A good friend of mine, amazing business coach and fellow Smallville contributor, Geoff Hetherington asked…
Create Yourself a Job Then a Business
It’s 5:15pm on a Tuesday afternoon. I’ve been trying to get a chunk of time to write this all day, but it’s been one of those days where everything that could come up to distract me has come up.
In my last article I shared the journey of finding a part time job to take the financial pressure off while I worked on building my business.
Well, things didn’t quite go to plan and just three and half short weeks later I was no longer an employee. The story behind why and what happened needs a bit more time and probably a good glass or two of red wine, but suffice to say my fitting back into the workforce was akin to the old square peg, round hole analogy.
The night my part time job came to an end I went out for a bottle of red and a rather lovely meal with my long suffering partner to chat everything through and figure out plan L (because the previous A – K plans hadn’t come to fruition). Somewhere between the third glass of red and the dessert, it hit me. The lesson I was meant to learn from my foray back to part time employment.
I had been so busy trying to build a business, I had forgotten to build myself a job first.
The majority of business advice in the marketplace is all about finding your niche and choosing the type of customers you want to work with, which is great. Nowhere have I heard anyone say that when building a business, first find people who are willing to pay you for what you can do. Then, while building your revenue begin to refine your overall business model. Figure out along the way who you provide the biggest value to, the type of client you enjoy working with the most, the problem you solve for them and what the market is willing to pay for the service you’re offering. Subtle switch – but a huge impact.
Armed with my new found mindset the very next day someone approached me about working with them. Before this lightbulb moment, I would have politely declined the offer, informing them I work exclusively with corporate clients and continuing to struggle along trying to build a profile in that space.
Instead, though, I suggested we go for coffee, chat about where they were at, what it was that they needed and thought I could help them with, and finally, how potentially I could add value to their business. The result, I walked away with a new client. A real live client who was willing to pay me.
Since this meeting went so well I contacted a few people I had previously turned down as clients and, by the end of my first week of ‘building my job’ I had picked up four clients with net income slightly larger than the amount the part time job would pay.
Within two weeks, two of those people have already referred me, leaving me to be grateful to my former employer. I’m once again getting to do what I love, on my terms, while I continue on the quest to build a business.
I may not have the business that I am hoping for yet, but I’m much closer to realising it now I’ve mastered the initial foundation step.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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