How to start a business and live your dream life
You’re currently living abroad, and on paper, it looks like you’re living your best life. But something is missing: your work isn’t aligned with how you want to live. Jaime Gennaro from Practica Consulting is here to help you discover and pursue your dreams.
You’re living abroad, and on paper, it looks like you’re living your best life, but something is missing. Your work isn’t aligned with how you want to live. When you moved abroad, you wanted adventures and new experiences, but your work life keeps you from having time for yourself. You have big ideas and a nagging to go out on your own and start a business, but because you don’t have a network here or an understanding of how to set up and grow a business (particularly in a new country), you stop yourself from leaning in and living your dream life...
It's scary to make the jump from employee to entrepreneur
I moved to the Netherlands from the U.S. in 2017. I didn’t know anyone and had moved away from my professional network. I immediately took a job, thinking it would be more secure, but adapting to the new cultural work environment was challenging and when COVID hit, I got laid off.
Lay-offs are horrible, but this lay-off was exactly the push I needed to start the business I’d been dreaming about but didn’t think was possible. Now I didn’t have a choice. There was a pandemic and no one was hiring. I had to find a solution quickly so that I could support my family.
I’m the breadwinner in my family, so when I made the jump, it had to be as safe as possible. I didn’t have a cash safety net. I was also recovering from years of unattended burnout, so I couldn’t dive into my business and work 50 to 60-hour weeks. I had to have essentially zero start-up costs, I had to make money right away, and I couldn’t work more than 20 hours a week.
I was scared, there was definitely a chance that I would fail, but I had no other choice, my family had to eat. I didn’t have time for fear or perfectionism. I couldn’t listen to my brain when it told me not to do it, that it would be terrible if it failed. I had to jump in with both feet, with a mediocre website and boring YouTube videos. I had to take action, even when it was terribly uncomfortable. I had to learn how to manage my brain’s excuses and old stories. I had to keep moving forward even when I was scared and uncomfortable. And it worked. In my second month I made five thousand euros and I hit five figures in six months.
I know how scary it is to jump from employee to entrepreneur. My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.
Why you haven't started that business venture yet
Your brain likes the idea of starting a business, but because you are scared, it’s also coming up with all the reasons why it’s impossible for you. It’s just not realistic. What if the money isn’t there? You don’t have the right experience. You aren’t a salesperson. You don’t know anything about marketing. What if you fail? How would that look to your network? It’s a long list. I had a list too. If you want to live a dream life, that list is a good place to start.
How to design your dream life in 5 steps:
If you want to live your dream life, you have to design it carefully:
- Write down all of the reasons why you can’t have a dream life - every single one.
- Circle the reasons on the list that are stories, things that feel real but aren’t facts.
- Condense your list to the top three reasons that you can’t do it. Then come up with a solution (i.e. a workaround) for each of those reasons.
- Once you’ve worked through these solutions to overcome these initial hurdles, it’s time to clarify what you want in this new life. Get all of your dreams out on the table and don’t hold anything back. Visualise your future in five years and include every detail: where you work, who you work with, how you feel at work, where you live, what the house looks like, what you look like, etc. Write it all down and - for extra credit - make a visual mood board.
- Pick one of your three solutions to start working on today. Dedicate one hour every day for 30 days to work on your dream life and in one month, you will have banked 30 hours towards your dream life.
Design your dream life with a career coach
What if you could design your dream life safely and securely, with a long runway, knowing you would have revenue from day one? What if you looked at all of your skills / talents and found the type of work and business that would be the right fit with a career coach? What if you worked on your confidence and imposter syndrome together, to move past your fears so that you can make a significant impact on the world and help people along the way? Career coaching is an incredible tool that will help you get there.
Launching a business is as much a personal journey as it is a professional one. This is why it’s equal parts uncomfortable and rewarding. First, you suffer the ups and downs, then you learn to ride the waves and it feels more fun and aligned. Get a business coach to help you become your COO, thought-partner and mindset manager. They are your surf instructor, giving you tips and encouragement to ride those waves with ease.
How a career coach can help you succeed
Entrepreneur coaching will help you make a safe plan so that you will have a guaranteed income before you leave your current job. Coaching will help you focus on that dream project that will light you up, give you more freedom and perhaps even a higher salary. Together with a coach, you can make a plan while also addressing the mindset hurdles that will come up once you start taking action. They’ll get you to that dream life that you deserve.
Want to find more joy and purpose in your career? Jaime Gennaro is a business coach who helps expats find the belief and confidence to start the small businesses they’ve been dreaming of. Schedule a free call with Practica Consulting to discover how coaching can help you to design and launch your dream life.