Every aspiring entrepreneur has experienced the “daily grind” of working for someone else and struggling to make ends meet. In time, the long hours for little pay may inspire ambitious individuals to take the leap into entrepreneurship.
That was certainly the case for Dr. Erica Jordan Thomas, a former high school principal who left her educator role to start a business helping other educators build six-figure education consulting businesses.
If you’re yearning to begin living life on your terms, read on for an insightful recap of a discussion between Dr. Thomas and Ramon Ray. In the conversation, she delved into the concept of the “freedom number” and how identifying that number can empower you to take control of your financial destiny. Let’s dive right in.
What is a freedom number? Dr. Thomas explains this is the amount of money your business would need to generate to replace your current salary. It’s crucial to recognize that this number is not a one-to-one ratio; your business needs to earn more than your salary to cover expenses and taxes.
Understanding your freedom number is a pivotal step in gaining financial independence from your job. It gives you a goal to work toward and serves as a reminder that you can get paid well for doing what you love.
“You need to know that number,” Dr. Thomas urges. “And that needs to be your goal. Because the moment you hit that freedom number, it changes the power dynamic between you and your job.”
Rather than quit your job and jump blindly into business ownership without a plan, set yourself up for success by walking through the three stages of business ownership that Dr. Thomas says must precede hitting the seven-figure mark.
At this early stage, you’re still finding your footing. It’s about taking action, experimenting, and embracing the uncertainty of entrepreneurship. This stage involves defining your core offers, setting initial pricing, identifying your target clients, and refining your messaging.
This stage can be challenging for anyone who’s a perfectionist — because starting a business is anything but perfect. You need to be OK with letting things be messy and working through the challenges. “Many of us struggle with the idea of giving ourselves permission to not know the answer,” says Dr. Thomas.
The experimenting stage is so important that Dr. Thomas offers a self-paced course that helps would-be entrepreneurs package their offers, lead sales calls, and write proposals. They’re able to get clear on their core offers, starting pricing, target clients, and key messaging.
It’s important to establish such a foundation for your business before moving on to the next stage: building an infrastructure.
Once you’ve made progress and achieved a stable income, it’s time to scale your business.
This stage requires building a team, automating processes, and systematizing your operations with financial and legal structures. You’re creating the infrastructure for your business so you can set yourself up for long-term growth.
“Now the growth of your business is going to be dependent on your team,” Dr. Thomas adds.
The goal here is to move into the CEO mindset, the final stage of building a business.
Beyond the half-million-dollar threshold, your role evolves into that of a CEO. Your business’s growth will depend heavily on your ability to manage and lead your team effectively.
At this stage, you’re thinking like a CEO and building CEO habits. Now you can move beyond that half-a-million mark and march toward seven figures.
“We’re pouring gas on your business now,” says Dr. Thomas. “We need to drive more traffic into your business to help you grow.”
Dr. Thomas emphasizes the importance of recognizing and overcoming common roadblocks that hinder business growth:
- The myth that you’ve tried everything. Many entrepreneurs think they’ve exhausted all options when, in reality, they haven’t. Be adaptable and open to new approaches to your business challenges.
- Fear of experimentation. Perfectionism and fear of the unknown can paralyze entrepreneurs. Instead of overthinking, take action, learn from your mistakes, and adjust your approach as needed.
- Balancing a day job. If you’re working a full-time job while building your business, it requires dedication and a sense of urgency. Entrepreneurs who truly want to succeed will find the time and energy to pursue their dreams.
There’s a shift in mindset that occurs when you’ve reached your freedom number.
Financial independence from your job changes the dynamics entirely. You’re no longer beholden to your employer, and you gain the confidence to stand up for yourself and your values.
Dr. Thomas encourages entrepreneurs to remember that they’ve made money for others in the past and can certainly do it for themselves. You know that energy you’ve poured into a 9-to-5, fundraisers for your kids, or other endeavors that weren’t for you? Well, now it’s time to harness that energy to scale your business.
Dr. Thomas’s journey from a modest teacher’s salary to running a seven-figure education consulting business is a testament to the power of entrepreneurship. Her advice on identifying your freedom number, understanding the stages of business growth, and overcoming common roadblocks provides invaluable guidance for aspiring entrepreneurs.
With dedication, adaptability, and a willingness to experiment, you can pave your own path to financial freedom and entrepreneurial success. Don’t let fear or uncertainty hold you back. Your entrepreneurial freedom is within reach — if you can identify your freedom number and pursue it relentlessly.
To learn more about Dr. Thomas and her approach to building a business, visit her website at GetLaunchEDConsulting.com and connect with her on Instagram at @e_jordanthomas.
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Ramon Ray is unapologetically positive. He’s the publisher of Breakfast with Champions BWCDaily.com and ZoneofGenius.com Ramon’s an expert in personal branding and founded Celebrity CEO™ focused on personal branding. He’s a serial entrepreneur who’s started 5 companies and sold three of them. Get to know him better at RamonRay.com