Do you have dreams about owning your own business or becoming part of the gig economy? Making your own hours? Working from wherever you want?
Then you’re not alone.
There are an estimated 582 million entrepreneurs (about 775,000 of them in the US) already working for themselves. And that number is growing. According to Guidant Financial, 27% of people polled in 2020 wanted to start their own entrepreneurial enterprises because they were disenchanted/dissatisfied with corporate America. And a lot of people are rethinking their current jobs because of COVID.
Whatever your reasoning, you may be hesitating because going out on your own means leaving your comfort zone and the things you’ve become accustomed to. If you’re looking to become your own boss, here are some things you need to know.
Are You Ready to Become Part of the Gig Economy?
There are many ways to go out on your own/start your own business. This article will not give you the steps necessary to make your business operation legal in your area. We’re here purely to point out the reality of working for yourself. It’s not easy, but highly rewarding.
You Need to Want This Life
Business ownership or going out on your own means you are in command (at least initially) of everything. You will have to motivate yourself to do sales, marketing, tech, and every other aspect of your business until you can bring others on. There’s no one to check in with (other than possibly investors) and no one who will tell you next steps or give you assignments. You are in command, so you better be sure you want to be in the driver’s seat. That type of leadership is not for everyone.
You Will Question Your Motivation
To do your own thing, you need to be self-motivated but even the most self-motivated person will occasionally wonder if that’s enough. Just as a world-class athlete pushes through the pain in training, you will need to push through the self-doubt that will creep up. And it will.
Unless You Have Entrepreneur Friends, Your Friends Won’t Understand
Starting your own business is a 24/7 job, at least in the beginning. Most of your friends and family won’t understand unless they are entrepreneurs or independents themselves. They may make jokes about you being unemployed or having time to go to the pool in the middle of the day. Your friends and family may ask you to run their errands or have lunch. It’s likely they won’t see your efforts as the hard work that it is. They may even send you job listings so you can return to working for someone else. You will be tempted to give in because these are the people closest to you. Keep going.
Conquer the Excuses
Why haven’t you gone out on your own yet? What are your excuses? You don’t have time to dedicate to starting your own venture? You need the steady money from your employer? Whatever your excuse, you must want an entrepreneurial life more than you allow your excuse to rule you. We all have the same 24 hours a day. That is not an excuse. The internet is full of motivational stories about waking up at 5 so the entrepreneur could work before the family woke up. As the saying goes, “If you want it, you’ll find a way. Otherwise, you’ll find an excuse.”
Seek Like-minded People
As mentioned, it’s likely your friends and family won’t understand. You need a supportive group that understands the pressures of business ownership and the demands involved with just starting out. Joining the chamber is a great way to get the support you need to be successful. They may also have educational opportunities that are free to members. Ask your chamber about entrepreneur or single employer memberships. They may have a discounted rate.
You will want to give up, possibly several times a day. But you will never find a more rewarding experience than working for yourself…if you can overcome your own hesitancies.
Christina R. Metcalf (formerly Green) is a marketer who enjoys using the power of story and refuses to believe meaningful copy can be written by bots. She helps chamber and small business professionals find the right words when they don’t have the time or interest to do so.