Erica Duran gives expert support, guidance, and accountability to modern service-based online entrepreneurs who what to make an abundance of money ($5K-$20K+ per month) doing what they love from anywhere. Recently, Erica shared some of her advice on getting out of an unfavorable job situation and setting a course for owning a business that suits your personal lifestyle.
Briefly tell us about your career history and how you left the corporate world to form Erica Duran International.
I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. While I was working C-level corporate jobs, I would always have some sort of business on the side. One day, I left my job at lunch and never went back.
Although I had always wanted to be time and location independent, I started an in-person professional organizing business to play it a little more “safe” in the beginning. I grew that business into a mini-franchise and consignment company along with the home and office organizing. Then, as a minimalist, I got really burnt out being around other people’s clutter all day; so I took my business online and taught entrepreneurs productivity and time management.
Over five years, people started coming to me for more than just productivity advice and started asking me everything about starting their own online business and how to be profitable with it. Specific questions included how to start an online business, how to create high-end packages, and how to market online. By listening to what my community wanted to learn from me and creating programs and services for them, my business morphed into complete business coaching for service-based entrepreneurs.
You call yourself a “Freedom Based Luxury Lifestyle Designer.” What does that mean exactly, and how is it different from the typical business/entrepreneur coach?
A Freedom Based Luxury Lifestyle Designer is different because we focus on lifestyle design first, and then create a business that will support that lifestyle. If you start with the business first, you are just creating a j-o-b for yourself.
Since you’ve been both rich (with a six-figure salary) and poor (with little money and almost homeless), how have these diverse life experiences shaped your views about money?
I don’t believe it is really the current circumstances that you are in or the balance in your bank account that shapes your views about money; rather, it’s your mindset. Mindset is over 90% of the game here. I sometimes had more money stress when I was in a multiple six-figure corporate job because of all the obligations I had back then. Going from being almost homeless to $20,000 weeks was all mindset and overcoming fears, not doing anything else really different in my business.
We all know that money can’t buy happiness, but nobody wants to be dirt-poor, either. What advice do you have for people to help them find that ideal income level and their personal work-life balance?
To accomplish this goal, you must be super clear on your desires and literally price them out on paper or a spreadsheet to see what you need to bring in each month to support your desires and lifestyle. When you are new at this, only look at the next 30 days. How much money would you like to create to cover what you’d like to do? Then think about the most joyous way you can bring that money in.
You must turn your “wants” into “musts” and have a “no matter what” attitude about your desires and what you are available for. Are you available to be broke, unhappy, and struggling for the rest of your life? Money doesn’t bring you happiness, but it allows you to make any choice you want – and that is the freedom piece of it.
If someone is thinking about starting their own business someday, what are some steps they can take today to help bolster their financial situation and boost their chances of achieving their goal?
If someone is thinking about starting a business “someday,” that is the first mistake. It can’t be someday. You have to start now! Invest in yourself and get a coach that already has the lifestyle and/or business that you would like for yourself and start now. Why delay what you want any longer?
It doesn’t matter that you have no idea what business to start just yet. Decide on the lifestyle you’d like first. Most business models can be tweaked to fit your lifestyle. Your coach can help you get clear on your lifestyle goals, what is possible, and your business idea/model, and also help you avoid the pitfalls and mistakes along the way. They are also a great source of accountability – without that, you might stay in the “someday I’ll get started mode.”
Most of the battle today is focus. There is a lot of noise out there. You must do certain things in the right sequence for your business to work. If you follow a lot of random experts and gurus online, you will for sure get the pieces out of order and struggle longer than you have to.
If someone were to say to you, “I’d like to start my own business, but I don’t want to deal with all of the accounting and tax hassles,” how would you respond?
Make a lot of money as quickly as possible, and then outsource all the accounting and tax hassles.
Now that you’ve found “career happiness,” what steps are you taking to ensure that your future is financially stable?
For future financial stability, I’m focusing on creating programs with longer cash flow cycles and group programs where I can serve a higher number of clients at the same time. I am not looking to invest in any property or retirement planning just yet; I am simply reinvesting a lot into the business.
Everyone has different goals for their money, and there is no one right way to do life or future planning. I treat every single day in business like it is my last day, and maximize my earnings each day.
As someone who knows what it’s like to be stuck in a job situation that you hate, what advice can you give others who may be in that same boat right now?
If you are stuck in a job situation that you hate, you are virtually creating your own prison. Get started on a new job search TODAY! Or get started with your business TODAY! Stop complaining about your situation and entertaining any sort of victim mentality. Don’t be reckless, but you must start in a direction to get out. You will pivot and change your mind along the way, but that is not avoidable no matter what direction you go in life or business. Ask yourself honestly, “How will things get better?”