The thought of having their own business and working for themselves is something many women in their forties are longing to do. Increasingly, more and more of my clients are in this position themselves.
Tired of the 'politics' that comes with corporate life or breaking through the glass ceiling, only to have to contend with the glass wall, is driving women out in their droves.
A lot of the women that attend my REIGNITE workshops are also looking for ways to become creators of their own empires but are held back from doing so through fear.
If you have always worked for someone else, by the time you get to your forties, you have developed a sense of security based on knowing that every month you get your pay cheque and have built a life around having this security. You may also even have become institutionalised and draw comfort from knowing that you are part of a larger organisation and are well established and respected for what you do within it.
We all know that things can change at the drop of a hat and with no such thing as a job for life any more, job security is no longer something that can be totally relied on.
One of the common fears facing women wanting to work for themselves is a fear of a lack of finance. Having had the security of a regular income and often having worked up to a very senior role and living the lifestyle this affords, to go from this certainty to uncertainty can be pretty scary. Even more so when you have big financial commitments and children to feed and clothe.
Continuing to stay in an environment that leaves you unfulfilled will only affect you physiologically, emotionally and mentally over time. However, although your situation may dictate that for financial reasons you should stay where you are and not give up the day job to start your own business, it doesn't mean that you cannot aspire and work towards it.
Here are some of the actions my clients are taking to achieve their dreams of starting their own businesses whilst maintaining their financial status. These things may help you too:-
1. Reducing Working Hours
Reducing your hours at work will free up more time for you to work on your business whilst keeping your salary. Can you reduce the number of days a week that you do? If you can't afford to take the drop in pay by reducing your hours, consider compressing your hours as an alternative.
In the months leading up to me leaving employment, I compressed my hours and did a 9 day fortnight. I would use this 1 day a fortnight to develop the skills I needed to run a business. I attended workshops, training, seminars, did my research etc on this day.
2. Evenings & Weekends
Working on your business during the evenings and weekends will maintain your financial status until such time as business starts to grow and starts generating income. Then you can reduce the hours that you do at the day job.
This is not going to be easy as it will require a lot of hard work, discipline and motivation, particularly if you have children or other caring responsibilities or commitments. But as my late Father always said 'nothing good nuh come easy'.
3. Portfolio Career
Having a portfolio career with multiple income streams from part time jobs is something that is on the increase. This is something that has been done for many years and many of our parents worked more than one job at a time in order to achieve something that was needed for the family. However, back then it did not have a fancy word for it, it was just a case of doing what needed to be done to provide.
4. Chipping Away at Those Bills
We probably spend far more money than we need to on things that we want rather than what we actually need.
I live not too far from Stratford in East London where you have Westfield a major shopping complex with lots of high street and designer stores. A few yards away you have the old Stratford shopping centre where you will find some of the lower end high street stores and market stalls. I love the analogy a visitor I had staying with me last year from the USA made about Stratford when he said that Westfield has what he wants but the old Stratford has what he needs.
Are you shopping at Westfield when you could equally get by with shopping at the old Stratford?
How much do you send on hair, make up, clothes, nails, socialising etc? Yes, we all want to look good and have a good time but cutting back on some of the non essentials or looking for cheaper alternatives will reduce your financial expenditure and the money saved can be put towards things such as chipping away at your mortgage.
Reducing your financial expenditure means that if you do give up the day job or reduce your hours, you will be able to manage on a lower income whilst your business is growing.
5. Self Discipline & Self Motivation
Starting and growing a business whilst working the day job requires a lot of self discipline and self motivation. When you are tired or over consumed with the politics of work, it can be all to easy to neglect working on something that you are not yet reaping the financial benefits for.
Keep your eyes firmly fixed on your goal and keep reminding yourself of why you are doing this. Hiring the services of a coach will help you to address your fears around finance and self limiting beliefs, it will also help you to keep motivated and you will have someone to challenge and stretch your thinking. It will also give you accountability.
If you are unable to afford the services of a coach, start networking with like minded people who are in the same position and set up or join a group where you can support each other, challenge each other and hold each other accountable.
Setting up your own business and leaving the day job may fill you with fears about having a lack of finance but it does not have to be this way.
If you are making or have made the move from employment to self employment, how are you or how did you address your fears about finance?
If your fear of finance is stopping you from setting up your own business, email firstname.lastname@example.org and arrange a free exploration session so that you can be clear about what you can do to address your situation.
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