Make no mistake about it – going it yourself by way of entrepreneurship / business is not child’s play. It’s hard and you can expect the challenge to end all challenges in your life, but by no means is it impossible to realise the kind of success you know is within your reach, deep down inside.
There’s a reason why this calling chose you, which means you have it in you to make it happen…
Okay – motivational babble aside (albeit it comes from a place of authenticity), one of the most difficult parts of getting your operation established to the point that you can confidently present your offer to prospective clients is indeed that of getting that all-important start. Kick-starting proceedings is the hardest part because in order for you to get clients you need to be able to show them samples, examples and references of some work you’ve completed successfully.
With something digital like web design for example it’s perhaps a little bit easier because you can go ahead and design some websites for yourself and then bundle them up into a portfolio which you can present to prospective clients. This is not to say that web designers should undervalue their work because of the fact that they effectively have low overheads to contend with. I’m merely making an example to point out a very clear advantage some people have over others in their particular line of business.
That’s where it starts with regards to building up your portfolio – look for an advantage you have and then use that advantage to put together your portfolio of references, even if that advantage can only be partially deployed.
To expand on the web design example, since this is indeed a super-competitive industry which is aggravated by the presence of Content Management Solutions such as WordPress, which allow people to essentially create their own websites without technical knowledge, building up your portfolio is extremely important. You could approach the exercise in one or both of two ways since we all know that as much as it doesn’t really cost you anything to build a website when you have the technical skills, what it does take up is your time and a deployment of your mental resources.
The knowledge and skills you acquired didn’t come free – there was some kind of price paid for it…
So one way to approach your portfolio-building terrace is one which I’ve already touched on, which is merely working on a bunch of your own sites to use as part of your portfolio, but to expand on that you should probably aim to build sites that are in themselves businesses, like e-commerce sites, etc.
The second approach is to give away some of your services for free to non-competing businesses, for example a legal services provider such as Dolan Law Firm has nothing to do with web design, in which case offering your services to this particular law firm would undeniably grant you some kind of entry into the entire car accident industry surrounding the services this particular law firm provides, such as insurance, etc.