Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Cold, Hard, Truth About Self Employment - And Some Crucial Advice

So you're considering becoming an entrepreneur?
Do you really know what you're letting yourself in for? 
Take some time to consider these cold, hard truths before you take the leap!

There are 3 main reasons why someone becomes an entrepreneur:
1 - They fall into it.  They're an 'accidental entrepreneur' through redundancy, lack of opportunity, remote location, etc.
2 - They are making a 'lifestyle choice.'  They want to work more flexible hours and call the shots - work on the beach, spend time with their kids, etc.
3 - They have the heart of a pioneer and can't feel truly content unless they are forging their own path. They have a strong need for autonomy and are never happier when the buck stops with them. These guys are often tough to manage in a corporate setting but they make great entrepreneurs!
But whatever has lead you to this point of decision there are a couple of truths about being an entrepreneur that you should be aware of before you step over the fence towards what looks like greener grass:

1. It's lonely

You're the boss. You make the decisions. It's all on you. Your spouse or partner will never really understand what you're going through (unless they are an entrepreneur themselves), and even with the great forums and networking groups out there, at the end of the day running your own business can feel like a pretty solitary journey.

2. You'll always be on a raw and painful learning curve

There are very few experiences in life that can make you feel as incompetent, scared, and under pressure as running your own business (parenthood matches it, but little else!) You are constantly having to course correct - making decisions every day that may turn out be wrong later down the line. And if you are ambitious this feeling of flying half blind is constantly present as you continue to push the boundaries.

3. You'll have to do things you don't like

One of the things that makes me laugh is when people say they want to start their own business "because they are sick of office politics". Well they're in for a shock! Believe me there's just as much politics in the self employed world as there is in any corporation. For example, if you're like me and decide to sell your services as an online expert, you'll soon find that there are industry giants out there with more experience, better websites, bigger lists, and far more clout than you can dream of. And, they all know each other. They endorse each others products and work as affiliates, generating more leads and more money for each other. It's a reciprocal relationship and if you ever want to make it big you're going to have to step into that arena at some point. Even if you're plans don't include this level of exposure or income, you will come across politics in almost every area of business from manufacturing of goods to offering services. There's competition. There's sales. There's politics.

My Advice:

HAVE A PLAN!! Please, please don't start a business with the "I'll just start it and see how it goes" mentality! Organic growth is messy, expensive and highly risky. Decide what you are playing for and plan for it right from the beginning. If you want to work a 4 hour week then you can't have a service business that requires you to be constantly engaged with customers. If you want to be earning $300,000 in 10 years then set up your business model NOW to allow you to deliver this kind of income further down the line.

I wish you all the luck in the world with whatever path you choose. And if you decide to take the leap into the crazy world of entrepreneurship then I'll see you on the other side!

Vicki Childs is a qualified coach and the founder of FISSION Coaching, where coaches go to release their ultimate potential. Vicki's mission is to help coaches build the tools and business processes needed to create an automatic flow of clients and income, allowing them to focus on their true power and talent - creating fundamental shifts in the lives of their clients. For more information visit http://fissioncoaching.com and be one of the first to receive my latest ebook '3 Fundamental Shifts In Thinking You MUST Make Before You Can Release The Ultimate Potential Of Your Coaching Business'