“There comes a time when you ought to start doing what you want. Take a job that you love. You will jump out of bed in the morning. I think you are out of your mind if you keep taking jobs that you don’t like because you think it will look good on your resume. Isn’t that a little like saving up sex for your old age?” – Warren Buffet
Being self-employed is great,…right? Well, maybe not always, and certainly not right away.
There are many benefits to working for yourself. You get to make your own schedule, have flexibility in how you spend your time, and ultimately don’t have to answer to a supervisor or boss.
Plus, you may have a great solution to help people and solve their problems, and get to do meaningful work you care about.
On the other hand, self-employment also comes with instability, uncertainty, and lack of external support. Working for yourself means you take all the responsibility. Your success is 100% dependent on your motivation, perseverance, and overall ambition, which can be both physically and mentally taxing.
You just need to be mentally prepared for what it will take. There’s a lot to consider before you jump ship so you can become your own “boss.”
But it can be totally worth it, and this article will help you get perspective to make sure you’re up for the challenge.
1. Embrace Failure
Many people have an aversion to even the thought of failure. So much so that they’d rather not even try if there’s any chance that they won’t succeed. Sure, no one likes to fail, but when it comes to starting a business there’s going to be uncertainty.
You can do everything possible to increase the probability of success, but there’s no guarantee your business will succeed, and it’s a guarantee you’ll make mistakes along the way. Ultimately, we want to learn how to take calculated risks. This means there’s a chance of failure but that you can afford it and have prepared a contingency plan.
You might savvy and skilled in one area of your business, but there will be a learning curve and some failure where you have weaknesses.
When mistakes and failure occur, don’t be disheartened. Think of it as a chance to revisit your business strategy and where you need to keep getting better and improving.
Simply put, have realistic expectations about what it will take to pursue self-employment. Failure is part and parcel of any business venture, and you’ll have to learn to press onward.
2. Learn to Manage Stress
Anyone who has started a business or been self-employed will tell you that it comes with a unique form of stress. The glamorous image of someone operating their business from a poolside laptop isn’t necessarily feasible or optimal.
In reality, starting a business is going to be significant source of stress in your life. It can take its toll on you mentally, physically and emotionally.
Being self-employed will mean that you’re on your own for a while. You won’t have anyone to cover for you if you’re sick or anyone to complain to if you’re dissatisfied.
Point being, learn to deal with stress so you can successfully maintain and grow your business. There are ways to get support and to take care of ourselves, no matter how busy we think we are.
Here’s a few articles from the blog to use a resources:
3. Develop Perseverance
Perseverance, or having that ‘never say die’ attitude is what entrepreneurs consider the secret to success. Perseverance is a virtue to cultivate, but it’s important to balance this with being realistic.
We don’t want to be arrogant and go down with a sinking ship if things just aren’t working out. As Seth Godin points out in his book The Dip, sometimes we have to know when to quit.
But, when we’ve committed to our vision and realistically know that’s it possible, we can choose to build perseverance. We can learn to deal with adversity and setbacks without getting derailed or thrown off course.
Perseverance is developed through problem solving and realizing there are numerous ways to achieve any given outcome. Instead of getting down and depressed when things go wrong, the ideal response is to work harder, try again and create a solution.
If you believe in what you’re doing and know achievement is possible, don’t give up.
4. Learn to wear all the hats
Starting your own business can be a whole new experience. Everything is on you – the cash flow, operations, marketing, and workload. This takes a range of skills and capacities. It’s not going to be like a standard 9-5 job where you clock in, do your solitary job, and then clock out and leave work behind.
You will need to stretch yourself and take on new roles and responsibilities.
In the classic book the E-Myth Revisted author Michael Gerber points out that a successful business owner wears three different hats.
The three “hats” include: The Entrepreneur, The Manager, and The Technician. Each hat represents a mindset and a role.
The Technician is the craftsperson who does the work, The Manager oversees operations and optimizes systems, and The Entrepreneur is the visionary who designs and leads the business.
You will need to work both “on” your business and “in” your business, focusing on long-term big picture aspects, while still doing the nitty gritty on a daily basis.
5. Believe in your product and what you do
If you’re going to start a business or be self-employed, it’s important you believe in yourself along with the service or product you offer. You want to have realistic confidence about your abilities and competency. This might mean overcoming self-doubt or building new skills you haven’t yet developed.
This also means that you believe in what you’re selling, and will refine services and products so they offer value and quality that will meet the needs of consumers.
If your business is a product-oriented one, like eyewear, you want to affirm the quality of the products. When ordering bulk sunglasses, be sure to obtain supplies from a reputable and trustworthy source. Endorse the product by wearing some of the sunglasses to show customers that you have confidence in your own products.
Two important questions to consider are:
“Would you hire yourself?” “Would you purchase or use your own product?”
Make sure the answer is “yes.” If the answer is “no,” the odds are, you’re going to really struggle with convincing others to do so.
Is it worth it?
When it comes down to it, there’s no right or wrong way to create your business. Just know that working for yourself comes with a risk, and that you need to be prepared to fail and learn along the way.
Whatever you do, make sure you believe in it, and are willing to commit to what it takes. Self-employment comes with some drawbacks, so you need to determine if the payoffs outweigh the drawbacks.
There’s a perfect plan to start a successful business, but if you are resourceful and willing to take calculated risk your will ultimately discover the best business option to fit your lifestyle.