Often, when I’m asked by full time corporate 9–5’ers about starting a business, I always start with asking why they want to leave where they are.
I’m sure you can guess what the common answers are:
- I hate having a boss!
- I hate the early morning commute!
- I’m not paid what I’m worth!
- I hate the people I work with!
Certainly, there’s a lot of emotion around the question.
Which often means there’s little logic.
And that’s OK. As human beings we should be allowed to feel emotional about feeling trapped, or isolated or undervalued in a place we spend much of our life in.
Here’s the thing.
Entrepreneurship isn’t much different.
At the start anyway …
In the long run it can be! In the long run you get to choose clients that you love and spend time doing work that lights you up. Provided you do the work to get there.
After 15 years of Entrepreneurship, I can confidently tell you regardless of how well your business plan is thought out …
You will come across a “boss” character in a client.
You will find yourself leaving for early morning client meetings, or late nights will be spent driving back from events.
And you will travel. You will find yourself trekking to where your clients are. Even in the online space, human connection will still prevail.
The reality is, when you start, you will DEFINITELY NOT make a TON of money. However with a proper plan, you can eventually ease into it. And even exceed what you currently make at your current job. Add to that the fact that there are a thousand different characters in the Entrepreneurship sphere. You will find people that you are forced to work with that will also NOT infuse you with exhilaration and inspiration to be doing the work you want to.
Know that I write this more than just a simple reality check.
I write this because I’ve met MORE people who have leaped without the parachute the media says is necessary to define someone as an Entrepreneur, than I have those who’ve eased into it knowing the risks as much as the joys.
Know that total risk and complete failure isn’t a necessary precursor to enter Entrepreneurship. You will likely experience risky endeavours, and some failures which stretch out your developing new identity as an Entrepreneur.
But going all in is so … well … 1980’s Wall Street.
Allow me to give you something to try before you start. A little “dip your tie in” exercise I walk through with every client.
- Talk to the people around you. More than friends and family. Talk to the people who rely on the “employee” version of you, whether for commitments of time or finance. Parents, partners and children. Have an open conversation of what you want to explore and ask them to participate openly in the conversation. Ensure that you frame the conversation as one where you want to find a possible solution together. Friends will tell you to jump, because they aren’t deeply invested in the aftermath.
- Perform some sort of Financial Needs Analysis. Understand what you have to invest (even roughly) for your business, and understand what you have to give up with your income. Most importantly, understand how long it will realistically take you to return to your financial baseline. Don’t start looking at more. Start looking at a match. From there, more can come.
- Validate your idea. Ask everyone you know who would be a perfect fit for what you’re offering. Then ask those people to introduce you to the people you don’t know that would be a perfect fit for what you’re offering. Then ask everyone those new strangers know THEY think would be a perfect fit for what you’re offering. Keep going until you have a number of people that match your minimum need of customers to reach financial baseline.
If you read this, and still have questions I invite you openly to send me a private message. I will always respect your privacy and will always listen.
Except if you’re starting a business in fidget spinners.
… I mean … I just can’t …