Unemployed? Put Yourself to Work!

The latest figures show the unemployment rate in the US is topping 10%’s one in ten people out of work! And, the future isn’t looking particularly bright. Recent reports estimate the lack of work will continue through 2011, at least. You can’t sit around and wait for big business or the government to turn the economy around, so it’s pretty much up to you to take control for yourself. How can you get your financial life back on track? Put yourself to work!
Starting a business of your own is the best and only way to take complete control of your work life. Working for yourself means no layoffs, no wage freezes, no begging for a day off, no hoping that the big bossman will grant you a meager year-end bonus. When you work for yourself, YOU set your income goals and work as hard (or not) as needed to reach those goals. YOU develop a company culture that fits your personality. YOU establish your own work hours. And YOU decide when it’s time to grow.
Of course, starting a business requires a good bit of time and effort, but at least the work you do is just for you. When you want to earn more income, you put in more work. When you want a little time off, you take the time you need. Because it’s all on you, you will do the work to control the risks and because you are taking control of your worklife, you are more likely to stay motivated.
For many new entrepreneurs, the toughest part of independence is taking the first even figuring out what that first step would be. If you’re just not sure where to start, start here:
Define Your Goals
Take a look at where you are now and where you want to be. Write it all down and cover all areas of your life.
Make the Tough Decisions
If you are drowning in debt, decide how to handle it. If you hate your job, set a deadline to make the change. If you don’t have any startup cash, figure out how to raise it. Look at the gap between where you are and where you want to be and create a concrete plan to close up that gap. If it seems like it will take forever, don’t let that bother you. If you start today, you are one day closer to where you want to be!
Pick a Startup
Brainstorm business ideas, find a modified version of your own big idea, talk to your friends and family about startup opportunities. It really doesn’t matter where you start with your independence, just that you get started. Most wildly successful entrepreneur change direction a number of times before landing on the perfect opportunity. And, more opportunities seem to appear once you’ve taken the first step.
Educate Yourself
Entrepreneurship is its own separate profession. Becoming an expert requires that you learn the fundamentals of a bunch of other professions, including accounting, marketing, financial management, sales, logistics, even secretarial and janitorial duties. Beyond that, you will learn to incorporate all those basic skills and add the key ingredient to success – innovation. Innovation is finding a new, better way to get things done. It might be a change in the product, the sales process, or even in administrative functions, but innovations are the one factor that will make you a success. To be able to identify those innovations, you have to know the basics.
Watch for opportunity
Once you have taken the first leap into entrepreneurship (which might even just be making the decision to go out on your own!), you will begin to see opportunities all around you. Don’t be afraid to pursue multiple opportunities. As long as you manage your time well, having a bunch of hooks in the water will multiply your odds of catching some fish!