This is a guest blog by Gina Covarrubias
Tip 1: Do Not Jump on the Bandwagon
The number of American small business applications has been increasing each year since 2016, according to PR Newswire.
Heck, you might know a buddy who has started a lucrative side gig as a YouTuber or a TikTok creator. And the temptations might swirl around in your mind: “I should do that … look how much fun they’re having … I want my own business too!“
While ambitions can be exciting and admirable, motivation is key. If you’d like to transfer current engineering skills into an entrepreneurial role, please do not jump on the bandwagon. It can be tempting after you have seen others do it.
I am not discouraging you! Rather, I challenge you to tune into your reasons and motivations. Ideally, you ought to be intrinsically moved by a desire within that has nothing to do with others’ successes.
Take it from Richard Feynman, American Nobel Prize-winning physicist: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.”
Tip 2: A Quick Lesson in Marketing 101
There is a famous marketing quote that goes something like, “If you market to everyone, you market to no one.”
This means that if everyone is your customer, no one is your customer. How is this supposed to help you? The translation is that you must be crystal-clear to yourself on WHO your ideal customer will be.
Some basic questions you should be able to answer with clarity include:
- What is the age range of my ideal customer?
- What gender are they?
- What is their background/experience?
- What are their likes, dislikes, and frustrations?
- Why should they come to me to solve their problem?
An example business model you should not follow: “I want to sell tips and tricks to college students so they can ace classroom presentations.” This might work against you. It is too general and vague.
A better example: “I want to sell digital, public-speaking tips and tricks to junior/senior engineering students who struggle with technical classroom presentations.”
Tip 3: Apply the Law of Attraction
What is the Law of Attraction?
According to thelawofattraction.com,“In basic terms, like attracts like and all thoughts manifest into things eventually. The most challenging part of acknowledging and accepting the truth of what the Law of Attraction has to offer is coming to the realization that every single one of your decisions in life, good and bad, has been shaped by you alone.”
In other words, you attract what you are, not what you want.
Why does this matter? Because as you build a business, you will exert energies and attitudes into your daily efforts. Based on the law of attraction, your inputs and motivations will come full circle.
For example, your behaviors might tend to be genuine, trustworthy, and likeable. If so, this is the kind of person you will attract to you and to your business, thereby increasing the likelihood this person may become your customer.
As an entrepreneur, you must believe for yourself, and you must believe in yourself. Fierce belief in your cause will not only carry you through ups and downs, it will also manifest your ideal customer.
The Huffington Post beautifully sums up the Law of Attraction: “Be careful who you observe, what you do, and what you say because what you think about, you bring about.”
About the Author Gina Covarrubias
Certified Life Coach, B.S. Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering (Purdue University), M.S. Mechanical Engineering (University of Utah).
Gina is the founder of Deliberate Doing, an exclusive STEM coaching service dedicated to helping engineers fix their careers. She solves the common STEM problem: “What should I be doing with my life?” As a former engineer, she identifies with the technical expert who doubts their personal or professional existence.
Gina’s distinctive background blends life coaching expertise with 12+ years engineering/technology experience in the government, academic and corporate environments, all within the aerospace sector.
We would love to hear any questions you might have or stories you might share on the things you did when you started your own business.
Please leave your comments, feedback or questions in the section below.
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success