In the U.S., we have been brought up to believe in the 40 hour work week being employed by someone else. There is of course another option; you can become an entrepreneur instead of an employee. Given current labor market conditions, being your own boss is mighty attractive. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
1. What do you love to do that you do really well? For instance, is it natural for you to be consistently on time, plan full and efficient? Do you like keeping your home or office neat and orderly, “a place for everything and everything in its place”? Do you get energized by this? If you answered yes to these questions, one of your transferable skills is being an organizer. Think about the many ways this talent and ability of yours can contribute to others. Don’t stop with one example, brainstorm until you identify at least five more things you really do well and enjoy doing.
2. Who needs what you have to offer? Once you’ve identified your skills, talents, and passions, it is time to determine where they may best be useful. Is there a need for whatever product or service you want to share with others? You may be the greatest cookie baker in three states but if there isn’t a need for a cookie store in your area it’s not a good idea to start a bakery. Consider all the life experience you’ve had, how might that be useful to others? How can you be of service in the world? Using your list of transferable skills from question number one will help you brainstorm some possibilities.
3. Is there someone else doing the kind of business you are considering? Identify those people and organizations. For instance, if you are thinking of doing a doggy daycare, see who else has one and check it out. Note what you like and don’t like about their advertising, facility, customer service, etc. How do they get customers? How might you approach your target customers differently? What might you improve on?
4. Is being self employed a right fit for your personality and lifestyle? If you’ve been an employee for years, you may find it challenging to switch your perspective to that of self bosser. It can be tremendously fulfilling to create you own business, work when, where and how you choose to, and not have to get someone else’s permission.
Are you ready to step into your power and put your talents to work?