Check out the updated version of this blog here: How to Get Started as an Online Business Manager in 2022 (With No Experience)
Breaking out of your corporate job can feel a bit like stepping off a travelator. You let go of the fast-paced, rigid structure of day-in, day-out corporate life. You step into a space where YOU are in full control of the direction you’re taking and what speed you’re going at. And whilst that’s totally liberating, becoming a full time OBM or solopreneur can also be pretty freakin’ scary! That’s a feeling I know all too well…
Back in the day when I was hustling in corporate, I was working as a VA by moonlight. I was desperate to make it as a solopreneur so that I could live a life of my choosing that fit around my work.
My front porch was my office come rain or shine! I’d take discovery calls out there after working 12 hour days in the corporate office. I’d have to leave my crying kid to hop on important meetings. And it was damn tough!
I knew that I needed to take the leap and become a full-time OBM. But I had a million doubts running through my mind about whether or not I could make it work.
It took a level of dedication to really BOSS solopreneur life. I had to stay optimistic and power through the inevitable moments of uncertainty, even if sometimes I felt swept off my feet.
One thing I learned along the way? It’s NOT a bad thing to transition steadily into full-time OBM mode (even if you’re dying to jump in at full speed!). In fact, this is where I see many aspiring OBMs go wrong.
If you don’t take your time or plan ahead, it’s all too easy to buckle under the pressure, and plunge headfirst into burnout. And I REALLY don’t want that for you!
I want to arm you with the practical strategies I’ve discovered through carving out my own OBM business. These will help you successfully transition from corporate hustler to full-time OBM biz owner, without all the overwhelm and anxiety! Let’s dive in!
Have a financial safety net
My first suggestion for successfully transitioning to a full-time OBM is a purely practical one – SAVE SAVE SAVE!
Saving money will give you the safety net you need to make the switch to full time solopreneur a HELL of a lot easier! Unexpected things ALWAYS happen in business. And sometimes doing the math isn’t enough when you get hit with something out of the blue. Take coronavirus as an example! By having money in the bank, you’re better to be prepared so you don’t fall victim when things get tough.
You’ll also get a better night’s sleep at the end of every day knowing you’re supported and not worrying about where your next buck is coming from.
The bottom line is: if you manage your finances better when you’re making money, it will likely be easier when you aren’t.
Leverage what you already know
When it comes to successfully transitioning out of corporate and becoming an OBM, it’s ALWAYS best to leverage what you already know.
Hell, you don’t need to put your past in the trash! Why reinvent the wheel? You already have valuable, transferable skills you can work to your advantage. You may have got those from corporate, from mom life, and you’re probably being a project management expert on a daily basis without even realising it!
By playing to your strengths and building expertise in what you already know, you’ll impress your clients WAY more easily. This will really boost your confidence when you’re first starting out. And once you’ve established yourself as an expert in your field, you’ll be able to charge the higher rates you want without even blinking!
Work with the right clients
When transitioning to full-time OBM mode, it’s important to take it slow with a few of the RIGHT clients. This will allow you to gain much-needed experience, confidence, and security, prior to making the jump.
If you position yourself well from Day 1, the only way is up from there. Position yourself too low through lack of confidence, and you’ll pay the price in the long run.
You want to be working with the ideal ‘Stepping Stone Clients’, NOT diving in the deep end with 7-figure Bigwigs! You should also avoid the ‘No Money Mary’s’ that you’ll likely encounter when first starting out! The key takeaway here is to KNOW YOUR WORTH!
A fantastic way to ensure you find the right clients is by doing dating projects first, rather than leaping into full-on retainers. These will allow you to ‘dip your toes’ whilst transitioning, and make sure you are a good fit with the client.
Solid client relationships can last a lifetime, and that’s what will give you the security you need to make the final leap to full-time OBM!
Lead with confidence
My final word of advice for those wanting to boss it as an OBM? BE CONFIDENT!
There’s a lot to be said for going ‘all in’ and owning your role. It’s important to make the right mindset shifts and believe in yourself. OBMs are leaders, as opposed to VAs and corporate roles, where typically we are the ‘do-ers’. So it’s important to make the switch and do what you can to get in that place mentally!
Ultimately, with experience comes confidence, but it’s also important to get all the right pieces in place before you switch to full-time OBM mode, so that you don’t end up killing that initial confidence. Once you’re getting your clients real results, they’ll likely be begging to keep you forever! And that’s the perfect springboard for confidently making the switch to full time solopreneur!