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5 Simple Steps to Transition from Employee to Entrepreneur

With a well-thought-out plan, the transition can be smoother and less overwhelming
Cover Image Source: Photo by Sora Shimazaki | Pexels
Cover Image Source: Photo by Sora Shimazaki | Pexels

Embarking on the journey from being an employee to becoming self-employed is a thrilling yet challenging endeavor. The prospect of starting a new business from scratch may seem daunting, but with a well-thought-out plan, the transition can be smoother and less overwhelming. Here are five straightforward ways to make the leap from employed to self-employed.

Pexels | Andrea Piacquadio
Pexels | Andrea Piacquadio

Consider transitioning from an employed position to a freelance arrangement with your current employer. Propose a contract based on specific outcomes or a set number of days per month, focusing on the quality and results of your work rather than the number of hours. This shift not only provides flexibility but also frees up time to explore other clients and opportunities. By approaching the conversation tactfully, your employer may appreciate the benefits of having you as a freelancer rather than a staff member.

Explore freelance marketplaces like People Per Hour, Fiverr, Upwork, and 99Designs to build a client base within your current field. Create an impressive profile with work examples and references to attract potential clients. As you secure projects and gain positive reviews, you'll establish yourself as a reputable freelancer. This approach allows you to test the waters while maintaining your current employment, transitioning to self-employment at your own pace.

If you prefer doing the work rather than focusing on business development, consider collaborating with other self-employed individuals. Build relationships with professionals in your field who may have an overflow of work and are willing to pass on clients to you. Approach them as collaborators rather than competition, presenting your proposal as a mutually beneficial arrangement. Be exceptional in your interactions, as satisfied collaborators can become a valuable source of ongoing income.

Pexels | Photo by Vlada Karpovich
Pexels | Photo by Vlada Karpovich

Explore contracting opportunities not only with your current employer but also with similar companies in your industry. Create a shortlist of potential clients and start with small projects to prove your capabilities. Building relationships with multiple companies allows for flexibility and variety in your work. Over time, as you demonstrate your reliability and skills, you can secure larger commissions and become a trusted contractor in your field.

Consider transforming your skills into a membership or retainer-based service. For example, a legal advisor could start a membership club offering ad hoc advice for a monthly retainer. Evaluate your ideal client mix and set revenue goals, working backward to determine the number of members and the monthly fee required. Provide substantial value to subscribers, making the cost a no-brainer. Consult with potential members and gather feedback to refine your membership offering.