At one time or another we’ve all fantasized about leaving behind the rat race in search of a sea change and new horizons! I know I certainly have! In fact, I’m well down the road with my goal to get my career to the point where I myself can run my own businesses from the beach of a tropical island or any other locale I so choose anywhere in the world! For this reason I love hearing stories about other people’s journeys to living the dream!
Carrie Wilkerson is a woman who has already made such a dream come true, although she generally prefers to stay closer to home where she can spend more time with her family. In her book ‘The Barefoot Executive‘ she tells of her amazing transition from high school teacher, to corporate America and then motherhood to where she now lives life on her terms, predominantly works from home and chooses not to wear shoes most of the time! Hence the book’s title!
With all the author’s wisdom and wealth of experience she is passionate about sharing her knowledge and now coaches others to help get them to these same lofty heights of success! This book is an essential read if you are interested in exploiting opportunities in the post GFC world, while creating a more flexible work life for yourself and a better lifestyle for you and your dearest. Most admirable though, is her unrelenting passion & pursuit of conscious business where donating to charity, being involved in the community & genuine caring for others are at the forefront of all she does!
This go-getting ‘mompreneur’ tells inspirational stories, gives practical tips and trick and also guides you through several key steps essential to being a lifestyle entrepreneur:
Why do you want to work for yourself?
Many people start a business without giving much thought to the reasons why they’re doing it. Without aligning a business to their passions and values many people swap a dead-end job for their own all-consuming business that requires an exorbitant amount of time and energy leaving them sometimes with even less freedom and enjoyment than a corporate 9 to 5!
Tip: Be sure of your motivations and priorities as well as clear on what kind of lifestyle you want to lead, where you want to lead it and with whom!
What kind of business?
We all have our own unique set of skills and experiences. Some of us are naturally gifted in certain areas while others have acquired specialized knowledge in particular trades or industries.
Tip: In order to make sure that the type of business you set up is suited to both you and the market identify what you enjoy, what you are already good at and which of your skills are actually in-demand.
Staying focused on goals
As much as the advent of Internet technologies has helped to open up the world of entrepreneurship to anyone with a reliable broadband connection, the plethora of web services and new media platforms has also increased the number of potential distractions! Additionally, physical interruptions from your immediate environment can also get you off-course.
Tip: Being disciplined and adhering to a set schedule is essential for anyone who wants to work from home. Create a task or to-do list and assign due times and dates to each item to help stay on track to reaching your objectives.
The fast lane to success
It’s not what you know, but who you know.
This is a cliché term that we’ve all heard I’m sure. Although I feel it is not entirely true, to a certain degree it can make a difference in terms of succeeding in the world of business, especially when it comes to creating and growing an enterprise from scratch.
No man (or woman) is an island so it is important to know who to turn to for support and inspiration, as well as technical, financial and even legal advice.
Tip: Joining business networks, professional associations and ‘mastermind’ groups can help you to connect to like-minded individuals, stay motivated and discover new ideas to help accelerate your commercial ambitions.
Connecting with your market
Now that you’ve followed all of the above steps and have created a personalized business that suits you and your lifestyle, how do you take it to the world? Carrie makes the analogy of building your ‘stadium’ and then filling it with your fans.
Tip: Build an audience, form a relationship with them, find out what they like and then create products and services tailored to their wants and needs.
This must-have resource is filled to the brim with insightful, clear and practical exercises for becoming self-employed with the aid of the World Wide Web, however Carrie also emphasizes more traditional values such as prioritizing your friends and family as well as the importance of nurturing relationships in whatever form they may take. These age-old principles are definitely not without their place in the modern world of home-based Internet business and social networking! In fact, to a certain degree they are more important than ever!
Although I was already familiar with many of the topics discussed in this book as a result of having previously read Timothy Ferris’ ‘4-hour work week’ in many regards I found The Barefoot Executive to be more focused on the ‘big picture’ as opposed to honing in on specific actions and identifying useful service providers. I highly recommend this book if you are entrepreneurial at heart, creative by nature and serious about taking your destiny into their own hands, and in the process living up to your potential and creating the life of your dreams!