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How to follow your bliss with business success

 

Make or break business tip

 

Many of my readers may not be aware of the fact that before starting my coaching business 4 years ago, for more than a quarter of a century, I worked globally in the financial services sector and trail blazed a path for fellow lady professionals in the field of audit and finance.

2016 will see my return to business and finance coaching – a continuation of my journey to follow my bliss with business success. This is the first of a series of blog posts where I will share my knowledge and experience to help fellow professionals make a successful transition and offer my services for the same.

 

The journey to self-expression begins with resolve to succeed

When I first started off on my second solopreneur journey in 2008, I was determined that this time, I would not be lured back into a job even if the offer was, to paraphrase the great Don Corleone  in The Godfather,  ‘make them an offer they cannot resist’.

I had tried being a solopreneur before and did well with my assignments. I even played elephant polo in the jungles of Nepal and thus, am entitled to actually add the title WEPA (World Elephant Polo Associate) behind my name. Then one of my contractual assignments transformed into an employment contract. It worked out splendidly at the time but now, I wanted to taste real freedom (with money of course) and experience my Ikigai.

 

Roadmap to business success karmic ally coaching

 

Determination and resolve have been key to making this second journey work out for me  and as I continue on the Home Run to end 2015 shouting my word for the year Success, my business is transforming and I’ll be showing other careerists who want to be business people, how to do the same in 2016.

 

The journey to entrepreneurship is not an easy one

All the wonderful quotes on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and other social media sites can tell you about following your bliss, sweet spots, Ikigai, Ideal Client, Ideal Market, Target Market, LinkedIn Social Selling Index, B2B, B2C, websites, Content Marketing, Networking et cetera et cetera till the cows come home.

What they don’t tell you is that the journey is not easy unless you have your own unique Roadmap to Success.

Not the one that you found via Google or on someone’s website and did a copy paste or found a couple of them, liked them and imitated them because they sounded good. We are talking about the Roadmap that you have created that is meant for you and the business that you want to create to justify your desire to be different, to make a difference and earn some good money in the process.

The blog posts and business coaches who do mention this find their message blind sighted. There is a good reason why we do this. Why till the soil when El Dorado beckons? I ask, Why Not?

My guest blogger Roslyn Tanner shared 5 job loss truths and suggested that being made redundant is a time when we should explore what we really want to do. If you read her recommendation carefully, Roslyn advises to take some time to explore if this is viable for you to start now.

That piece of advice is solid gold and if you read the comments for that blog post, you will notice that there are lots of successful entrepreneurs who left comments about their own foray into being their own boss. They created their own Roadmap.

 

What should you include in your Business Roadmap?

 

Be Smart -Tips for your business roadmap

 

Different businesses have different Roadmap requirements but there are some areas that are common to all of them. A bit of planning can get you started in the right direction. Here are 3 points to consider while creating your business Roadmap.

 

Do you have a viable concept, service or product?

Viable means that whatever you decide to sell, be it a product or service will earn you money and once you hit your stride, generate a steady income. Starving Artist is a romantic concept but in real life, can be quite a blow to your self-esteem and confidence if you have to borrow money or get your home loan foreclosed.

Make sure your plan puts your wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise to good use that enables you to bring in money. Make sure that there is a demand for what your business will offer. In other words, is there a market for what your business will sell?

I remember during the time I was doing my IFRS accounting consulting in India, I knew that there was a window for business implementation service and my roadmap included the fact that I would be making another switch after 2-3 years.

Training was also in demand which was more copy paste from accounting standards including the examples of application. Businesses offering certification and training mushroomed overnight and I used to get feelers to do training and provide content because the key to success was to be able to show how to implement it.

That was one of my key differentiators that I provided that along with the hands on work of preparing for convergence and stayed away from collaborations which would have meant working for someone else instead of for me who wanted to sell training on a bulk basis with little care if the trainer would be able to give the required attention to the participant.  They talked about affordability and doing ‘good work’, i.e. pro bono or pittance fee while I dreamed of a premium focused training and high knowledge retention rates.

I knew what I wanted and did it. Others didn’t, and when the Ministry of Corporate Affairs put the convergence of these accounting standards with the existing Indian accounting standards on hold, I wasn’t really affected because I was already exiting the service at a time when people in the profession with far less experience were setting up businesses for that service and competing with companies that were offering training and certification even if the trainer was just teaching from slides created from the accounting standards with no real implementation guidance.

Guess what? They are all back in jobs – sadder and wiser, now working to make their employers successful but that is what they had to do when their savings started to deplete. Had they thought of the next consideration, they might have realized that their timing and market knowledge was off the mark. Way off the mark.

 

Can you hold your own in the market?

In other words, have you checked out the competition? Is there something unique about your product or service that buyers will want to buy from you instead of another equally good vendor?

Anyone can set up a website and hire a good copywriter to create alluring words. You can go to market and make great presentations too. But what is your key differentiator? Other than saying that we are good at what we do?

My Unique Selling Proposition (USP) in my consulting days was that I facilitated knowledge transfer to the finance staff and worked with them to make sure that when my contract finished, the client was self-sufficient in that area.

What about you? What’s your differentiator? Your USP? What can you offer that the next business in your area cannot? Do you have the bandwidth to pitch for business or will you go looking for collaborators after you have made an impressive bid and won it but are clueless on how you will deliver? Having you figured out your pricing strategy?

At that point in time, ‘following your bliss and doing something you like’ won’t help. What will help is researching the marketplace, your competitors and identifying your place under the sun while making money.

While you are doing your research, enroll the help of your family and trusted friends as a sounding board for your business idea. Their perspective will help you to see the things that you can get blind sighted to in the enthusiasm that you are going to show your boss and corporate foes how things are done.

I do it all the time (consult my sounding board, that is) and often have to rework my ideas in the light of new knowledge to make them viable and so do many of my professional colleagues.

While we are still on the subject of research, if you are married and/or have children, now is a good time to talk to your spouse and get some idea buy-in. Your decision is going to affect their lifestyle and without their support, you might have a very tough time.

 

What about the Money, Honey?

Setting up a business, even if it is from your guest bedroom or garage is going to require start-up investment costs and adequate reserve funds to cover running costs until you start getting the cash to flow in and break even. You will also have financial obligations on the personal front.

I don’t want to frighten you but many businesses run on a deficit in the first few years and any income that comes in is ploughed back into the business to cover the costs that the business is incurring to stay afloat.

You need to get your finances sorted out to cover this. This includes working out your seed capital requirements, a financial plan for the first 12 months of your business, finding investors, having a buffer for your living expenses (at least cover 6 months), insurance, mortgage (if you have one) and perhaps even a contingency fund.

 

And then the secret sauce for business success

I’ve only covered 3 aspects that you need to look into while planning to jump from that energy sucking job into being an entrepreneur. But there is more to it than that. It is what I like to call the Secret Sauce for Success – being ready for becoming a business person.

I’ve created a Business Readiness Self-Assessment Tool that can help you determine if being in business is the right thing for you and what other steps you need to take to get ready.

Just click the link below the image to see what this self-assessment tool is all about. You will learn a lot about yourself and your state of readiness.

Karmic Ally Coaching Business Readiness Self-AssessmentI want to learn more!

 

Conclusion

Nobody likes failure, especially failing to achieve your dream of being a successful business person. If that is what makes your heart sing, then you owe it to yourself to plan well and move forward from a place of confidence making informed decisions.

Are you ready to become a business person? Have you got all your ducks in a row? Tell me more in the comments box below.

 

 

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24 Responses to “How to follow your bliss with business success”

  1. Ian Campbell says:

    Great road map Vatsala. I especially like the fact that you say you need your own unique map rather than the copy/paste solution that so many “experts” advise. Your business may be similar to others out there, but unless you create your own point of difference you will get lost in the crowd. Congratulations on returning to your bliss. 🙂

  2. Very interesting read Vatsala. In a world that seems to be breeding “experts” in almost every field, how do we differentiate ourselves from everyone else? You’ve given some powerful food for thought and I think finding our individual unique point of difference is the important key. Because my way of working, based on my personal experiences and training, is more esoteric, I find it challenging to “explain” to others. They see it in everything I do and write, yet it isn’t as easy to share it so others understand that hugely unique difference. Thanks for offering your business readiness assessment and all your experience and expertise with us all! Congrats on returning to following your bliss.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      I love the way you’ve answered the question that you raised about differentiating ourselves in ‘a world that seems to be breeding “experts” ‘. 🙂 Sadly that is so true. Being able to identify your individual unique point of difference or USP is essential and it does exist. I find it is normally the one thing, talent or skill that we take for granted but others struggle with it.

      For example, I took part in a Challenge a few weeks back where we were asked to do a quick survey of our closest friends about what they thought of our skills and one of the questions was what they considered to be our Super Power. The friends that I chose have known me at different stages of my life and are still close to me. Would you believe me if I said they all unanimously said my Super Power was my analytical mind? I take it for granted and here was a mirror being held up to me to see that it was my USP!

      People with a more spiritual modality often find it challenging to explain what they do to others. Perhaps start your explanation with a ‘you know how…’ kind of statement and then lead into your Elevator Speech? It might be an idea worth trying.

      Thanks for all your support and encouragement for my returning to my Ikigai position, Beverley. I appreciate you!

  3. Deb Nelson says:

    Hi Vatsala – good tips and suggestions – and, yes, a unique road map for each unique dream. Lot of pieces need to be put into place for a successful business and when that happens, what a day!

  4. Tamuria says:

    I wish I knew you before I started blogging Vatsala. This article sure makes you ask yourself some important questions. I have absolutely no idea what my USP is, but I now understand that answering that question will be key to my success.Finding and following your ikigai is wonderful but knowing how to make it work for you is smart. Congratulations on returning to yours.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      I am grateful that we know each other now, Tamuria. I’ll be blogging about USPs in the near future. Watch this space. 🙂

  5. It is so clear from this presentation that you will succeed. You know where you are going, what sets you apart, how to present yourself. You took all your past skills through a journey to arrive at the place you are now at. Thank you for referring to my guest blog. if oceans dis not separate us, we could collaborate.
    Ther are so many points you make that are right on target. 2016 will be exciting for you.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thank you for your good wishes, Roslyn. I am sure we can collaborate. Your encouragement is precious. I appreciate you!

  6. Well said that it’s a tedious process and you need to really want to do, basically to feel it, down to your bones, every single day.

    Because otherwise you’re bound to give up. There are times when things don’t work the way you planned them to, or don’t work at all. Having that fire and passion in you to go on is absolutely crucial.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      I agree with you 100% Delia. We often don’t realize it but in the corporate world, our employers cushion us against the big bad world. When we start our own business, we need to have the passion and determination to ride out any tempest because we have more at stake than in a job.

  7. It is so important to feel blissful and passionate about what you are doing for work 🙂 Finding your own path is key to having success and staying with it through all of the ups and downs on your journey 🙂

    Thanks Vatsala for sharing these very important points!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      You’ve raised an important point, Joan, about feeling blissful and passionate about the work we choose. It is crucial to ensure that we have the motivation to get up each morning and work towards realizing our dream business, especially when we hit a tempest or two on the way.

  8. Awesome share on finding your bliss and passion and how important it is on your journey , Vatsala!

    Thank you for sharing!

  9. Hi Vatsala,
    Finding your bliss and passion for what you do, is so important and key to your success!
    Thanks for sharing your awesome tips to do that 🙂

  10. Hi Vatsala,
    Really great post! Finding your bliss and staying on your own path is so important to finding success 🙂 Thanks for sharing your awesome tips!

  11. Winging it in business just doesn’t work. You need a plan to follow and lucky for all of us, there are resources out there to help us.. not the same as it was 25 years ago.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      I’m with you, Gisele. Sadly, many times young professionals jump into business without thinking it through carefully because they are just fed up with the corporate working conditions when stepping back and thinking it through carefully is a key to successful shift into self-employment.

  12. Great post! The journey to entrepreneurship is so unpredictable and most can’t handle it. If you’re afraid to fail it’s not for you. I am constantly thinking of ways to set my business a part. I constantly ask why would a client want to see me versus the hundreds of therapists within 20 miles of me.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      The journey to entrepreneurship requires determination and confidence in our ability to make it work even if it means having to redo our plan and adjust to change. Clearly a mindset challenge, Sharise. I love the question that you ask yourself, that is the best way to find your uniqueness and justify why a client should seek you out above others in your radius.

  13. Lesa says:

    Just because you have a great idea, doesn’t mean anyone will buy it. Have you ever heard of SixDegrees.com? It was Facebook before Facebook was a glimmer in Mark Zuckerberg’s eye. But unlike FB, it didn’t catch on and disappeared by 2000, less than 3 years after it launched. It’s VERY important to consider what your intended audience wants and needs before sinking your time and resources into any business idea.

    Oh, and owning your own business will be the hardest job you’ve ever had. And forget about paid vacations and sick leave (LOL). For those of us who love being an entrepreneur, there is no better life, but don’t choose it if you aren’t prepared to work hard.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      SixDegrees isn’t the only social network that didn’t work out, Lesa. I remember quite a few and there are new ones mushrooming everyday which haven’t been able to match good old Facebook. 🙂

      That is in fact the main reason why before one even thinks of opening shop, my advice is to consider whether one has a viable idea or concept and if there is a market for it. Otherwise, one won’t have a business but an expensive hobby. I go into more detail about this in my workbook 5 things you need to work on before jumping into business.

      Owning one’s own business is not so hard, provided one plans it properly and knows what to delegate, outsource and what one has to do by oneself. We wear different hats even in our corporate world jobs and that gets transferred to our business. The key difference is that our business is our baby and just like human parents know that raising a child is hard work, so is our business. But raising a good human being is akin to creating a successful business. Parents do grumble sometimes about not having time off but they do it. It comes down to mindset and whether we are really willing to give it our all to make it work.

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Meet your coach

I work with driven, passionate, talented and ambitious professionals who've hit a speed breaker in their business or career create their desired breakthrough reclaiming control of their situation with customized strategies and tactics that work.

Using a combination of intuition and analytical skills, I help my clients identify their real issues with exercises to still their mind and allow their inner feeling to emerge in a place of confidentiality and trust. 

When my clients first come to me, they are not in a very happy place and need clarity about themselves and their chosen vocation. Their professional problems are playing havoc with other areas of their life. They know they need to take radical steps to change the status quo but they also know that they need support and accountability to get them their desired result.

 

I really get it, because at one point, I also experienced getting lost in my work rationalizing decisions that were detrimental to the other aspects of my life. I’ve struggled with and won battles of stress management, life balance and career decisions to emerge in a place where I can confidently say that I live my desired life according to my personal Manifesto and have created a business that provides me with a platform for my desired lifestyle and self-expression for myself. I want that for you too!

 
I adhere to the Certified Coaches Alliance Code of Ethics and Standards. A copy is available on request.
1st place BCB 2012
Email: Vatsala(at)karmicallycoaching(dot)com Phone:91 9818517664
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