A specialist in helping bored, frustrated and desperate corporate professionals, Amanda C. Watts helps them to escape their unsatisfying career.
She’s here when you’re stuck in a corporate job, you’re unhappy and not experiencing the exciting world from behind the desk.
Amanda used to live in the corporate world herself which is dominated by men. She was organising exhibitions all over the world, and even as a company director she was still competing against two men. It was stressful and difficult and she looked for a way out at 27.
She made good her escape after marrying an army officer who offered her the chance to travel the world with him. But that left her with no creative outlet for her passions.
Eventually, she set up a marketing business which she ran whilst looking after their children when the marriage broke down. Amanda then married again but ended up having to escape another bad relationship.
That left her homeless, jobless, and penniless whilst also having two children to look after.
It was then that Amanda realised she needed to stop escaping, and instead figure out what her passions were in life. Once she knew what she wanted from life, she could then give her kids an amazing life too.
With the benefit of hindsight, she now helps people stuck in the corporate world to figure out what they’re passionate and good at, so helps them to create businesses which fit them.
Amanda’s Typical Client
There are two types of people who turn to Amanda for help.
The first used to be a corporate employee but has since left to start their own business. They felt safe taking the initial leap because they had been making good money, and had the benefit of contacts.
Most corporate types have a phone full of contacts by the time they’re 30. But, what’s started to happen is that those contacts have been drying up, and now they’re stuck again. Having enjoyed the benefits of their contacts up to this point, their business hasn’t yet found its niche.
The second types of client is someone who wants to start a part time business. It could be to do on the side of working full time, or they’re a parent who wants to start a business so they haven’t got to return to their job and are able to spend more time with their family.
And what Amanda does with both types of client is help them get real with their business.
Traits of a Successful Entrepreneur
It’s an uncomfortable statistic, but a lot of business do fail. And if you’re going to start your own business, you need to be aware that it is a real possibility.
To be more likely to succeed, it helps to have the right personality to run a business.
You need to be resilient, a go-getter, and to be confident. And if you’re lacking confidence, at least have the gumption to give things a go. Those who have been in the corporate world are likely to already have these traits. They can pick themselves up and keep moving forward, even when things don’t look good.
When you’re running a business, you’re bound to be pushed outside of your comfort zone, which is why confidence is so important. But practically everyone is lacking confidence in some way.
Gumption is the British term for having the ability to close your eyes and take that jump by giving yourself a push off the edge. Confidence then builds from there when we realise things didn’t go wrong and we can actually do it again.
To help figure out whether you’ve got those traits of a successful entrepreneur, read books and articles about it, and see if you can recognise them in yourself.
When going into business, you need to do so with your eyes wide open as well. Starting a business isn’t going to magically solve all of your problems because it comes with its own challenges.
Amanda suggests going to networking meet-ups where you can be educated for free, whilst also seeing how you feel in that environment.
If you like being around those people, you’re more likely to succeed, otherwise, you may find running a business gets lonely at times.
But surrounding yourself with like-minded people who are on the same journey as you is helpful for giving you the motivation. Plus it gives you a support network which will enable you to believe in yourself.
When you discuss with friends and family your business ambitions, they may unknowingly deter you. Sometimes it’s best to put off telling them and share your thoughts with people in a similar position to you, or have already been there and done it.
Starting With an Idea
When you have an idea, you then need to figure out if it has legs. It needs to be something you’re passionate about, are talented at doing, and which people can afford to pay for.
Once you have these ingredients for success ticked, you can then set about connecting with people. It can be as simple as asking someone online for some feedback, having a 5-minute call, or them filling out a survey.
Pick the brains of your ideal clients, without selling, to see if it’s a good idea which they might be interested in.
When Amanda’s clients try this for themselves, they can be amazed at the responses they get, with some already having potential clients before they’ve even set up the business.
Not everyone is a business person, and that’s not the end of the world either. Some people just want to make a few thousand each month so they can live a comfortable life.
But if you have big goals and want a successful business, you’ll need some help as it’s difficult to do everything by yourself.
Or you may have an idea you want to take to market, but don’t want the hassle of running a business. That’s when finding a business partner may be the ideal solution.
Should you want a business partner, then make sure you choose someone you wouldn’t mind having in your house and can spend a weekend with. But on the other side, also ensure they bring different strengths to the table than you do, as that way you’ll make a strong combination.
Attracting Customers and Clients
Amanda recommends authority marketing as a way of having a business which attracts the ideal people. And that’s why it is important to find a niche so you can become a specialist.
That way you get to really know your clients and their ‘hot buttons’, which are their fears and frustrations, as well as their wants and needs. And when you know all of them, marketing is a lot easier.
It’s also easy to create content which they’ll want to consume. But with all of that, you need to also have something which they can buy from you.
With an idea of what they might want, it is also good to package up your knowledge. It can be a beta version, which you start selling at a price a lot cheaper than those who have been around for a long time.
Part of the deal is that they know you’re at the start of your journey and they’ll give you feedback. People want to help as much as they want to be helped.
Even if you were thinking of giving it away for free, sometimes the simple exchange of money, no matter how small, means you both have the right energy to make it work.
You also need to be setting aside enough time to market your business. And the reality here is that you’re unlikely to make your business a success if you’re only working on it two hours a week.
Amanda has a system which allows her clients to spend between 2 and 4 hours a week on marketing. That way, they can stay in their normal job for as long as possible, as building a business around your job means you’re not living in fear.
But if you’re going to take the leap to working on the business full-time, then the time spent marketing needs to be between 2 and 4 hours a day in order to make it work.
That’s where blocking out your time is really important. You can block out Tuesday and Thursday each week for working with clients, and Monday, Wednesday and Friday for marketing.
Just don’t forget to keep weekends free for your family as it’s easy to let work take over from family time.
For Amanda, she blocks out 4pm to 7pm each day to have dinner and do homework with her kids. And all of her clients know they won’t get hold of her during that time.
The Two Things You Need To Be a Success
It’s important to have a niche. It’s not a case of cutting people off and narrowing the number of customers you have. Others will still find you and want to work with you, but it helps to make your marketing easier. It is aimed directly at your ideal customers, rather than marketing with potluck.
And usually, that ideal customer is someone very similar you and your own story. It’s likely that you want to help people like you, and to solve the problems you had.
Having a mentor to go along with you on your journey is also useful. Amanda didn’t have one when she first started, and she found it difficult to improve and had no-one she could talk to. There was no-one around who she felt had her back.
Even if there is no-one like you in the area you live, you can look online and join groups. But having a coach who you can sound off to is also someone who will help solve the problems you have and keep you going even when it gets tough.
With her husband Matthew, Amanda has created FreedomPreneur Business Academy which helps people to turn their passions into jobs. There are lots of opportunities to receive free training through blogs and webinars, which will help you to get the basics of business right.
You can also download Amanda’s book Escape for free from her website. Or if you prefer holding a book in your hand, the Amazon bestseller is also available in paperback. It takes you through the journey of getting the right mindset, finding your niche and packaging it up, with the help of worksheets.