Owning a business
From corporate minion to thriving business owner
There’s no doubt giving up the security of a steady salary to own your own business is gutsy, but for those who dare to do it, the rewards are huge.
If we are honest, most of us that aspire to own our own business (although fear may try to convince us otherwise) and for very good reason - owning your own business offers a real chance of achieving financial success and fulfilment in life. As an employee, your potential earnings are fixed, and although your job may feel secure, if for some reason you can’t do the job you are employed to do, or the company gets into trouble, chances are you may not get paid. And if you think about it, that’s risky too.
On the flip side, as a business owner, you have total control over how your business is run and how you use your time. Although it appears as though everything rests on your shoulders, as a business owner you can actually leverage on the efforts of other people (your employees) to make you money, rather than relying solely on your own efforts. Even better, you can develop new products or services, identify new markets, set up better systems, all that can help you make more money and hopefully free up more time.
So... that’s the end goal, but first you have to take the plunge. No one said owning a business would be easy - you’ll need commitment, resilience, flexibility and grit.
Here’s what you can expect when you trade your corner cubicle for the thrill of owning a business:
• Taking risks will get easier. You’ve already taken the biggest so don’t stop now.
• You will learn to say no – because you will have no choice.
• You’ll learn to ask for help. Small business owners help small business owners – there’s community out there.
• You will work longer hours. Be prepared for this one, because initially you will. The difference is you will enjoy it a lot more.
• You will worry more. Get used to it, it’s just the reality.
• You will rely on others more because no one person can do it all.
• You’ll learn that perfection is a journey not a destination. Getting something done perfectly is a luxury of big companies with unlimited resources. For small businesses, done well is often good enough.
• You’ll appreciate the quality of people even more than the quality of work. Work quality can always improve – it’s much harder to improve the quality of people.
• You’ll miss your old job. Actually, you’ll probably just miss the people. Working for yourself can be lonely.
Organise coffee catch-ups with your old colleagues, other small business owners and those that understand your industry, it will be good for your mental health and good networking too.
Finally, unless you are one of the lucky few, you won’t get rich overnight. It will take time and perseverance. And remember: “entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can't.” – Anonymous
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