Forget About Getting Ready and Instead Get Started! What Should You Do?
I was talking with a prospective client last week, a woman who had recently walked away (of her own accord) from a 25 year career with a major corporation. Since leaving her corporate position, Lisa (pseudonym) has gone through training to become a coach and her goal is to be self-employed as an executive coach in a corporate environment. Lisa grew up in the company she worked for, held many different positions, knows the CEO personally, as well as the executive team. It hadn’t occurred to her that she could get started now by leveraging her existing relationships to launch her new career. My advice to Lisa was to reach out and let the executive team and CEO know what she is up to and inquire as to how she might serve the organization from the outside in, rather than as an employee. I think she has a huge advantage knowing the company culture and what challenges the executive level employees are dealing with. If you’re with me, you’re thinking, “OMG, this woman has easy entry into starting her own business by leveraging her past relationships.” I am not convinced this message was taken to heart by Lisa. Why?
My ten cents says Lisa is not standing in her power and acknowledging her brilliance or ability to help the executives at the company she left behind (or any other company for that matter). Yes, she might need some additional training on the business side of building a business, yes she might need some direction or support to help her frame her conversation, but, like many of you, she holds back from getting started by lining up all the reasons she isn’t ready.
I want you to forget about getting ready and instead get started! As I said a couple of weeks ago, your fear of falling off the cliff is in reality more likely to be a 2 inch drop. Take the first step, make the inquiry, or ask for the informational interview. I promise, if you stay authentic, you are not going to ruin your chances, appear a fool, or leave with less than you came with. Being invisible and hiding behind the cloak of “I’m not ready” is what will hurt and get you nowhere quickly. Even if you have a pot of money to support you and getting ready isn’t feeling as important to you as it does to someone who needs to make a living, it is often just another excuse for not moving forward!
How To Get Started
1. Make a list of who you know that can open doors on your behalf 2. Reach out to those folks, bring them into the loop of what you’re doing and let them know how they can support you 3. Once you’ve done the reaching out, if you need direction and support, bring in an expert to guide you 4. Be accountable; ask a friend/colleague/coach to help you stay steady on the path 5. Walk through the doors available to you in a timely manner 6. Don’t focus on whether or not you got the job as a sign of success or failure; practice, practice and more practice does make perfect (this includes the program(s) you want to offer) 7. It takes time to build any business and there is no time like the present to get started!