Empathic, compassionate professionals typically most need to escape workplace bullying. Their competence, popularity and success pose a serious threat to the insecure tyrants who target them.
Does that sound like you? If someone wants you gone, it only takes one employer to fire you. It also only takes one tyrant to white-ant you, ruin your reputation and generally make your life a misery. Before you know it, your mental health in in a state of irrevocable decline, taking months or even years to heal.
Therefore, the time has come to plot a way to escape workplace bullying for good – but how?
First up, take an inventory of your amazing skills. The world needs you! You could be in a position to better serve those you care about, if only you were freer to do so.
What is it that you do to get such great results with your clients at work? Do you have a special healing touch? Are you great at helping them sort out their finances with calmness and kindness? Do you have a knack for project management?
Then, the most obvious solution is perhaps to start looking for another job. Another employer might value you more highly and really appreciate you.
If so, it’s time to build your network. If you’d like to explore that avenue, but you think your bad boss won’t give you a reference, you’ll get some great tips in my article, “What To Do When Your Bad Boss Won’t Give You A Reference.”
Unfortunately though, if you go down that path, it only shifts the problem, it doesn’t get rid of it entirely. I’ve had many clients who for years were working in their “dream job” only to suffer when a change of management created a bully-prone environment. This survivor’s story shows it can happen to anyone.
The best approach to escape workplace bullying is a gradual one. It involves discovering how you can best serve your own clients independently. You could start by reducing your workload to four days a week while you set up your side gig.
Now you have the inventory of your great skills sorted, it’s time to find clients willing to pay you. But how?
The internet is your greatest asset. By offering your services online, you can become location independent and make as much, if not more of an income than in your offline job. In fact, recent statistics show that worldwide, the number of digital buyers will have doubled from 2014 to 2021!
Best of all is the freedom an online business gives you, since even if a client fires you, you’ll barely notice it because you have dozens of other clients.
The first thing you need is a minimum viable online presence. That means, just enough of a structure to start attracting your high-quality clients who want to work with you because they know, like and trust you.
Online, you’re in control of building your own reputation. You showcase who you are by the way you write, the images and videos you use and how you interact with others online. If you show how caring and professional you are, as well as having high standards of integrity, you’ll impress people. Simply showing up consistently says a lot about the calibre of person you are.
The problem is, it can be difficult to know where to start. Do you need a WordPress site, a Facebook page, a YouTube channel, a LinkedIn profile, a Pinterest board, an email list, an online course, SEO optimisation, an online booking calendar, survey forms, messenger bots, video apps and video editing software…?
All these are time-consuming and not necessarily essential. Economy of effort (and $) is important in order to keep things simple, streamlined and in line with your needs.
The tools you need are determined by the goals you set yourself. A good place to start is to work out how much income your new business needs to pay you in order to replace your offline job. If you’re starting with one day a week in your side gig, then you could set yourself the goal of earning 20% of your income.
Thus, if you earn $60K per year, you could set a goal for your side gig to pay you $12K per year. Given that it takes time to ramp up to full productivity (three months is a common yardstick), the first month would be about setting up the systems you need to get your first client.
Sure, there’s a learning curve and it’s often a steep one. But online, mastery of the processes you need can happen fast. Things that initially took me weeks to complete now take me hours, if that. For example, I recently set up a complex new piece of software in my business and it only took me three days to learn how it works. Four years ago it would have taken me three weeks, easily.
The most expensive and time consuming aspect of setting up your own online side gig are the mistakes you make along the way. There are many false paths, red herrings and dead ends.
For example, do you need a sales funnel when you first start out? NO. Do you need an email service provider to get your first client? NO. Do you need to build your own website off the bat? NO. You don’t need to do things the way everyone else does them.
What works for them, won’t work for YOU. The fastest way to set up is to have an experienced professional guide you so that you take on only what you need and what works for you.
That’s where I can help you…
To get started, download my Fast Guide To Empath Entrepreneur Startup for the three essential steps you need to get your first clients online and kick start your business:
As an Empath Entrepreneur, I’m especially interested in helping professional women who want to take their amazing skills into a new online business with the aim of building a location independent income. I’ve had over 10 years’ experience in creating a compelling online presence. In fact, if you Google: “Dr Sophie Henshaw,” you’ll get over 201,000 hits with all the posts, articles and media appearances I’ve made over the years. I’ve appeared on Channel 10, 6PR, Fremantle Herald and WA Today. I’ve had articles published in PsychCentral, Women’s Agenda, NineMSN Health, Rebelle Society and Huffington Post. I’m currently a Thought Catalog contributor. P.S. I also practice as a clinical psychologist in my "offline" life!
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