Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Picture this. You get to your desk on that last Monday morning. You’ve spent years working this job that hasn’t been what you wanted for your life, but you smile because it’s almost over. You put in your notice two weeks ago. You’re down to your last week. This is it. You’re about to leave the nine-to-five world behind to begin living your dream of entrepreneurship.
You spend the week saying goodbye to coworkers you’ve enjoyed working with (you smile at those you didn’t). Each day you recall what you’ve gone through and consider where you’re going. You come to the end of that week and clean out your things. When you walk out of those doors on Friday evening, you feel victorious. What happens next in your life will be on your terms.
You spend the weekend with those you love. You breathe easier because you don’t have to punch a clock anymore. Monday morning you wake up without an alarm clock, get out of bed and smile until your face hurts from smiling so much. The freedom feels good on you.
Now that your dream of entrepreneurship is reality, the real work of your life begins. You will be free in a way you haven’t been before, but how you pay your bills is on you. The amount of money you earn is proportional to the amount of work you put into your business. Here are five essentials to growing a wildly successful business now that you have become your own boss.
1. Get clear on your outcome.
To get anywhere, you have to know where you’re going. It’s the same in any business. To succeed as your own boss, you have to know what you want your outcome to be. You became your own boss for a reason greater than making money without punching the clock.
Get clear on your goals. Get honest about all the things you want to accomplish in your life and how your business will help you get those things. Give yourself metrics to build upon each step of the way. Set lofty goals that are attainable but not easily. Live each day knowing you will one day accomplish those goals and keep your focus on the outcome of those accomplishments.
Being the boss is more than signing your name on some paperwork. It means you are the person responsible for the growth of your business. To grow, you need to implement strategies and put systems in place that allow you to scale. Your goal should be to grow your business bigger than just you. You need marketing systems (even, possibly, a team), plans for each quarter, sales goals, a system to organize your time and more. Tools and technology can help you with creating systems. Research what systems work best to grow the type of business you have.
You become a better boss as you become a better person. Your personal development is inseparable from the growth of your business. Your reward for putting in the work to be the best you is the energy and motivation you need to grow your business.
Continue to eat food that nourishes your body. Spend the appropriate amount of time exercising. Read books and consume content that educates and inspires you. Experiment outside your comfort zone. Wake up each day determined to challenge yourself more than the day before. Become the best version of yourself in every area of your life. It will make you a strong entrepreneur who grows an amazing business.
We are very fortunate to live in the internet age. More than 3.5 billion people log into the internet every day. About 2.46 billion people use social media every day. Today, you can access all the information you want — about anything — with a few strokes of your finger on your smartphone. You can use software and technology that can take your business to the next level in months. Your business will experience explosive growth when you leverage all these opportunities.
Leverage the power of the internet to market and give your business exposure to millions of people. You can get interviewed on podcasts about your business and write for large business and personal development publications. These two strategies alone will grow your audience and exposure. Use tools such as WordPress, Clickfunnels, Hootsuite, Asana, Mailchimp, DocuSign and many more. You don’t need to understand and know how to use all of it. The goal is to leverage what makes sense for your growth strategy.
5. Surround yourself with entrepreneurs who push you.
Your circle has an effect on how successful you become. One secret to becoming successful as your own boss is surrounding yourself with entrepreneurs who inspire and push you. You want those in your life who are just as hungry as you. People who are complacent will drag you down to their level quickly. Join a mastermind group. Network with local entrepreneurs doing great things where you live. Join Facebook groups with like-minded game changers. The point being: elevate your circle to become successful.
Use these five essentials to help you build the business of your dreams and create a life of freedom.