I must confess that I never enjoyed waking up early as an employee. I played it by the ear until I started having babies and had to do school and nursery runs. I developed a fine art of getting ready in little or no time at all, just because I had the morning blues (some days). Well now, I am self-employed and I am sure you will like to know if I get a lie in occasionally. The answer is rarely, too many opportunities to maximise!
The Reality of Self-Employment
A lot of us think of self-employment as an escape route from taking orders from a boss who towers over us and watches our every move. We want to do our own thing, work at our own pace and in our own time. With self-employment, you get very little ‘me’ time, especially at the early development stages. In the first few years of starting your business, you have to work hard to get it off the ground, build a trusting reputation and keep it afloat. I strongly believe that starting a business is for neither the faint hearted nor the work-shy. A new business will place unimaginable demands on you and most of these demands you cannot delegate, as no one else knows the plan as you do. Even if you employ freelancers or consultants, you still need to drive the business forward because your reputation is at stake. Remember input = output.
Do I Carry It All?
I contract some of my work out to freelancers when I get busy but quality control is a very important aspect I need keep in check. If my freelancer does a shoddy job, I cannot point fingers at anyone. To my client the work was done by Business First Steps and my reputation and quality of work is very important to me. I have been burnt a few times and I do not intend to let that happen again. Therefore, when contracting out make sure you get valid references, check their work and sign a proper agreement to cover amendments and cancellations.
Accept the Facts
If you are considering starting a business, you must be ready for the rigour of the first few years. You will climb mountains and pull yourself out of valleys sometimes. Accept the fact that there is hard work to get through to get the rewards business ownership offers. There is going to be late nights and early morning rises, emotional highs, lows and in-between moments. Set your mind on the goal you want to achieve and get your priorities in order so your life is well balanced.
You also need to be flexible and know when to re-route and change direction. Your initial starting point might not be the best option after all. If you fail the first time but you know you are built for entrepreneurship, do not be discouraged, take a step back, recharge and try another route. My pilgrimage to my present destination took me through a variety of business options including toner supplies – very different from where I am now.
Do not believe all the get rich quick gimmicks out there that claim you can make £100,000 in 30 days. People that succeed legally will tell you how much effort they had to put into their business to get it to the stage it is currently at.
You will get some time off for good behaviour, but in the initial stages, they may be far in-between. So get your mind prepared for the journey ahead, get help where you can and start your journey rearing to go.
My advice is if you want to join the elite group of business owners, count the cost before you commit to that business.
At Business First Steps, we can help you turn your ideas into a start-up success!
Enjoy the process…