Bye Bye Nine to Five – Hello Dot Com!

How to swap your boss for your own boss – dot com style!


It’s Monday morning about 7am. Face in pillow, eyes closed you’re thinking about what excuse you can use not to go into work today.  Your responsible side tells you ‘just get up’ and you roll out of bed and you start your daily 9-5 cycle…. You hop onto your chosen mode of transport after picking up the morning newspaper. You read yet another story about an entrepreneur who came from less favourable circumstances than you and is now doing it big working for themselves.

You immediately think, “it’s ok for them”, “they’re just lucky”, or “I could never do that”. Your journey continues until you sit at your desk and really start to consider what you might need to do to get yourself working for yourself. Your immediate choice, given the overwhelming success of so many others is the internet. That immediate global market and the ease of entry gets you thinking. Then your boss dumps a load of work on your desk, not for long you think…
The Plan

So let’s do it, what do you need to do to go from 9-5-ing to thriving online
  1. Find a killer opportunity – Sounds obvious but business and entrepreneur-ism is all about looking for opportunities and taking advantage of them. Now there are opportunities and there are opportunities. If you just want to supplement your income then a mediocre opportunity may suffice. However, if you want to replace your main income stream you need to thinking bigger. This is the mistake I see most people make when trying to start a business they want to provide a stable month in month out income.
  2. Check out the market – So you’ve found a great opportunity, now you need to perform some acid tests to see if it’s realistic. See what other companies in that market are making by checking out their accounts on Companies House.  Then consider how long they’ve been operating for, how much staff they might have, start up costs involved and if you can do as good a job as them. If those answers come up favourably then you’re onto a winner.
  3. Are you any good? – Another huge contributor to being a success in business given that there’s very little new under the sun is how good you are at proposed business idea. There’s a general misconception that money is a big enough motivating factor for most entrepreneurs. Yes there are exceptions to that rule where some business deals can net you hundreds of thousands, even millions but unless you’re in that space you need to be able to add a tonne of value to be seen over and above your competition. The magic formula here is passion + expertise= success. That is if you can find something that you’re both passionate about and are or can become an expert in then success is inevitable. Bear in mind however that just because you’re passionate about something it doesn’t mean you’re good about it. Similarly just because you’re an expert in a particular field it doesn’t mean you’re passionate about it.  Remember, if you can find that balance you’re up up and away.
  4. Do the numbers – In the main you’ll work out how much you need to draw from the business to match your current income. But what about taxes, reinvesting in the business to grow, ‘just in case’ money, stock, suppliers or business development. Remember the business has more to pay than you so you’ve got to make enough.
  5. Get help – There’s no point pretending that you can do it on your own. Any savvy business person nowadays has a mentor, coach or advisor. Sometimes you’ve got to pay them, but if they really believe in you or the idea, they’ll give their time for free. These guys or gals could be the difference between you making it or not and making irrecoverable mistakes or not.
  6. Make it happen – Probably the biggest hurdle for any budding entrepreneur is procrastination. This may come from insecurity, instability, lack of understanding about what you’re doing, lack of passion or plain laziness. Whatever it is, no matter how great the idea, not matter how great you are if you don’t ‘make it happen’ then inevitably someone else will.
Last but not least…

Transitioning from a day job to running your own business isn’t easy, and don’t let anyone tell you any different. I’ve done it myself many moons ago and it took sacrifice and lots of energy.  Your evenings and weekends are typically taken over by your new venture. It’s also very important to get your family or loved ones behind you as a little bit of encouragement at the hardest time can do wonders.  Stick to your vision and why you’re doing this, not just to be your own boss but maybe to give yourself or your family a better quality of life. Perhaps the business you’re starting has recognisable social impact and could affect lots of people’s lives.

Whatever it is, stay focussed, stick to your plan and it will only be a matter of time before you fire your boss!

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