Going solo

How to shift your mindset from employee to entrepreneur and design the life you want

- March 3, 2023 5 MIN READ
Hemi Hossain

Hemi Hossain came to business ownership later in life, but that has not stopped him from becoming a successful digital entrepreneur, international speaker, and business coach. He joined editor Cec Busby on the Flying Solo podcast to share some of his top tips for fledgling entrepreneurs who are keen to leave the rat race for a more purpose-led life.

Designing your life

If you’re considering taking the leap into flying solo, Hemi Hossain has some excellent advice for you. After a highly successful 15-year corporate career in telecommunications tech, the birth of Hemi’s first child sparked a sense that he wanted more time to spend with his family and design a career he truly enjoyed.

“I don’t want to follow the default destination of my life,” he says. “I want to design my life doing what I love, and which also gives me some freedom – financial freedom, time freedom, and life freedom. Life freedom means whenever I want to go on holiday, I can go for a holiday. Whenever I want to give some time to my family, I can give that as well.”

Starting his own business consultancy seemed the logical next step. However, becoming his own boss wasn’t all smooth sailing. After an initial year which Hemi describes as a “massive failure”, he learned to shift his mindset and find his feet in the world of business ownership.

From employee to entrepreneur

“The first year was horrible,” Hemi admits. “I massively failed, and when I asked myself the question ‘what did I do wrong?’, my self-realisation was that my ego was the problem. A prestige ego that I’d been carrying for the last 15 years in my corporate career.

“Even though I went to many mentors and coaches, I didn’t follow them a hundred per cent because I always had my own opinions. Lots of people think that because they have done well as an employee, that means they can be an entrepreneur as well. I learned that there is a skill gap between an employee and an entrepreneur – and a different mindset. Entrepreneurship is a skill, so make sure that you start to mix with people who can help you to develop your mindset as an entrepreneur.”

Listen to Hemi Hossain on the Flying Solo podcast:

“I started to follow my coaches and mentors one hundred per cent, and I watched people who are very successful,” says Hemi. “I read books to understand how people look after their finances because when I was an employee, I never learned those things. I also learned how this digital world really works – how people are making money and gaining the freedom I want in life. And within 12 months, I saw massive growth.”

 

How do you know when it’s time to quit your day job?

So, you’ve got a great idea, and you feel ready to pursue it, but when do you take the plunge and quit your job to become a solopreneur? Hemi advises taking twelve months to develop your product and business skills before ditching the nine-to-five grind.

“As an entrepreneur, you are the decision-maker and the CEO, but also the accountant and HR. You are by yourself,” he says. “So, I urge people to start the journey before you jump in. While you are in your job, start something on the side based on your passion. Design that and start to market and sell it, so you know how the market is reacting.

“That 12 months is also for your personal development. Get some professional coaching and mentoring before you jump. Change your mindset to come as an entrepreneur to the journey rather than an employee.”

Hemi also shares an easy formula for ensuring success in your new business venture – purpose, passion, and profit.

“If you have got a purpose, but there is no passion and profit, you won’t be successful in the business,” he explains. “If you’ve got a passion and there is no purpose behind it and no profit, you are still not in business. If you have only profit and there is no purpose or passion, you’ll be bored. So, define what you’re doing – the purpose behind it – and ask yourself, ‘Am I really passionate about it?’ Then the question is, are you designing something that will make a profit?

“I always tell people, if you are not making money for three months consistently, don’t quit your job.”

Fire Your Boss by Hemi Hossain

Fire Your Boss by Hemi Hossain

The future is digital

Hemi shares all the lessons he learned along the way in his new book on charting the path from employee to entrepreneur, Fire Your Boss. One of the biggest pieces of advice the book imparts is the power of digital entrepreneurship to help you make money every hour of the day – even while you sleep.

“We all know that the world is a digital one now,” Hemi says. “The world is changing and it’s all about technology – you can get everything online. People make money in dropshipping and eCommerce; they sell music, education and training online.

“As a business coach or mentor coaching one-on-one, how many physical sessions can you do per day – two or three? Then it doesn’t matter how good you are as a business coach – you cannot take your business to the next level, ever.

“However, everything nowadays can be done online and doing it digitally is easier on your time. When you do business online, you don’t need a physical presence, and you can make money even when you are sleeping.”

Hemi Hossain on Flying Solo podcast

Hemi shared plenty more titbits from his entrepreneurial journey and book on this ep of the Flying Solo podcast. Listen now!


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