Are you ready to ditch your day job and unleash your creative talents as a business owner?
Don’t let anyone dismiss your dreams as mere fantasies.
More and more creatives like artists, writers, and designers are successfully turning their passions into flourishing entrepreneurial endeavors every single day.
If you’re truly committed to being your own boss, pursuing your dreams (instead of someone else’s), and sharing your unique talents with the world, entrepreneurship may just be your ticket to freedom from that soul-sucking 9-5 grind.
But before you pull the plug and hand in your resignation letter, there are a few things you need to do first.
They’re momentum-building tasks that focus on DOING instead of just dreaming! So, if you’re anything like me you don’t have to worry about that ((recovering)) perfectionist mindset creeping in and keeping you from taking action.
In this blog, I’ll share the 5 essential tasks you need to tackle before breaking up with the 9-5 world. Once you check off these boxes, you’ll feel ready to leap into entrepreneurship, leaving any doubts or second thoughts in the dust.
Let’s set up your creative business for success!
It may be tempting to just rip off the bandaid and bolt in the opposite direction of your current 9-5 job.
But leaving without a vision of where you want to go, will be just about as successful as that time I “ran away from home.”
My “soft blankie”, one measly granola bar, and I only made it as far as the next street over before I got cold, hungry, and lonely.
When it comes to starting your own business, fuzzy targets simply don’t get hit!
Now is the time to get crystal clear on not only what you’re doing but why you’re doing it, how you’re going to do it, and when you plan to hit those milestones like your…
Now, I don’t expect you to be able to gaze into some crystal ball and know exactly how things are going to go down but you DO want to have an idea of what your business (and life as a creative entrepreneur) will look like.
You don’t have to overthink this process!
Things WILL change and evolve.
In fact, that’s to be expected and can actually be a GOOD sign that you are learning, adapting, and growing.
But when you take time to envision the big picture and understand your goals, values, priorities, and timeline BEFORE quitting your day job, you can confidently move in the right direction and hit those milestones faster.
To sum it up, you can’t get where you’re going if you don’t know where that is. Jumping into entrepreneurship blindly may leave you with a business that feels just as stale as your current 9-5!
So decide your destination knowing you can always take some fun pit stops along the way once you’re on the road!
That vision you established isn’t something that sits in a closet collecting dust… like the tub of Beanie Babies I SWORE up and down would make me millions back in 1998…
You need to keep your vision front and center at all times!
Because once you have a picture of what your business will look like, you’ll be able to build an action plan and business plan around it.
When it comes to your business plan…
…It’s a NO BS zone.
And truthfully, if you BS your business plan the only person you’re really “BS-ing” is yourself!
You need a REAL, viable, sustainable plan to reach that vision. You’re not leaving all the predictability and security of that 9-5 for a flash-in-the-pan business.
You deserve a solid, sustainable business that supports you and allows you to pursue your passions!
Here are a few to jumpstart the process:
COO Tip: This is EXACTLY what I teach you how to do in my virtual course, Business Building for Creatives so that you can lay a strong foundation for your creative business. Click here to add your name to the no-obligation waitlist and be the first to know when the course goes live!
So you have a vision for your business that you LOVE and a plan to get there.
Problem is— you’re not the only opinion that matters here!
That’s only 50% of the equation.
You need to be passionate about what you offer, but before you start shouting it from the rooftops, you also need to make sure it’s a viable business idea and that there are actually people out there who want and need it! And more importantly, you need to be sure that you know how to REACH those potential customers!
One of the biggest faux pas I see new creative entrepreneurs make?
They subscribe to the FALSE belief that,
“If you build it, they will come.”
However, the truth is, you could have the most brilliant offer ever, but if people don’t know about it, don’t want it, or aren’t willing to shell out their hard-earned dough for it…
Connecting with the audience you serve is KEY!
Sometimes, we can get so head-over-heels in love with our own creations that we miss what people are actually looking for.
So, be open to feedback and make sure what you’re offering meets the needs and wants of your ideal audience. Remember, you’re not just building a business for yourself, you want to create a thriving community of clients.
This is where market research steps in!
This kind of research is all about testing the waters so that you can make sure your offer makes sense in your market BEFORE you start to promote or sell it!
You can gather market research through…
All of this info will help you feel confident that your product or service has a place in your niche!
You can even use market research as a means to…
Your first product sales or experiences working with clients will never go EXACTLY as planned. So, go in with eyes wide open, try your BEST, and get to work!
Along the way, be receptive to feedback. In fact, I suggest you proactively ask for it so you can learn and improve along the way.
COO Tip: Wanna snag the exact form I use to request feedback from my clients? Click here to email me the phrase “FEEDBACK FREEBIE” and I’ll send it to you ASAP!
This step is for everyone, but especially my fellow recovering perfectionists.
I see you, dragging your feet on your dreams, waiting until everything is just right.
But the reality is, if you continue to wait, you’ll NEVER do the dang thing!
So, how do you break out of this all-or-nothing mentality and actually make moves?
Give yourself a runway.
The first time I realized I didn’t have to have my entire business flawlessly up and running and scaled out BEFORE calling myself an entrepreneur, I let out a HUGE sigh of relief.
Instead of having an “all in or all out” mentality, I was able to see the gray area and it was, to be frank, quite liberating!
Don’t believe me?
You can read all about how my business, offers, and client experience evolved DRAMATICALLY over time. The first iteration of my coaching program, for example, has changed many times over (and will continue to). But I would never have been able to fine-tune my offer if I had never taken the plunge and started in the first place!
Furthermore, there have been seasons in my business that are all about hustle, and others where I pump the brakes a bit to focus on my family and personal life (gotta love the flexibility of being the CEO).
You get to start wherever you are, which means you can begin at any stage of entrepreneurship that works for you right now.
The sky’s the limit and you get to decide what helps you feel most comfortable and confident.
Because one of the riskiest things you can do is overextend yourself and build your business from a place of fight or fight instead of a place of security and inspiration. Rushing this process isn’t sustainable or healthy for you in the long term!
Intentionally stepping into your business, whatever that looks like, on your terms will ultimately set you up for success. That’s because you’ll be able to protect your financial, mental, and emotional health while being financially and energetically responsible!
This final step is all about naming and claiming it!
Tell your people, your community, and your audience about your creative business ideas and goals!
I know it can be scary to put yourself out there, but the people who matter most will rally around you and support your dreams.
People can’t help and support what they don’t know is happening! Give your community the chance to surprise you and rise to the occasion!
And if you’re a solopreneur, the encouragement and support of friends, family, and fellow entrepreneurs are often essential to your long-term success.
Sharing your dreams gets them out and into the world! This, in turn, increases your chances of success all while holding you accountable to your goals!
For me, just knowing that my friends and family were going to check in and ask how things were going helped me continue making progress so I could report back and feel proud when talking about my business! I found this to be a healthy form of peer pressure!
And if you feel you don’t have this support system yet, go FIND IT!
Your people are out there if you’re willing to seek them out.
Businesses aren’t built overnight, but tending to these 5 tasks before you quit your day job will ensure that you can stop putting off your dream of being a creative business owner and set yourself up for success!
With intentional planning, a clear vision, and the willingness to take action you can confidently navigate the transition from 9-5 gig to full-time entrepreneur and create a fulfilling and profitable future as a creative business owner.
So, go ahead and take that leap, armed with the knowledge and strategies to thrive in your new venture.
Your dreams are within reach – it’s time to make them a reality!
And if you find yourself in need of support, I’d be HONORED to be a part of your community.