Like many of us in our thirties and beyond, you might be able to relate to the idea of working for years, sometimes decades, to build a skill set in your chosen profession only to find you’ve become a corporate slave of your own making. The lure of big bucks and status all too often lead to impossible hours, corporate politics, disillusionment, poor health and failing relationships.
On a recent episode of the Get Invested podcast, I introduced listeners to Katie Richards – a Brisbane lawyer in her mid-thirties who five years ago found herself in just this position but wasn’t prepared to let it lay. The independent country girl in Katie saw a different path. With that in mind, she created an online law firm called Virtual Legal. Her story is an object lesson in investing in yourself first and trusting your instincts that the rewards will come.
‘The reason I decided to set that up is I was a bit disillusioned with my corporate lifestyle and I wanted to do something that I felt was contributing back to the community,” Katie says. “So I used my legal skills to set up something where everyone could access legal assistance regardless of what they earned or where they lived, and I just chose that entrepreneurial lifestyle five years ago.”
There are some key things I took away from this chat with Katie and her approach to taking control of her time and future.
Offer What People Value
I’m a big believer in the fact that everybody has a skill, talent or knowledge that is valuable to somebody else. Find a way to harness this and an effective way of delivering it to a customer and you’ve got the makings of a business built on your terms. The web is the perfect place to test the waters of your own ventures, and in most cases requires little investment to get started.
Implement the Systems for Your Freedom
You have to take yourself out of your standard corporate slave situation if you want to claw back that valuable time. Katie’s story proves the value of creating effective systems and processes in the first place and then using automation and outsourcing to ensure it functions on autopilot. To me, that’s the key difference between creating a sustainable freedom business and creating yourself just another J-O-B.
Get the Structures Right From the Beginning
Just like property investing, getting your tax and legal structures right is essential to success. The sooner you put a structure in place that serves your long-term goals the easier it will be for you to achieve them. What I really like about Katie is her belief in sticking to it. Again, it appeals to the property investor in me. Playing the long game is where the real returns are to be made.
Keep the mental wheels turning
As Katie proves, it’s also important to keep the fresh ideas coming. Her next project, a new self-service legal portal is to be released in the coming months. The more you focus on where you want to be your mind will open and you will see new opportunities to help you reach your ideal destination. Katie is proof this approach works.
Living a life that makes you a slave to circumstance can be a bitter pill to swallow. Investing in yourself and your future can be a confronting prospect, but does come with a large number of rewards, the proof is in the outcome.
You can hear my full chat with Katie here!