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A lot of people I meet tell me, “You’re so brave starting a financial advisory business.  I don’t think I could do something on my own because it seems so risky.”   

Time consuming?  Yes.  Hard work?  Yes.  Risky? Maybe, but if you plan smartly, you can minimize a lot of the risks.  In order to do it, you have to engage in some advance planning from both a financial perspective (thinking through your personal income needs, and your business revenue streams and fixed/variable costs) and strategic business perspective (who are your clients? how will you get them and keep them? Have you spoken to potential clients to fully understand their needs?).  One of my goals in starting North Financial Advisors is to help share smart ways to plan for becoming an entrepreneur.

Is a Corporate Job Really That Certain Nowadays?  

You might need some more convincing about why now is a good time to start your business. At my previous job, I survived three rounds of layoffs before deciding to leave and go out on my own and it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.  Lots of my friends and clients have encountered similar experiences with corporate jobs. The only constant in the traditional workforce seems to be change – reorganizations, hiring frenzies, and ultimately downsizing.  It’s not all that safe.

Reap the Rewards

When you work for yourself you make all revenue minus costs. You’re in the driver’s seat for controlling costs and revenue growth. Therefore, you get to control the full reward.

Contrast that with working for someone else. You may be able to control costs if you’re in operations, or increase revenue if you’re in sales, but you’ll never get to take home even close to the amount saved or revenue increased. Even if your company pays nice bonuses, the most you can hope for working for someone else is a small fraction of the full value you provided.

You can also ditch a 9-5 schedule while building the business you want. And you’ll have lot of support! I’ve found entrepreneurs’ and women’s groups to be extremely welcoming and willing to bend over backwards to provide advice, support, and guidance. Unfortunately, I never got even close to that kind of career-advancing mentorship when I worked at a corporate job.  It’s one of the best feelings to be able to ask for help with what you’re working on, and get it.

Just Dream a Little

Have you ever said to yourself at work, “I know I could do this better on my own,” or “I know I could probably get paid for this outside the company.”   Chances are you probably can.

I encourage you to dream and explore, even if you don’t act on the idea.  Think of the last time you had a fantastic business idea and wanted to share it with a friend.  Write it down in a journal, and test it out by asking some friends or a few likely clients whether or not they’d buy the product or service.   

Once you’ve found that something all you need is to reach out to your network for support, find an advisor, spend some time incubating your idea, or take a weekend course in planning a startup.  It’s easy and free to market test your ideas by simply talking to be potential clients or customers. Women, in particular, are good at consensus building, one on one connecting, and asking for help – use this to your advantage!

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