Many of us follow a similar life path. We grow up, suffer through high school, pursue some form of higher education, and enter the workforce. At first, we are very happy to find a job. But this appreciation eventually fades. At this point, most just move on to another organization. Then we just may keep doing this at each lull. In this modern, highly mobile economy, this process might play out a dozen times over the coming decades as we await retirement.
This simply doesn’t cut it for a some people, however. They don’t want to exist in this cycle of subdued expectations. They instead dream of becoming their own boss and leaving that lifestyle behind.
And, these days, that path is easier than ever to follow. Still, there are many reasons holding back even those people who want to venture out on their own. Whether it’s fear, an attachment to stability, lack of confidence, or just never finding the right moment, many never take the leap.
But you can do it! You will need a solid idea, some planning, and dedication. Above everything else, you will need a willingness to put in hard work.
Many people, though, have all of this. They just are missing some motivation, inspiration, and knowledge. Don’t let this be your excuse. They are all out there — if you just know where to look. And the following represent three of the best resources for anyone who wants to become their own boss.
Personal and Local Networks
There is nothing like firsthand advice. Chances are that you know an entrepreneur who has their own business. Maybe it’s a your sister in law who does independent consulting, a friend of a friend with a small restaurant, or your own accountant. Each will have their own tips and different DOs and DON’Ts to offer when first starting out. Everybody has their own journey, and most will be happy to share their stories of success if you just buy them a coffee or spring for lunch.
Another tip: Don’t only think about entrepreneurship in terms of people who outright own a physical business in town. You can get great advice and inspiration from people at all phases of this journey toward career freedom. Some are just starting out to pursue their passion, others are earning a supplemental income as they plan to quit their full-time job next year, and others have figured out how to create work flexibility.
Books and Audiobooks
If you have exhausted your local resources or just can’t find that many in person, don’t worry. The whole world can be discovered through the written word. Learning about the lives of fabled business titans, like Sir Richard Branson and Bill Gates, may be all the inspiration you need. Others will find motivation from reading older histories about Henry Ford and Andrew Carnegie or modern stories about organizations like Zappos or Twitter.
And this applies to everybody, including those who can’t find the time to read. Audiobooks are a great option for anyone and platforms like Audible make it super easy. These can be enjoyed during your commute, at the gym, doing housework, or on a plane. Even if you don’t like reading, you can “read” on the go.
YouTube and Videos
For those who learn better visually, there is also a wide range of video resources available. While this isn’t as interactive as sitting down with a trusted friend or local entrepreneur, there is something engaging and familiar about listening to people on YouTube (or other video platforms). And there is even a built-in community so, unlike a book, there can be some real two-way dialogue. Not all of the comments are productive, but many of the best entrepreneurial-minded channels have a vibrant conversation below that will help reinforce or build on the message.
Some, like Gary Vaynershcuk and TED Talks, offer unique perspectives you can’t find elsewhere. Some focus on professional development and motivation, like Brian Tracy and Brendon Burchard. Some are very practical, offering tips on how to build an email list, how to sell Amway products, or how to make videos for business. No matter what you need, there are great YouTube channels and videos out there — and most of it is free.
Leveraging All Your Resources
There are so many great resources available today for anyone trying to start their own business and become their own boss. If you can’t find them, you honestly can’t be looking very hard.
Your local network will always be the most beneficial. Nothing beats face to face. Books, including audiobooks, are another great way to learn. And the world of YouTube offers the best of both worlds: a vibrant, inspirational digital community that offers thousands of hours of pure educational content.
The time for excuses is over. If you actually want to launch your own venture, you can do it. Start devouring all the content you can and leveraging all these resources as you move forward. There is so much available. You just have to get started.