Do you dream of bigger things? Turning a hobby into a full time income can seem like a daunting process, and definitely not something to be taken lightly, but that is not to say that it cant be done. So many of us have found ourselves counting down the hours before we can leave work, only to go back and repeat the same process the very next day, it can feel soul destroying. If this sounds like you, and maybe you have a passion that lies elsewhere, or an idea for a new business but you are unsure where to start, then we have some words to inspire you on how to land your dream job working for yourself.
Firstly, as disclaimer - you should know that when we launched ALFA, we had no business experience, literally none, and this had both positive and negative effects. The negatives being that we had to learn everything the hard way, and we still are. Despite getting advise from anyone and everyone ( some good, some not so good ) we have found that in business a one size fits all approach does not work. It's about trial and error and finding out what works for you and your clients. The positives however were that we didn't follow the norm, we sounded out new ideas ourselves, and stayed true to what we believed, not necessarily what other people had done previously, and that seems to be working for us. There were a few things that we wished we had done differently, and some nuggets of knowledge that we have picked up over the last ten months that we thought would be useful to anyone else in a similar situation to the one that we were in.
So here you are... have them... and don't be afraid to DM us and ask questions, we like a good chat.
Don’t quit the day job!
Stick it out for as long as you can, see it as means to an end and save save save. You will get so much comfort from knowing that you have a little something to fall back on if things go quiet for a while. (God I wish that we had paid more attention to this one, January was a killer!)
Change up your mindset!
This is a big one but it is all in your viewpoint, once you make those physiological shifts you could see big changes in the way life plays out day to day. Start by switching up the labels that you are working with, make your side hustle your career, and your day job something that you are working on in order to support your developing business.
Something that we also feel quite strongly about is the power of visualisation, now this could be an entire blog all on its own, and maybe some day it will be. For now we will drop a link here for anyone who is interested in this technique. We found that doing this regularly and fairly early on really changed our focus and before we knew it we were making ALFA our reality.
Research your field
OK this is basic. Is this something that you are fully comfortable with? Perhaps its a new area that you are exploring. Do your research, read blogs, watch videos & tutorials, ask friends. If you are going to be making a product try testing it out with friends and family first to get feedback.
Set up your working branding
Invest in your identity! This is what we do, so we would say this, but we also understand its value. This is the tool which will communicate your ethos and connect you to your target audience. Without careful consideration you won't connect to the right people which could make or break your business. We know it can be hard for some people to get started, which is why we offer startup packages from £250, but what we do is bespoke, so we can make a package for all of your needs. We have worked with lots of new businesses who have initially tried to save money by not having professional branding created. You are missing a trick here guys, professional branding will generate you more income! It gives you credibility, and in turn gives your customers faith in you and your business, meaning they will feel happier spending their hard earned money with you. Lecture over.
Pick your platform and own it
It's all about quality over quantity on this one, choose just the one platform to start with, maybe instagram, or facebook, and really learn how to use it to your advantage. Build your following and strengthen your identity on this platform before venturing over to another - your existing followers will meet you over there and you can build from there.
Utilise every minute of your free time
Yes its sounds sad but this is exactly what we did! (And still do actually)
- Sat waiting for a friend to arrive ? Grab your phone and get your business page
- Walking the dog? Listen to an educational or inspirational podcast
- Cooking dinner ? Bring the laptop down and watch relevant Youtube channels, immerse yourself.
This can become all consuming so take time to schedule yourself a small break at the end of every day, maybe a quick run, meditation or read a chapter of a book. As much as this is a lot of hard work and the days are long, you cant pour from an empty cup.
Start saying no more often
If you can build a business whilst leading a rich and varied social life then all we can say is …WOW ! Because this was something that we really had to sacrifice on. We had to pass on our fair share of nights out, and after work meetups so that we could work on ALFA. Prepare to have plenty of jokes made at your expense when you reveal that you will be spending your evenings at home working instead of down the pub! Don’t let this throw you off, we learned very quickly that you will never be criticised by someone doing more than you.
Get your own cheersquad
Surround yourself with likeminded people. Positivity is contagious, but negativity can be too. Look at your circle, choose to spend more time with friends and family who support and inspire you. Connect with people who you look up to, ask for advice. Collaborate, generate that same energy and send it back at them. We can’t tell you enough how important our little circle has been for us, a lot of people will say the right things and promise the world, but only a few will deliver, hold on to those special people.
Make the leap
The day will come where you have been building your business, you have a plan in place, you’ve saved up a little bit of money but there is just not enough time in a day to achieve everything that you need to, that will be the time that you will have to decide where you put your energy. Eventually you will reach a point where you are ready to go it alone!
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