Navigation: | Home | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 |
Entrepreneurialism Information Click here for eBay Motors! Get 2 weeks FREE CA Anti-Virus 2007 Accept Credit Cards Get your FREE $250 Cash Card PhotoStamps

This Domain For Sale. Contact us for more information.


From Employee to Entrepreneur: Taking the Plunge


Before you decide whether or not running your own business is right for you, start by pinpointing your area of expertise and assessing your aptitude for business.

Starter Questions

Ask yourself the following questions:

- In what areas do people approach me for advice and assistance? From what parts of my job do I get the most satisfaction?

- What do I like doing so much that I would do it even with no pay?

- What hobbies or interests could I "spin off"into a small business?

- Do I enjoy budgeting and financial planning?

- Do I enjoy making cold calls, tele-marketing and selling?

- Do I have enough self-discipline to work on my own?

- How easy is it for me to bounce back from rejection & setbacks?

Proceed with Caution

Before you take the plunge, it's important to "wade in gradually" or you may just find yourself swamped. Before I started The Training Oasis, Inc. I tested the waters for a few years by doing some freelance facilitation and design work while I was still employed. I enjoyed it.

At the time, it seemed that a logical transition would have been to become an associate of one of the firms that used my design and facilitation skills from time to time. Things don't always go as planned. Despite persistent effort, I couldn't find a consulting firm that was willing to add me to their regular "string" of freelance trainers. This puzzled me as I consistently received excellent ratings from course participants. Even in the 1990s, many firms were not sure how the majority of their clients would react to a Black female trainer. In short, it was perceived as just too much of a risk.

I realized that I would have to do it on my own if I was to do it at all. I put together some training material in the area of personal marketing strategies for professionals who wanted to make career changes.

Let Your Network Work For You

I discovered that networking is one of the best strategies for building a business. For example, by joining a professional association related to your area of interests, you can make contacts and increase your profile. To be successful, it is important to go with an attitude of giving rather than just getting.

Write articles for the newsletter, volunteer to help out at meetings and conferences. Join a committee to help the organization plan a special event. Mentor some of the younger members who are just entering your profession. To get you must give. Gradually, people will get to know you but it takes time. You'll need a lot of contacts when you're out on your own.

One word of caution... don't overdo it. At the end of each year, if membership in a particularly association is not resulting in buiness, then don't renew it. I once did a total of what I had spend on associations memberships, conferences and sponsorships over a few years and it was a staggering $50,000. My business leads were not coming from the contacts I made through the associations. I should have caught this long before it became a big ticket item and such a serious hit to my bottom line. Don't let the same thing happen to you. If a particular membership is not yielding desired business results, you can always pay the non-member rate to attend a specific session or conference that is of value.

If there are structured networking events in your area, attend them regularly. These are usually more cost effective. They don't involve a membership and the focus is on generating business leads. I attended Bette Myer's networking sessions at The McGill Club as well as ConnectUs hosted by Donna Messer and Vicki Vancas.

Advice From the Pros

Identify people who can give you advice about how to make your move and follow their advice. I am going to stress this. Make sure you send a prompt thank you note. If you are ever in a position to give these people business referrals. DO IT!! After 9/11 when the crunch hit me and a lot of other trainers, I'll never forget wondering what happened to all those people to whom I had given free advice that helped them launch their careers. Most of them never said thank you or looked back once they had achieved their goals.

Bette Myer made it possible for me to have a mastermind session over the phone with Dottie Walters. Later on when I was in a position to do so, I used her to conduct a networking session for a organization when I was on the board.

More about the Dottie Walters consultation. When I told Dottie that I was thinking of using public workshops as my transition strategy, Dottie cautioned me that public workshops were a hard sell and extremely difficult to market. She advised me to target the corporate market, advice that I was not ready to hear.

To me, the obstacles seemed insurmountable. How could I make myself available to corporate clients when I was working full time? How could I ever hope to compete with the large consulting firms when I didn't have their big budgets to invest in glossy brochures and large ads in prominent magazines? I struggled with these questions for a long time. While I don't have all the answers, I experimented and eventually found some ideas that worked for me.

Start Again

There is no point in waiting for everything to be perfect. Your first attempts may not turn out exactly as you planned. What you've got to do is learn from them, start again and see what happens.

Bearing Dottie Walter's cautions in mind, I decided to run my Career Makeover workshops at prestigious women's clubs such as The McGill Club and The Elmwood Club in Toronto. I came up with the workshop and promotional material but, for the life of me, I just couldn't find a name that captured the essence of my business and my vision of training. So I picked a name, New Directions, even though I knew it wasn't exactly what I wanted.

I tried a variety of approaches to marketing the workshops. I distributed my flyers at bookstores, women's clubs and through mailings sent out by some of the professional associations to which I belonged. I soon learned that the world of marketing public workshops was very different from marketing courses within a corporation. For example, I naively believed that, you could distribute 200 - 500 flyers and have 20 people attend your workshop. After all, that's the way it worked inside the corporations where I have worked as a management development specialist. It's not so easy when people are taking the money out of their own pockets to pay for a workshop.

The most effective method for me was going to structured networking events, generating leads and following up on them. I enjoyed moderate success, 6 - 8 people per workshops. This was certainly a lot less than what I had anticipated. When I called Dottie Walters again, she assured me that I had been more successful than most people who had attempted to offer public seminars. The participants loved the workshops and found that the techniques which I taught really helped them.

Have Frequent Checkpoints

Re-set Your Course

Checkpoints are important. I paused and evaluated what I was doing, I realized that, while I learned a lot and had satisfied my customers, the numbers I was generating were not nearly enough to make it possible for me to "give up my day job". It also became clear that it was the phone calls and not the flyers that were resulting in registrations. Working all day. Trying to get my toddler settled and to bed on time so that I could hit the phones at night was bringing me closer and closer to burnout.

Next, I tried to hire someone who would work on commission to do the phoning for me. The result - it bombed. She was unable to close a single sale. As an entrepreneur, a lot of your initial success will come from your own enthusiasm. Sometimes, it's difficult for a third party to convey your vision with the same passion level of passion that you bring to it. If you do use someone, pay them stictly for results. If you pay them a base plus commission, they will never be motivated to hustle for you.

You'll need to re-set your course time and time again. I had to do it when the NSDAQ tanked in 2001 and most of my clients were in the high technology sector, after 9/11 and after SARS. When companies significantly cut their spending on training, I spun off the executive consulting services and executive retreats into a new company Executive Oasis International.

Re-Charge Your Batteries

So, I rested for a while and spent a lot of quiet time by bodies of water and near the fountain in front of my dream house. I listened to motivational tapes and books and read my Bible while I contemplated my next steps. The vision for my business became clearer and clearer. I didn't know how I was going to do it but I took the advice that many people had given me and decided to target the corporate market. For a long time, a name for my business was elusive . It was a long process that took a lot of reflecting. Then, one day "out of the blue" I woke up with the name The Training Oasis. It fit my vision of training as a creative, colourful, energizing and refreshing experience perfectly. I wondered why I hadn't discovered it before. I guess I had just been too tired.

Get the Creative Juices Flowing

Through mind-mapping and brainstorming with Donna Messer, Bette Myer and marketing guru Jerry Goodis, I was able to come up with some creative ways to market my services. You can use the same techniques that I did to come up with creative marketing approaches that reflect your vision. Instead of sending out letters, I distributed gift bags filled with some of the toys and energizers I use in training. I found stationary with an energizing waterfall in the background that captures the essence of The Training Oasis to produce a one page "teaser" and I started meeting with some corporate prospects.

Only You Can Make It Happen.....Think Again

Taking that plunge isn't easy but, if it's for you, you'll eventually come to a point when you just have to do it. It's scary giving up that pay cheque. After I attended a two day speaker's school sponsored by the Canadian Speaker's Association and saw other people succeeding, I realized that I could do it too. I approached my boss, Marc Berwald, and told him what I wanted to do. He was very supportive. With his help, I developed a business case to propose converting my role from employee to consultant as an interim step. He championed it for me and it resulted in a consulting contract with my former employer. I kept marketing myself and networking and I gradually obtained more clients. It wasn't easy and, like the desert before the oasis, there have been dry spells and the inevitable setbacks. In spite of this, during my first year of operation, I made more money than I had ever dreamed of earning as an employee. Over the years, running my own business has allowed me to:

- have more balance in my life

- go to auditions and slowly build my acting career

- spend quality time with my son

- send my son to private school and involve him in a range of athletic and recreational activities (even though I am divorced and assuming the primary responsibility for his care)

- travel to Asia 7 times and visit many beautiful places while I was there and in transit (Malaysia including Kuala Lumpur, Penanag, Melacca, and Kuching, Singapore, Bangkok, Mumbai, Dubai, Paris)

I could never have done this as a full time employee and this would NEVER have worked without the support of friends, family and, most of all God.

Before Diving Off

Running your own business is not for everyone but it can be fulfilling if it's the right thing for you. So, get started. Clear off those credit card bills. Set aside 20% of your income in a slush fund to provide yourself with start up capital. Conventional wisdom used to be that you should sock away enough to cover 3 months worth of living expenses before you take the plunge. In this turbulent market in which dry spells can be long, setting aside enough money to cover 1 1/2 to 2 years worth of living expenses is more prudent. So delay your launch date so that you can really give yourself a chance to make a success of it.

Make sure that you get your mortgage and line of credit approved. Take care of your dental treatment and any major medical bills that your company health plan will cover. Develop a clear and focused pictures of what you want to do and then just keep at it. Get high quality business cards, stationary and your web site in place before you give you your day job.

Surround yourself with positive and supportive people, attend conferences and courses that will move you closer to fulfilling your dream. Never let anyone tell you can't do it. Keep those pessimistic tire kickers as far away from you as possible.

Finally, when the time is right...and only you will know when that is....go ahead and take the plunge! It may be the refreshing change you've been seeking.

2005 Executive Oasis International - All Rights Reserved

Reprint Rights: Ezine publishers may reprint this article, as long as the following information is included:

- the summary about the author and her company (see below)
- all links are active
- all key words above the links below are included as part of the active link when you publish it on your site

This permission does NOT extend to trainers, speakers or consultants with competitive services or companies that want to place articles on their intranet. Contact us directly for permission.

Anne Thornley-Brown is the President and founder of Executive Oasis International, a Toronto based consulting that helps executive teams in Canada, Jamaica, Asia, and Dubai generate strategies to thrive in a turbulent economy. For more information about their services, visit their web site:

Executive Oasis International, Specialists in Executive Retreats and Executive Consulting: http://www.executiveoasis.com

Taking the Plunge from Employee to Entrepreneur is available as an interactive keynote: http://www.thetrainingoasis.com/keynotes.html

You can find more articles by Anne Thornley-Brown in:

Spice of the Month: Accelerated Learning Ezine http://thetrainingoasis.com/ezine.html


MORE RESOURCES:
Business:Entrepreneurialism Articles from EzineArticles.com
06/01/2021 08:49 AM
How to Create an Innovative Mindset
In general terms, a traditional business mindset is always looking to improve the quality of products, services and processes. On the other end of the spectrum, an innovative mindset issues mandates for new and better ways to do business.
05/27/2021 01:14 PM
How Can Growth Mindset Lead to Success?
How do people create and grow a mindset strategy? Here are some practical tips that will show you exactly how to get started.
05/07/2021 09:30 AM
Why Becoming an Author Boosts Credibility
When you author a book that is well received by your audience, it's really an automatic boost to your credibility. The book gets press, which means you get press, and the snowball effect happens.
05/04/2021 10:31 AM
Online Working Capital - Fast But Expensive
Small business owners often need working capital to cover expense incurred to make or create their product or service before payment comes in. Banks are loath to lend to small business owners especially the small amounts that the business owners usually need. Many online working capital lenders have been created to serve this underserved market.
04/26/2021 08:41 AM
When Impatience Can Lead to Business Success... Or Failure
As an entrepreneur, have you ever asked yourself "Why am I not reaching the level of success I was promised?". It could be because a lot of entrepreneurs fall victim to impatience to succeed.
04/20/2021 11:35 AM
What Is the Best Online Business You Can Start?
Starting an online business is a great way to create a lifestyle that you enjoy living. But, you must be realistic as you develop your business.
04/11/2021 02:42 PM
Looking to Build Your Network? Please Avoid This 1 Mistake
Networking isn't just about meeting new individuals. It's also about you maintain connections. Ignoring the current connections of your professional network because you're excessively focused on development is a big blunder. Don't just consider about meeting and getting to know new professional contacts. Don't fail to remember to keep up with the people you by now know.
04/11/2021 02:39 PM
How to Face Your Fears and Get More Business Leads
What fear do you have lurking inside of you, preventing you from enjoying life, or creating a successful business for that matter? When it comes to our business, fear can definitely stop us in our tracks, preventing us from moving forward and achieving our goals.
04/06/2021 11:39 AM
A Realistic View of Being Self-Employed
If you are thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, you'll want to know all about your field, your products and your customers... but you'll NEED to know about running a business. It is important for business owners to realize all the hidden areas that eat up a surprising amount of time and energy behind the scenes in running a business.
04/06/2021 11:33 AM
Business in a Slump? 13 Ways to Get Your Motivation Back
Truth be told, it's a fact of life for every entrepreneur and business owner... we are going to get into a rut every once in a while. We're human after all! The good news is that this slump can be very temporary... if you choose it to be. Here is a list of things you can explore the next time you feel this lack of motivation sweep over you.
03/09/2021 05:39 PM
Business Success Guarantees Business Longevity
The most important tool I use in building my businesses is my intuition. I've discovered that when I trust my feelings and intuition more, I'm more able to see opportunities that others are missing. This is important as it allows me to make decisions and take action faster. Here are a few tips on using your intuition to propel your business forward:
03/01/2021 08:59 AM
The Downfall of the Stubborn Entrepreneur
Why You Aren't Getting More Clients and Leads (and it's not for a lack of trying). And it could be because It's Not About HOW; It's About WHAT.
02/08/2021 08:44 AM
Why You Should Write an eBook
Using an eBook to market your business is an excellent idea. It can be a great calling card for your business with proof of your expertise.
01/29/2021 01:19 PM
Tales From the Online Marketing Crypt 10 - Playing the Dangerous Comparison Game on Social Media
Before you start comparing your business to someone else's, realize you do not know the whole story. You do not know the trials and tribulations they've gone through, you don't know anything they are choosing not to disclose on social media.
01/27/2021 10:54 AM
How to Create a Buzz About Your Business
If you want to create buzz about your business, using social media is a great way to do it. Try these different ways and see what reactions you get. Keep doing new things as often as you can to keep the buzz going.
01/08/2021 11:42 AM
How No More Military PT Tests Are Hurting My Business
When I left the military I packed on 15 pounds pretty fast. My recent trip to the doctor's for the first time outside of the military was highlighted with the lovely comment from the doc, "You know, technically you're obese."
01/06/2021 10:18 AM
\"Learn How to Promote Digital Products and Earn Your First $10,000 Online."
You're invited to attend... Complete Access to TWO Separate Training Tracks: ClickBank Product Publishing & ClickBank Affiliate Mastery
12/23/2020 03:07 PM
The Power of the Hand Written Thank You Note
Why should you send a Thank You Note. What should you say. State a Call to Action closing sentence.
12/22/2020 10:08 AM
The Key to Continual Growth and Expansion
Growing and expanding requires self-awareness of what you are doing and what you're not doing to move forward. If you're succeeding, keep on doing what you're doing. If you're behind, it's okay; you just need to adjust.
12/21/2020 12:15 PM
Winning the War Over Loans and Debts As an Entrepreneur
Among the things that can make or mar a business is taking loans. People take loans to meet up with their expectations. However, it takes a wiser entrepreneur to decipher when to or when not to take a loan. Loans can do wonderful things for you when properly managed. It can help solve urgent problems, cater for substantial expenses and grow businesses. Though loans can work perfectly for those who have steady income, yet it has the propensity of entangling those who struggle to earn a living. It is very important for every entrepreneur to note that a mismanaged loan is hell.
11/16/2020 09:05 AM
How Can You Make Your Online Business More Successful?
Many entrepreneurs have gone before you and figured out how things work, so that you don't have to reinvent the wheel. You can follow what other successful online entrepreneurs have done and become successful doing it.
11/02/2020 10:01 AM
How To Develop The Mindset Of An Entrepreneur And Become Successful
Mindset Is Everything-You won't be awesome at being an entrepreneur unless and till you condition your brain for getting into business and then making the most of it.Any trade can be really tough to comprehend. However, if that is something somebody wishes to do, then how do you do that effectively? Here are a few great tips that I have come up with on how you are able to become that awesome entrepreneur as well.
11/02/2020 09:20 AM
Winning at the Proposal Game
Submitting bids and tenders is a great way to grow and expand your business and is a great way for a small company to become a much larger company. It can be frustrating and costly to bid, this work taking you away from other business activities. However, winning a bid gives you access to a new customer and other project opportunities. You also have to consider as to whether you have the financial standing and moral fortitude to undertake large projects so choose your opportunities with great care. Smaller projects can help your company grow efficiently and profitably with less drama and anguish. Here are a few pointers to remember when producing tenders.
11/02/2020 09:15 AM
There Is Such a Thing As Too Much Free Content
When you fundamentally reexamine your marketing strategy, it's very freeing. You can focus on what's most important.
10/22/2020 11:34 AM
The Pros and Cons of Working for Yourself
Working from home offers many benefits and even a few drawbacks. It's up to you to determine if you have the personality for it. You'll need to rein in family and friends who want to take advantage of you, as well as yourself, to stay on track for creating a healthy and profitable home business.
10/12/2020 09:53 AM
The Impact Trifecta: Make the Most of Your Impact Efforts
Impact can feel oddly unsatisfying. If you're feeling that your impact isn't fulfilling you, that's a clue. Maybe you're not having all the impact you want to have.
10/02/2020 10:22 AM
How To Show Your Expertise When You're Starting Out
To show your expertise when first starting out doesn't require you to have a huge client roster, or even a following yet. Use these tips to help you gain a following, improve search engine optimization (SEO) and build your business.
09/29/2020 09:03 AM
5 Things to Think About Before You Start a Business
Before you start a business and kick off your entrepreneur journey, you need to understand a number of things. Here are five to think about before you invest your money.
09/29/2020 09:01 AM
How Do You Create Multiple Streams of Income?
Here are just a few of the ways you can create multiple streams of income online. There are also ways you can do it offline such as savings, investing, rental income, and more.
09/28/2020 09:45 AM
Does Money Make You Successful?
When people want to become entrepreneurs they don't actually think about the work. They think about the freedom.
09/28/2020 09:43 AM
Your Fear Is a Valuable Messenger
I know you care about impact. Fear will keep you from it, if not by shutting you down, then by distractions. We all feel fear, so what can you do?
09/02/2020 01:33 PM
Discovering Lucrative Business Opportunities
There are several ways to be successful today but the most popular one is almost always acknowledged as venturing into a world of capitalizing on online business opportunities. People who are able to do this easily usually reap in the positive benefits many folds.
09/02/2020 01:27 PM
Ready To Position Yourself As an Expert?
Becoming an expert is a process. At first you will feel as if you'll never make it, but everything you do builds on the next thing and eventually it will snowball to true success.
09/02/2020 01:25 PM
It Will Take More Than Motivation To Make A Business Succeed
Many people naturally have the leadership abilities that are necessary to operate a successful business based on their family environment while they were growing up. Their basic character traits are often nurtured and manifested during these stages.
08/31/2020 09:26 AM
Are You Enough?
What would it mean if YOU were enough? All the things you need to have a successful business.
08/17/2020 12:59 PM
Postpone Your Impact, and It May Never Happen
When you postpone your impact, it may never happen. Life will always get in the way, if you allow it.
08/11/2020 11:45 AM
Do You Have What It Takes To Become An Succesful Entrepreneur?
Deciding to become an entrepreneur is just the beginning. You know you want to own your own business and control your fate, but you're not yet sure exactly what it is that you should do.
08/03/2020 02:42 PM
Do Your Prospects and Clients Really Know You?
People buy from those they know, like, and trust. How can you help them get to know your business? How can you build their trust?
07/24/2020 10:25 AM
Be Willing to Fall Flat on Your Face
Being the leader you want to be, to have the impact you want to have, will not always be well received. You might take that as a failure. But is it?
07/08/2020 09:48 AM
The Secret Shame Of Having A Full Time Job
According to experts, More than 47% of Americans today cannot pay $400 for an emergency without having to borrow that money. The secret shame is that most of that 47% had full time jobs when answering this question. That number is even worse today as millions have lost their jobs.
07/08/2020 09:48 AM
How Becoming An Author Builds Expertise
If you want a fast way to become an insider within your niche, push yourself to new heights, and become the expert you know you are, becoming an author will do that for you. But, you must get started and learn all you can about marketing once the book is finished.
07/03/2020 11:30 AM
How To End A Business Relationship Amicably
Ending a business relationship is never easy, but once you do let go of clients who aren't ideal, you're going to free up space to attract your ideal clients. Plus, once it's over you're going to feel so much better about your business and yourself.
07/02/2020 11:37 AM
Are You Honoring Your Values?
So much is going on in the world right now, that it can be difficult to focus on your business' values. You may be going through some financial challenges due to the pandemic, and even if that's not the case, it can feel hard to consider one more thing as you pivot and adjust. I have had to make conscious and sometimes difficult choices in my own adjustments to stay aligned with my values and those of my business.
06/30/2020 06:30 AM
You Are Made For These Times
Ever feel like you want to just leave everything behind and go elsewhere? I sure do. But we're here. How do we rise to these times?
06/22/2020 08:50 AM
5 Tips to Make Big in Business From the Expert Business Coach
Get tips to make big in business from the expert business coach Thamizharasu Gopalsamy. One can learn business basics with this pen work.
06/19/2020 04:19 PM
Honest Grant Cardone Marketing Mentoring Program Review
Do you know Grant Cardone? Do you strive for success? Are you passionate? If you want to learn from the best Grant Cardone is your guy. You are about to take a "DEEP DIVE" and become submersed into his Marketing Mentoring Program. We will take a look and I will help educate you on what I have learned, and where you will benefit by joining him on his mission to create success, and help you do the same.
06/15/2020 02:39 PM
When Celebrating Your Big Accomplishments Is Hard
Celebrating your significant accomplishments can stir up feelings and resistance. Here's how to deal with that.
06/15/2020 02:32 PM
What Exactly Is Passive Income?
Any income where the individual does not have to physically earn is called passive income. This of course is a very attractive way of earning an income and indeed those who are lucky enough to make a decent living this way are quite happy. Ways To Generate Loads Of Passive Income- There are currently some very popular and common ways to earn a passive income.
06/08/2020 09:13 AM
Find Your Fierce
You want to have impact with your business. You'll have a lot more impact if you get in touch with your fierce.
06/01/2020 08:48 AM
Are You Becoming the One?
Impact calls you on a deeper level. If impact were just about taking action, you would have had that impact already.


home | site map | contact us
infolinks.com/js/infolinks_main.js"> s">