How to Move From Employee to Entrepreneur: In 7 Steps
So you want to make the leap from employee to entrepreneur, but you just don’t know where to start?
You’re sick of your job, and your talents are wasted.
You want to do something you’re proud of, and you want to live a life full of freedom. The type of freedom that allows you to travel the world and work when you want.
Well, it all starts by taking that first baby step transitioning from employee to entrepreneur.
It's not an easy road, but it's a road worth taking.
And to help you make the leap, here’s how to do it in 7 steps...
1. Employee Mindset Flip
As an employee, you receive a steady pay-check, each and every month. You do the work, you get paid for it.
It’s predictable, it’s secure, it’s safe (ish)...
Life as an entrepreneur, on the other hand, is a different ball game altogether.
As an entrepreneur, you’ll invest countless hours of your time, energy and focus, without seeing a single penny for it upfront.
This is why the transition from employee to entrepreneur starts with mindset.
It takes a mental shift away from the comfort of a steady pay-check, into a world where the correlation between time in exchange for money no longer exists.
So step one is to let go of is the steady pay-check comfort zone, and embrace the entrepreneurial mindset where the ceiling of what you can earn is infinite, just don’t expect it to be regular!
2. Find Your Unique Value Proposition
As an entrepreneur, your job is to understand people's problems and solve them.
It’s pretty simple really.
However, to do that well, you first need to find a niche that you have the passion and the skills to serve.
It’s more a case of uncovering your niche than finding it.
Just like a stone sculptor chisels away, blow by blow, to eventually reveal a masterpiece, the process of uncovering a profitable niche is very similar.
It often takes time and many iterations before you get it right.
To begin the chiseling process start by asking these questions:
- What are your core passions and interests?
- What skills have you developed over the years?
- What knowledge have you acquired?
- What challenges have you overcome?
- What would other people say you do really well?
- What do people ask your advice for?
- What do people compliment you on?
- What activity can you do for hours on end and lose track of time?
- What gets you excited?
- What would you do if money wasn’t even a factor and you knew you couldn’t fail?
Once you’ve answered all these questions, you should have a good idea for a niche with some money-making potential.
3. The Side Hustle Shuffle - A product first approach
So you’ve got your niche set, now you need to begin creating a side hustle.
As going from employee to entrepreneur is more of a transition than a leap, it’s important to try and start validating your ideas, and generating money quickly.
The biggest mistake people make at this stage of the entrepreneurial journey is they focus on building an audience first. They invest countless hours into audience-building eg. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc. without ever validating their ideas.
That’s why I recommend a different approach.
I call it the ‘Product-First’ approach, and it starts with you creating an MVP (Minimum Viable Product), and going out into the market and getting real feedback, and getting validation for your idea.
The ‘product-first’ approach gives you the opportunity to start getting paid quickly which is vital for making that first step away from life as an employee into that of an entrepreneur.
4. Active learning - the skill acquisition loop
As an entrepreneur/solopreneur you’ll need to learn a whole new set of skills.
For that, I recommend taking on an ‘active learning’ approach to skill acquisition, which is effectively learning by doing.
This approach will help you to get shit done, whilst building your skills along the way.
Unlike the passive learning, we’re taught at school that let's face it, taught us next to nothing, active learning is real elbows in the mud sorta stuff, and it’ll get you where you want to go much quicker
5. Audience Building 101
So, you’ve found a profitable niche, you’ve built an MVP version of your product/service, you’re hustling to find actual paying people to test it on to get feedback. Your skillset is growing rapidly, and now, now is the time to begin thinking about building an audience.
There’s a number of different ways to do this, but I’m going to give you my personal favourites.
Not the type of blogging where you write bullshit about your recent trip to Italy.
Not that type of blogging.
Instead, I’m talking about a blog that actually helps people within your niche, solves your audience's problems, provides solutions, is informative and entertaining…
That sorta blog!
Blogging is insane because it is the best type of digital footprint you can create, and if done well, it’ll drive lots of free traffic to your site.
Unlike social media, you won’t see results immediately, instead, your blog posts will get more valuable over time.
Done well, they’ll age like a fine wine!
YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world.
YouTube has 1.9 billion users worldwide, which consume over 1 billion hours of content every day!
That’s a monster audience, and one you need to be a part of.
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter you know the ones.
I don’t recommend investing too much into these platforms, as the decay rate of your content is fast.
What I recommend instead is automating as much of this process as you can, with tools like Planoly, etc, so you can focus on more of the important stuff that will give you better returns over the long run.
Here’s my recommended audience-building approach:
- Write a blog post.
- Create a YouTube video about the blog post.
- Post out about blog post and YouTube video on social channels
- Automate your social channels to repost variables of content at intervals of 4 days, 1 month, 6 months, 1 year.
Doing this will increase your audience and drive more and more traffic to your website.
6. The First Small Step...
At this point you should be making a few bucks from your side hustle, whilst still in full-time employment.
Now is the time to take the first baby step from employee to entrepreneur.
Now is the time to reduce the number of days from 5 to 4.
The aim is to drop a day's employment so that you have more time to invest in your side hustle to compound the earning potential.
This extra day should give you the leverage to go balls to the wall and really start upping the ante with your new business.
7. Making The Giant Leap!
Now it’s time…
It’s time to officially make the leap from employee to entrepreneur and officially give your boss the finger for good.
It’s a leap of faith and it’s scary as hell, but it’s just something that’s got to be done.
For your business to grow and to start freeing yourself from the shackles of employment it’s a leap you’ve got to take, and you know what…
It’s so, so worth it!
Don’t be fooled by the hype of so-called guru’s tell you this shit is easy because it isn’t!
In fact, the transition from employee to entrepreneur is damn hard, doesn’t happen overnight, and takes a fuck load of hard work and discipline.
But holy shit is it worth it.
If a lifetime of uninspiring work and asshole bosses ain’t your bag, then the entrepreneurial journey is a must.
“The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step” as my good friend Lau Tzu once said.
So, quit brown-nosing your boss for a $0.50c pay rise, get off your ass and start NOW!