Entrepreneurship is a highly romanticised venture. Yes, you do have more freedom and flexibility over your time but in the early stages, most people who run their own businesses find that they work more and longer hours than their employed counterparts. The upside is that you see your brand and business growing and you can pivot as many times as you want to.
There's a reason why one of the qualities that succeeding in business is predicated on is grit – the ability to persevere for long periods of time and keep bouncing back after every failure. If you are in employment and are considering leaving to do your own thing, there are some universal do's and don'ts to keep in mind.
I have a problem with the phrase 'do what you love, and the money will follow'. It is too simplistic a phrase; passion by itself will not put a roof over your head. You have to figure out how to monetize that passion in a way that allows you to make a living and grow your business. However, where passion makes an undeniable difference is during the difficult times. When everything looks bleak and it feels like nothing is working, passion and believing in your dream is what will get you out of bed and stop you from throwing it all in.
The right reasons
What is your 'why' for going into or making a full transition into business? For some people, frustration over being passed over for a promotion, bosses that they dislike and corrosive work cultures pushed them out of employment and into business. But making a spur of the moment decision may leave you more remorseful than fulfilled. It can prompt you, though, to start something on the side and give you some leeway to make a few mistakes until you find an idea that can sustain you and your family.
Having an idea is not good enough, you need proof that people are willing to pay what you will charge for it. And the only way is by taking it to the market. The testing process is not ideal for someone who has quit their job in a huff. It requires patience and the tenacity to weather the learning curve.
- Talk to other people who transitioned from employment into business, so you are realistic about what to expect.
- Remember that everything always takes longer – signing up customers, having a ready product etc