Follow your dreams. Live your passions. Be your own boss.
You’ve heard it all, but for every entrepreneurial success story you hear, there’s at least 99 that failed. Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but choosing to own a business means working more hours for less money at the start.
Just like learned leadership skills don’t make you a good leader, entrepreneurship is open to all, but few thrive. The influx of new businesses is a result of a couple of things: more options to choose from, a failing education system and an emphasis on lifestyle over work.
Consider these 3 areas of concern before making the jump to entrepreneurship:
Lack of a steady paycheck – Freedom is great, but flexibility without knowing when the next time you get paid is downright scary. If you get to call the shots, it means you also have to figure out how to become the company’s best salesperson. It doesn’t matter how good your ideas are if no one is paying you for them. Spend time making a business plan, building a solid culture and researching your target market, but most of all…sell. There’s no shortage of business opportunities to get involved with, but the question you should be asking yourself is: “How can I monetize this?”
Lack of organizational structure – Escaping an 8-5 job sounds exhilarating, but without someone telling you when to come in and go home can be a challenge to balance. If you set your schedule, there’s no one holding you accountable to hold to it. If you work from home, distractions are multiplied compared to working in an office. Being organized becomes a necessity, not a skill set. The biggest challenge is creating boundaries throughout the day, so you can quantify your time spent. My observation is creatives have the hardest transition with this because artists want to focus on doing their work, not setting it up.
Lack of face-to-face interaction – Entrepreneurship is lonely. It’s like being isolated on an island equipped with wi-fi and a mobile phone. The conversations you took for granted at your last corporate job are now treasured. One of the reasons why entrepreneurs flock to networking events isn’t because they’re extreme extroverts, it’s because they’re looking for warm bodies to be around. Technology has given us the ability to connect globally, but it can’t replicate grabbing coffee at a meeting. If you consider yourself collaborative or a team player, think twice about this one. Tom Hanks in Cast Away may be a bit extreme, but too much alone time can drive you crazy.
The difference between a business and a hobby is money made. Owning a business is similar to the concept of branding. Your opinion doesn’t validate a successful business, your customers do.
This post isn’t meant to discourage you from taking your idea to reality. It’s just a reminder that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. If you don’t believe me, go outside and turn a patch of grass over.