Sometimes it happens that a traditional job — that thing you left behind to pursue full-time entrepreneurship — rears its ugly head again in your life.
Maybe in the midst of self-employed bliss you lose your biggest clients, experience a financial rough patch, and are faced with the decision to go back to a conventional 9-to-5 before you fail to pay next month’s rent.
But what if you set your ego aside, fight those feelings of failure, and embrace the idea that returning to work is just what you need to get your business back on track?
Entrepreneurship is never easy, and sometimes along the path to your business’s success you experience times of transition that feel difficult and downright dreadful. However, when accepting a new opportunity you have the power to take the fresh skills you’ll learn and use them to fuel your entrepreneurial success.
During your transition, aim to embrace a few key opportunities to ensure that your new venture can actually help your business.
Master a new skill
It’s important to remember that taking a full-time job after entrepreneurship or self-employment is not about failing — it’s about adding a new experience to your repertoire. Embrace that mentality and aim to find a position that has the potential to directly help your business by teaching you a new, relevant skill.
Maybe you’ve always struggled with marketing your products or services. Find a position that will allow you to work alongside a marketing or sales team. Have you always wanted to learn video-editing for your website but have never found the time? Aim for a communications position where you’ll have the opportunity to master the editing software.
The training you’ll undergo and the skills you’ll learn have the potential to impact the success of your business later on. And if you’re not sure where to start, check out my new goal-setting guide, which can help you get specific and action-oriented about what you want to accomplish.
Learn how to sell and price properly
A mistake that many struggling entrepreneurs make is underpricing their products and services, which is often a culprit for financial struggle.
When you’re back at a corporate office, or even working in the food or retail industries, you’re in a position to directly observe how products of value are priced and sold.
Use this knowledge to your advantage. Think about your business and the services you’re providing. How much value do they bring your customers or clients? Determine how you can optimize the worth of what you offer, and learn how to communicate that so you’re prepared to effectively sell to future clients.
Now look at what you charge. Are your products priced too low? For example, have you been charging hourly rates for your services when you shouldn’t be? Think about how to properly present your services as a valuable asset. Adopt a value-based pricing system and have the confidence to stand behind it.
Land large clients and projects that otherwise may have been out of reach
A perk of working for an established company is that you get to reap the benefits of their reputation. This means working with more esteemed clients and taking on larger projects.
While you may have landed some big clients while on your own, chances are that the ones you’ll work with in your new position will be bigger. There is no substitute for credibility, so when you start your new job and get to take on their reputation as your own, you have now upped your client game.
Embrace the opportunity to work with more prominent companies and to make a fantastic impression with their teams. Even though you’re representing your employer and not only yourself, keep in mind that you may not have ever gotten the opportunity to work with that particular brand or lead that exciting project if you had not been working for your current employer.
Document the clients you serve, the companies you work alongside, and the projects you launch, and get excited about using this to your advantage. Not only have you expanded your list of experiences but you have also added weight to them, which can significantly impact your future personal business endeavors for the better.
Network and embrace the value of working with others
Running a business, especially if you’re self-employed, can often feel isolating. Don’t get me wrong — there are many upsides to working alone, like skipping the office politics and those pesky cubicle interruptions. But sometimes working with a group of people can be a refreshing change.
Maybe you’ve spent the last few months or years relishing in your one-man day-to-day grind, where most of your interactions are with clients, customers, or an online community. However, going back to an office setting can actually allow your creativity to flow in new ways.
Despite what modern personal development culture insists about the traditional 9-to-5 environment being soul sucking and outdated, the value of working with the same strong team everyday should not be overlooked. When a workplace is filled with collaboration, creativity can thrive and work can feel rewarding — even enjoyable.
Embrace your new coworkers for the value they bring to your team. Utilize their knowledge and allow yourself to learn from them. Networking is never a bad idea, and you never know when you can one day call upon the connections you’re making.
Opening yourself up to taking a job after being a full-time entrepreneur can actually lead to new, invigorating experiences that can help your business thrive. It’s true — your new job can pay you a fair, steady income, allow you to have fun with coworkers, and present you with interesting projects that you feel invested in growing.
While returning to the office may feel defeating, it doesn’t have to feel like a step away from entrepreneurship. Instead, embrace the new opportunity and dive in — the change of scenery and new skills you’ll learn could be the missing pieces that your business needed to succeed all along.
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