OK, so you’re a nurse and I bet they never taught you about marketing, sales, advertising, or growing your network in nursing school, right? Me neither. So how does a nurse who wants to start his or her own practice start out? What do new nurse entrepreneurs need to know?
Well, gosh… I could write a whole book about this. In fact, I did (see here). But beyond the practical techniques and mindset shifts you will find in the nursing career book, ‘Your Next Shift‘, I know some of you don’t have a lot of time. And you want answers- like now! I hear ya, I hear ya. So here we go…
- Clarity. I’ve written about my own struggles with clarity last week (see here), so I won’t bore you with too many details. The point is- you’ve got to get clear. On what makes you unique. On how you can help people and solve their problems. On how your product/service is unique and different. There are so many decisions to make when you are in business for yourself. And I want to point out right up front, you’ll waste your time if you’re shooting in the dark. Do your homework and take the time for introspection. Get clear on your brand, position, and unique solutions up front so that you can articulate this in the marketplace.
- Confidence. While you are taking the time to craft your clear message, you will have room for what I see as the most important thing about being in business for yourself. This single most significant thing will be THE thing that makes or breaks you. If you don’t have it… then you won’t be in business very long. Because you’ll be getting in your own way; your customer/client will feel it too and you’ll surely run out of gas fast. ‘What is this magical thing you speak of, Elizabeth?‘ I’m talking about the self-esteem. The self-worth. Believing in yourself and being OK with rejection. As a nurse entrepreneur, you are going to have to put yourself out there (and a lot) and you’ve got to be OK with people who don’t call/write you back, who don’t know that you exist, and who don’t care about what you say. You have to believe in yourself and act with confidence as you’ll be the only one getting in your way if you don’t deal with this obstacle up front.
- Conciseness. (Is that even a word?) I should have started out with this notion of being concise in #1… but, I like to throw ya for a loop every now and then. So why does every new nurse entrepreneur need to be aware of this idea of brevity? Because you don’t have a lot of time! And neither does your potential client/customer. They don’t want to read a long-winded, fluff-filled report (when they can get their answers in a simple bullet list). And if you’re on Twitter… well, then I am sure you are aware of the fact that you only get a certain number of characters to make your pitch. This goes with bios, many article submission sites, and in talking with a prospective client/customer. You need to get to the solution and how they will benefit your audience- and fast!
Sure, that’s a short-list of action items any new nurse entrepreneur wants to be aware of when just starting out. Like I said before, my book ‘Your Next Shift’ (https://elizabethscala.com/landing/yns-book/) went into a lot more detail. 9 steps and a bonus 10 action item guide full of more detail, to be exact. So check it out. And then… after that… I’d love to hear what else is on your short list?
Those of you reading this post out there who have some experience with this topic, what would you add to the list above? What do you recommend every new nurse entrepreneur just starting out needs to know? Leave a comment below and let’s all help each other out! Thanks for reading.
About the Author: As a speaker, workshop facilitator, and Reiki Master, Elizabeth partners with hospitals, organizations, associations, and nursing groups to help transform the field of nursing from the inside out. As the host of the Your Next Shift Workshop, Elizabeth guides nurses and nursing students to a change in perspective, helping them make the inner shift needed to better maneuver the sometimes challenging realities of being a caregiver.