Lyon Township-based entrepreneur Michael Baker touts adaptability as a key asset in being your own boss, especially during the pandemic.
MICHIGAN—Michigan has always been known as a blue-collar, all-for-one and one-for-all working state, with companies like Ford and GM playing an integral role in the fabric of society.
But the advent of social media has created a bevy of opportunities for independent entrepreneurs in today’s day and age, and many people, including Michael Baker, 49, of Lyon Township, have taken advantage.
Baker, who works as an independent advisor and “financial CEO” with Celtic Wealth Management of Grosse Pointe Woods, is also an experienced podcaster who has produced nearly 80 episodes.
While times have been tough during the pandemic, Baker said that adaptability is an important attribute for any entrepreneur to cultivate, or to attain before working independently.
“When the tide goes in and out, and the challenges present themselves, that’s when the true entrepreneurs’ problems are solved and find new ways to continue to serve their markets,” Baker said.
Difficult times bring out the best in those who keep working and keep finding ways to solve problems, he added.
“So my advice is to problem solve, to find a way and use your resourcefulness, embrace the change and realize that great success is usually springboarded by catastrophe.”
Baker has dealt with his own share of challenges during the summer and spring months so far in 2020, but he has adapted the new way of doing business by embracing Zoom meetings and working to make his face-to-face clients more comfortable in terms of allaying any potential health concerns.
“I carry Lysol wet wipes in my bag,” he said. “I carry wet wipes to spray down my environment, but also to do the right thing.”
Baker said that the little details like these go a long way when it comes to reassuring and maintaining clients during a pandemic, reflect more positively on his business, and show how much he values his customers, something he recommends other entrepreneurs focus on.
“People see the care I take with the little things in my business, the care I take to take care of the little things,” he said.
While many entrepreneurs and self-employed people may be wondering about lost clients since the virus hit, according to Baker, clients always return to those who are the best fit for them in due time.
How to Stay Successful as a Self-Employed Worker
While being self-employed presents a whole new set of challenges, Baker says success is much easier to come by long term when discipline is sustained.
“You have to avoid motivation, discipline wins,” Baker said. “When you have the discipline to do something as opposed to motivation, you will do it whether you feel like it or not.
“That’s what gets you through the tough times.”
Aside from his career in finance, Baker has also produced 78 podcast episodes, a hobby and potential career option that has grown dramatically in overall interest since the pandemic hit.
The key in podcasting is consistency, Baker said.
He recommends podcasting as a great option to supplement a business, but those who want to make it a job or a career should be prepared to put in long hours.
His advice is to start “before you’re ready,” so that you can smooth out all the mistakes and begin producing your best work as soon as possible.
And, as always, stick with it and let discipline take over to achieve long-term success.
“Don’t let yourself quit until you’ve done 25 episodes,” Baker said. “A lot of people do two or three episodes and quit on themselves.
“Like anything, you have to have that discipline to be able to follow through.”