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Entrepreneurship in America: An Experts Insight

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Caroline Castrillon

A recent IONOS study looking into entrepreneurship revealed that 82% of Americans would like to one day start their own businesses. Curious to learn more, we spoke with Caroline Castrillon, a successful career coach who aids people in escaping their 9-5.

After working in the corporate world for 25 years, Caroline decided that the time was right to start working for herself. Here, she discusses what led her to this decision, the fears and challenges she faced when making the jump into self-employment, and her advice for those of you considering following her path.

What was your main motivator in changing your career? And, how did you decide that coaching was something you wanted to do?

I wanted to be my own boss for years, but I didn’t know how to go about it. After working with my own career coach, I decided to become one myself. Now my passion is about helping others find freedom, flexibility, and fulfillment in their working lives.

What fears did you have about self-employment and leaving the safety net of the corporate world?

I think whenever we change careers, whether that’s an employed opportunity or starting a business, there are always fears. I had the same fears as most people, but I didn’t let that fear interfere with my goals because I was so sure of what I was doing. I changed careers in my 40s, so I had a ton of corporate experience that aided me along the way. You must be willing to get out of your comfort zone, as if you put in the work and stay consistent, you’ll get to where you want to be.

For the participants of the IONOS study, a fear of losing money was the main obstacle holding them back from self-employment. What advice would you give to those with financial fear?

Fear is always going to be in your life, it never goes away. The trick is to manage fear so that it doesn’t stop you from achieving your goals. One of the best ways to manage financial fear is to write everything down and evaluate your situation. Ask yourself some questions, such as: What are your expenses? How much time do you need to get the business running? Most of the time, it’s poor cash flow management that sinks new businesses, so it you take the time to plan everything out, you’ll be in a better position to handle any money worries.

Before you take the leap into self-employment, talk with your accountant or an advisor to review your finances. Start working on a healthy cash reserve that will aid you when the business peaks and flows. Most people have fear when starting a business because they are anticipating a giant leap into entrepreneurship, but in reality, you can take it slow and do it in stages.

How do you think American careers have changed since the COVID-19 pandemic?

The pandemic forced people to reevaluate their values and priorities. People are happy to make compromises now that they wouldn’t have before considered, like taking a lower-salary in exchange for greater benefits such as a flexible schedule and time-off.

IONOS found that women in particular struggle with their jobs and are dissatisfied at work. Do you see this often in your line of work?

Women have had to take on the most during the pandemic, particularly in terms of childcare, homeschooling, and caring for family and loved ones. Taking on these roles whilst working full-time have created a burnout effect. Women want more from their careers and that’s okay. I encourage the women I work with to ask for more and to reconsider what they want from their jobs.

To read more from the Entrepreneurship in America study by IONOS, download it here for free.

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