Working for yourself seems like it would be ‘the dream’. The idea of working on your own terms, running a company the way you like it and be the ‘boss’ – it is an ideal vision for many aspiring entrepreneurs.
But are you ready to take the plunge? Is it really for you? Can you handle it?
Now, I am going to share with you the pros and cons of becoming a full-time entrepreneur and it all comes from first-hand experience. I’ve run my own companies for the last four years and now find myself working for a large corporation in their marketing sector – so I’ve been there, done that.
Freedom to work on your own terms
Let’s start with one of the obvious – you get to set your hours of work. During my time of running businesses, my little boy was born, so this provided me the flexibility to spend time with him and work around play time, meals and other responsibilities. Sounds great right?
It’s not always easy as you really have to figure out a balance, and I always ended up asking myself ‘am I doing enough?’ You do need to set your priorities straight, as although family does come first, you need to be able to provide for them through your business earnings.
In reality, you are likely to have to work longer hours, staying up until late, missing the night outs with the friends and rarely go on holiday – but I would not change it for the world, as spending time with my son meant an awful lot to me, which made it all worth it!
What I am trying to say is that, although sacrifices will be made, you can make up for it by spending your time wisely doing the activities that you enjoy and fulfilling – and get the flexibility of doing these activities when you feel like doing them! It is a weighing as to what is more important to you.
The Financial Implication
If you are like me, and you need to provide for a family, finances can become the bane of your life. The pressure that comes with paying the bills each month no matter what can be extreme, especially if you have family to worry about too. I remember months when the business dried up where I really wondered how I was going to pay the rent, for food or for the general bills.
What I have learnt from my business ventures is that you need to be prepared for the tough months and manage your finances carefully, ensuring they are a top priority. It could be wise to get an accountant and ensure that you are in contact with them regularly, providing them with updates and listening to their advice, they might just save your business!
Personally, I will not be running another business again without one year’s wages sitting in my bank account so I can ensure that I am always covered no matter what happens, and it will provide me with one full year to ensure the business is profitable – a fairly realistic aim.
Become a 10% Entrepreneur
An excellent alternative to going full time on your entrepreneurial venture, is by becoming a 10% entrepreneur. I have recently been reading a book about this by Patrick McGinnis which has inspired me to push my blog a lot more, look at my long term visions and also stay in employment whilst I have something on the side to work on. Best of both worlds.
There are plenty of successful cases where people have run businesses on the side – providing a second income and also giving you a Plan B if your job did turn sour, which seems to happen an awful lot these days.
Not only this – but they can complement each other. The skills you learn within your employment can help you build your business and vice versa – you will generally become a all-rounder and provide value across the board. You will understand most of areas of a business, which will help you with your decision making in both areas.
Being someone who has both run businesses and am employed, I have to say I’ve learnt a significant amount from both areas – so you could have the benefit of both scenarios whilst also being secure in your steady income stream.
If you do have limited funds, then I would recommend our ‘9 low budget business ideas blog post‘ to get some initial ideas as to what is possible.
Are you prepared to graft and sacrifice?
In reality, it is going to take you a long while to be able to provide yourself with a good wage. You need to give yourself just about enough to live on and invest every single penny of revenue back into the business for a good few years.
That means living on a budget, potentially sacrificing glamorous meals, amazing holidays and big birthday/Christmas parties. Are you really prepared to make these sacrifices? Are you ready to grind out every penny and let it be on your mind every hour of the day?
This is what it is really going to be like. You need to know that you can handle yourself, your emotions, anxiety, and your general mental wellbeing, because you can’t afford to mess about with your business and its wellbeing.
Just think long and hard before you go full time. Do you really know yourself? Are you strong enough? People don’t always talk about this but I believe it is such an important part of entrepreneurism – as YOU are the business.
Starting your own business and going full time on is no joke – there are huge implications but also incredible rewards. During my time running businesses, I learnt a whole lot about myself and when I eventually went to work for a company, I stood out. From the offset my mind-set was beyond my peers and it was recognised. It provides you with a totally different skill set, which becomes an extremely valuable asset to any business.
If you decide to take the plunge, it is worth checking out our article on Self-Discipline hacks that every entrepreneur needs.