Today's guest post is from transition coach Catherine Morgan. What Catherine describes is exactly what happened to me when I left IBM after 10 years. I wish I would have read this 20 years ago!
"Let’s imagine that you have been working for a big company with an established and respected brand. You feel great about calling on prospects because the big brand pretty much guarantees that you will get on someone’s calendar. But what happens when you leave the big company and go out on your own?
Many entrepreneurs have issues around selling but I have coached people who were business development superstars at their previous employer and now when they are pitching themselves or their small business, they suddenly feel insignificant, invisible, or unworthy. This is a place where entrepreneurs get stuck all the time. I have to remind clients that their skills are *their skills* and they still have value without the backing of the big brand.
Yes, it may be harder to get appointments but remember that the skills and experience that made you successful at your last company are still part of you and will hopefully enable you to be successful in your current business. And don’t think that just because you are a solopreneur or small business you don’t provide valuable services. Being small can enable you to be more competitive and serve your customers more efficiently and effectively.
I recommend new small business owners create some “props” when starting out to get through this block. Consider investing in the following:
· Professionally designed logo. This does not have to be expensive. I was well aware of the logo/worthiness block when I started my current business so I had a logo designed and I am thrilled to present it to prospects and potential partners. It makes me feel like I have a “real” business. Money well spent!
· Quality business cards printed on good paper. This can be a big psychological boost. Feeling great about the card you are presenting makes you more confident during your pitch.
· Clean website or blog. This doesn’t have to be big or fancy and I highly recommend not spending a ton of money on this up front. Your business will change substantially once you get out and test with clients.
· Registered legal entity. I started my business a year ago. While I had always done business as a sole proprietor in the past, this time I registered my company and it does make me take my business more seriously.
When you are confident in your skills and invest in your business, prospects will notice. They will notice that you are a professional and they will want to invest in your business – and isn’t that the goal?
Have you ever felt like your skills belonged to your former company? How did you get past that? What other “props” would you recommend?"
Catherine Morgan is a Transition and Entrepreneur Coach, and the founder of Point A to Point B Transitions Inc. The company is a virtual provider of coaching services and info products to individuals who are in career transition or are looking to establish and grow their own successful services businesses.