Harness that 'new' feeling
The beginning of a new year is traditionally considered a good time to transition into a new job or begin a new business. If you've been nursing thoughts of starting your own business — a consulting firm, a franchise, a small business — the energy of a new year can help catapult you to success.
Admittedly, it may seem daunting to become self-employed, and you might need more time and preparation than others who start a business. Self-employment is just too risky, you may be thinking. Here's the reality: Being self-employed is often a lot safer than working for an employer.
Business start-up coach Tom Volkar of CoreU says, “So many outside, uncontrollable factors contribute to the health of your employing company. The only thing you can truly count on is that things will change.”
So, if you are considering self-employment, address your fears. Once you know what is holding you back, you can figure out how to overcome it.
Last month, one of my clients who lost her job earlier in the year was considering the leap into self-employment. She had a lot of fears, mostly financial, but she knew she could capitalize on having lots of contacts and being well-respected in her industry. By recognizing that her contacts and reputation would vault her to success, she was able to move forward. Within weeks of firmly deciding to establish a consulting practice, she secured a six-month contract. Wisely, she is simultaneously marketing her consulting capabilities to others, which will create a pipeline of additional clients to carry her through 2014.
Volkar suggests, “Ask yourself this: What if my fear of a lack of job security is really a sign that this is my time to choose the freedom of self-employment? If that question rings true for you, then act now. You will benefit from your wise proactivity.”
One of Volkar's clients, a software rep, feared that her company's new owners would fire her or change her duties. Seeing the writing on the wall, she hired Volkar to help her set the structures she would need to go into business for herself. Just 60 days into the coaching, her employer let her go. Because of her preparation, she landed squarely on her feet. She had clients of her own within a week of starting her own firm.
If self-employment is one of your 2014 goals, Volkar suggests a few principles to move forward:
• You're more ready to start a business than you think you are, because what you think is stopping you is a much smaller obstacle than you think it is.
• The marketplace rewards rare, authentic expression. Do not compromise. Instead, follow your unique makeup by starting a business that is developed in the way that only you can.
• It's not enough to start a business doing what you love; you must give your clients what they need by offering it how they want it.
According to Volkar, “Anyone who considers the upside of self-employment will realize that the freedom of self-employment can actually be synonymous with security.”
If that sentence resonates with you, I think you know what you need to do.
Chris Posti is president of Posti & Associates in Pittsburgh. Email questions to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins notebook: After reinterpreting rule, draft pick sought for Bylsma’s hiring
- Dormont man missing since Wednesday found dead at Station Square
- Belle Vernon scores 4 runs in wild 7th inning to capture WPIAL title
- Sabres hire Bylsma as coach; Penguins receive 3rd-round pick
- Penguins GM Rutherford ‘wouldn’t make’ Despres trade today
- NFL notebook: Broncos left tackle Clady tears ACL, likely out for season
- Pirates’ Morton hopes he’s past injury-riddled part of career
- Gorman: Team Dugan gets gold, like a champ
- Pyrotechnics to be used in TV filming in New Kensington
- Healthy defensive back Mitchell eager for 2nd season with Steelers
- Police: Man riding bike in New Kensington strikes truck, dies