A lot of people that I have worked with over the years, when unhappy in their chosen career, turn to the idea of starting their own business. They love the idea of the flexibility, not having to be accountable to someone else, and not having to deal with those annoying office politics!
As someone who has walked this path, I can attest to the fact that these certainly are some of the benefits that come with running your own business. However, there is a flip-side that people rarely talk about. So, if you are thinking of going it alone, check out my six signs you shouldn’t work for yourself, to remove those rose-tinted glasses.
You value certainty
Whilst none of us can be entirely certain of what our future holds, the certainty with which you can predict it, certainly dips significantly when you have your own business. The speed at which things can change and momentum can turn, can be overwhelming. It’s difficult to predict what your industry, clients or business will look like in a year, let alone five!
Financial security is a priority
Feast or famine. That’s how I, and many of my fellow business owners, would describe running your own business. After a few years some people get used to it, but in the early days it can be a crazy ride, finding yourself overwhelmingly busy for months on end, only to find things quieten down just as suddenly. For many people, this lack of security and the stress this creates for them, has had them returning to work as an employee.
You don’t want work/life integration
If you want a clear delineation between your work and your life, then running your own business may not be for you. Sure, I can be more flexible with my holidays, I can do that pilates class at 9.30am on a Monday, but the reality is that I am almost always connected. With your own business, the buck stops with you, so there’s no walking away and leaving it to someone else – if things need to get done, then you get them done.
Recognition is a core driver
In your own business, whilst you may get the odd bit of recognition from a client for a job well done, much of the time it’s you, plugging away with no recognition at all. And when you bring on staff you must ensure that you are recognising and encouraging them, even when there’s no one patting you on the back. So, if recognition is what motivates you, you might want to think twice about self-employment.
You need clear expectations and direction
Maybe you work best when you have been given clear expectations and the direction has been set; you just put your head down and off you go! With your own business, you’re the one who must set the expectations and the direction, which sounds easy, but with the huge number of things that you could and should be doing, it can be easy to get lost in the endless possibilities. Pulling back to focus on what’s most important right now, as well as constantly self-motivating, can be tough.
You love what you do
This is the one that takes a lot of new business owners by surprise, but the fact is that when you have your own business, you must balance working in the business (doing what you love), with working on the business (keeping it operational day-to-day). This means learning and taking on new tasks that may not be a strength for you, and that you may not even enjoy.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are many rewards that come with running your own business. But like any future career choice, it is important that you understand not only the good, but also the bad and the ugly! A good decision is an informed decision, so if you are thinking of striking out on your own, reflect on these points, talk to some people who are already doing it, and make sure that you have a realistic view of what lies ahead.
If you’re not sure if this is the right path for you, I can help you gain clarity, so get in touch today for a FREE chemistry session.