Corporate Crossovers: When it’s time to leave the office and start your own business (review)
Our Book Club review this time is Corporate Crossovers: When it’s time to leave the office and start your own business, by Wendy Kerr.
Wendy Kerr’s past employers include Apple and The Financial Times. She now specialises in creating and launching new businesses and has coached, mentored and fuelled over 1500 women to create a business that allows them to live the life they love. She also writes regularly for The Guardian.
Her company, Corporate Crossovers®, enables women wherever they are in their journey of leaving their job to start their business successfully, providing them with structure, tools, processes and one on one mentoring.
The Corporate Crossovers book is for you if you want to leave your corporate job, create a new career and life and start running your own business.
It covers starting a business “from the inside out”, taking you from making the decision to leave your job and the reasons why, right through the steps you need to take, and the mindset you need to adopt, in order to start your business and become a confident entrepreneur, plus how to get through the hard times when they arise.
Whether you are considering making the leap into self-employment, or you’re running your own business and finding it a struggle, this book will help you to set your goals and pursue them.
I would love you to think of this book as your travel guide to your new life.
The book starts with her experience of being a Corporate Crossover – an unwilling, unplanned, and completely unexpected turn of events – and then takes you through all the practical things you need to do, as well as the significant internal changes affecting identity, ego, and views of value and success you need to face and address.
Chapter 1 Thinking of leaving your job? Talks about the things that stir the winds of change and the results of her research into why women leave their jobs to start their own businesses. She identifies the common themes that appeared when she interviewed 300 owmen from the US and UK (results that were featured on the BBC and in HR magazines worldwide).
Chapter 2 What you’ll need to succeed A realistic account of how hard it actually is to run your own business and make it viable, and the seven essential qualities you’ll need. A very interesting chapter with many real-life examples/stories.
What has made you successful in your career to date will ultimately make you successful as you embark on your new journey. Running your own business will tease dormant qualities out of you. Building your new venture, you will learn more about yourself and how you work than at any other time of your life. As you embark on your journey of crossing over, and even years into it, you will still be questioning yourself, the volume of brain chat and self-criticism will increase but, ultimately, you will be surprised by your determination, tenacity and resilience.
Chapter 3 Are you cut out for it? Encourages honest in-depth reflection and consideration of the themes from the previous chapter – which ones you already have and which ones you need to develop. Exercises and a worksheet are provided to help you identify key themes and events in your life and their impact. Wendy Kerr includes her own themes etc. as interesting examples.
Chapter 4 What could you do? Discusses where ideas for a business come from, and what to do if you don’t have an idea for a business.
Chapter 5 Making the decision to leave Covers things like all the excuses people make to themselves to stay in their job, plus how to feel confident about your decision to leave. This chapter has an excellent activity to help you make your decision to leave with confidence about your future.
Thinking about making the move can cause us to become very self-critical, feeding our self-doubt and increasing our hesitancy to leave.
Chapter 6 Getting ready to crossover e.g. establishing your wider network, identifying your ‘cheerleaders’ and networking groups.
Chapter 7 Sorting out the finances Covers working out how much you need to live on and how much your business could make – with worksheets and activities to help you create a budget for living expenses, and for forecasting your profit.
Chapter 8 The transition to being a Corporate Crossover – The Corporate Crossover’s Transition Model: seven phases of transition using Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s five stages of grief as a template.
Chapter 9 How to transition smoothly – covers things like the critical importance of having a large and strong network; occupational identity and how to update your identity and your success criteria for your new role, plus much more. Includes a worksheet and activity to help you examine your relationship with money.
Chapter 10 Replacing the office framework
- Creating a new working routine
- working for yourself: how to transition
- Your working space/environment
- How do you stay accountable when you’re your own business?
Chapter 11 Growing your own business – growing your business from the inside out (your mindset) and how many of us unconsciously belittle our own businesses; plus the impact of negative and positive “brain chat” (the little voice inside your head).
How you think about your business is ultimately what it will become.
Activities include making and interpreting a vision board, and worksheet and exercises for taking control of your brain chat.
Chapter 12 Don’t cancel the cleaner
- Risking a demotion
- You can’t do everything!
- Don’t be a DIY burnout
- Building your team
- Spend your time like it was money
- Get professional help when you need it
Chapter 13 Is it worth it? Really interesting interview extracts with women discussing what they love about having their own businesses.
Chapter 14 Bringing it all together The three phases people go through on their journey from corporate employee to entrepreneur – clarity, confidence and commitment – and how to get them. Includes a simple structure for creating a business plan, and things you can do to start setting up your business before you leave your job.
I’m not in the corporate world so in theory I’m not this book’s intended audience. Nevertheless, I found it a very interesting, practical and straightforward book with a great deal of very useful advice for anyone transitioning from corporate employee to successful entrepreneur. Much of the advice is relevant and useful for anyone considering starting up a business.
I particularly liked the case studies, interviews, and stories of women’s experiences of setting up their businesses. And there are some excellent imaginitive activities that I feel would be extremely helpful and useful. Overall, the book is a very realistic look at the ups and downs of starting a business, with lots of very practical advice, strategies and activities to prepare you and put you in the best possible position to start a new career, life and business.
Corporate Crossovers is available on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com
I received a free PDF copy of this book for review.
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