Career Change

The beliefs you need to banish before building a business

The beliefs you need to banish before building a business

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Doing the research, honing the business skills and laying the foundations are all essential steps to take when making the ultimate career leap from a corporate job to being your own boss. With the initial ground work comes our own thoughts and ideas about how we perceive the journey to progress. Some of these thoughts and ideas have the potential to slow down our progress or may result in some new ideas never getting off the ground. Samantha Chambers shares some insights on the beliefs that you need to eliminate to speed up your journey to success.

Believing the change is a small one

It’s a big change to go from being an employee with a boss and a steady flow of income, to working in a new environment where success and longevity rest on your shoulders. All of a sudden you need to wear many different hats to manage a variety of responsibilities and tasks. You need to be the strategic decision maker, stationery buyer, sales master, finance guru etc. You need to be prepared for challenging tasks, especially things you haven’t done before. You need to keep learning new things to stay up to date with trends, technology and impacts that affect your business and industry. Fortunately, there’s a significant amount of self-development and personal growth that comes with tackling major change, so while daunting, it’s also positive and self-fulfilling.

Believing what others say

Not everyone is going to love your idea and intention to leave the security of a job, and some may speak their mind about why what you are doing is crazy, or suggest that it won’t work. Unfortunately, judgement is most likely to come from those closest to you. The judgement from friends and family is most likely due to their concern or their own insecurities. Recognise where it may come from within your circle of family and friends. It’s important to be aware as their judgement can impact your confidence and create self-doubt. Stay courageous and focus on the path ahead.

Believing in perfect

Wanting perfect is common. We want the website to be perfect before launching it. We want to be perfect at sales before approaching a potential client. We want our whole business strategy to be perfect and to wait for the ‘right time’ to get going with a new business idea. Striving for perfection will only slow you down, and steer your attention away from activities that are more important. Ditching the desire to be perfect will release unnecessary pressure, give you the ability to be more agile, and will enable you to focus your energies on what will make your business a sustainable one.

Believing it’s a solo gig

Like most things in life, it can be a long, hard road if we don’t seek support from those around us to help us on our journey. Similarly in business, the concept of working for yourself is somewhat misleading if you want to be successful. While it sounds great to not have a boss to answer to, and to get things done your way, it’s important to realise that every successful business person has a good network of people around them. Having a support crew that includes advisers, strategic partners and mentorscan help you keep accountable, gain clarity and stay motivated.

Believing in a magic pill

Some people want to find a quick fix to become successful in business and are busy seeking out the one size fits all that will make seven figures in six months. It’s essential to note that what works for one person in terms of business development, marketing and sales activities may not necessarily work for you. You need to work out what works for you. You also need to do the work to reach your goals and not just expect you’ll reach them following someone else’s formula, and with minimum effort. There is a need to invest money and time and, most importantly, in you. The investment in you is an ongoing one.

Lastly, the key belief not to banish is the one about believing in your ability to take the leap of faith and create your own path. Taking action, even if it is just a small step, will encourage that belief in yourself. In the words of Sam Kao, “There is nothing more beautiful than believing in yourself.”


Mastering the mindset change when embarking on entrepreneurship

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This article was first featured in the Women’s Network Australia, ‘Working Women’ magazine.

A decision to alter a career path from being an employee to being your own boss is one that involves significant change. In addition to the different types of tasks and ways of working that ensue,there is also a requirement for adjustments in attitude, behaviours and approach to align to the change in direction. Here are some of the required mindset shifts that should be considered when stepping off the employee career path.


It’s commonplace for an employee to identify themselves as a representative of the company they work for through their experience and via a job title, for example, an accountant who works as a financial controller at XYZ company. To be successful at being your own boss, you need to be more than just a title. One way to do that is to develop your reputation and brand. Not only does that help create identity, it serves as a way to differentiate yourself and rise above the competition. It doesn’t matter whether that’s your personal brand or that of your business. As long as your uniqueness, your values, and knowing what you want to be known for, are clear.


In the same way there isn’t a magic pill to reach the higher heights of the corporate ladder, there isn’t always a magic pill to reach success when starting your own venture. While you may come up with great ideas easily, the hard work exists in following through to execution. According to Guy Kawasaki, “Ideas are easy, implementation is hard.” There isn’t a one size fits all approach to any element of business idea implementation including sales strategies, marketing approaches and the like. Hence the mindset to get things done, as well as to explore different approaches and options to achieve your objectives, is key.


As an employee, there are plenty of people around to make sure you are doing what you’re supposed to be doing.Within the corporate space, you have dependence. When you move to entrepreneurship or business ownership, you move to independence as well as interdependence. With those shifts come more accountability.Taking ownership of your decisions and taking responsibility for your actions is required when you are in charge. The buck ultimately stops with you when it comes to results and outcomes.In the absence of a boss, having a good mentor can help to keep you accountable.


A decision to change career paths is just the first step in a series of changes. Being resilient and continuing to adapt and change on an ongoing basis will be essential for success and longevity. There’s the constant state of flux in learning new things and staying up to date with trends, technology and impacts that affect your business and industry. Using sport as an analogy, the best athletes are those that recover quickly from setbacks and move on. Similarly, in business, the ability to manage thoughts, feelings and emotions when the going gets tough is essential. Improved resilience means you’ll be more effective in your ability to make decisions, manage risk and manage your business outcomes.


Making a big career move isn’t something to be taken lightly. However when embarking on something so substantial, it is easy to develop the attitude of ‘it is something to do one day, not right now’. The problem with this approach is that it may never happen and it will continue to be something that is put off until the ‘right time’. For some, the feeling of being ready is needed to make the move however in reality this is an excuse for not taking action. There never really is a right time. There will always be other things happening in life and career, and competing priorities to juggle.

Just making the simple first step of taking initiative to make a commitment and get started forces you to get ready now. It’s amazing what you can achieve when you really have to! As Michael Jordon famously said, “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.”

Is it time to reassess where your mind is at around life and career?Is it also time to consider mindset shifts that will need to take place for you to define your ideal career path?


Being bold for career change

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On 18 June 2006, I jumped out of a plane. Even though it seems like a long time ago, I can still vividly remember kneeling at the edge of the cabin door at a healthy 14,000 feet and completing a tumble turn rotation as I fell out of the plane.I can still vividly remember the icy cold wind slapping against my face during the freefall.I can still vividly remember feeling like I had been momentarily flung into another universe when the parachute opened. And I remember the landing. I felt relief. I was happy. I had just accomplished something I had never thought possible, especially with a fear of heights!

Ten years later, I decided that being an employee was not for me. I left a somewhat safe and secure corporate job to embark on a different journey. One that didn’t involve climbing someone else’s corporate ladder. Little did I realise the journey would not be too dissimilar to jumping out of that plane.Both were life changing moments.

Similar to skydiving, changing jobs, changing careers or totally changing the career path you’re on can be daunting and risky.It can also be fulfilling, rewarding and exciting.Ultimately it’s about confronting, managing and embracing change. There are some effective strategies to explore that can help you get from where you are today to where you want to be tomorrow.

Slightly more than half of employees (51%) say they are actively looking for a new job or watching for openings. Note 1

I can relate to that statistic and I’m sure many of you reading this can too.Being a loyal corporate employee, I spent many years climbing the corporate ladder to dizzy heights. Over a period of time, I lost my drive. I became bored and demotivated and the desire to pursue something else became stronger.

Living a fulfilling and rewarding life and a life of purpose suddenly became paramount and that was only going to happen if I made a significant change. So I decided to ditch the employee life, take on a new challenge and repave the career path.

I imagined life outside corporate employment to be fun, exciting and a new challenge. The best way to describe how it actually turned out was like the parachute jump. There was a mix of emotions – joy and fulfilment when things were good, and fear and overwhelm when the chips were down.

My lessons learnt about major life and career transition, and being bold for change, include being brave, having a desire to make a difference, and being proactive.

Be brave

To me being brave means being open to taking risks and embracing failure. With increased risk comes the increased potential for failure. It’s easy to mistakenlypersonalise failure. For example, a process fails and we see ourselves as the failure instead of the process.It’s important to distinguish between ‘failing’ and ‘being a failure’ or else the approach of embracing failure becomes harder to do.

Failure hasa negative stigma. Though failure is only ‘bad’ if you don’t learn from it.You need to build a relationship with risks so they become just another challenge, not something to be feared. Taking risks allows for growth personally and professionally.

My first attempt to set up a business failed when a business partnership didn’t work out. I could have dwelled on the consequences and played the blame game. Instead, I made a different choice to restart and rebuild my goals, and renew and recharge my approach. I had spent all my life avoiding failure. Now I understand that it was one of the best things to ever happen to me because, in this case, I was directed to a better path.

Do desire

Most people striving for career change want to create a different outcome for themselves, or make a difference to others, or both. I believe our desire to create a different future is fuelled by our purpose, our determination and our confidence.When you really want something and you know it is going to provide value or make an impact, it will spur you to keep going and achieve that goal or outcome.

My desire to make a difference to me and others skyrocketed when I spent time understanding who I was outside the employee role. What did I want to stand for, what did I want to be known for and what capabilities could I utilise. In the process I met my strengths and realised that when you apply your strengths, you are more productive and get better results. Focusing on strengths drives fulfilment, motivation and enjoyment, and that makes you feel happy and confident and hence more likely to achieve what you are setting out to do.

Practise proactivity

In the words of Pablo Picasso, “Action is the foundational key to all success.”
Being proactive doesn’t just mean taking action. It means taking action consistently and purposefully and making things happen. When hurdles such as fear or uncertainty get in the way, it’s the persistence to keep taking steps, no matter how small, that helps to breakdown those hurdles before they become problems.

Proactivity is also about seeking out opportunity rather than waiting for something to land. It involves turning the attitude from, “I’ll make a move to change career when the time is right”, to “l’ll seek out the companies/people/learning platforms in the space I want to be to encourage my success.”

We are also a lot better at taking action when we surround ourselves with amazing people to motivate and inspire us. An adviser, a mentor or being part of supportive communities can help with feedback, clarity and expertise.

If you’re considering making a career change and taking a big leap, strap on your parachute.

Being bold for career change involves being brave, wanting to make a difference, and being proactive to take action for the benefit of others and for you.

“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” Jim Rohn

Harter, J and Adkins, A, 2017, Are Your Star Employees Slipping Away?, Gallup Business Journal, viewed 9 April 2017,

Read more tips and insights in my latest book, ‘Ditch The Ladder: Escape The Corporate Trap’, which I wrote in an effort to help others contemplating taking the leap from corporate to set up a business’.
Ball and chain

The mistakes not to make when you make the break

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This article was first featured in the Women’s Network Australia, ‘Working Women’ magazine under the title “Essential tips for the rookie entrepreneur.” (

Breaking free from the corporate shackles to start your own venture and be your own boss is a courageous step that comes with awesome opportunities. The potential for slip-ups and blunders are rife while navigating through the unknown, and riding the emotional waves, on the journey to entrepreneurship or self-employment.

A report released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2016, which showed business survival trends over time, revealed 50 per cent of new businesses closed within three years. Success-critical components are easily and often overlooked in the start-up phase and mistakes are often made. Here are three common ones to be aware of:

Poor research means poor results

When embarking on a big, new adventure, there is a sense of urgency to begin. There’s adrenalin and excitement about getting started straight away. Not completing some essential research and groundwork before jumping in can be a big mistake.

Being clear on why you want to make the move is important. Why are you wanting to leave your job? Why does it matter? The answers need to go beyond just being disgruntled in your current work position. The odd bad day or a boss you don’t seem to get along with aren’t reasons to decide to quit. It needs to be more than a transient state.

We all have great ideas. That doesn’t necessarily mean others will share the same sentiment. When it comes to having an idea that will be the crux of your new business venture, you need to determine if there is a market for it and if it is something potential customers want. You’ll need to assess who your competitors are too. Not researching these things will mean you won’t get the strategy right at the outset and worse case, spend time and money developing something you won’t be able to sell.

The time and cost involved to get started can easily be underestimated. Spending some time upfront to research costs involved and determine time requirements is critical to ensure you don’t run out of money or waste time.

Same same but different

A common mistake is to assume you can just do what you do in your job today but in a different capacity as your own boss. Relying solely on your technical skills will not get you far. There are additional skills required outside the corporate confines. For example, you could be the best accountant out there, but if you were to set-up your own accounting practice, your skills in sales and marketing will be just as critical as your technical accounting prowess.

You will need to wear many different hats to manage a variety of responsibilities and tasks. From being a decision maker on strategy to being the stationery buyer, or from being the sales master to being the finance guru, you need to be prepared for challenging tasks, especially things you haven’t done before.

Don’t get caught up thinking things won’t change on the home front either. Our personal relationships can easily be impacted by a change in career path because it is a major shift in direction. It’s beneficial for you if family and friends are able to provide support, understanding and encouragement.

Working harder or smarter?

Another key trap when starting out is not being clear on the things to focus on first. Focusing on the wrong things and keeping yourself ‘busy’ can ultimately slow down your progress. For example, business cards and websites are great, and are required for the majority of businesses, though it is easy for too much time to be spent on tasks that are easy or fun. There are other priorities. Cash flow is a priority in the early stages so your efforts need to be directed to tasks that will encourage the flow of cash in, and reduce the amount of cash pouring out. For some, this may mean having some clients on board before having a fully functional website. It’s important to be disciplined, prioritise and do the uncomfortable stuff. Time is a critical resource. As Jim Rohn said, “Either you run the day or the day runs you.”

While there are many potential traps to fall into, the biggest shortcoming is not taking some form of action to get started, today. That could be engaging a mentor, growing your network, or crafting an escape plan! As Peter Marshall said, “Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.”It’s the small steps and consistent actions that help to avoid the pitfalls and deliver the biggest breakthroughs.

Read more tips and insights in my latest book, ‘Ditch The Ladder: Escape The Corporate Trap’, which I wrote in an effort to help others contemplating taking the leap from corporate to set up a business’.
Lost that loving feeling making a living?

Lost that loving feeling making a living?

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February is often touted as the month of love. On the personal front, it’s the month where cupids and romantics worldwide unite to hype up hooking up and being loved up. On the career front, it’s the month where the love for what we do in our jobs and work starts to wane. The enthusiasm for keeping the New Year’s resolutions falls to the wayside. With the hope of a fresh start and things being different, there’s the realisation not much has really changed since the year before. The grim thought that the year isn’t living up to the expectation we created means there isn’t much love to be found.

It appears we have reached a tipping point in Australia with less than half of Australian workers happy with their jobs. 1 That’s a lot of people not feeling the love for something they could be spending more than half their waking hours doing.

If you fit into this bucket of lack of desire and are pondering the path ahead, considering changing jobs, or even planning ditching the 9 – 5 lacklustre routine, here are some things to consider.

Explore Your ‘Why’

It helps to have some clarity around your career objectives, purpose and direction. That confirms what’s important to you and can drive the development of clear career ambitions and goals.

Take some time to reflect, dig a bit deeper and go beyond the surface of feeling disgruntled.

Ask yourself the question, ‘Why’? Are you achieving your ‘Why’ and purpose in life? To answer this consider where you are now and where you want to be. Why are you doing what you are currently doing? What is important to you? To what extent are things like wealth, health and family important? What are the things that will make you happy?

Being clear on your ‘Why’ can help to assess if your requirements are being met in your current job and provide an indication of whether something needs to change.

Define Your Brand

Too often we associate the concept of brand with a big corporation. When we work for a large corporation in particular, it’s easy to describe and define ourselves based on the job title we are given and what the corporation represents. The danger with this is that it prevents us from developing a personal identity.

What are you and who are you without the job title? What do you stand for and represent as an individual as opposed to an employee? Go on, be a bit selfish, it’s about you. What does this self-discovery of ‘Brand You’ tell you?

It’s easy to go with the flow, and allow your brand to be moulded to fit that of the corporation. You can abide by their rules and find a definition of you that fits the definition of the perfect employee. Or you can create your own mould and be better for it.

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” George Bernard Shaw

Do you have an element of freedom where you currently are to create you?

When I broke free from the corporate shackles and quit being an employee to follow my own path in my career, I realised the importance of personal brand. I was behind the eight ball in developing my personal brand. I should have paid attention to developing it as an employee. It wouldn’t have done any damage even if I had decided to continue as an employee. It just may have meant aligning myself instead to an organisation that saw me as a person, not a job title.

Assess Your Strengths

Are you being given the opportunity to utilise your strengths in your current role?

Many corporations spend so much emphasis on identifying weaknesses and forcing employees to fix their shortcomings with the hope this will fix productivity and results. The reality is we aren’t good at everything.

The positive psychology school of thought supports the focus on strengths. When you apply your strengths, you are more productive and get better results. Focusing on something that is a strength or what you are good at will drive fulfilment, motivation and enjoyment. It makes sense. Spend more time doing the things you are good at and you will feel happy about yourself. This also includes spending less time trying to rectify or improve your so-called weaknesses.

When you know your strengths, it’s easier to ensure your future career endeavours align to what you are good at and what you enjoy.

Recognise Your Hurdle

What’s currently holding you back in changing careers or leaving your job? Is it fear? Is it self-doubt? Have you become comfortable with being comfortable?

Is it the thought of change and the consequences and risks that come with change?

When it comes to making a change, there is never a right time and you will never be ready. Some people take the easy path and push back, putting the idea on hold, waiting for the right day. For some, that right day never comes. Waiting for the right time won’t help. Waiting until next year won’t help. Waiting for someone else or something else or a magical moment to initiate a change in circumstances won’t help.

Whatever your hurdle, just taking some action, even the smallest steps help. Achieving results comes from taking action, being consistent and being persistent. Achieving results also comes from taking risks and being open to failure.

Find Your Sounding Board

When there are things that don’t seem quite right in your career, it always helps to share your thoughts with a trusted colleague, friend or mentor.

This ‘sounding board’ can help with clarity around the issue(s) and the next steps to take. They can ask the hard-hitting questions to find the source of dissatisfaction.

With an interest in your growth and development, a ‘sounding board’ can take the time and be honest in giving you any feedback and advice, and hold you accountable when decisions are made and next steps planned.
A ‘sounding board’ who is a couple of steps ahead or is already doing what you want to be doing in the coming years will have a wealth of expertise and experience to share.

Ultimately, they can also help with providing additional motivation to take action.

As another month of love draws to a close, is it time to consider getting out of the comfort zone in the quest to find career love? Perhaps leaving the 9 – 5 altogether is the answer to rekindling the love?

1. Blatchford, E 2016, Less Than Half Of Aussies Are Happy With Their Job, According To Survey, The Huffington Post Australia, viewed 19 February 2017,

Read more tips and insights in my latest book, ‘Ditch The Ladder: Escape The Corporate Trap’, which I wrote in an effort to help others contemplating taking the leap from corporate to set up a business’.
Overcoming doubts when embarking on a career transition

Overcoming doubts when embarking on a career transition

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Stressed, frustrated, unhappy. Words that are typically used to describe the emotional state of a significant proportion of those employed in jobs they don’t like. Freedom, flexibility, abundance. Words that are typically used to describe the reasons for ditching a day job to become self-employed, a business owner or entrepreneur.
Sometimes it’s our own doubts that prevent the transition from a dissatisfying job to doing something where we can create our own path in business and life. Here are some thoughts to consider:

I won’t succeed

Similar to any goal that requires substantial change and a healthy dose of commitment, there are several elements that contribute to achieving that goal. Solid planning, a disciplined mindset and having adequate support are some of those key contributors. Things like articulating your business vision, doing your research and formalising a business plan are important. Being disciplined isn’t just about how you manage your time and your dedication, it’s also about focusing your attention so you are spending your time on the right things. Having adequate support involves surrounding yourself with good people who can help by providing feedback, clarity and motivation.

In some instances, the uncertainty of whether success will be achieved is driven by a fear of failure. Sure, the prospect of some form of failure is a possibility. Failure is merely an instigator for change. It’s just a sign to do something differently next time. You don’t change the destination, you change the course to get there. Bumps in the road on the way to establishing success are more often than not challenges to test you, your resolve and your determination. As Henry Ford famously said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

I lack expertise

A new career challenge typically triggers the requirement for new or different skillsets and ways of working. Though we can’t know and be good at everything and hence can’t have expertise across every area. A good first step is to understand your strengths. When you know the skills you excel at and the behaviours that come naturally, it is easy to identify the gaps. Covering the gaps can be as simple as educating yourself though completing a short course, or finding experts who can take on specific tasks that aren’t typically your forte.

Not having experience in the entrepreneur space shouldn’t be a reason to not make the leap of faith. While having some of the typical entrepreneur qualities, such as being a visionary, a risk taker and having a creative mind are all great, it is also valuable to have some of the qualities that you bring with you from your corporate career. Just as important are skillsets around leading others, managing risk and being results focused. The ability to get things done in a timely manner, and not regularly jump to new ideas, is critical. Having the ability to delve into the detail when required is also necessary. In terms of experience and expertise, these attributes never go astray and should never be underestimated.

I need job security

Having a role title, job description and a regular income provide a perceived level of stability. However there is no such thing as job security anymore. Even profitable, well performing companies roll out redundancy programs due to strategy, leadership or technology change for example. With so much change, automation and disruption happening across businesses, companies and industries you need to be on the front foot. You need to be proactive and flexible and open to learning new things. There are trends, especially in the digital, IT and social media space where opportunities are opening up and expanding in the business ownership space. Ultimately, you can’t expect a company to look after you. You need to look after you. Having a dependency on someone or something else comes with its own risks. As Erica Jong said, “If you don’t risk anything, you risk more.”

There’s a significant amount of self-development and personal growth that comes with being bold and courageous. Those components themselves should be at the forefront of your mind if you are currently considering whether to quit your job.

According to John Dewey, “We do not learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience.” Is it time for you to reflect and contemplate a new beginning? Is it also time for you to tackle those doubts once and for all?


Why Gen Y is Gen Yes when it comes to entrepreneurship and small business

Why Gen Y is Gen Yes when it comes to entrepreneurship and small business

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Arrogant, lazy and impatient.

Words that have been bandied around in society to describe Generation Y also known as the Millennials or Me generation. They are not words that are typically thought of as favourable, are they?

Let’s consider how these qualities can be seen as favourable in the context of entrepreneurship and small business.
With the increasing trend toward the ‘quarter life crisis’ replacing the once well known ‘mid life crisis’, reassessing life and career direction across society is happening earlier. Marriage and kids (and sometimes moving out of home) are happening later.

There’s much more space for entrepreneurship and innovation in Australia and I believe it’s Gen Y who have the capability to lead the charge when they encounter these ‘quarter life crises’.

Which is why Gen Y is Gen Yes when it comes to entrepreneurship and small business.

Some of you may think that entrepreneurship isn’t necessarily a generational thing. That it’s not just Gen Y and that a fair share of Baby Boomers and Gen Xs have given it a go. Many have been, and others currently are, successful in the space.

The difference is Gen Y have been blessed with more freedom and choice. That includes freedom to explore all different types of career options. That’s because access to information, social media and technology change are making it easier to make career choices.

Although Gen Ys have been less likely to be starting a business in Australia when compared with their older compatriots, this is not the case in the US and UK.

I already see signs of this happening and predict the overseas trend of impatient and agile Gen Ys accounting for a larger share of small business start ups will become apparent in Australia in the near future.

So how can arrogance, laziness and impatience support a shift in thinking beyond having a job to being the boss?


I wouldn’t call it arrogance. Confidence is more apt. That is, confidence in abilities, confidence to try something new and confidence to embrace technology. Confidence is a key component of starting a business, and when combined with courage, provides a good foundation for taking action.


It’s not about being lazy. From my experiences of managing Gen Y in the workplace, it is instead about not wanting to follow inefficient processes and procedures that defy logic. Asking Why?, for example, ‘Why is it done this way’, ‘Why don’t we do it another way’, is a good thing. Not wanting to comply or conform isn’t about laziness, it’s about wanting to do things a better way.

The workplace attitude for prior generations was all about doing your time, earning your stripes and proving that you work hard. If you did this, then you were able to get ahead. Gen Ys want to focus on lifestyle and more work life balance which can be misinterpreted by some as being lazy.

It seems the Gen Ys follow the ‘smarter not harder’ approach in both life and business.


Is there really an issue being fast paced, agile and proactive when it comes to career choice and wanting satisfaction and enjoyment?

Today’s society doesn’t allow for much waiting time given the pace of change across all industries and the ongoing developments in technology.

Let’s not take exception to Gen Y for overstaying their welcomes and still living with their parents, or be annoyed for popularising selfies.

We should be riding the Gen Y wave of optimism, relishing in their responsiveness to change and admiring their ambition.

Let’s encourage the healthy attitude to entrepreneurship, risk and innovation that they bring to society, and in particular, Australia. And at the same time use them to help us develop the attitude that if we are letting life lead us on a path we don’t want to be on then it’s okay to change direction and create our own path.
To the Gen Ys: Consider those behavioural traits in a positive way and consider where you might fit in the entrepreneur landscape.

To everyone else: With regard to any potential gripes against Gen Y that some of you may have in relation to those traits of arrogance, laziness and impatience, then just remember, perhaps some of us were like that when we were that age anyway!

I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this topic so in true Gen Y style, please provide your comments AND connect with me on my social media platforms.

Twitter: @iamsamchambers

Read more tips and insights in my latest book, ‘Ditch The Ladder: Escape The Corporate Trap’, which I wrote in an effort to help others contemplating taking the leap from corporate to set up a business’.
3 essential strategies to consider when escaping the corporate trap

3 Essential strategies to consider when escaping the corporate trap

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On 18 June 2006, I jumped out of a plane. On 20 March 2014, I jumped off the corporate ladder. Two life changing moments not too dissimilar!

Similar to skydiving, leaving the comfort of a job to set up your own business can be daunting and risky. It can also be fulfilling, rewarding and exciting. Ultimately it’s about survival and hence knowing elements that can contribute to success in creating the path to the life you deserve.

For those hesitant in taking the leap, it is safe to assume many fear failure or are concerned about lack of security or lack of expertise. Some have a great idea though just don’t know where to start.

One of the hardest things about starting a business is: you don’t know what you don’t know. Gathering insights and finding out what you need to know makes the transition much easier because it alleviates the uncertainty and doubt.
Here are 3 strategies to consider. The list is by no means exhaustive. They are key ones that stand out from my own experiences and have particular benefit for those coming from an established corporate background.

Planning – Spend time building foundations

It’s exciting and enticing to jump in and set up a company, create a website and spread the word you are in business though you are less likely to get a favourable outcome if you haven’t properly considered the foundations.

In the same way that a house doesn’t get built properly if the foundations aren’t put in place properly, so too is the risk of not setting yourself up for success at the beginning in business. Things like articulating your why, vision, understanding where your strengths lie, and having plans in place for set up and marketing are all important.
Sure there will be times when you will just need to work things out as you go and be flexible and adaptable. Though having plans and structure as a base certainly help when the things you don’t have control over pop up.

Performance – Focus on your discipline

Corporate environments provide structure. There are policies, procedures, start times, finish times, hierarchies etc. When you start working for yourself this structure becomes loose. There is no one to look over you. There is no boss to answer to.

Having a disciplined mindset for how you manage your time, your finances and generally managing yourself and others is key.

Time discipline is being mindful you are spending your time on the right things. Financial discipline is about knowing how much you need to make a start and then being analytical and thorough with reviewing your finances, in particular cash flow.

When it comes to managing yourself and others, it’s good to note that it’s not so much about work/life balance when you are in business. It’s more about work/life integration. Organisation and prioritisation skills need to be at the forefront to be able to achieve your business outcomes and to also have time to live your life.
Having discipline also involves being consistent too. That involves being committed to your business goals and actively pursuing them on a regular basis. There’s no such thing as overnight success. Success comes through an element of patience and consistency.

People – Surround yourself with a good network

When you enter the business owner world, you are entering a space that is unfamiliar and while it sounds grand, being your own boss is a tough gig.

Surrounding yourself with good people including coaches, mentors, advisers, those who have been there done that for example, is a great way to help you understand what you need to be aware of.

I have had help from mentors/coaches on my journey and will continue to do so. It has not only helped with clarity and expertise but also accountability, motivation and feedback.

The critical element that sits across all these strategies is that of taking action and turning a thought or an idea into an outcome. So if your ideal outcome is to be your own boss then strap yourself in and get ready to take the leap!

Read more tips and insights in my latest book, ‘Ditch The Ladder: Escape The Corporate Trap’, which I wrote in an effort to help others contemplating taking the leap from corporate to set up a business’.
Lady banging head

Time to ditch the corporate ladder?

By | Career Change | No Comments

I was a long term sufferer of Mondayitis. For me, it used to creep in on Sunday evening and last until Monday lunchtime. By then I was back in the groove, doing what I did best and excited about achieving wins and overcoming obstacles in the week ahead.

I loved working in big corporations. The challenge, the brand, the people. I loved planning what the next rung up the ladder would be. Then it changed – I lost my groove and the Mondayitis seemed to last all week.

The excitement disappeared. I was bored and demotivated. Something was missing and I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was.Was it time to leave behind a world I had become comfortable with,ditch the corporate ladder and be my own boss? Would I be able to do it? What would people say? What if I failed? And what about that healthy income!

According to an independent study by Servcorp1, it takes up to a year for Australian entrepreneurs to overcome fears and doubts before starting their business. These fears included concerns about money, fear of leaving a secure job, failure and perceived lack of expertise.

It makes perfect sense – I was one of those with fears and doubts.

I think it takes even more than a year for ‘to be’ entrepreneurs to just give it a go. ‘Now’s not the right time’ is a great excuse. And that’s all that attitude is great for – an excuse. Why wait for tomorrow? There is always going to be ‘other stuff’ going on in life whether planned or unplanned. That’s what happens. Why procrastinate over a decision that has one of the biggest impacts – on your life, happiness and your future.

Is it risky to set up a business – sure is. What is even more risky is staying in a job that is unfulfilling and unrewarding. Because with the pace of change, technology innovations and disruption all happening at a faster rate, we live in an age where no jobs are guaranteed.

The idea that you provide your loyalty to one organisation and receive job security in return isn’t as significant as it used to be. These days it’s about demonstrating agility and diversity. Most of us have experienced ourselves or know of others that have lost jobs because the company restructured, the role was replaced by technology or it was no longer needed.

Essentially, there is no such thing as job security anymore. Even the profitable, well performing companies roll out redundancy programs due to strategy change or leadership change for example. You can’t expect a company to look after you. You need to look after you.

The learning curve is big and will vary depending on the chosen venture. It’s also highly likely there will be bumps in the road. Though don’t forget that corporate experience affords substantial knowledge and business nous. The skills that need to be learnt to adapt to business ownership are usually easy to pick up or accommodate. Any failure that ensues usually turns out to be the best opportunity for development and growth.
I’m not begrudging big business here. Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today with the exposure to training, great mentors and opportunities. Key skill development and experience and the development of a disciplined mindset are all key foundations in any career.

Small business, the entrepreneurial spirit and the innovation factor all have a big part to play in our economy in Australia. Support is required by talented corporate professionals who have the ability to contribute to business development. We are behind overseas and we need to catch up.
It is true what they say that life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Climbing the ladder was comfortable for me. If I hadn’t of ditched the ladder I would have missed out on one incredible (and ongoing) journey that has and still is taking me to places in life and career I never would have imagined.

Note 1 – Jacobs, D 2015, Entrepreneurs Fear ‘Taking the Plunge’, Dynamic Business, viewed 29 November 2015, entrepreneurs-fear-taking-the-plunge.html

Read more tips and insights in my latest book, ‘Ditch The Ladder: Escape The Corporate Trap’, which I wrote in an effort to help others contemplating taking the leap from corporate to set up a business’.