Enjoying the Journey: How to Travel The Long Road

Katie Corbett holds the book "The Hobbit"

By Katie Corbett

 

The journey of entrepreneurship or career change can be daunting. You might not get there as quickly as you might like. You might know where you want to go, and have no idea how you’ll get there.

 

I have read the first chapter of “The Hobbit,” by J. R. R. Tolkien more than once. This is because it is LONG. It’s one of the longest chapters in the book, and at almost 50 pages, it’s pretty long for a starting chapter. Here are some takeaways I’ve gotten from pushing through it multiple times:

 

In this book, as well as in entrepreneurship and career change, you might be getting those feelings you got as a kid on a road-trip. Your parents probably told you to sit back and enjoy the scenery every time you asked, “Are we there yet?” I would agree. Enjoy the journey.

 

Everything will be answered in time. You no doubt have questions that can’t be easily answered. That’s what it felt like reading that first chapter. Will Bilbo go on the journey? Where will everyone sleep? Why did Bilbo have so much food? Why didn’t everyone do their breakfast dishes? You know, important questions like that. Some questions will be answered in the future, and others will not. I think being OK with that helps me be OK with spontaneity and carry onwards.

 

You might have to slog now, but it will be worth it. Getting through that first chapter was a chore, and I’m so glad I did it. I got to read so many other enjoyable chapters after that and would have had no clue what was going on if I hadn’t read that first chapter. So while you’re applying for that job that asks you to fill out your life history, or reading boring legal articles to try to figure out how to file the paperwork necessary to start your business, keep in mind that the best is yet to come. Every step you take now will get you closer to where you want to be in the future.

 

In what ways do you push yourself to succeed? Did you slog through something that took forever, but you’re proud you did it? How has it paid off? Drop it in the comments.

 

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The Benefits of a One-Page Business Plan

Katie Corbett holds the book, "$100 Startup."

By Katie Corbett

While not strictly necessary to get started with your own business opportunity, a business plan can be a great way to feel like your venture is legit. When I began my garment project, one of the first things I did was to create my business plan. I didn’t do it totally on my own, though, and it wasn’t complicated to draw up. Here’s why.

In “The $100 Start-Up,” Chris Guillebeau talks about the idea that only three things are necessary to make money running your own business: a product or service, a way for you to get paid, and people who will pay you for that product or service. Writing a business plan can help you figure out if you have a viable idea.

Fortunately, a template for a simple, one-page business plan is included in the book. Writing up this basic business plan helped me:

• Clearly define my concept and what problems I was solving with my product.
• Brainstorm funding ideas.
• Determine my target market.
• Get all my thoughts out in writing, which made the project feel more real, and less like an idea in my head.
• Outline steps and benchmark goals towards completion.
• Intelligently discuss my project with people who would be working on it with me.
• Organize my thoughts and ideas.
• Decide if this was something I was willing to work on for an extended period of time.
• Realize what resources I could contribute in terms of time, money and effort.
• Discover where I needed guidance or expertise from others.

Writing up a business plan doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right template and a little time spent thinking, a business plan can be created to help you determine the life cycle, scope and money-making viability of a business idea.

I encourage you to grab a copy of “The $100 Start-Up” and get to work on your business plan. This will take your project from just an idea in your head to a process written down on paper. The act of creating your plan will ready you to bring your thoughts into the world.

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Do you have what it takes to be your own boss?

Katie Corbett holds "The Everything Career Tests" book

By Katie Corbett

 

When I was unemployed, I had the idea in the back of my mind that starting my own business could be fun. Besides, I had just come from an experience at a job where I’d had an awful manager, so the idea of being my own boss was very appealing. I had also just read, “The 4-Hour Workweek,” by Tim Ferriss, and was enchanted by his carefree lifestyle. I wasn’t sure if I had the grit to make it as a business owner, so I was relieved when I found an assessment test in “The Everything Career Tests Book,” by Robin Holt.

 

When I took the assessment, I realized I wasn’t comfortable not earning a steady paycheck, wasn’t sure I was up to the strategic analysis I would need, and didn’t feel I had a viable business idea yet. The result I got was to move forward slowly.

 

I got a part-time job so I could pay the bills while I started my business. I connected with other entrepreneurs who could support me in my journey. I found fellow career coaches and interviewed them about how they made coaching work. I recognized that my strengths didn’t lie in video production, web development, or graphic design, so I hired other freelancers to work with me on those aspects of my business. I’ve been reading sales books and attending workshops about how to get more clients.

 

It has been a slow process. I haven’t replaced my income yet to a point to where I’m comfortable enough to leave my job. I’m happy with my progression and I’m a firm believer that when it is time, things will fall into place.

 

Do you wonder if you have the passion and perseverance to start a business venture? Why not pick up a copy of “The Everything Career Tests Book” and find out. As it did for me, the assessment will guide you to what you need to work on to get yourself to a place of readiness and confidence.

 

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