How I am making the transition!
Recently, I had the chance to speak with an aspiring entrepreneur who, like me, is still working a 9 to 5. He found a blog post of mine and reached out to solicit some advice. Well, I was genuinely humbled and excited at the same time. Our conversation was interesting and caused me to reflect on my current journey.
I never thought that I would own my own business and surely never imagined how passionate I would be about the prospect of working for myself and potentially employing other people! Yet, here I am the owner of Lengo for 3 years and loving every single day! The only thing is, I am still employed and side note…I enjoy my job. However, making the transition is not a quick or easy road. It takes a lot of preparation and planning as well as courage and FAITH!
Here are a few things that have helped me thus far:
- Making up my mind to JUMP!
I had a heart-to-heart with myself after I spoke with some colleagues about this whole “business owner” thing and realized that I could do it if I really wanted to. My jump wasn’t just filing an assumed name certificate or designing my business card, my jump moment was declaring to people that I was a business owner. I remember the first time I told someone that I owned Lengo and had played out their reaction in my head. To my surprise, it was totally positive and gave me the extra confidence that people would actually take me seriously since those in my network only recognized me in my current professional role.
- Searching out my passion!
Because my expertise is comprised of several areas, I thought that my business should include them all. After a pretty intense and much-needed power hour with my mentor, I slowly dissected what I do for a living from where my passion existed. I realized that my passion was not truly in the tactical stuff that I had been doing, but rather in the development of strategies that make businesses GREAT! Yes, my natural leadership qualities, innate attention to process and procedure, drive to establish realistic goals, and love for seeing people succeed in understanding their own business was where Lengo was headed. So, once my passion was identified the fire was roaring!
- Working my business whenever I can!
I find myself working on Lengo during down-periods of my day, lunch and especially in the evening and over the weekends. Honestly, I can’t get enough of it. Constantly reviewing, perfecting, modifying and loving every tangible and intangible aspect of my business. Would I rather be out or sleeping or just chilling on a Friday night…of course. But, when I see my future and the potential of my business, my Friday night suddenly becomes a great opportunity to get behind the screen and polish my future!
- Setting realistic goals!
Wow…talk about practice what you preach! Setting goals for my businesses scalability and future is necessary to adjust my professional goals. My professional goals cannot exceed the timeframe of my business goals. Meaning, I can’t be on the hunt for the CEO office in corporate America if I truly intend on only being CEO of Lengo. This takes me back to point 1, the JUMP! I mean how long do I really want to continue to work in corporate America? How do I make time to travel and do the things that will help with the branding and marketing of my brand? How do I find time for my clients? These and many more questions all flow into a goal for my business. The overall goal, of course, is working independently and full time in Lengo!
So, yes this journey has been fun and also resulted in some long nights and closed doors. What I can tell you is, I have been able to flex my skills and develop a brand that meets the needs of my clients and serves as a positive resource for small and minority business owners – all the while enjoying the heck out of it!
Sheena is the CEO of Lengo, a business consultancy suite specializing in the development of competitive business plans and strategies for small and minority businesses.
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