Many people would like to quit their jobs and pursue a different line of work. What holds them back? It’s thinking about all the things that can go wrong, like going broke.
Focus instead on what could go right. The purpose of this article isn’t for you to create a pie-in-the-sky dream of what life could be, but to understand the possibilities and what is involved in making them happen.
Doing Work You Enjoy
Do you ever feel the weight of Monday bearing down on you on Sunday? It’s probably because you don’t enjoy your work. Maybe it’s the stress of the job or the people you need to deal with. Whatever it is, imagine what it would be like if you felt excited on Sunday because Monday meant getting back to doing something you love doing.
A big upside of career change is when you do work that you enjoy. Maybe you’ve always enjoyed your vocation, but now you get to do it on your terms. You don’t have to deal with an overbearing boss, snarky co-workers or bombastic clients, unless you choose to.
Some people quit their jobs, only to go to work for a different boss or even themselves doing the same job they hate. Before you make this mistake, take some time to assess your feelings about your job.
Control of Your Time
Please understand, that most people I have known who are in business for themselves work more hours, not less. But they do have more flexibility with their time. For example, if you decide that you want to steal an hour mid-morning for exercise, no one will stop you unless you have a scheduled appointment with a client or customer. Even then, you have more flexibility scheduling appointments than when you work for someone else.
It’s often less stressful being on your schedule instead of someone else’s, and there are other benefits as well. For example, once I had my own business, I made sleep a priority. On days when I’m not traveling or working with a client, I wake-up naturally when I’m done sleeping. I have found that my mental performance and overall health have increased greatly by allowing my body the sleep it needs. Some days, that means getting into the office at 6:00 a.m. Other days, I might not start work until 10:00 a.m. I’d rather work later to get my work done while I’m fully rested than to start early and finish early, feeling tired the entire time.
Again, you’re likely to work at least as many hours as you do on your job, if not more, but you’ll have the flexibility to decide when and where you work.
Control Your Tasks
Normally, there are defined expectations as to what tasks an employee will perform in his or her job. There are no such expectations when you’re self-employed. We live in the era of technology and virtual assistants. Almost any task can be farmed-out to a virtual employee who will often do it for a reasonable fee. Granted, when you’re starting out, you may have to do more things yourself until you can afford some hired help, but it’s a decision that you get to make.
Control Your Location
Most people who have a job are expected to show up at a specific location at a certain time. The world of the consultant is different. Sure, you’ll have appointments, meetings, and presentations to deliver, but where you choose to work in-between those appointments is up to you. You’re not tied down to a location. This means you can live in multiple locations if you choose. You can even take extended vacations and work from your holiday location (I know, it’s still work, but it feels amazingly different when you’re staring at the ocean, the mountains, or the Eiffel Tower while working).
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Make no mistake, being an entrepreneur brings many new challenges into your life. And some of them will stress you to the max. However, the upside benefits and potential of having your own business justify the additional responsibilities you’ll take on.
No one would enter the world of entrepreneurship if the focus was only on the downside. People would stay with the predictability of a steady paycheck. Yet, more and more people are venturing out on their own. Why? It’s because they want to free themselves of the constraints of a job.
Consider these points before embarking on your entrepreneurial journey:
- Be very clear as to why you want to be in business on your own. What is it that you want to achieve that you cannot achieve at your present job?
- Will you be doing work that you find rewarding and enjoyable? Or will you just be doing work that you hate while working for yourself instead of someone else?
- Can you manage your time well? You must have the discipline to work on your own and get things done. Otherwise, you might be better off with a job.
- Will you take time to enjoy the flexibility that being the boss allows? If neither you nor your loved ones benefit from your new career or conditions, then what’s the point?
Entrepreneurship embodies new responsibilities and stresses, but it also provides opportunities that outweigh the downside. Assess the good with the bad, then decide if starting your own business will work for you.
Do you have some other key points you would like to share from your own entrepreneurial journey? If so, please leave a comment in the section below. Thanks.