One way to reach financial freedom sooner is to start a side hustle. A Facebook Live follower asked me what I saw as the benefits and drawbacks of owning my own business (watch here). Having worked in banking, I have experienced both worlds. I can say without a doubt that I absolutely love being my own boss. I set my own hours, choose the projects I work on, choose the clients I work with, and choose my own wonderful team.
There are a lot of benefits to being the boss. But what I really wanted more than anything else was freedom.
I didn’t like having a boss always telling me what to do. So, given my need for freedom, I wanted to become financially free and independent, too. That has taken more time than starting my own business, though. What astonished me when we reached financial freedom is that it was just a number on a piece of paper and didn’t really change our daily routine. Yes, a bit of jumping around for joy to have hit a specific number, but it hasn’t really changed our life. The big change in freedom occurred when I left the corporate world to start my own business some 25 years ago. I’ve felt free ever since and haven’t looked back and never once regretted my decision.
The ultimate goal is to create a life so fabulous that you never want to retire from it — that is true freedom.
It isn’t so much about working or making money or having a job. It is really about having the freedom to choose. I’d strongly encourage anyone thinking about starting their own business to charge ahead. Start small. Keep your day job to test the waters and test your idea, but get started. You might find that once you jump in the water is fine.
Another huge benefit of having your own business is that there are no limits to what you can do. This is also a huge drawback, as there is always something you could be doing to grow and develop your business.
In addition to the freedom you gain, there are also tax benefits thanks to having an American-based business in a country that strongly supports entrepreneurism. That is a good thing. With many small businesses teetering on the edge, times are scary. But these are scary times for employees, too, as many people have been laid off and are unemployed. One great thing about owning my own business is that I’ve never worried about firing myself.
People often think that it is riskier to have your own business. That is true, but strangely it feels much safer to me than working in my secure banking job did.
The facts are that some 50 percent of small businesses fail in the first two years, mainly due to a lack of capital. They run out of money before the business gets going. My own life coach knew this and wouldn’t let me quit my day job at the bank to become a life coach until I had two years of living expenses saved. This cash reserve gave me tremendous peace of mind so that I never worried about getting clients. If you aren’t worried and have a solid cash reserve, you attract more clients. Desperation reeks and most people run from those who emit even a whiff of neediness, whether financial or emotional.
The old saying that necessity is the mother of all invention rings true. Necessity often propels a body to try new things we might never have done or even considered under normal circumstances.
A friend of mine has really been struggling with her retail business during this crazy Covid-year. She has a bookstore, the only one still left standing in town, combined with a café. This has been an incredibly difficult year not just for her, but also for restaurant owners and retail shops around the world. Very hard to be successful if you can’t open your doors to customers! Yet, despite these setbacks, she is resilient. Her husband started baking sourdough bread to sell, but that wasn’t enough. She realized that people are eating more chocolate in lockdown. So why not make vegan dairy-free chocolates and fill a niche? She was very smart to give friends some free samples. We were immediately hooked—they are delicious! She asked us to spread the word to help out so here I am. As a bonus she is also offering free delivery to locals.
I’m happy to help a local business owner stay in business because I want her to be able to reopen when the restrictions lift. I’m also happy because these are fabulous chocolates. (The coconut bombs are divine!) Check out The Artisan Chocolate Shop. Yum!
Thankfully, she seems to have quite a few orders already and I truly hope her new business venture takes off.
Most successful business owners have some ability to pivot — to think of new ideas or products or services when times change. It is this resilience and adaptability that enables them to stay in business and thrive. Sometimes the pivot ends up being the best thing that could have happened.
During the Great Recession, I saw that loads of people were out of work and could really benefit from coaching. But during this time people couldn’t afford one-to-one private coaching. So I created an online coaching course based on my bestselling book, Coach Yourself to Success, and wrote a book about career change, Coach Yourself to a New Career. Once again, times are tough and people need coaching, but may not be able to afford it. So once again, the online courses are in demand, especially the new Career Change Kit as people are now rethinking what they really want in life. I’m happy that we can help people in the best of times and the worst of times. It makes me feel good to be of service in some small way.
Times of change always open up new opportunities if you look around. Start your side hustle and seize the day!