What you should know before leaving your 9-5 - Ep. #32

business challenges coaching business mindset podcast Jun 24, 2021

Does this sound like you?

Do you want to:

  1. be your own boss and the one calling the shots?

  2. select who you work with, when you work and where you work?

  3. break the financial glass ceiling and have no limits to how many people you can impact and how much money you can make?

I am Danish and have my life and family in Denmark - most of the year.

But I made the leap and I am actually recording this episode from a hotel room in a small town called Tomar in the northern part of Spain. I have spent the last two months in Andalusia.

A road trip with amazing views, meeting new beautiful people, relaxing on the beach - and working exactly as much as when in Denmark. Watch out for one of the next episodes in which I will share more about how I do that.

For now, take it as a reminder, you can absolutely make a different choice for your life if you hate working in a cubicle, really don't enjoy your corporate job or whatever job you have - or just feel there are not enough vacation weeks available for all you want to see.

I used to think, I didn't have a choice. I had a house, three kids, two cars, one dog - and a very successful career that paid for it all.

One day, I was listening to a radio program and someone said: you ALWAYS have a choice. Today, I can't believe it was the first time I accepted that message or even needed to hear it as a message. Maybe you need to hear that too? you have a choice. Always!

I had been promoted almost yearly throughout a decade, now a director in an insurance company heading innovation and strategy projects. The problem was, I was less happy with every promotion. The problem was, it felt meaningless. But worse, I had to change my personality to be appreciated. Long story short, I really wanted to do my own thing.

I wanted to be in charge.

I wanted my work to make a REAL difference in people's lives.

I wanted to select my customers and not have to work with people whose agendas I did not love.

I wanted to teach, write, speak and create amazing content that was truly helpful.

I wanted to be close enough to my customers to see them ACHIEVE what they wanted.

I wanted to be able to travel at least 3-4 months a year and be able to spend time with my grandchildren when that time came.

I wanted to design my life first, and then my 'job'.

And my friend.... this is exactly what I did and what I have been helping others to do since.

And today I want to share some of the most important insights and the most potent advice, based on those experiences.

#1 Know WHY you want to start a business


In the car on my way to Andalucia, I was listening to Simon Sineks 'Find your why'. Not 'Start with why' but the more practical 'Find your why'. Tony Robbins offer an approach where you ask yourself 7 times WHY until you get to the roots of what is really driving your desire.


Wanna guess mine? You got it: my WHY is to inspire people to not conform to other people's expectations or standards, robbing the world of their personality and capabilities. 


And I happen to do that teaching how to create digital courses and publish non-fiction books because I love the business model in that.


Another approach is to look at your motivation. We all have an abundance of motivation to achieve what we want.


Listen to cliff episode #31 about how anyone can achieve anything they want - and what separates those who persistent pursue their goals from those who don't.


Which pain is in staying and which pleasure could you gain from pursuing your dream of starting your own business?


First choose your lifestyle design: what should your business give you apart from money.


YOU are creating your new job.


#2 Know you WILL pivot


Nothing in the worlds stands still. Accept the learning process.


Entrepreneurs are problem solvers and their KEY strengths are the ability to exploit the right opportunities and accept not all will be a success.


#3 Define your standards


What will you NOT do? get into debt? work 50 hours per week? lower your price when asked?


What WILL you do? Have a business coach? Be helpful in a community of like-minded people? limit your coaching to 5 clients at a time? Overdeliver? take a month off every summer? In which currency will you measure your success?


which leads me to ...


#4 Your financial goals


Start with the minimum SALARY you need


If you don't have a financial buffer, how low is it POSSIBLE to go in terms of living expenses? Get rid of anything unnecessary to get a comfortable level.


If you have a financial buffer, how many months at this lower level can you pay with what you have now? What are the TOUGH decisions you CAN make to lower your cost level?


The next step is to know what are you willing to do if the going gets rough? Imagine the lowest-ranking job you can imagine but that will cover your lowest possible level of fixed cost. Are you willing to do that job?


I am not encouraging you not to go all in and BELIEVE in yourself. But what you are willing to sacrifice for a shot at living your dream life says a lot. Even being an MBA and former director in a big company, I made a conscious decision that I would rather do cleaning or work at the supermarket than I would give up on my business.


There is nothing wrong with those jobs but it helped me imagine how I with pride would explain to anyone that I was not afraid to do whatever it took to get my business off the ground.


And I deliberately chose to imagine jobs that was nowhere near a new corporate career - because to me, going back working 50 or 60 hours per week, changing my personality to be appreciated, and work on meaningless tasks is NOT ranking higher than people doing honest hard work for much lower pay.


I admire those people and would feel no shame in joining them if I was struggling in my business.


Why am I mentioning this? Because if you currently work in the corporate sector, much of your network is probably in that same space. You'll probably have friends with similar backgrounds. And you might feel shame if anyone knew you left a good career - or a bad one - to start a business and couldn't make ends meet.


You might even feel, you are burning your bridges in that world - and I get that because I used to feel the same.


Two things helped me:

  1. I knew I am very good at what I do. I trusted my skills are powerful and I am capable of figuring things out and find ways to make money. I trusted ME.
  2. Also, anyone making me feel uncomfortable in doing whatever it took - are NOT my people. We can still have fun and drink a cop of coffee together - but I am done changing who I am to satisfy other peoples expectations or fit into their definition of a good life. This is my life and I made that conscious decision that nothing apart from the health and well-being of my family is more important than me being able to be me in such an important area as what I do for a living.


So my friend.....What are YOU willing to do to be able to pay the bills if it ends up being necessary for a while? Could you live with that? If yes, you are financially secured ;)


Knowing your minimum salary and accepting the risk of having to find a second income for a while if necessary, lets break down how big that risk really is.


What is the minimum PROFIT you NEED to make in your business to cover a salary you can be ok with for a while?


What will then be the minimum amount of revenue your need per month?


How many customers of which price is that? Times which price for each sale?


What we are doing here is to bring reality to what you actually need to be able to achieve. Most have unrealistic expectations either thinking they need a lot more or thinking they will make a lot more than is realistic from the get-go.


I remember how surprised I was when I discovered I really just need to succeed in selling 1-2 days of consultancy per month to break even and buy myself more time to create my dream life.


This brings me to my next point...


#5 Start at the top


Have a premium product.


You need just ONE or a few customers per month if you can define an offer that create enough value to claim a premium price. To this day in my business, I need only ONE new client per month. Of course I am not satisfied with what but I can be OK with that.

Knowing that has helped to stay confident and not get too overwhelmed at the beginning of my business when I still needed to learn a lot. Later in my business I have made ONE new customer project in the consulting/coaching category my maximum to secure time to continuously improve my more scalable products. I do love to be involved in book projects though so I wont completely stop that any time soon.


To find your premium product, look for the bigger transformation you can help people go through and create a 1:1 service for that.


Also, selling 1:1 is your best option if you need income fast.


Later you will need to build in a way that will make it possible to scale and grow your business limitless but right now, your goal is four-fold:


  1. to validate your business idea - will people pay for this?

  2. to get testimonials and feedback to raise your authority and clout to use them in your marketing

  3. to replace your income quickly

  4. to learn across 5-10 clients what GENERALLY works so you can create the right scalable product like a digital course or group coaching program


.... so unless you were already teaching your content in another context for a while - to the same audience! - doing 1:1 work, in the beginning, is essential to get your foundation right before you start creating your online course.


#6 If you are multi-passionate

You might not sure what to teach


But really a better question to start with is WHO you want to teach.


Who will make you jump out of bed in the morning?


Identify their typical behaviour and expectations and figure out what separates the perfect client from the one that will drive you nuts and rob you of your energy.


There are probably lots you CAN help - but who do you have FUN with? Who did you think of when defining your WHY?


#7 Manage your time well


If you are still in a job dedicate a 4-hour slot each week (2 if you can). And yes, you probably feel you don't have time. You MAKE time and you CAN make time. Lots of busy people MADE that time because they wanted it enough.


If you are not WILLING to MAKE time, go back to your why.


Do NOT start building a lot of stuff. Instead, spend that time talking to people you want to help in your business. Dive deep to understand what they need, their worries, what they THINK the problem is and what kind of help they need.


THEN define your offer.


#7 Start practicing showing up online


Create short videos using your phone.


Go live in stories once in a while and practice talking directly to your audience.


Choose a platform you LOVE to create content for.


You don't need a website, logos, and all that stuff in the beginning. You need to build your foundation in a totally different way: Knowing your audience and knowing YOU: what you CAN offer, what you WANT to offer - and not offer. Remember, your choices here determine your future 'job'

Ok, I could go on and with good advice. Instead, I would like to invite you to join the Course Creators Cafe - my free group on Facebook to support you on your business journey. 


My friend, if this was helpful, please take a minute to help me help more people who also dream about leaving their 9-5. You can do that by rating this episode - and if you have an extra minute, also giving it a review.

Now go be honest with yourself: How much do you want to start your own business and be your own boss? How much do you want to create the meaning you currently feel is lacking in your job? How badly do you want the flexibility and create a business on your own terms?

I want you to have a business you love.

To do what makes you SHINE.

Make a decision if you are the happiest in a job or running your own thing.

Be honest with yourself if your decision to stay so far in your job is based on actual positives you are getting from that or if it's based on fear of the unknown.

Please don't let fear rob the world of your awesomeness, my friend.

You have got this!



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