Working as an office administrator pays the bills, but if sitting at a computer answering the phone isn’t lighting your creative fire, you can feel stuck. Maybe you’ve always wanted to start a fashion line or catering business, but didn’t know exactly how to transform the idea into action.
You’re not the first person who’s bided her time in a dead-end gig while dreaming of something else. So, before that placeholder job becomes a resentment-filled rut, check out these tips from “She’s so Boss” author Stacey Kravetz.
Make a passion plan
Finding an entrepreneurial project to pursue it simple, says Kravetz. All you have to do is follow the ideas that consume your mind when it wanders. “If you should be working on your big project for school, but instead you find yourself taking breaks, googling Etsy and looking at the ways that people are designing, painting and marketing ceramic mugs and bowls — that’s the thing that you should think about turning into some sort of business,” she explains. After all, you have to start by loving it.
Build an authentic brand image
Your brand’s identity should be shaped around what’s authentic to you. “If on social media you like to post funny observations you make about things going on in the world, and people start to gravitate toward you because they like your sense of humor, then you should use that same sense of humor when you’re marketing your business,” explains Kravetz. “You don’t want to feel like you’re posting the same thing over and over, saying, ‘Here’s my jewelry company, look at my product.’ ” Instead, if you’re at a fair with a group of people selling your hand-crafted necklaces, upload a picture from the scene, says the expert. Maybe you have a drink in your hand, or you’re wearing a nice floral outfit, “you want your audience to say, ‘Oh, she drinks iced’ or, ‘Look, she’s wearing a cute dress,’ ” says Kravetz. “You want them to see that slice of personal.”
Fake it ’til you make it
It’s not uncommon when starting a company to end up in a situation where you’re asked to do something you’ve never done before. Even if you haven’t got a clue about where to begin, “a lot of the times you have to just say ‘yes I can do it—no problem,’ and then figure it out from there,” says Kravetz. If a potential sponsor is asking you to write up a business plan and you’re not even sure what that is, “just go online and look at examples,” says the expert. “Nobody has to know that you didn’t know it going in the door.” What’s more important is that you use whatever resources you have available to you to make it work.