As a business owner who has transitioned into the ‘30-something’ life bracket I’m amazed at how often people tell me they’d love to run their own business.
Running your own business is one the most self-fulfilling and rewarding things you can do. The idea of building something out of nothing is seductive, intoxicating and all consuming – and despite the potential for failure, hardship and exhaustion, a huge number of people venture into business for themselves every year.
If you are considering setting sail on the entrepreneurial seas and dream of running your own business, then I shall ask you the exact same question I ask everyone…. Why?
Having conducted in-depth and highly sophisticated market research over several bottles of wine, I can assume that if I asked you ‘why’ you would rattle off the same reasons I hear over and over again.
These answers don’t scream ‘I’m here and ready to take on the world’ but more ‘ I have a void in my life and I’m trying to find my purpose’.
Do you have a void in your life? Lets see.
Are you starting business because you want to make a name for yourself? Do you want to sound impressive or seem successful to your peer group? Maybe you have just had a baby and are thinking, what now? Are you sick of arriving at work just when the sun is coming up and leaving after it’s set and wondering where the day went?
Have you hit 30 something and you realize there is another 30 odd years to go, your manager is only 5 years older than you, you’re not getting to where you want to be fast enough and you just want to be CEO already? I mean seriously, is this real life?
Don’t worry, I get it! You’re tired, bored and probably sick of marching to the beat of someone else’s drum. You want flexible time so you can be the perfect mum or dad and still have a fulfilling career. You need to be recognized for the smart, intelligent, valuable fox that you are. You’re desperate to find balance and experience life in a way our current messed up inflexible workforce wont let you. Wow, you need a hug.
While starting your own business may feel like the quick fix for these frustrations, it shouldn’t be the reason to start a business. Because the reality is, running your own business can be just as frustrating as being an fed-up employee in the workforce.
As a business owner, you aren’t your own boss, your clients are. If they have a problem, they don’t care that you started your business because you wanted more flexible time. They need an answer and a resolution, and they needed it five minutes ago. Imagine sending emails in between contractions, or copping an earful from hospital staff for setting your out-of-office while being wheeled in for surgery. Picture overseas holidays being spent working through the night just so you can find the time to spend with your friends and family during daylight hours. All of these stories have happened either to myself or other female entrepreneurs I know – the truth is, the initial stages of running your own business is hard…. Really hard.
Think about the time you’ve made a huge mistake at work and upset a customer, how did you handle it? Did you like the fact the company protected you, that a manager stepped in, that the customer ‘went away’ and the organization was large enough to be able to absorb the fall out? If so, don’t start a business.
Generation X & Y, both males and females have it tough. Some are stuck in middle management limbo and others are terrified of the transition back into the workforce. But before you jump into a business venture, self evaluate and ask yourself why? This is the most critical question you will ever be asked.
Then go for it!