Career

Starting Your Own Business: Not For Everyone?

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Jeff Cuellar

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So you want to start your own company because you’re sick of playing the office “game” already – dealing with the 50-hour work weeks, the sloth-like bureaucracy, the workplace treachery that puts Game of Thrones to shame, and the fear of leaving your desk for a break because Sauron (aka your boss) will see you.

Yeah, that’s not a good enough reason to become an entrepreneur. If you don’t have a more compelling reason, the stomach to endure hardship and the flexibility to adapt to changes, you’ll never be able to manage the risks and responsibilities of running a business.

 

You’re Not Ready…

As my old drill sergeant used to tell…um, problem recruits, “You better get your ass in gear before you experience a significant life changing event!” In other words, before you make a big decision, understand the consequences of your actions.

Before you make a choice that you’ll regret both personally and financially, make an effort to understand the real motivations behind it. If your decision comes from anger, dislike, or boredom, chances are good that your business will be among the majority that doesn’t make it past the 2-year mark.

You’re not ready to start your own business if your only motivation is any of the following:

Because You Hate Your Job

If you hate your job, you can just find another one and quit. But once you make the jump from employee to business owner, you no longer have that option. You’re stuck with your new “job,” with no other choice but to dedicate yourself to it – even if you hate it. Instead of starting a business because you dislike your job, think about why you dislike it and focus on fixing that problem instead of creating an even bigger one.

Because You Want to Make More Money

If you think being a business owner entitles you to better pay than you’re receiving now, you need to slap yourself right now (seriously, you need a reality check). Many business owners will tell you that took months, even years before they collected a salary! You can expect the same if your business becomes profitable. And if it doesn’t, you’ll lose all the money you invested in your business in the first place.

Because You Think It’s Easy

If you believe being a business owner is easy just because you saw your boss taking a mini nap in the office, think again. Business owners are responsible for managing everything from business strategy, finance, human resources, customer relations, to sales. Being a business owner is like coaching a football team. When the team does well, part of its success comes from the coach’s strategy – but when it doesn’t, the coach takes the blame and is the one who get the axe. Does it still sound like an easy job?

Because Others Think You’d Be a Good Entrepreneur

Your friends and family mean well when they say “You should be your own boss,” or “You’d make a great business owner.” But letting those well-intentioned ego boosts get to your head is dangerous, especially if you’re not ready for the risk and responsibility of entrepreneurship. Just remember that the risk involved with owning a business isn’t going to be shared with those who “encouraged” you to do it in the first place. It’s on your shoulders alone.

Because You Want a “Change” or “Challenge”

If your reason for being an entrepreneur is because you’re seeking a career “change” or “challenge,” there are many ways to do it without becoming an entrepreneur. If you’re bored with your job, pick another one that interests you, or at the very least ask for more responsibility (and higher pay) from your current job. Otherwise, you risk “pulling the dragon’s tail,” in your search for a challenge.

 

Give It Some Thought

 

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Think about why you want to start a business. Are your reasons sound and long-term, or shallow and fleeting?

 

There’s no shame in realizing you’re not cut out to be a business owner. In fact, it’s a smarter financial move to follow Plato’s old maxim, “Know thy limits.” After all, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it right? But what you can do is try to find a better job situation.

So how do you know if you’re REALLY ready to start your own business? Stay tuned with us on Facebook for a follow-up article covering that topic next week!

 

Know any other good indications that someone’s not ready to start their own business? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook!

Image Credits: Andreas Bacchus, trayser, kyle is raaddd

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Jeff Cuellar

I'm known by many titles: copywriter, published author, literary connoisseur, ex- U.S. Army intelligence analyst, and Champion of Capua.