For many Americans, the 9-to-5 grind just doesn’t cut it. They are the dreamers, those who wish they could be masters of their own destiny, steering their own ship. For more than half of these people, however, that dream is just that–a dream. Why? The reason is that they never stop dreaming and start doing. These people are the wantrepreneurs.
Realistically, though, there are serious matters to consider before jumping into the entrepreneurial pool–funding, for instance, or you may lack technical expertise. However, these are not insurmountable obstacles. If you wish you could take the leap, here are three things that will help you get started. They make up a simple but proven formula for being your own boss.
1. Envision your future
Imagine yourself five years in the future. Picture your business as you would like it to be, in detail, and write down as many of these details as possible. Ask your future self these questions: Five years ago, what things did I do that turned out well for me? Why did those ideas work? What obstacles were there that almost kept me from doing those things? The answers to those questions hold the key to how you’ll begin planning now. The clearer the picture in your mind, the more likely you are to make it become a reality. This technique, called “Painted Picture,” was developed by Brian Scudamore of 1-800-GOT-JUNK, who credits it for his success.
Now that you have an idea of how your future could look, you’ll be ready to start strategizing and forming a team to get you to your destination.
2. Build your dream team
To turn your vision into reality, you need to choose your team very carefully. Never underestimate the effect your people can have on your business. In choosing each member of your team, try to assess whether they would fit in well with the culture you’re trying to build. Ask yourself: Is this person interesting? Are they genuinely interested in what we do? Can I imagine myself hanging out with them?
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Next, try to picture the candidate in a group setting with your entire team. Would they fit in well? What qualities would they bring to the group? This kind of introspection will help you avoid being saddled with a team that doesn’t work well together.
Then go a step further. Try to get the person to see themselves as part of your vision. When people realize you value what they have to contribute, they become more invested in your vision, and will likely work harder to help you reach your goals.
3. Implement your systems
As any ship would, your enterprise will need to have systems–processes, procedures, and routines–in place to be able to sail smoothly. Trying to wing it without them will only lead to chaos. With your vision in mind, and having built your team, this is the time to start implementing these systems. From your marketing system to your people management system, test and refine them until they meet your expectations.
With this formula–your vision, your people, and your systems–you’ll be ready to turn your dream of being your own boss into reality.