01:45 – Dreaming about escaping from your desk?
03:33 – Why your job is dangerous
04:20 – What’s your situation?
04:50 – Start thinking about this
06:32 – Let go of long-held beliefs
09:02 – Here’s what courage can do for you
09:41 – Imagine this…
12:02 – What you should make
13:33 – Start with this…
16:28 – Why you deserve the danger money
17:13 – The right things only
18:19 – Getting yourself out there
19:31 – Learn how to delegate
21:31 – How to reduce errors, get good results
22:15 – If you want change…
Set up your business faster and lessen mistakes. Know how NOW
James Schramko here, welcome back to SuperFastBusiness.com. This is another one of those short podcasts where I’m just going to rip straight into some meaty content. And I’m talking about transitioning from employment to entrepreneurship. This is a topic that is quite heartfelt for me because I remember handing over the keys to my company cars and letting my boss know that I no longer required the job.
And I was on a pretty high salary at the time, probably around a $300,000 package. I had mortgages, and I had a family to feed. And I was quitting my job to get stuck into my own business, which I’d been doing on the side for a year or two, and got it up to about the same salary level as what my day job was, so there was this crossover period where I stepped off the supposed safety and comfort of a high-paid, prestigious job as a general manager of a Mercedes-Benz dealership, to go home and sit there at my desk at home thinking, “Oh my goodness, what have I done now?
And I’m just going to share some of the things that I’ve learned through that process and some of the things that have come up as I’ve helped other people go through that transition period. It’s not uncommon to think about leaving a 9-to-5 job. I think a lot of people are sitting at a desk, keen to get away from it, because the freedom of owning your own business is very appealing.
You’ve seen lots of pictures of hammocks, travel around the world, eating fancy meals, driving nice cars, good clothes. And I’ve got to tell you, once you’ve put in the groundwork, these things can all happen. And the description of my life now is so unbelievably incomprehensible compared to when I was driving a desk at a dealership. And the freedom, the lifestyle is all there, the money’s there, the time, the creativity, everything, the passion. It’s just that there’s a little bit of a stepping stone to get there.
So you’ve probably got a few reasons that are holding you back from making that switch. In my case, I was really needing to make a certain amount of money just to pay the cost of living. Living in Sydney where the average house price is probably $700,000 or $800,000 is not cheap. Food is expensive in Australia, taxes are high, and it wasn’t really the same scenario as if I was 18, living from a backpack, traveling through Asia, you know, very different scenario.
I know there’s whole communities of people who travel around and are inspired by The 4-Hour Work Week, but I was not that typical person. I was stuck in this job because I needed the money. I was full of compromise. I had mortgages, and a family to feed. You can’t just say, well, I’m going to stop feeding everyone now, so let’s just do something different. I needed to make sure that the money sustains, so everything I’m talking about is relating to this scenario.
So my reasons were that I felt that a job was dangerous. That if the boss pressured, or didn’t like me, or couldn’t afford me, then I would be let go. There was also a huge economic fallout happening in the United States, at that time, and I could see a wave of panic spreading across from the U.S. across to Australia, and I knew we were battening down for a storm. And in the luxury car segment, that’s not a good feeling.
So maybe you’ve got some reasons why you want to move, and maybe you’re being stuck for some assumptions or excuses that really should be challenged. So I want you to be honest with yourself as I do this particular episode.
Face the truth
Step 1: Get real about your situation. A job might seem safe, but the truth is relying on one source for your income is just about the most dangerous position you can be in. It can take just one layoff, or a falling out with your boss, or a change in company policy, or a government change, to leave you without any financial resources to depend on. Make no mistake: you really have no control when you’re an employee.
There is an alternative
Step 2: Start thinking about the alternative. Having your own business offers more financial options. The ability to generate greater wealth, because you’re now no longer income capped. And when we say income capped, sure you might be a commission-only salesperson, but you can bet they’ve worked all their plans out on paying X amount. And if you start making too much, and I’ve seen this before, they start to change the plan so that it gets back to what their expectation is.
The reality is, you’re probably not going to make a 7-figure profit as an employee. And I could see that I was undervaluing myself. I had the opportunity to sit next to some super affiliates on an airplane at a conference, and really get to understand that these people were making 6 figures a month, and I was making a measly 300 grand a year. And they said to me something that I was thinking myself: I’m really ripping myself off. Because if there is a way to do it, maybe I should be doing it.
So I figured having my own business offered more financial options and that I’d get more control and less compromise, because what you want to do is get paid by hundreds or thousands of people, and then you’re no longer solo income dependent. And you have a chance to actually create the lifestyle you want.
And it sounds so corny and cheesy when you say that, and I know a lot of marketers play that trump card a lot. I tend not to play that trump card as much as other people, because I know there’s a big investment of time and energy and a lot of frustration on the pathway there. And you’ve got to be real about it. It’s not easy, but it is simple.
Step 3: Broaden your perspective. It takes a shift of mindset to look beyond what you’re accustomed to. You’ve been trained from the time you were a kid by your parents, who probably had jobs, and then you went to some kind of education, probably, where you were being trained by teachers who have jobs. And then you may have done some education after that, probably again by teachers, maybe theoretical, maybe some real world experience, and then you go and have jobs.
That’s pretty much how the system works. However, the world can be so much bigger than the office space and your monthly salary. So all the things that you held to be truisms maybe should be questioned. Is it possible that your high salary is actually significantly less than what you might get paid with your own business? And I would dare say that probably the average wage will be roughly a third of what you could make if you had your own business, if you factor in the risks and the challenges and all the other things that are required to be a responsible business owner.
I mean, there are huge responsibilities, but I’ve often had fun reversing around that Spiderman saying, you know, “With great power comes great responsibility”? Well, guess what, if you want to take on more responsibility, and I’m talking about hiring people, being responsible for paying their wages or contractors, putting your reputation on the line, if you want that kind of responsibility, it will actually attract power and wealth.
And if you want to grow your own business, you’re going to have to be very responsible. But the rewards are there, too. And it’s probably at least 3 times more than whatever wage you’re earning. However, you’ll have to be prepared to pay the price in terms of what you’ll have to do to get that reward.
So I found that when I was in this car dealership, it was like the brand or the manufacturer would almost convince you that there was no world beyond that. Like they put the big walls up, and they put the fear of death into you about your performance and your budgets and your targets and your pay plans and what you can and can’t do, like you can only paint the poles out the front of the building a particular shade of blue, and if it’s even the slightest bit wrong they all have to be repainted. I mean it was seriously draconian.
And you start to get the impression that they are in complete control and you have no ability to do anything. But once you get outside those walls, the world is just amazingly full of opportunity.
Overcome your fear
So step 4 is to take courage. I think too many people let fear prevent them from taking the leap. I’m not talking about blind stupidity, mind you. Pay attention to my story, and you’ll note that I didn’t quit my job before I had something else lined up. I would never suggest that you quit a job and start from zero, because you’re going to put yourself under massive pressure, huge compromise, you’ll act in a desperate fashion, and you’ll probably do things you wouldn’t normally do or shouldn’t do. So I suggest you have a backup plan. Do the job on the side until you get up and running.
For most people it’s a fear of failure. For some people, it’s a fear of actually succeeding. Can you imagine this? Could you imagine that tomorrow morning, you wake up, you have a million dollars cash in your bank account, you’ve got nothing on your schedule, now what will you do? What would you do today? Because that’s a daily reality for lots of entrepreneurs, people like me who have decided to take charge of my schedule. I could literally wake up and have nothing on my calendar, and then come all the choices.
And for some people, it’s overwhelming. It might sound ridiculous, but when you’ve come through a system where you’ve been told what to do for every minute, where you have constant carrot and stick, and hoops to jump through and rings of fire, and all these grueling schedules, and you’ve got to be here, you’ve got to be there, you’ve got to do this, here’s the deadline… If you actually stop for a minute and think about how little decision-making is involved in that, then you might be overwhelmed with the reality that you actually have an open schedule, and the world is your oyster, and whatever you want to create, you can.
That can actually be scary. For the first week after I quit my job, I used to wake up in the morning and almost have a panic that, “Oh my goodness, I don’t have to be somewhere right now. I’m not going to get in trouble if I’m 5 minutes late into the office.” And I can actually do what I need to do. And I thought at that time that the best thing I could do was just put my head down and work my butt off to make sure that I didn’t have to go back. And I worked hard, but not as smart as I want. I’m not talking about Gary V 17 hours a day hard, but I’m talking about a good 12 hours a day consistently 7 days a week.
And what I learned later on is that there’s a time to stop that panicked, frenzied activity and just time to get smarter, and I actually started leveraging having team members, and outsourcing, and being better with my content marketing instead of hit-and-run paid campaigns. So there’s all these other things that you hear me talk about on SuperFastBusiness, and they’ll be good clues as to how you can create a better lifestyle.
So once you’ve got the courage to say, “You know what? I can get over this hurdle. I’m not scared of success. I can handle it. If I have money in my account, and a free schedule, I’ll be able to put a plan together and think what next, and what next, and I’ll be able to do the right actions and get the results I want.“
Commit to your dream
Step 5: Make a commitment. Granted, it takes effort to build a business. I mean, you know that already, especially in the beginning. Like, especially in the beginning! You’ve got the least amount of money coming in, the least amount of customers, the most amount of uncertainty, the least proven funnels, everything is hard. But here’s the good news, is that as your business grows, it actually does get easier. It gets significantly easier as that flywheel speeds up and you build momentum.
But be ready to put in the time and energy. Perhaps forego a few hours of TV in the evening, and put that time into your budding enterprise. And do it while you’ve still got a job. If you ran a normal job and then spent two or three hours after your job working on your own business, I believe that you can cut loose just like I did.
And bear in mind that I made my first $100,000 selling one program as an affiliate. That’s it. And it was just $197 software. So it is possible with one product, chipping away at it, and I didn’t do everything perfectly, I made plenty of errors. But I also did a lot of things right, and that’s what I teach inside SuperFastBusiness membership. In fact if you still got a job and you’re trying to get this together, I would suggest that I can help you inside SuperFastBusiness membership, much faster than you trying to figure everything out yourself, and making a lot of the mistakes that you could make. Align yourself, invest in yourself that $79 a month to get my help.
What are your strengths?
Step 6 is cater to your strengths. What are you really good at? What are you extremely interested in that you could actually do for the next few years and not be extremely bored with? And that’s one of the indicators.
I don’t subscribe to the idea that you have to do your passion business. But I also don’t subscribe to the idea that you have to do something you absolutely hate just to make money. I think there’s somewhere in the middle where you can do stuff that you’re reasonably interested in that does quite well for you, and then from there you can decide what you want.
And I happen to be able to do both now, and that is to be able to do only the things that I really want to do, and then to even monetize things that I absolutely love, which is just the most exciting thing ever, it’s like the ultimate self actualization part where you can actually create, and design, and manufacture and sell and profit from things that you love.
So identify your core gifts and special strengths. And start with that, base around that as your starting point. Because you’re playing with the good hand. You’re playing with the deck stacked in your favor instead of trying to discover through trial and error all the business models you saw. If you don’t love T-shirts, there’s no need to go and start a Teespring campaign on Facebook because you saw some guy in the Warrior forum doing that.
Let’s get serious about this. Think about what magazines do you already buy, what do you watch on YouTube when no one’s looking? And where is the market of people who are already spending money, who are just like you, where you have some insider knowledge? Maybe you have specialist knowledge of a particular sport, or business technique, or skill. Maybe you use software better than other people.
In my case, I was not able to build a website, and I bought several solutions and really struggled, and finally I found one that made it easier, and I just documented all the steps that I used and found out how to enhance it a bit by combining things that I had been practicing and learning about with SEO and copywriting and I helped people get better results with their website, and I happened to sell the software as an affiliate.
That’s how I got started. From there, I got so good at that that I was then able to teach people how they could do the same thing, and so on and so forth, and then I built services around that. Mostly things that I needed myself, and then did, and then found someone else to do it, and then found other people who also need it, and managed to build a business from that.
I’ve just given you a pretty succinct formula for success there, but it does actually work. In fact one of the trainings inside my SuperFastBusiness membership is a live workshop I ran many years ago, about five years ago at the time of recording, where I actually, live in front of the crew, built a business which went on to be SEOPartner, which was a 7-figure-a-year search engine optimization business. I built it live in a workshop. It is actually possible.
Learn new skills
Step 7: add to your skillset. You’ve got to where you’ve got to know with what you know, and I’ve hopefully started to pry open a few of the assumptions you’ve got, maybe let some new ideas flow through. I’m seeking for you to gain abilities that will help you be a great entrepreneur. You do need to read and take up courses and prepare yourself for the new role as a business owner. It’s a different role than being an employee.
When you run the business you do have to make decisions. You do have to be responsible. You do have to time block. You do have to be able to make tough calls when other people would rather not. But that’s why you get the danger money. That’s why you get the extra pay, for doing things that other people are not prepared to do.
Do more of what works
Step 8. And I’ll take from Peter Drucker, one of my favorite mentors in the book form, Do the right things. Find out what works and do more of it. Just do more of what’s working. You’ll try many things that don’t work. And I learned from a super affiliate once. He used to start 10 campaigns, 9 of them would fail, one of them would be OK. And he’d just focus everything on that one campaign.
So drop whatever doesn’t get the results you’re after. You’ve probably got stuff on your hard drive, you’ve probably got books on your bookshelf, you’ve probably got half-finished projects. Just put them all to the side for now, just put one thing on your whiteboard, and do it. And if you’ve got something that already works, even a little bit, make it that one.
It might take some execution and refining and improvement and some questions and answers and frustrations and disappointments and trials and tribulations. However, once you know what you should be doing, just do it, because doing the right things is an active phrase. You actually have to do the right things, but you’ve got to DO them. You can’t just think about them or pontificate about them or debate them. You’ve got to do them.
Step 9: get out and meet people. You can’t really build a business in a vacuum. Network with people in the field where you hope to succeed. The biggest leaps and bounds I made with my online business was when I went to offline conferenceS, met people, observed speakers, got myself circulating in the real time environment.
At that time, I actually traveled across to the United States, which was an expensive and difficult thing to do, when I had a full time job and a family, holidays, etc. But I did it, and I learned from people and created connections that have served me well ever since. I still have some of the original contacts I made from that event and that was in 2006 or 2007. So at the time of recording, that was 8 years ago, and I’ve built and built and built. In fact, I’ve been back to the United States probably 50 times. I’ve built such strong connections. I’ve been to the U.K. many times.
Build connections in the places you want the connections. The markets you want to serve, go there. Get out and meet people.
Preparing to delegate
Step 10, you’ve got to prepare to delegate. You’ll eventually have to turn over tasks. In the beginning, I know the story: you’ve got no money, you have to do it yourself, but if you’re not a website developer or a graphic designer, or a copywriter, then what you’re going to put together is going to be pretty awful, and it’s going to be nowhere near what someone professional could do. With even a small budget, there’s usually suppliers for low rates even if you have to go to oDesk or Fiverr. But when you can step up to the next bucket, start buying a website from my site for example, for $299.
Instead of me learning how to build a website and spending the first 6 months trying to build one, I could have gone to a site like mine if it had existed, spent $299 and the site will be up the next day. It would have been installed for me, my opt-in coded, the logo updated, everything would have been there within the day, and I just didn’t have a service available at the time that could have done that. But now, that’s one of the things we supply at SuperFastBusiness.com.
So just turn over the stuff that you shouldn’t be doing. Keep in mind that you’ve got roughly 180 to 200 hours a month of capacity, and when that’s gone, it’s gone. That’s if you’re full time. If you still have a job, then you might have 2 or 3 hours a day and that’s going to about 60 hours a month. That’s 60 hours a month you have to treat like gold because time equals life. When you’ve burned that 60 hours, you’re on to the next month.
So here’s what I’m talking about, buying time. If you can actually pay a little bit of money and to buy other people’s time, you can get results faster. So from the very start, if you do anything yourself, at least document it, so that you can hire people to do it. If you possibly can afford to buy someone else to do it, do that. Pay an agency, pay a company, pay a contractor to do it for you. Get into communities like mine where there’s wholesale supplies for just about everything. From voice overs through to copywriting.
The importance of frameworks
Step 11: Use frameworks. Whether it’s selling, training, building websites, frameworks and checklists reduce error. Your airline pilot uses it, the nurse in the hospital uses it. It requires less thought, delivers consistent results, you can train other people to follow the instructions and step away from the machine. Frameworks are vital. If you sell, it’ll give you the most reliably consistent outcomes possible.
I still use frameworks on all of my high-level mastermind calls. Even though I know pretty much all of it of by heart, I still pull out the checklist and I dig right in, and get amazing results because the person I’m talking to is not missing a single step because the framework ensures that.
Step 12: Take full responsibility for your new life. Because no one is going to hand you $10 million. If you want change, if you really want change, you have to create if for yourself. It’s great hearing my words and getting inspired, but what you do right now when you put down your headphones from this podcast, or when you stop reading the transcription is up to you. You’re the one who has to take it to the next level.
I would be really interested in your comments and thoughts on this particular episode. If you want to leave a review on iTunes, I’m always appreciative of that. Thanks so much for listening. I hope to catch up with you on another episode soon.
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Answer this: What’s keeping you from taking the leap?