The freedom that comes with owning your own business sounds really enticing. Who doesn’t want to be their own boss, make their own hours, create their own job description and do the things they love?
I mean, after all, there’s a reason they call working for someone else “captive employment,” right?
STARTING A BUSINESS - A LIFESTYLE OF FREEDOM
But while being an entrepreneur, starting your own business, and working in location independent settings can sound pretty freeing, most entrepreneurs find that owning their own business is not quite the lifestyle of freedom they imagined it would be.
So before you decide to take the plunge, quit your day job, and start your own company, you might want to make sure you are doing it for the right reasons.
I’m going to shoot straight with you today and give you the top four reasons you should think twice before starting your own business.
THE TOP FOUR WORST REASONS FOR STARTING YOUR OWN COMPANY
WORST REASON #4: SOMEONE ELSE THINKS IT’S A GOOD IDEA
You’ve heard it a million times. “You’re so good at this. You should start your own business . . . baking cakes, building forts, designing websites, making quilts, personalizing phone cases.” The list goes on and on.
We all have things we love to do. And let’s face it, some of us actually can (and should) take the things we love and turn them into a business. But most of us should simply continue doing the things we love and not try to monetize them.
Just because someone else thinks it’s a good idea does not make it a sound business idea. Don’t be swayed by people’s opinion.
A good first question to ask yourself is, “Do I WANT to do this as a business or is it just something I enjoy doing?”
WORST REASON #3: NO ONE ELSE IS DOING IT, SO THE MARKET IS ALL MINE
It might seem counterintuitive, but if no one else is doing it, that should be a red flag to you. Instead of celebrating your creative genius too soon, you might want to ask yourself WHY no one else is doing it.
Is there a market for it?
Sure you walked down the frozen pizza aisle and didn’t see any hot wasabi pizza bites, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there should be some. Just because the product doesn’t exist, doesn’t mean it should exist.
Is the product too expensive to create?
Sometimes the product idea is a great one. But sometimes the cost of creating that product is so substantial that you wouldn’t be able to sell it to your target market because it would just be too expensive.
There’s really no money to be made.
I recently saw an episode on Shark Tank where a guy had created novelty “man-scented” candles. (Just let your minds wander a bit, and you can imagine the scents that were available). The sharks felt sure the candles would sell, but they were a novelty and not something people would buy more than once. When the inventor persisted in saying that they would be the “Scentsy” of man candles, the sharks’ final response to him was, “There’s just no money to be made here.”
It’s a bad idea.
What if there’s nothing like it out there because someone else DID think of it, created it, tried to sell it, and it was just a bad idea?
Do your homework and find out if your “original” idea is all that original.
WORST REASON #2: I HATE MY JOB. I THINK I’LL START MY OWN COMPANY.
Not quite the very worst reason of all to start your own business (but close to it) is because you hate the job you are presently doing. Quitting (or starting) anything has to be for the right reasons. You have to solve the right problem, not start a new one.
For example, I had a client once who was an incredible graphic designer, but she hated her job, even though she loved her work. Every day she watched the clock tick down, waiting for 5 o’clock to roll around so she could escape the misery of her gray cubicle.
When she told me she was thinking about quitting her job and starting her own business I asked her why?
- Did she hate her boss?
- Were her co-workers terrible?
- Was the work environment hostile?
- Did she feel like she needed more money?
Her answer to all of those questions was a resounding “No.” So what about her job was so miserable that she would leave a company where she was paid well, managed well, and she could do something she was so good at? She hated the cubicle.
The answer wasn’t quitting her job, it was finding a way to work outside the cubicle.
Again, you have to solve the right problem. Starting your own business is damn hard work and not something to be entered into lightly.
And finally, the worst reason of all to start your own business:
WORST REASON #1: I WANT THE FREEDOM THAT COMES WITH OWNING MY OWN COMPANY.
I said I was going to shoot straight with you today, so here’s the beef. Owning your own business is freeing in many ways. But during those start-up years, you are doing it all (or most of it), working around the clock (a lot of the time), worrying about where the money will come from, how you will get clients, how you’ll pay your bills (both the personal ones and the business ones) health insurance, taxes, and so much more.
Sure, you might be able to work at your local coffee shop or in your living room with a laptop, but the freedom you are picturing comes with a whole lot of time and effort to get there.
Before you make the decision to start your own business, make sure you’ve asked the right questions, done the research, and are prepared to make the sacrifices of time and money it might cost you to get started.
You just might have what it takes to be a business owner. And if you do, we want to help you from the time the wheels start turning in your head, until your idea becomes a reality. It’s what we do.
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