Jumping From the Corporate World to Small Business Ownership
Many entrepreneurs start in the corporate world before making the leap into
small business ownership. However, it can be daunting to transition from one role to the
other; there are financial, emotional, mental, and physical changes to consider at
each step of the way.
We recently sat down with Hans vanWeerd, an entrepreneur who successfully
made the transition from a long corporate career to small business ownership.
Here’s what we learned about his fascinating career, how he found his passion, and
what small business owners can do to set themselves up for success.
From corporate to entrepreneur: What small business owners can do to succeed
When working for others, your day-to-day routine is often straightforward. The
expectations for your role are usually clear, and you can rely on an existing
framework to guide your activities.
An entrepreneur or small business owner’s day, on the other hand, can be highly variable. There are all kinds
of areas and activities that you can focus on at any time: marketing, lead
generation, sales, finances, or partnerships are just some examples.
Each of these tasks can be time-intensive, and choosing what to focus on can be a challenge.
Creating a schedule is essential for success, especially when you’re starting as a
small business owner.
EXAMPLE: In Hans’ business, he creates art and handles all the backend
administrative tasks. Both areas need ongoing attention, so he structures his day to
accommodate these priorities.
Next, acknowledge the things that you’re good at – and do those things! Hans
describes how he was nervous to teach his first workshop and unsure about what to include, but he focused on his strengths, which helped him feel confident about moving forward.
Support is critical, as well. At first, a business might be non-existent or inconsistent.
A supportive spouse or friend can go a long way toward helping you handle the ups
and downs of building a business.
Small business ownership and the power of delegation
It’s often mentioned in entrepreneur circles, but it bears repeating: delegation is
one of the most powerful tools at your disposal. You simply won’t be the best at
everything you do. Delegation empowers you to focus on the things you are good
at and pass along tasks that don’t suit your abilities.
EXAMPLE: For Hans, hiring a bookkeeper was one of the best things he did for his
business. Finances are obviously a critical business component, but numbers didn’t
play to his strengths or interests, so he found someone else to handle those tasks.
Turning your hobby into a revenue generator
People dream of making money from things they feel passionate about, but we often tell ourselves to pursue something more “practical”. Yet your passion for an activity or topic can breed great success.
Monetising your hobby involves working on it intensely with the goal of perfecting your skills. Further, you need to talk to others about what you do – be open about your abilities, distribute business cards
or samples of your work, and don’t be afraid to talk yourself up a bit!
Next, clarity is essential for converting your hobby into a business. What do you want to accomplish? What is the special value proposition that you can offer to others?
What problem do you help people solve? And how will you structure your products and services so that people keep coming back for more? Clarity leads to confidence, and confidence gives you the ability to share with others in a compelling and intriguing way.
Who is Hans vanWeerd?
Hans grew up constantly in pursuit of a challenge. After studying biology in school,
his consulting career took him around the world, from Egypt to South America and
Indonesia. Then, on a whim, he applied to be the manager of Animal Sciences for
the zoo in Amsterdam. This led to a 20-year career in zoo management, first in the
Netherlands and then in Australia.
Hans made another career pivot when the Melbourne Zoo eliminated his position.
He had a desire to combine his love of art with his business but wasn’t sure about
where to start. Hans connected with Online Business Liftoff, and we helped him
refine his ideas and monetise his passion through consistent coaching.
Now, he creates portraits and teaches workshops. You can view his work at Art on Your Wall
Are you starting on the path of entrepreneurship? Online Business Liftoff can help
At OBL, we’ve followed our passion to help small business owners succeed – no
matter where they are in their entrepreneurial journey. If you know someone
who'd love to be a member of our OBL community, tell them to check us out at
onlinebusinessliftoff.com. We love helping people build their online businesses to
the level of success they want.
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towards helping us achieve our mission of supporting people as they start their
own successful online business.