Gray hair (at times)? Check.
Exhilarating and rewarding? Check, check, check.
Recently, I reconnected with an old colleague who is contemplating striking out on her own, and she asked for my advice. So I’ve reflected on what I will tell her—and anyone—looking to harness their entrepreneurial spirit in public relations.
Here are my top five tips:
1. Give yourself a defined amount of time to start making money.
When I started Baer Consulting in 2004, I allowed myself just six months to begin to see some dollars coming in. Not a lot of time, but enough. And importantly, it’s what I could afford to live with. Luckily, in just four months, I scored a big project from a global pharmaceutical company and had to hire a freelancer to help me.
Bottom line: be clear on how long you can go without a steady paycheck.
2. New business is never over—no matter how busy you are.
When you’ve landed an assignment, you roll up your sleeves and dive in to your client work. But as an entrepreneur, that’s not the whole picture. Now that you’re on your own, without a team of “other” people tending to new business, you are responsible for today’s deadlines—and finding tomorrow’s client.