From Freelancing to Business Ownership (The Roadmap)

In this article, I want to share the blueprint that I feel works best for anyone wanting to start their own business…👨‍🏫

Especially for those who are not super experienced (or at all experienced) in entrepreneurship. 

Ready?📣

Here goes…👇

1. I would take an inventory of all my existing skills and interests – especially those that I feel could be commercially valuable. ✅

Examples of such skills include: project management, graphic design, copywriting, article writing, phone sales, research, business strategy, voice over work, supply chain logistics, accounting, qualitative analysis, etc. 

2. Out of my broad list of skills, I’d identify the ones I’m truly the most passionate about.

In fact, I’d even rank all the skills I’d listed out from “most passionate about” to “least passionate.”

3. I’d start offering the skills I’m most passionate about to clients.

In other words, I’d become a freelancer. 

Early on I wouldn’t worry so much about what I’m getting paid….

I’d focus on just getting some experience working with clients and building up a portfolio. 

Specifically, I would create an account on Upwork – and start applying for various freelancing jobs that matched my skills. 

Then I’d also be doing the same thing for other freelancing platforms that are out there (there are plenty). 

Black man with laptop sitting on the bench in nature and leaves. Concept vector illustration for freelance, working, studying, education, work from home, healthy lifestyle. Illustration in flat style

4. While doing freelance work for clients, I would be paying attention to any industries I particularly enjoy working in.  

For example – if I thought doing work in the health supplement space was interesting, that’s good to know. 

Or, if I found that working with businesses in the legalized cannabis space was lots of fun, I’d be making note. 

5. As I continued to gain experience and develop my skills as a freelancer, I’d start seeking out mentors. 

By far the best place to do this is at industry specific events and masterminds. 

So, I would start attending conferences and events…

And this is one of the reasons why #4 is an important step, too:  

Because if I know I really like working for clients in the medical devices space, as an example…

Then I know that I should be trying to go to trade shows or conferences where those clients are going to be. 

What you’ll tend to find is that the more of these events you attend…

The more you build your network and the more job opportunities there are. 

Plus, as a freelancer…

You’ll start building relationships with business owners, too.

[Oh, and P.S., I get that with COVID-19 events and conferences isn’t the most viable option right now. But things are going to change. This won’t last forever, and people will go back to meeting in-person before long. In the short-term, you can find relevant Facebook groups and LinkedIn groups that are specific to the industries and niches you’re most interested in). 

6. At this point – one option would be for me to continue on as a freelancer. 

As you get better at your craft and expand your network, you’ll tend to find that it becomes increasingly easy to get gigs…

And you’ll also find that you can charge significantly higher rates over time, too. 

This stuff is really good…

But, assuming that the ultimate goal is business ownership and entrepreneurship…

Here’s what I would do next: 

Target achievement and teamwork business concept

7. I’d start considering various Joint Venture (JV) opportunities that came my way – with the goal of forming strategic partnerships. 

Here’s the thing: 

As you’re consistently getting good results for your clients, you’re probably going to end up getting approached with opportunities to partner with people. 

Folks may offer you a profit share, a revenue share, equity, or something else…

And this is actually a tricky spot.

Because there are clients who will be offering you “equity” or a “profit share” as a way to just avoid paying you upfront fees. 

Typically, those deals don’t go well. 

But, there will also be proven people in whatever your preferred industry is who will see the value in what you’re doing.

Some of those people will offer to give you a bigger piece of the upside…

And those are the kinds of people we want to JV with. 

The man is holding a huge light bulb and shaking hands with a businessman with briefcase. Startup and search investments

The reason why we want to look at strategic JVs here is simple: 

With the right partnerships…

You can start to understand the ins-and-outs of running a business in the niche/market you’re interested in…

While also getting to share in some of the upside. 

And, even more importantly…

You can get this valuable entrepreneurial experience WITHOUT having to take on a potentially crippling amount of risk, either. 

In other words…

With the right JVs in place…

You’ll get a holistic picture of what running a business looks like, the ins-and-outs, the glories and the hells…

Without having to invest any money upfront, and ultimately without any ruinous financial downside if the business fails. 

It’s a pretty good setup when you think of it that way, right?

8. And then, after getting a few successful JVs under my belt, that’s when I would consider branching out and starting a new business of my own.

At this point, I’d really be ready….

Because I would have seen how other businesses operate…

And really understand what’s needed to run a successful business of my own. 

I’d also be comforted in the fact that I had an income producing skill that I could fall back on as a freelancer if things didn’t work out…

Which would take some of the pressure off me when starting this business, too. 

Does this make sense?

I think entrepreneurship is WONDERFUL…

But I worry when people try and jump right into business ownership headfirst. 

That’s why starting out as a freelancer can be so valuable…

You begin to master an income-producing skill, which is huge.

But even more importantly – freelancing actually gives you your first taste of business ownership too. 

As a freelancer, you’re in charge of: 

Invoicing, accounting, project management, client communications, legal, and everything else… 

Which means you actually gain very valuable business experience right from the beginning…

But you do it in a way that’s manageable.

And with freelancing, there’s not really any overhead, or up-front investments that need to be made by you…

Which is why it’s one of the only businesses on earth that you can easily start even if you’re completely broke.

So that’s pretty cool.

 

– SPG

P.S. Of course in the long-term, the problem with freelancing is that you’re always trading your time for money…

Which is why my personal roadmap here…

Of parlaying freelancing into Joint Ventures…

And then turning Joint Ventures into your own business…

Gives you a lot more optionality and flexibility in your life. 

P.P.S. This post originally came from an email I sent to my private list. If you want to see more stuff like this from me, you can apply to join my list using this link

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