When we ask our clients why they started their business, the answer is usually that they had a passion. A talent or service they wanted to share with the world. They didn’t necessarily have a business plan put together, but they’ve started to succeed a bit and are coming up against some challenges. Let’s look at the maker community -- you find a lot of accidental entrepreneurs there. Here’s an example: You’re a candlemaker. You have the best candles ever and you love making them. It’s a lot of fun and you want to sell your candles and share your art. You get started and the response is amazing! You think, “This is great, people love my candles!” But now you have to pay taxes and there’s paperwork. You have to get a sales certificate, apply for this or that, get worker’s compensation. All of the sudden, your passion becomes your paying gig. It’s usually an accident. Originally, you didn’t intend to go into all that admin work. You just wanted to make candles! So there it is -- you’re an accidental entrepreneur. What happens next is a period of grief. An adjustment where you go from an artist to a businessperson. There can be a moment of: “Oh no! I’m selling out!” That’s a lot to deal with (especially on top of all the administrative duties you’re taking on). Being able to embrace your accidental entrepreneurship, transform it into a profitable and sustainable gig, while dealing with the mindset challenges that occur in adopting the entrepreneurial lifestyle -- that’s really where the interplay happens for the accidental entrepreneur. The services we offer at B.O.S.S. Consulting focus on changing your mindset, emotional elasticity, creating and repairing boundaries, and setting goals that are within your capacity. I’ve found that these are the most helpful tools for someone who has gone into something new, someone who maybe wasn’t planning on this being their full-time job. When it comes to changing your mindset, the necessary shifts usually have a lot to do with money. Makers can have a difficult time pricing their goods, making sure that what they charge takes into account the time it takes for them to make it. Here in Western Pennsylvania, I like to say that we run blue collar software. We judge things by the value of an hour. If you’re an owner of a business, you tend to have a bad habit of valuing your time at nothing. So you don’t price things at what they’re worth and it often has to do with the fact that you don’t have a good relationship with money. That stress around money can challenge your self worth and your confidence. It won’t let you charge what you need to charge in order to make a living without feeling guilty. That’s a mindset and perception shift that needs to happen. When I talk about emotional elasticity with my clients, I’m talking about the stresses that come with the entrepreneurial side of the business. When you’re a maker and you’re just doing it because you like it, you’re not held to deadlines, you’re not held to schedules. Now all of the sudden you have client deadlines and it’s not just art anymore. It’s production. Plus, if you’ve identified yourself as an artist your whole life, you may get a big chunk of your self worth and identity from the art you create. You need to have some social and emotional bandwidth that lets you adjust to these new roles so you don’t start hating what you do. By developing these skills, you can better set the boundaries of your new job and plan for the future. It’s our goal here at B.O.S.S. Consulting to walk with you through this process. We’ll work to help you develop the systems you need to embrace your accidental entrepreneurship. If you would like to learn more about the services we offer, contact us for a free no obligation discovery session. We’d love to talk with you! Terry Doloughty is the Founder of B.O.S.S. Consulting with thirty years of experience in both the for profit and nonprofit sectors. Terry believes that leadership is the most valuable renewable resource. He’s passionate about sharing his skills and life experiences with the next generation of leaders so they can grow their organizations and support their communities. Want to be the first to read our next post? Become a B.O.S.S. Insider by signing up for our blog below! You'll receive our posts a full 24-hours before the general public.