7 steps to free yourself from the job trap

Back in 1998 when I came to Japan to work I had no idea what was in store for me.

I was fresh out of college and didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life, all I knew was that my life would start in Japan.

I liked teaching English, so I decided to accept a job at a school in the area teaching kids.

I wish I could say it was my dream job, but I soon realized that like most companies, the focus was on making money, rather than providing a quality service. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a capitalist through and through…but I don’t believe in screwing clients.

So after two years, we parted ways and I joined a franchise group.

It wasn’t easy. But through hard work and dedication, I was able to build up my school.

But I learned an interesting lesson through, leaving my “job” behind and it is one that many entrepreneurs learn when they start their businesses, and that lesson is — you become the business.

Most entrepreneurs venture out to build something special, whether it’s their own restaurant, law practice or consulting firm with the vision that one day they can choose life on their terms.

And by “on their one terms” I mean when to work, what to work on, who to work with and where they want to work.

However, for most entrepreneurs it doesn’t work that way. They become the face of their business. Everyone wants them.

So despite leaving behind a job, you now have another job, albeit on better terms.

This was the situation I found myself in and one day I asked myself an important question, “What happens if something happens to me?”

Most of us never envision anything bad happening to us because (1) it’s depressing and (2) we honestly believe nothing can happen to us.

When I found myself smack dab in a tsunami I realized things can, and will happen to us.

I needed to make some changes.

Since that time I have worked alongside numerous teachers which freed up my time and allowed me to know that the business would be able to thrive even if I wasn’t in the picture.

I put that free time to good use, studying all the things I talk about here and allowing me to write my first book, iSucceed, run this site, create two different FB fan pages all the while taking care of many of the chores (while my wife worked) and time to spend with my family.

All that studying lead me to realize many jobs don’t need a physical presence.

While a traditional school needs four walls, a desk and some chairs, today consulting and information can be distributed from the comfort of your own home through the Internet in a variety of forms; ebooks, teleseminars, podcasts, webinars, coaching calls, special reports, etc.

The key being “home” being anywhere.

Now that doesn’t mean I’m going to pack up my bags and leave Japan. I love it here — the food is incredible, the people are so sincere, it’s safe, convenient, modern and traditional all at the same time, exotic, perplexing, and fun.

However, I realize that if I wanted to I could continue much of what I do from a remote island in the Pacific should I choose to.

That might appeal to some of you, if so, keep reading. If not, keep working hard.

Still here…great, then here are what I suggest are 7 steps to freeing yourself from the “job” trap:

  1. Create a FB fan page (it’s free and easy to play around with in gathering an audience)
  2. Develop an online “sellable” skill
  3. Create a study habit, study a little every day from the best minds out there. (think people like Dan Kennedy, Joe Polish, Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk and others)
  4. Create a website (wordpress or squarespace are the best for these)
  5. Create products to sell (mentioned above)
  6. Sell quality products
  7. Enjoy what you do (don’t do something you hate, it’ll show through in everything you do)

Sounds easy, right?! It’s not.

What I can say is having the right product to not as important as the marketing behind it.

McDonald’s didn’t become the world’s most successful restaurant by serving the best hamburgers, but they do know how to sell burgers.

Forget about having the “best” product in the world. Even if you do, sooner or later someone will come along and outdo you…it’s not about being the best.

It’s about offering a quality product to as many people as you can and doing whatever you can to have them give you money.

That sounds pretty aggressive, but the fact is people are going to spend their money one way or another. If you truly do believe in your products, then you should want to have them give you money because you know they are getting a good deal.

But don’t quit your day job just yet.

It might take six months, it might take 10 years. It’ll take as long as it does. The harder you work it, the faster it comes.

There’s a reason why Tony Robbins because the number one sales guy for Jim Rohn way back when. Instead of doing one sales presentation a week, he did several a DAY.

Needless to say, he got good, fast. He was motivated. He believed in what he did. And he didn’t even take the commissions from most of the sales he made because his goal wasn’t the money but to become good at what he did.

I’d say he did just fine.

Today we have so many more tools at our disposal, but at the same time, that much more competition. Just remember, most people won’t be able to stick it out. So keep at it.

For me, all I do is strive to learn a little bit more, share a little bit more, do a little bit more each and every day.

I hope you do as well.

Adrian Shepherd

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