Everyone’s entrepreneurial journey is unique. Some business owners are serial entrepreneurs, constantly growing one business before moving on to the next. Some entrepreneurs started at a young age and have never been a W-2 employee. And some make the transition over time.
Janel Sykora, owner of Thought Leader Creative, is no stranger to business. While working a “9-5” she has always had a business on the side. Earlier this year, she made the leap from side hustle to full-time entrepreneur and hasn’t looked back since.
In our recent conversation, she shared some valuable insight about her transition to full-time business owner.
Listen to your gut
Like so many other entrepreneurs, Janel firmly believes that there is a tug that is constantly on the entrepreneur’s heart: the desire to have their own business. Often that desire has to compete with responsibilities and realities.
Obstacles such as fear, the expectations of others, or financial constraints can cause that passion to take a back seat…at least for a time.
One way to overcome those obstacles is to start your business slowly, over time while continuing to work your J-O-B. This allows you to grow your business to the point where it is more financially sustainable before relying solely on it for income. It is also a great litmus test to see if that truly is your passion.
As Janel grew her business and worked her W-2 job, she discovered that one of them definitely felt like “work”. Helping accounting firms differentiate themselves is what she loves. Growing her business was fueling her passion, and eventually she had to make a choice.
Understand your niche
Part of growing your own business is finding and serving your ideal customer. Understanding your niche and customer is crucial for adding value and succeeding as an entrepreneur. It’s important to immerse yourself in their world so that you can understand their needs.
Going into business can’t be just about making money. True success is found when you turn the focus toward your customer and find a way to solve their problem or help them.
Build your team
When you’re deciding whether it’s the right time to step into the world of entrepreneurs full time, there can be a lot of fear. That fear usually centers around not knowing how to get it started. Making time to talk to an accountant can take some of the stress away. Having a CPA advisor is one of the best investments you can make in your business.
As Janel continues to grow her business, having the right people that can help her grow is a focus. It can be an easy trap to fall into: creating a job for yourself and doing it all.
But in order to grow, you have to get out of your own way. And that means finding a team that can support you. Janel’s first step was hiring a virtual assistant to help handle some of the administrative tasks.
Having the right people in the right roles is the key to growing your business. Don’t be afraid to find the right person and teach them the skills they need to fill a specific role. Not only will you empower them to step into their full potential, but you will also create space for you as the business owner to focus on your goals.