In January of 2020, I made the decision to leave a lucrative job in a technology company to start my own business. The problem was, I didn’t know exactly what kind of business I wanted to start. I had not built a side hustle or prepared for a seamless transition. All I knew is that I had a dream to create, express, and share in a way that I couldn’t when I was aligned to one particular company.
I had intentionally saved up enough cash to live simply for a year and see what I could make of myself. Maybe you can relate. You are excellent at what you do. You make a great salary. You receive amazing benefits that support you and your family. And yet, you have a dream in your heart to create something that’s uniquely you.
It can be so challenging to leave the comfort of the known and enter the unknown. A year later, however, and I can tell you that it is so worth it, especially if your values are freedom, expression, authenticity, and innovation!
Can 2021 be the year that you finally say YES to the dream that is in your heart?
One of the biggest mistakes that I made in year one of my business was this: I decided that, within six months of launching, I wanted to be on track to recoup my corporate salary within the following twelve-months.
That meant that after six months of experimenting, I desired to make over $20,000 per month with whatever business model I landed on. In short, my revenue goal was simply my most recent corporate salary.
This was a big mistake for two very different reasons, and one is more important than the other.
On the one hand, it was quite ambitious to set a multi-six-figure goal for a business that didn’t even have a clear idea of its products and services! It was going to take me some time to exhale the corporate routine and inhale the new ideas and inspiration for my own business.
I did not want to simply consult on the things that I knew from the work that I used to do. Perhaps you’ve felt similarly. You want to leave corporate and start a business, only to find that the most obvious business you can create involves you doing pretty much the same work, but with fewer benefits!
And yet at the same time, to use my most recent salary as the Director of Customer Success with a team of 10 for a technology company in San Francisco was far too limiting!
Here’s why. By choosing a goal that had been my corporate salary for my new service-based business, I energetically aligned to the past and to my corporate life. This goal had me constantly reminiscing about the past instead of charging ahead toward a wide open future.
Maybe 2021 is the year that you’ve decided to start your first venture. Maybe it is the year that you start that side hustle. Or maybe it’s the year you want to do something totally crazy and unexpected.
Whatever you’re feeling called to do as a women in business, here are three recommendations when setting your early revenue goals:
It can be tempting to think small when you start your own business and look to make your first dollar. You might look at your living expenses and set that as your monthly revenue goal. Or you might do like I did and put an artificial ceiling on your potential by selecting a previous salary goal.
Either way, when you start your business – especially if you’re leaving the safety of a steady corporate job – you must dream as big as possible.
We’ve all heard the saying, “Reach for the moon and you will land among the stars.” This absolutely applies to your revenue goals. Aim super-high in your first year. When you set bigger goals, your mind expands to perceive bigger opportunities. As one of my mentor says, “Million dollar thinking attracts million dollar ideas.”
Double-Down on Gratitude
We’ve all been reminded by countless of gurus to keep a daily gratitude list, but ask yourself, do you do this?
Gratitude is the Yin to your big revenue goal’s Yang meaning, without a mindset of gratitude, it’s unlikely you’ll be in an energetic space to attract the clients, opportunities and, yes, money you desire.
Writing down ten things in the morning and ten things in the evening you are grateful for will support your alignment to your money goals.
Offer, Offer, Offer
Chances are if you worked in a fairly established company, business came your way. I’m not saying it was easy, but rather that established brands, products, and services have an easier time selling. It’s common sense.
When you go out on your own, you quickly realize that it’s up to you to generate leads, sell your vision, and attract resources. Very little is coming to you without you first taking action.
And the most important action to take in your first year of business is to make offers. Lots of them. Offer your products and services. Listen to feedback. Tweak them and offer them some more. If you’re not making the money you desire, chances are you’re not putting out enough offers and hearing enough nos.
Trading corporate for start-up life is not for the faint of heart. It’s for the women who want to expand and grow fast and furiously. For the women who desire to see what they are made of.
If that’s you in 2021, don’t forget to set an insanely high revenue goal, make gratitude a daily habit like brushing your teeth, and put yourself out there.