Breaking the corporate ties

Guest blogger, the wonderful Coastal Coach Juliette Dyke specialises in helping women leave the corporate rat race in favour of more freedom and flexibility.

Here she share her invaluable tips to make it happen.

Do you wish you could get your business off the ground, but feel trapped in your corporate job? I know how you feel.

Two years ago, I was still working in a corporate 9-5 job in London. I was unhappy, unfulfilled, and completely stuck in a rut.
Then a series of health problems hit me, and I had to undergo three operations in one year. That was a lightbulb moment. I knew that life was short, I was totally burned out, and needed to make some radical changes.

After hiring a career coach, I finally realised that what I loved to do was help people find a career and life that gave them a sense of fulfilment, freedom and happiness. This led to three life changing decisions: to retrain as a coach myself, start my own business and to leave London and achieve a life-long dream of living by the coast.
And so I now live in Brighton, and work with purpose driven people, who want to find a meaningful career they love, or start a business that makes a difference.

One of the hardest things I discovered about starting your own business, is finding the courage to give it a go. We often assume that ‘entrepreneurs’ are these hard-nosed, suited and booted business people who work all hours of the day and night and have to sell their soul in the process. And understandably that can scare people off.
But in reality entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes. By going to networking events and joining online groups, I met lots of inspirational, lovely people who were running purpose driven businesses that fitted around their lifestyle and made a difference in the world. That made it all seem much more achievable and gave me the confidence to step out on my own.

So here are my five top tips for getting your new venture off the ground:

1. Know your strengths
If you don’t have a clear business idea yet, then start by getting to know your strengths. Make a note of the things you love doing the most. What comes easily to you? What do you feel motivated and energised to do? In positive psychology, this is called ‘being in flow’ and it’s how you can identify when your individual strengths and talents are being fully engaged.

2. Ask yourself what problem you would like to solve for people?
That’s the sweet spot between doing what you love, and having a viable business idea. Don’t just guess what your potential customers might be struggling with, get out there and ask them. Then create a solution.

3. Think about the lifestyle you want to create
Imagine your ideal work day and describe it in detail. Where are you living? Where is your office? Who are you working with? Are you mainly based online or are you interacting with people? After all, this is your business and you get to decide how you want to work!

4. Create a support network
Starting a business is a very unique, challenging and rewarding experience and it will make a big difference if you can talk to others who are in the same boat and can provide encouragement, advice and support along the way. Reach out to anyone you know who is in business and take them out for a coffee, look for local networking groups (Meetup.com is a great place to start) or search for Facebook groups online.

5. Commit to daily action
Find a 10 minute slot in your day, whether it’s on your commute to work, or after dinner when the kids are in bed, which is non-negotiable time for working on your business. You can always build up to more, but 10 mins a day is a good place to start.

For more information on Juliette, please go to www.thecoastalcoach.com