Entries with tag entrepreneurship .

5 Tips to Transition from Full-Time to Freelance

Would you like to quit your 9-5 job and become a freelancer instead?  If so, read on.  We have some tips to help make the transition an easier one:

  1. Do the Math.  Before you quit your day job, it's important to determine how much money you need to meet your expenses.  Grab your calculator and figure out what your fixed costs are, how much discretionary income you'd like to have, and whether there are any areas of spending you can cut.

  2. Save Money.  Once you've created your target freelancing budget, you're going to want to create a nest egg.  This will give you a sense of security should you have any unexpected problems as a freelancer.  Most experts advise that your nest egg be equivalent to 6 months of income or more.

  3. Promote Yourself.  One thing you'll learn as a freelancer is that you'll need to become adept at marketing yourself and your services.  Create a freelancing profile, update your LinkedIn page, begin networking, and familiarize yourself with the various methods freelancers use to promote themselves.

  4. Begin Moonlighting.  While all of the preceding steps are useful, you're not ready to quit your day job just yet!  Start taking on side work and building client relationships as a freelancer.  These projects will help you be well-prepared for the day that you do quit your job.  If you have a flexible employer, you may want to ask if you can work a reduced schedule for reduced pay—this will give you the opportunity to make your transition gradually.

  5. Make the Leap.  When you're confident you can support yourself as a freelancer, it's time to quit your job.  Once you're self-employed, you're going to want to approach freelancing the same way you would your 9-5 job—set goals for yourself, adhere to regular working hours, and create a structure that will support your success.

Why Risk Taking Works (Usually!)

While there are some people who embrace risk-taking, for many of us, the very idea is an uncomfortable one.  Yet, studies show that people who take risks are happier and more satisfied with their lives.  That being said, how can someone who is naturally cautious become more comfortable with risk-taking?

Brave author Margie Warrell has the answer.  She suggests that if we knew the odds were stacked in our favor when it comes to risk-taking, we'd be more comfortable taking chances.  In her article, Take A Risk: The Odds Are Better Than You Think, Warrell identifies 4 critical thinking mistakes people make when it comes to risk-taking.  They can be summarized as follows:

  1. We Overestimate the Probability of Something Going Wrong.

    Rather than consider all of the benefits that might occur as a result of taking a risk, we're more inclined to focus on the potential disadvantages.  Because those disadvantages loom large in our mind, we often misjudge the likelihood of them occurring.

  2. We Engage in Catastrophizing.

    Catastrophizing refers to our tendency to imagine the worst possible scenario.  For instance, a person might feel fearful at the thought of becoming an entrepreneur, because their business could fail, they could then lose all of their money, subsequently they'd lose their house, their wife, their social stature, etc.  As you can see, while technically this could happen, we tend to exaggerate the negative consequences of risk-taking.

  3. We Underestimate Ourselves.

    As Warrell explains, sometimes we let our misgivings that we “have what it takes to succeed,” prevent us from taking risks.  It's unfortunate because many talented people allow their doubts about their abilities to hold them back.

  4. We Minimize or Deny the Cost of Maintaining the Status Quo.

    When we're risk-adverse, we tend to tell ourselves that “things aren't so bad,” or the unhappiness of the status quo is superior to the unhappiness associated with trying something new and failing.  Yet that isn't usually the case. Unfortunately, issues that we try to sweep under the rug tend to grow in magnitude, becoming worse the longer we ignore them.  

4 Common Myths About Entrepreneurship

Have you ever dreamed of becoming your own boss?  Have you imagined yourself quitting your day job to start your own company?  If so, you may be seduced or deterred by some of the myths out there surrounding entrepreneurship.  In this blog post, we intend to debunk the most common ones so you have a better understanding of what entrepreneurship is really like:

  1. Entrepreneurs Aren't Made, They're Born.

    One popular philosophy about entrepreneurs is that they have this innate, genetic ability to build their own businesses.  This surmises that you can't learn entrepreneurship “on the job” or through entrepreneurship coursework.  However, most experts agree this isn't the case and believe that anyone who applies himself can become a successful entrepreneur.

  2. The More Products and Services Offered, the Better.

    New entrepreneurs may be too eager to please.  When that occurs, they can be tempted to offer more products and services than they can reasonably support, ultimately spreading themselves too thin.  It's useful for entrepreneurs to remember that sometimes, less is more.

  3. Entrepreneurs Are Their Own Boss.

    Yes and no.  While it's true that you may not have a boss in the stereotypical sense, you will still have people you need to report to, whether they're clients, shareholders, or business partners.

  4. Entrepreneurship Requires a “Type A” Personality.

    When we think of entrepreneurs, we tend to imagine the type of hard-charging executive who takes Skype meetings on his cell phone while he's on the treadmill.  While it's true that some entrepreneurs are Type A, that temperament isn't a requirement of being a successful entrepreneur.  If you exhibit some of the positive traits associated with a Type A personality—like motivation and adherence to deadlines—you can successfully build a business even if you tend to be more easygoing.   

How Do I Know My Business Idea Is A Good One? 4 Ways to Tell

Are you wondering if you could make a killing by launching your idea for a business?  If so, you probably want to know how good the idea really is but may not know where to begin.  We've got the answers right here.  Read on to learn 4 ways to tell if you should proceed with your idea.

  1. Is Your Idea Unique?  Chances are good you have a restaurant location in your neighborhood that's changed names and ownership many times over the years.  That's because the restaurant industry is historically a tough one to succeed in—with so many food service competitors, it's difficult to stand out.  Which brings us to your idea—is it unique?  Is it something that others can easily copy?  If it can be easily copied, can you get patents and trademarks to protect it?  Successful ideas bring copycat competitors so ideally, your idea is one that's unique and difficult to imitate.

  2. Does It Solve a Problem?  Some of the most successful business ideas solve unique problems.  If you've identified a problem—and developed an innovative solution—consider that an indication your business idea may be worth pursuing.

  3. What Do People You Trust Think?  Have you shared your idea with people you respect and asked for their honest feedback?  What do they think about it?  Is it a product or service they'd be interested in?  Why or why not?  By gauging people's reactions to your idea, you'll be better able to assess its likelihood of success.

  4. Will People Pay What It Takes to Bring Your Product to Market?  You don't want to develop a $20 product to fix a $1 problem.  Try to determine roughly what it would cost to make your product and what you'd have to charge to make a profit.  Use this information to determine whether the projected price would be too high for the average consumer.  

4 Money Tips You Can Take to the Bank

Did you make a New Year's resolution to become more financially responsible in 2017?  If so, we'd like to help you achieve that goal by sharing our best money tips:

  1. Create a Budget.  Creating a budget may seem like an arduous task, but it really is to your benefit.  By establishing spending categories and tracking where your money goes, you'll be able to balance income and expenses, while making it easier to save for long-term goals.  If you find the thought of creating a budget intimidating, download a budgeting app like Mint or Wally to make the process a relatively painless one.

  2. Know Your Value.  If it's been a long time since you've compared your salary to your peers, get to it!  Look online to find out how much people in similar roles with comparable years of experience are earning.  You may discover that you're being vastly underpaid and that the new year is an ideal time for exploring your career options.

  3. Develop an Emergency Fund.  Nearly one-third of Americans have no money saved up to use in case of an emergency.  Unfortunately, those same people put themselves at risk if they have unexpected expenses like medical bills or car repairs.  If you aren't living paycheck to paycheck and have the ability to put money aside, do so.  Experts recommend that at a minimum, you keep enough money in an emergency fund to cover 6 months of expenses.

  4. Go Easy with the Credit Cards.  If you have credit cards, use them responsibly by aiming to spend no more than 25% of your credit line.  And when the bill comes, pay your credit cards in full on time.  By doing so, you'll avoid paying the high interest rates and late fees that create financial difficulties for so many people.