In all the years I have been working with people trying to leave the corporate world and work for themselves, I have finally realized that there are three critical areas to look at, in the order described below, to make this transition successfully. They are:
Who: Who are YOU? What does your truthful, intuitive, inner self really want to say? What makes you happy? What kind of people, environments, work content, ideas, level of income, work schedule and work activities light your fire? What do you want to share with the world before you die? What kind of a partner, parent, child, sibling, friend and neighbor do you want to be?
What: What specific business could you create that would be built squarely on the platform of who you really are? What kinds of people (your target market) would be interested in the kind of work you have to offer? What are all the different ways that you could provide service to your target market? What kind of work would meet your goals for happiness, income, lifestyle and contribution?
How: Once you zero in on the specific kind of work you want to do, how do you actually make it happen? How do you create a business plan, do research, put together product lines or service offerings, market and sell products, build your infrastructure and manage your business? How do you raise or save the money to do all of this? How do you manage all the tricky areas of self-insurance and benefits?
If you are in the middle of this transition yourself, you may want to go back to square one: Who are YOU? This is the step most people skip and it provides the greatest clarity for the whole process.