What's it like to set up your own business?

career coaching, career change, find work you love, lifestyle, enjoy life, be happy

Thank you - couldn't have done it without you

The Short Answer – exciting, exhilarating, scary, fun, energizing and challenging.

I’ve been building my coaching and personal development business, Less Ordinary Living for 18 months.  Leaving the corporate world and setting up a start-up has been an amazing experience and I’ve learnt a huge amount.

I’ve worked with some exceptional clients who have made big changes in their lives.  It’s a continued privilege to partner with smart ambitious people to make the most of their careers, lives and building their businesses.

So what was it like?

The first six months– Getting my head in the Game

The first six months as an entrepreneur were a rollercoaster of emotions:

The exhilaration the day I walked out of my day job.  Finally, I’m free to do what I love.

The sickening twist of fear the next day -what on earth am I doing?  No more pay cheques dropping into my bank account every month.  From now on my livelihood depends entirely on me.

The liberation of being free to set my own path – I can work on anything I want and with anyone I want wherever I want.

The confusion of so many options.  I thought my business plan made sense, now things are seem more complicated than I could have imagined.

The excitement of the first client, the first check, the first great feedback, the first referral.  These are unbeatable moments – realizing I can make this work.

The stress of the slow month.  It takes time to get your message out there and build momentum.  Did I make a big mistake to leave the apparent safety of the corporate world behind?

The joy of working with others – the valued support, partnership and amazing ideas that others have brought to encourage and inspire me.

If nothing else, in the first six months I developed the mindset to deal with the ups and downs of running a start-up.

In the immortal words of Len Goodman, in business “one day you’re a rooster, the next you’re a feather duster.

I’m better at dealing with these emotions and staying on a more even keel – and that is critical to being an entrepreneur.

The next 12 months – Making it Happen

The last year has been about turning Less Ordinary Living from an idea into a sustainable business.  It’s been about learning and doing.

I’ve spent a lot of time building my confidence and skills to become an entrepreneur.  It has taken time to develop my message and to convince others.

I’ve learned a huge amount about running and marketing a business from experience that I simply couldn’t have prepared for.  My passion is coaching, and according to my feedback from clients I’m great at that – I’m now discovering how to find the right people to serve.

I’ve also learned the value of learning from my mistakes and certainly had plenty of opportunities to do so.

Finding the focus and single mindedness to work effectively from home and get more done in less time has been instrumental in making it happen.

My business plan has evolved from all this experience and I have clarity on what Less Ordinary Living stands for – a resource for anyone who thinks life is too short to be ordinary.

Serving my clients has helped me to understand what makes my coaching services unique and how I can add real value to people’s lives.

The Future – What’s Next?

Now I’m starting to develop some strong partnership with amazing organizations that also serve professionals looking to make the most of life.

I’ve got an exciting new website under development – watch this space.

Most importantly I have some amazing clients who I love working with and I’m continuing to find more every day.

So building Less Ordinary Living has certainly been exciting, exhilarating, scary, fun, tiring, energizing, challenging and rewarding.

I’ve loved every step of the journey (even the tough ones) and I’m sure that there is more challenge and excitement ahead.

Thank you – I couldn’t have done it without you

To you – my clients, subscribers, readers and supports – thank you for sharing the journey with me so far – I couldn’t have done it without you.  I’m humbled by your contribution.

If you’d like to follow the next steps of the journey, please think about joining my mailing list to get all the latest updates from Less Ordinary Living.

Please do drop me a line or leave a comment to share your thoughts and experiences about life as an entrepreneur.

I’d also value your thoughts on what you’d like to see from Less Ordinary Living in the future.

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  1. August 5, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations, Phil. You are walking your talk by breaking out of the ordinary. I believe you will have great success on so many different levels.



  2. August 5, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Hey Phil,

    Sounds like a fantastic 18 months. I’m sure the next 18 will be even more spectacular. I’m happy to share it with you here on your Less Ordinary Blog.

    The biggest obstacle and hardest client I faced was myself. Can I convince me that I’m good enough to be an entrepreneur? The answer is YES! It’s about being a learning and loving entrepreneur and showing yourself compassion.

    Call it luck or divine intervention, some amazing folks entered my life and gave me the encouragement I needed.

    Once I saw how great I was others started to as well!

    Find your greatness and embrace it. Never hide from it.

    Thanks, Giulietta

  3. August 6, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Great photo and a fantastic smile, Phil!
    We talked about some of these goals you had in mind and it’s wonderful to see them well under way – the fear is understandable. I love my paychecks too but someday, they won’t be able to buy my freedom. I am very proud that you set out on your own and thank you for sharing your experience, even on the emotional level, with us!

  4. August 6, 2010 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    There you are with your signature cup o’ joe and that smile!

    There is so much wisdom in what you say here, Phil. It’s tempting to stress out about every little thing or worse, plow through and forget how to live a life. It’s less natural, though probably more important, to pause, appreciate how much you’ve done, and feel good about the growth that takes place in that time frame. And you’ve illustrated that here beautifully.

    In my early 20s, I started a jewelry design business in my free time. It was so much fun. I was floored by how quickly I made money. But I was too immature and didn’t have the stamina to stick with it. Reading this post made me think of that time and what would’ve happened had I stuck with it. No regrets, though, just a distant wondering.

    Take care.

  5. August 7, 2010 at 1:43 am | Permalink

    Congratulations! One penguin step at at time. I agree with Rob, you’re walking your talk!

  6. August 7, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Hi Phil,
    Sounds like an amazing and challenging 18 months. Congratulations on having the courage and commitment to pursue your passion. As you say, life is too short to do otherwise.

  7. August 7, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    You’re a black belt Phil :)

  8. August 9, 2010 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Love that pic of you, Phil. Congratulations, and I raise my glass to you. Being in business for yourself – what a ride. But I wouldn’t trade it, would you?

  9. August 9, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations and best wishes on your continued success.

    > a resource for anyone who thinks life is too short to be ordinary
    Life is too short. Well put.

  10. Phil
    August 9, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    @Rob – I know that you walk your talk too and that is something that I always admire. Appreciate your good wishes – keep on building your Empire.

    @Giulietta – I agree that for most of us, we are the hardest person to advise. My friend who is a consultant put it well “I spend all day giving people advice on how to run their business, but I can’t advise myself for sh!t”. That is why I love being a coach – getting the chance to help smart people put their potential to work.

    @Farnoosh – thank you. It is so much easier once you have clear goals and a plan. Then you can slowly waddle forward (thanks for that Tess!). Suddenly you find you’ve actually climbed a long way up the mountain.

    @Tess – I really appreciate your support – I’m loving your blogging at the moment and finding inspiration there.

    @Topi – right on – i know you’re living your life to the full and exploring what is possible too. Keep it up…

    @Marc – you’re the real black belt and have such wisdom on the world. I appreciate you stopping by and your support.

    @Patty – wouldn’t trade it for the world. I feel so blessed to be able to do this and enjoy life. Every day is full of learning. I still feel like I’m in the cocoon (or more like still a caterpillar) – a long way left in my journey.

    @J.D. – Thank you for stopping by. I’m loving your series at the moment and following it closely. Highly recommended to all Less Ordinary readers.

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  1. By Five Things I wish I'd Known Earlier in Life on August 10, 2010 at 11:27 am

    [...] I remember the toughest days – when my wife was really ill and I lay in a field praying for her to get better, when I batted with my parents, when I felt out of my depth starting a new business. [...]

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