Is becoming an independent freelance executive on your radar?
Had enough of the corporate grind or had the dreaded pink slip handed to you? Charting your own exciting path in business might just be the answer…
In today’s corporate workplace, long-term executive jobs with fat bonuses and retirement packages are quickly becoming a thing of the past.
Corporate downsizing and rightsizing have seen to that (and the massive hit to self-worth is not pretty).
Now with digital disruption sweeping across industries around the globe, the doors have opened wide for executives who have been in the corporate trenches and who are looking to contract with organizations or develop a “portfolio” business with a variety of clients.
For former executives-turned-solo-freelancers or fractional executives, coaches and small business owners who want to sell back into corporate, this means the potential for BIG contracts. And a steady supply of ongoing clients. If you play your cards right.
It’s called the Gig Economy.
Don’t believe me?
In Canada, corporations spend over $500 Billion per year on consultants and 3rd party service providers. That includes $13 Billion on consulting and $7 Billion on training and coaching alone.
This speaks loud and clear about the opportunities out there!
In fact, it’s been estimated that by 2020, 50% of jobs will be gigs. And that number will only increase as over the coming years.
The change is already in our midst.
Which means offering services as a freelance executive is not just a side-job, it’s a viable way of doing business.
So how do you know when to start a business?
First, ask yourself if you are an entrepreneur at heart. For example, what’s more, appealing to you? Going to another company and working in a potentially lower-level role (since there are few corporate positions particularly at the senior executive level), or being your own boss, having a flexible schedule and the opportunity to drive a steady, sustainable income?
If you want to thrive and be successful, there are several things you need to consider.
A proven framework helps banish entrepreneurial fears
What’s your sweet spot? The first key to the plan is finding your sweet spot in the corporate marketplace that you can uniquely fulfil – otherwise known as your Unique Value Proposition. Your UVP articulates your special set of skills and experience no one else has and that addresses a targeted need in the marketplace.
Sell without being salesy. Going out and getting business in the door can be a potential stumbling block because a lot of small business owners are afraid of sales. A big reason for that is they’re used to the old adage – “Always Be Closing”. The good news is a new paradigm shift is occurring that is bringing much more authenticity to selling. I call it “Always be Caring”.
Learn to be confident about your value. Another hesitation a lot of aspiring C-suite freelancers have is the feeling that they don’t have anything UNIQUE to offer. You already provided huge value, talent and expertise when you worked in corporate. It’s a matter of understanding how to transfer your positioning to your offerings as an advisor rather than an employee.
Being well-prepared takes the fear of rejection out of the equation. The fear of being rejected by prospects can put a huge damper on emotions and is one of the biggest hurdles for fractional executives just starting out. But when you have clear, practical steps in front of you that you can practice and follow in real-world situations, you won’t have to worry about how to handle this.