Digital Entrepreneur: the Life and Lessons Learned
Start Your Small Business Dream While Abroad!
In mid-May 2019, when I took the helm at my new company as a full-time gig, it was daunting. Simultaneously, I started living off my rainy day funds. Before, I had been doing work with clients and building the operations at night, after work and over my weekends for two months. The pace was steady, and I was seeing results as everything was new.
After leaving my full-time position, searching for my next job, and in between packing, I started to increase my output for the startup. Being location-independent and a digital #entrepreneur does not mean I am on an endless vacation and have given myself a fancy title. What it means is that I can work from anywhere with high-speed reliable internet access. It means I am a business owner, and in my case, a provider of digital services. I have a physical office which might be a cafe or hotel room as well as a virtual office via online video conferencing platforms. It means that sometimes my sleep pattern is disrupted for work, such as meeting clients in their time zones.
“Your business becomes your whole life and you can forget about your own human needs.”
It requires diligence and tenacity each day, building and owning a small business as a #solopreneur. Solopreneur means that I am the boss, the secretary, the creative content writer, the marketing team, and much more.
Building a daily routine takes self-discipline as there is no one giving you projects and guiding your work. You make your own task list, set deadlines, do follow-ups and find the determination to get it all done.
Self-motivation is also a key ingredient, especially when you are solo as you have to encourage yourself, believe in yourself and your business while ensuring self-care. Your business becomes your whole life and you can forget about your own human needs.
So strolling the streets of your city, enjoying a local event, dining out at a local foodie spot, or going to the beach is good therapy for rejuvenating your mind, creativity and resolve for your entrepreneurial journey.
“Making the company my full-time work with no stable income is risky and full of uncertainties, but yet rewarding. It has given me a new avenue to express my passion for living and working abroad.”
The business has been evolving, but like many small businesses with limited marketing resources, visibility can be a challenge. Using the various free social media platforms is one way my business is getting noticed. To gain some additional presence, I added a blog and started writing about expat life, my experience and providing advice. It has helped me grow followers, subscribers, and readers. These proactive steps created new leads.
However, I remain confident that my business will be successful. Having my company as my full-time job changed how and when I work as well as shaped a new level of self-motivation and creativity. If nothing else, the new skills and experiences are what I am most grateful for at this time.
Yes, if you are reading this and having doubts, know that you can break away and follow your dream and passion.
Have a safety net, whether that is a rainy fund, alternate income, or going from dual family income to single.
Start small, perhaps building your dream a couple of hours a week.
Find two or three people who will support you in the process.
Build partnerships to serve clients. Use the strength of each partnership to provide your clients with the best service.
Realize support is not always free, but paid support can and should be made an enormous difference to your output. In my case, I hired a virtual assistant to help me with copywriting, editing and some planning.
Use the online resources available; there are lots out there. Try one and if that one does not work, then try another.
Be willing to learn new skills. Again in my case, it was building my own website and posting to my social media platforms.
Enjoy the journey because you are doing it for the long-haul. Some days will be better than others.
I hope this inspires you to start or continue making strides in your entrepreneurial ventures. Work towards your goals of why you started your company. The most important thing to remember is that whether you stay or leave your full-time job, you are following your dream. Whether you are taking a temporary break or making this your new permanent gig, you are empowering yourself to do what is right for you. No one can take that away from you.
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-- Karla A. Fraser, Digital Entrepreneurship: the Life and Lessons Learned, Roseapple Global, LLC
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