Almost everyone who works a job, dreams of doing their own thing at some point of time. Some of the entrepreneurial ideas shared by my friends have included a garments business, a consultancy, a play school and a holiday resort.
In at least half the cases, the entrepreneurial dream is one that is unrelated to the present line of work. So is the desire to be entrepreneur fueled by an escape from present circumstances rather than true entrepreneurial spirit?
The idea of being your own boss can be alluring, especially when one is stuck in a 9 to 9 routine with constant pressures of meeting targets. You think, “I would be okay making less money, but at least I will do what I want and not be answerable to anybody. In a couple of years I’ll even manage to make a decent living”.
Being a freelance writer I can draw many parallels to what ‘starting your own thing’ entails. I want to share some of these realities –
You need to take care of everything. You are the strategist, salesperson, marketer, social media specialist, customer service and operations specialist. You have to know it all and think it all through. With power of being your own boss comes a lot of added responsibility.
You will be continually seeking new ways for finding clients, bringing in more work. You will be lucky if your conversion rates all leads contacted is more than 8%-10%. As frustrating as the experience may be, its addictive as you wait for the message confirming that you’ve bagged the next big project.
“By seeing the seed of failure in every success, we remain humble. By seeing the seed of success in every failure we remain hopeful.” – Paul J Meyer.
Forget weekends. Saturday and Sunday are no longer sanctimonious. Some days of no work will be followed by days with more work than you can possibly handle. So you work when you have work.
Yes there is greater flexibility for fulfilling personal commitments, but time is as scarce as ever. I think this is one of the biggest myths of all. When you are multitasking for better part of your work day, time just flies. And even if you are able to take time off during the week to visit a friend or go shopping, you end up working over the weekend to meet deadlines. Ticktock, ticktock – you are constantly cross-checking your planner for delivery schedules, making sure you stay on track.
Forget the comfort of a healthy bank balance at the end of each month a.ka the salary. While this is an obvious one, it doesn’t really hit you till you take a holiday and you realize if you aren’t working, you aren’t earning; something which you take for granted as an employee. Of course depending on your line of business, this may not be applicable, but you are never far from the risk of being dangerously low on bank balances.
So what does it take to be an entrepreneur? Listen to what these business greats have to say.
Know that it’s a rope walk between success and failure, but each failure will teach you something about your business – Richard Branson
Have passion for what you do or else the tough times are going to be impossible to survive – Steve Jobs
Quitting the comfort of a well-paying job to start your own venture is fraught with uncertainties. Circumstances may hold you back from taking that leap of faith.
Ultimately if you have been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, it’s a personal decision that must be taken. After all, one-size doesn’t fit all.
So explore and choose wisely.
- The Entrepreneurial Personality (businesspundit.com)