made the jump from employee to business owner.
Another huge mindset hurdle I faced was around pricing. I was so stuck in employee mode that it was incredibly uncomfortable for me to talk about invoicing or my hourly rate with potential clients. More than once a client had to remind me to send them a bill.
Not only that, but I seemed to have a mental price tag I couldn’t quite free myself from. It was like that $17 per hour I was earning at the day job was my personal ceiling. In The Big Leap, Gay Hendricks talks about personal thermostats, and mine was for sure set on low. It took me a long time to get comfortable with higher rates, and even longer to find the bravery I needed to raise my rates with existing clients.
Letting Go of the Good to Reach for the Great
Over and over again on this journey, I’ve discovered that I have to find the courage to let go of what’s working if I want to reach for something better.
I let go of my day job to build my own business. Next, I had to let go of client work if I wanted to create more time freedom as a course creator.
Near the end of 2017 I came to the realization that spending all of my time on client projects meant I was prioritizing their business over my own. My husband and I made the decision to let go of a $5,000/month client in order to free up time for me to create digital courses.
We were willing to sacrifice nearly half our income in order to build something bigger and better. That decision, just like quitting my day job, took a lot of mindset work. It took a lot of confidence building on both our parts.
This is a pattern that’s repeated itself over and over again in the years since, as we released one client after another.
Every single time there was a bit of that same anxiety that we had to work past, and every single time we built something better. Without continued mindset work and confidence building, I’d still be wrangling technology behind the scenes for other small business owners, and settling for less income and a whole lot less time freedom.
At the start of this series, I said that I wish I’d worked on my mindset earlier in my business journey. I think it would have made these transitions easier for sure. If there’s one thing I’d like to leave you with it’s this:
The thoughts in your head are powerful things. Be careful what you allow yourself to think and to believe, because those thoughts and beliefs are what determine your results. If you’re not (yet) where you want to be in business or in life, consider hiring a good mindset coach. I think you’ll be surprised at what a difference it can make.
Yes, Cindy, mindset is very important. My transition to entrepreneurship was easier because my “job” was helping businesses to launch, grow, or harvest, so I already understood the business owner mindset. But, you hit the nail right on the head about giving up clients to create my own work. That is where I am now, but without the space cushion to make the transition. So I have to ask, “who do I have to become to have my own content empire so I can serve in a new way”? And then I must create the plan to become her.
You got that exactly right Tanya – “Who do I have to become?” is the right question to ask, and don’t stop asking until you have an answer that works for you.
I’ve been on a growth mindset path for a while now, but THE one thing I still struggle with are those pesky self-doubts that I can’t do it. Letting those go (or at least not listening and learning to reframe) has been the best 1st step to getting my business up and running that I could have made. Here’s to great things to come!
Good for you Susie! Those negative thoughts can be hard to let go of. You got this!