Go from 9–5 to 24/7 real slow (Drake Voice)
One sure fire way to block your blessings is to move by fear and not by sight. Sight, in this case, equals a unique vision. We all have a unique vision but we all do not act on that unique vision.
For some of us, our vision is crystal clear, we know exactly what we want, how we are going to get it and who is going to help us get it. Cool. Some of us know what we want but are afraid to go get it. Others, the vision is there but procrastination and excuses lead the way instead of taking the leap and securing a future that surpasses solely working for bosses and wages. Acting on a vision will actually lead to working for ourselves and for profit. A big difference.
The lovely people at Rocnation tell us:
“Greatness is a process”
Same goes for moving into entrepreneurship. It is a process. This process can be fucking difficult. Excuse the curses but shit, it’s hard. But, it is also rewarding.
A little bit about me
I’m a self-taught designer. I went to art school though, so it’s not like I just watched youtube for hours and learned how to design websites and style guides, not that there is anything wrong with that either, definitely saves some money. I studied traditional illustration at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. I became an editorial illustrator, my digital paintings were featured in magazines and online, I was proud. Shortly after, I transitioned to fashion design for a couple different companies even did work with Def Jam, Nike and Adidas, then moved to marketing designer at Complex Media and to senior designer at a boutique design agency in Manhattan. Pretty cool. It was at the boutique agency when I knew I wanted to work for myself, this is where I went from wantrepreneur to entrepreneur.
While working at the boutique agency I learned a lot. I learned different processes in regard to art and design and how to run a business. I watched, listened and learned from the Creative Director who was also the Founder of the agency. I saw what worked and what didn’t, I saw how I’d approach certain tasks, jobs, and clients differently. I compiled all of this and set some intentions for myself and added a due date as to when I’d put these ideas to the test and work for myself.
I wrote a list
Evernote was my friend. After reading Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill I was all about words of affirmation and auto-suggestion. I wrote a list of wants, how to exit my 9–5 and begin working for myself. I obsessively reviewed my list to keep me focused on my goal.
I hit my goal. I wrote my list mid 2014. My target date to begin working for myself was March 9th, 2015. I started working for my self January 1, 2015. Here is what I found.
In order to work for yourself, you need to know who you are working for. Yes, you may be done working for your boss, you got the juice now. However, you need someone to buy from you. Whether it is a product or a service, someone needs to buy from you. We are working for profits. The question becomes, who will it be? I’ve found a few questions that can be asked and answered to that help narrow down the target customer or client.
What websites do they like? What apps do they use? When do they use them and how do they use them? How old are they? Are they married? Did they graduate? How do they identify? Are they parents? What will your product or service do for them? How much money do they make? What are they passionate about?
Asking tons of questions will help zone in on who you are going to serve, aka who will buy from you.
What are you going to offer? What are you selling? Have no idea, or have an idea but could use some clarity? Yup, more questions.
What do you spend your money on?
What do you love to do?
What are everyday problems in your life that you can solve?
And more questions.
What are the leading blogs/magazines/publications in the industry?
Who are the leaders and influencers in the industry?
How are people already making money in the industry?
Answers to these questions and more bring clarity to what you will bring to the marketplace or what you will improve on that already exists in the marketplace.
You may be at a job planning your exit to entrepreneurial freedom. If so, you’ll need an exit plan. Your exit plan is similar to the list I wrote, it details what you want to do, what you are going to do, how and why you are going to do it and a major key, when you are going to do it. Setting due dates helps to actually mark the task complete instead of keeping it in the dream category.
Another important one. Why do you want to work for yourself? For freedom? Now, thats big because it usually takes much more work to work for yourself than it does to work with or for a boss. Why do you want to work for yourself, to have more control of your schedule? If that’s the case, negotiate with your boss for a different schedule. While working at the boutique design agency I was able to work from home once a week and in office 3 days a week with Fridays off. It was great. Why else would you want to work for yourself, to be in control of when and how you work? Again, why? So you can offer better results for the people you’re doing work for? Yup, why? Because you want to make a solid difference in the field you love and want to help others. Now that’s much more accurate than just wanting a flexible schedule. Need some more? Refer to Simon Sinek, he’s known for Start with Why.
What action items will you need to complete to bring your idea to life? Well lets list a few items and resources:
- Notes: Evernote, Google Docs
- Meditation: Headspace, Calm
- To Do Lists: Evernote, Wunderlist, Things
- Business Plan Templates: PandaDoc, Biz Plan
- Incorporate Your Business: Legal Zoom, Stripe Atlas
- (Mobile) Mentors: Ramit Sethi, Paul Jarvis, Jamie Masters, Fabolous (yes the rapper)
- Design Your Own Logo: Canva
- Design Your Own Website: Squarespace, Shopify
- Send Newsletters: Mailchimp
- Send Contracts: PandaDoc, Hellosign, Docusign
- Send Invoices: And.co, Bonsai
- Send and Receive Money: PayPal, Cash
- Set Meetings: Calendly
Okay, so all of the work above is cool. The answers you have, the time you put in, awesome but it means nothing without action. This is about implementation. Put your findings to work. Review your list. Abide by your due dates. Find an accountability partner. Find a mentor. Go from wanting to start a business to actually starting a business. Say “F*ck It!” and launch. It’s better to launch and fix problems than to wish and keep your ideas in your mind. Once your idea is out in the world, you did it! You can then revise and adjust.
I’m Eric Jordan but go by EJordanill (Eric Jordan Illustration) I’m a designer and consultant. My aim is to share relevant apps and resources to help the entrepreneur “Fire Their Designer” and get it done themselves. Check out my ebook here www.fireyourdesigner.co
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