Most people I know and work with quit their jobs to get into entrepreneurship because they want the freedom to do whatever they want to, whenever they want to. When they do get the opportunity to design their life, they skip that step and run straight into setting up a new business, and re-enter the exact same rat race that they wanted to escape in the first place.
Just changing the box you live in won’t get you out of the box. Doing the same things over and over again won’t get you any different results.
Building a business is not about going big or going home. Building a business, especially if you are just starting out, is about intentionally focusing on building a life that you would want to wake up to every day, and then building a business around it and to support it.
Before I sign up a client, I have them fill a questionnaire. One of the most important questions I want to know their answer to is why they want to build a digital business or become a digital entrepreneur. If it is because they want time or location freedom, I want to know what they would do with that time, where they would rather be instead? Many times we run for the sake of running, because that’s all we know.
When I was building my digital business consulting practise, I spent a lot more time intentionally curating the kind of life I wanted to lead, and then building a business practise and ecosystem that supports it.
Have I achieved it wholly? Not yet! But I am on my way to achieving it very soon. My team works from home and is entirely digital. We are in a position to pick and choose who we work with—in fact, we have an application process before we sign up a client! In the initial days, this meant I wouldn’t earn as much as I could have. Eventually, this has meant that I get to work with people I admire and respect, and build credibility in the industry for standing by my ethics and comfort. There is a long way to go, but I’m choosing not just the path on which I walk, or the speed I want to move forward with, but also the vehicle I choose to be in.
If you are considering switching jobs, or taking the plunge into entrepreneurship, I want you to ask yourself the following:
1. What does your ideal day to day lifestyle look like? Get specific about the kind of life you want to lead. Don’t be vague. Everyone wants freedom—what will you do with that freedom?
2. What are your goals five years from now? Audacious goals, strategically planned, are achievable. Many people are scared to dream big—don’t be one of them. Really think about where you want to be. This is about who you are—not what other people think is right.
3. Who are the kind of people you interact with in this ideal life? Get specific about what they do, how they think, and where they are. We are a sum of the people we surround ourselves with—who do you want to be influenced by? If you answer this in detail, you will know the places you need to be at now to be in the company of these people.
4. What would drive you to do the work you are doing? Once you have achieved financial stability from your business or job, your reasons for putting in the work change. If money was not the issue, what is the kind of change you would want to drive?
Digital Business Ecosystems allow you to build your business in the way you want to, along with all the benefits of an interconnected world. When I work with my clients or mentees, we focus a lot on driving affirmations and big picture goals, before we even get to developing the business strategy. A business that is true to you and your dreams, will allow you to be true to your audience and client base.
Being intentional about my business has allowed me to focus on premium and impact, rather than compete on prices. Doing so has allowed me to narrow down my focus on top performers, and create value accordingly, rather than trying to please everyone for the sake of making sales. When our team is faced with balancing higher sales with higher credibility, we already know what we would go with. We have let go of potential partnerships, clients and opportunities, but built a business we truly love and enjoy working in and on every single day.
When you complete this exercise, send me your answers. I read every e-mail I get and respond personally to as many as possible.