I have just read this great piece by Mark Foo on the 6 Reasons Why You Should Be Your Own Boss and thought there should be a balanced view! So, here it is:
It is great to make your dream of becoming your own boss by being self employed come true. Let’s face it; it doesn’t have to remain a dream forever. In fact, you can get started with some proper planning and in no time you can be up and running by becoming your own CEO.
However, being self-employed is not for everyone. There are some definite red flags when it comes to becoming self employed. If your red flags are saying you cannot handle it mentally, physically and morally, then, stick with the pay checks! If you are good at working in a great company, don’t jeopardise what you have going on. With great financial planning and a proper management of your skills and career, you will do just fine. You might not become a millionaire but you will be fulfilled and comfortable. If you are a perpetual slacker at work, then, I am not referring to you.
To be self employed, you have to be very true to yourself. Nobody knows YOU more than YOU. If you think you can or think you cannot, you are right.
These are the 6 reasons why you can’t be self employed.
1) You lack discipline: You can’t be self employed if you lack discipline and self control. When it comes to your own tasks, forget it, you will not follow through with simple and big tasks that you commit to without having someone screaming at you or wielding a proverbial stick. You will chose relaxation, TV watching or going to the pub over getting a customer’s work done. If you know that you always need someone to call the shots before you take actions, then, stick with the pay checks. Smile and enjoy the good work that you are doing for someone else.
2) Unwilling to fail, take and accept risks: Being your own boss is all about seeing failure as opportunities. You can’t be self employed if you can’t take risks. Taking calculated risks is the first step in becoming your own boss. If you are afraid of how things are going to turn out, the idea of calling the shots yourself with financial implications at the end is not a good one. If the idea of sound, calculated risks freaks you out to the point of shock horror and paralysis, you need to do some deep personal growth work first before you take the leap.
3) Passion for what you want to do: If you lack passion for anything, then, you are going to struggle. You must not start a business because you think it’s going to net you loads of cash. Do what you are passionate about. You surely must not start a business because it seems like the next big thing or because your neighbour who is doing the same business is driving a Ferrari. It’s also a no-no just because someone else tells you to have your own business. You need to be truly passionate about the business, product or service you want to offer if you want to succeed.
4) You are not a people person: You have no business starting a business if you are not a people person unless of course, you want to sell your products or services to yourself or your immediate family. However, you do not have to be an extrovert or a raving mad people person to succeed, but you do have to be effective at dealing with customers. Business is about people and relationships.
5) You hate change and you are inflexible: You can’t be self employed if you cannot deal with change. You can smell change everywhere you turn these days. You must constantly look to upgrade or you will be left behind. Remember Sony Walkman and iPod? If it is always your way or the highway, you might as well stick to the cubicle like glue to paper. While you don’t want to be a wallflower without boundaries and you never want to let others take advantage of you, you need to be open to changes. Be willing to bob and weave to adjust to business relationships and an ever-changing business models and climate.
6) Always love to seek out guarantees: Guess what, there are no guarantees. Working for yourself or for anybody will not guarantee you anything. As tough as this may sound, it is the truth. The only guarantees in life are death and taxes (the latter is even in the developed countries!). So, if you want absolutes, focus on death and taxes, they are the only two things you can bet on.
Finally, don’t let this post put you off starting your own business if you know you can as it’s a great thing to do but see the points here as a checklist to help you make an informed decision.
Do you work for your self? If you do, what are the other points you would add to this list of why everyone can’t be self employed? We would love to hear them! Add your comments below.
Catherine, thanks for not sugar coating this subject. It is important to know that being self employed is not everybody’s cup of tea. I thought I could, so I reluctantly started my own business. Guess what, I failed spectacularly! I have moved on as I learnt from the experience. I am now gainfully employed by a good company and I love my pay checks.
Rory, (one of your subscribers)
Greetings from Down Under!