2020 so far has been throwing us more than one curveball. On a personal level, the way we define “normal” has drastically shifted. On a professional level, the world has been shaken to its core in more than one way.
“During the last few months, we have been reacting to event after event – placing our needs at the bottom of the list – which can be counterproductive when we are looking for change” shares qualified executive coach Susana Jaime “How much time have you spent this month thinking that something needs to change? And how much time have you dedicated to identifying what it is that you wish to change? “
The way we define career and work has changed forever. From flexible careers to the rise of entrepreneurship, and a new way to sell expertise and talents, the economy has changed significantly. Is it time to change your career?
Famous membership site Patreon added more than 100,000 new users between mid-March and July. Etsy logged 115,000 new sellers in the first three months of the year, more than double the past two years’ user growth. The top-earning writer on the paid newsletter platform Substack earns more than $500,000 a year from reader subscriptions, or the top content creator on Podia, a platform for video courses and digital memberships, makes more than $100,000 a month.
Our personal favourite Teachable, which lets people make and sell online courses, signed on 14,000 new creators between March and July, and in July reported its first quarterly revenue over $10 million.
From ebooks and meal plan templates to online classes, podcasts, membership clubs, newsletters, we are all looking for a new way to express ourselves and bring more individuality in our lives and change our career.
The importance of mindset
In a recent survey, about a third of respondents between ages 25 and 44 said they’ve considered making a change of career at some point within the past year, according to online education site EdX.
Whether you’re talking about career success, starting your own business, getting through a tough workout or being a parent, having the right mindset can make the difference between success and failure.
The concept of mindset can’t be discussed without mentioning Carol Dweck and her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.
Committing to a growth mindset is key when changing your career.
That one of the key components to success in setting up a business and seeing results is having a strong healthy mindset, explains Sophie Clyde-Smith, BSc, success and transformational coach: “you wouldn’t expect to have a strong healthy body without putting the effort in – but so many of the clients I connect with don’t apply those same principles to their mind.”
We are constantly growing, and forever changing as human beings. We’ve been led to believe that our set of skills has limited value and can only be used in our current jobs or careers. “The reality is that we possess an abundance of skills that we often overlook and which can be transferred to other jobs, careers or businesses” pointed out Jaime.
According to Clyde-Smith, an abundant mindset anchored in self-belief, confidence, growth and positivity.
“The lesson in this for me and my clients is to cultivate a daily routine where you’re metaphorically taking your mind to the gym; do the success and gratitude journaling, reflect on all the things that are working out for you, do the meditations and visualisations and have powerful affirmations and mantras. Choose what works for you and commit to it daily.”
As more and more people jump on board of this new train, loads of new business owners find themselves constantly fighting with a new type of pressure: “New business owners are often told to ‘create it’ or ‘write it’ and they will come. This is terrible advice and often leaves new business owners with a crisis of confidence when sales don’t automatically trickle in after they’ve launched their website.” points out organisational psychologist Karen Sargent.
Is there a way new business owners can beat the feeling of anxiety that comes up with empty carts and slow momentum?
“Success in business is created by connecting frequently with your ideal clients.” adds Sargent “When you show up regularly with authenticity and confidence potential clients get to know, like and trust you and that’s when they will decide to do business with you.”
Before being forced to pivot and change the way we did business, so many people thought they would not be able to take the proverbial leap or leave a job that was yet still unfulfilling.
It’s that same idea “that it is ever too late to make a change, or that you don’t have the power or ability to change your working life” points out career and life coach Joanne Mallon. “You always have the power, and there are always other choices to be made. You don’t need to know what every step of your new path will be, but if you take the first step then the next one will naturally appear.”
Personal beliefs and mindset have been the biggest hurdle most new business owners have been facing, at least until the idea of “work and career” was toppled over its head once and for all.
Yet, this new economy is not new. Since the late 1990s, Kevin Kelly (of 1,000 true fans fame) has predicted that social networking and online payment platforms would open up a range of new, and newly fulfilling, career choices.
The skills we are now looking to refine are much different than the old idea of leadership and career advancement.
To develop a successful freelancer psyche, Alison Grade, author of the Freelance Bible, argues that you need a balance of skills, financial drive and desires (passion to get out there and tell people).
“Without financial drive, you have a hobby, without desires no-one knows you exist. Between you and your team you need to have the full range of skills to deliver your services” explains Grade “Even freelancers buy in skills to support the delivery of their work (either behind the scenes with finance and admin) or as collaboration partners on client projects.”
So how can new business owners get started and be part of this new wave of change and build a passion-driven business? If you are thinking complex business plans and five-year plans, well, think again.
“Many people might disagree with this one but before I went self-employed I was so terrified of having to create a business plan it really held me back. I got stuck on it thinking it was the only way for me to move forward” shares Sophie Clyde-Smith. “After speaking to loads of peers in the coaching industry, I realised that many other successful business owners didn’t have one. I decided to pick and choose which aspects of a business plan might serve me and I found some alternative strategy documents that were much simpler and super effective.”
Now more than ever, we have been reminded that is truly never too late to make a change of career. “You always have the power (or ability) to change your working life, and there are always other choices to be made” shares life and career coach Joanne Mallon “You don’t need to know what every step of your new path will be, but if you take the first step then the next one will naturally appear.”
It’s never too late to make a change
In her upcoming book Change Your Life in 5 Minutes a Day, Mallon shares a technique she often uses with clients to help them get beyond whatever is keeping them stuck in a job they hate now.
It’s called the miracle question.
The miracle question is a popular technique used to imagine what life would look like without the current issues and problems that might be holding you back. Take a few moments now to think about the thing that’s dragging you down the most – it could be a job you hate, a bad relationship or an unhelpful habit – now close your eyes and imagine yourself free of it.
Then ask yourself, if I woke up tomorrow and I didn’t have that job or relationship or habit, how would I know? What would my life look like? What would I look like? What would be happening that’s not happening now?
If you can envision this future life, then you are one step closer to making it happen, since we can’t create what we haven’t thought of first. Thinking about what it would be like if it exists is your first step in making it real.
All in all, following one’s passion, may not be everyone’s path to success, however, having the opportunity to set a career that truly fits us and our own individual lifestyle is incredibly unique to these very transformative times.
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My name is Fab Giovanetti and I am a writer, author, marketing consultant, founder of the Creative Impact Group and professional troublemaker. I help people grow their online audience and monetise their content and unleash their potentials as creatives.