For some its just a fleeting fly by night thought parked away for years down the line. For others its a much louder voice that just wont go away. Should you step up and aim for the next step in the corporate ladder OR do you dream of self-employment but are too nervous to make that leap? There are many examples of free spirits who have quit corporate life and now make a great living from a beech hut in Thailand or people who claim to have figured out how to make millions by working just a few hours a week….yes that one is a bit steep! For most of us giving up the day job is scary and for good reason. Security, life priorities, attitude to risk, paying the rent/mortgage, food on the table…
The majority of those who do make the leap from employee to self-employment (and that includes myself) despite the unpredictable income would never go back to being an employee. It’s making that initial leap which is the hardest bit. The day you return the company car, hand back the mobile and laptop and say good bye to the monthly salary and pension is naturally daunting.
But working for yourself is on the rise. According to the Harvard Business Review the number of self-employed will rise to 23 million in 2017. With ‘plug-and-play’ technology you no longer need huge piles of cash to start a business. However, self-employment isn’t for everyone.
7 questions to help you decide if you should consider quitting and starting your own business or keep climbing the corporate ladder.
1) How much of a perfectionist are you?
Running your own business means that not everything can always be a 100% perfect. You have to make a choice of which bits need to be 100% perfect and which you are willing to let go of. Spending months on the perfect logo and website design is a complete waste of time and you can always amend as you go along. However, all customer experience of your product or service must be 100% perfect. Too much perfection of every aspect of your business means no revenue coming in. How much can you let go of perfection?
2) Are you willing to get comfortable selling?
Building your profile and self-promotion are important either way. But you have to get out there both face to face and on social media to sell your ideas, product and services. It’s your name and reputation at the front of everything. It will take time and effort and some discomfort to develop your selling style.
3) Can you handle a lot of rejection?
You will get more no’s and less yes’s especially at the beginning as you fine tune your market and offering. Rejection isn’t personal but it is feedback and you need a lot of resilience to pick yourself up and carry on.
4) Do you have enough savings?
To feel safe have at least 12 months of savings set aside. Worst case scenario things take a little longer then you had hoped or anticipated. It is stressful enough getting a new thing going without worrying about the roof over your head, bills and food.
5) Can you live with uncertainty?
Customers change their minds at the last minute, decisions get delayed and contracts get cancelled. There are no real guarantees and the smart thing to do when you work for yourself is to spread the risk. The market and opportunity can change overnight as we all discovered in 2008.
6) Are you willing to let go of procrastination and fail?
Procrastination in the guise of research, over analysis are time wasters. If you take too long making a decision, by the time you decide to go for it the market will have changed and the opportunity lost. If you have a great idea get it out there, test it and tweak it. It’s a lot better to fail quickly with minimal spend and effort, tweak and try again.
7) Do you have a sense of urgency?
With no one imposing deadlines you need huge amounts of self-discipline and motivation to keep things moving at a pace and focusing on prioritising and doing the right things. Taking daily actions that move you forward towards your goal.
All seven points are equally important whether you decide to stay and climb the corporate ladder or step out and do your own thing. You need to work on all of them. The emphasis and shift will differ. Download FREE From Dreaming to Doing online course to help you figure out your next move.
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