Starting your own business seems like a fabulous idea, especially if you’re working in a career or a job you don’t really love.
It sounds so freaking liberating and exciting – to be in total control of your work and your life, to do what you love and to have freedom and independence.
All that stuff is great once you get going, but the early stages of starting a business can be very different.
If you are even thinking about taking this path, it’s really important to understand the reality of working for your self.
Pro #1: You Are Your Own Boss
When you are starting a business, you finally get to be your own boss. You own the business so you ARE the boss.
So if there’s something that you don’t like, or something’s not working fro you, then you get to decide what to do. You get to decide to change it, to shake things up, to do things differently.
You no longer have to take direction from someone else or do work that you hate. You no longer have to be frustrated by poor leadership, disjointed strategies, low expectations or mediocre results.
You get to set the bar for excellence and decide where your business is headed.
Con #1: You Are Responsible For Every Thing
On the downside, when you work for your self and especially when you are starting a business, every thing starts and ends with you.
If things go well, you can pat your self on the back, but if things don’t quite work out how you planned, there’s no-one to blame. Starting a business means taking 100% responsibility for every thing – every aspect of business from sales and marketing through to product quality and branding.
It’s all on you – all of it.
Pro #2: You Are The Decision Maker On Every Thing
As the boss, you get to decide every thing. Every thing.
You get to implement all the things that frustrated you in your last jobs. You get to “fix” all the stupid stuff and do things properly – in your way.
You have total power and control over every single decision – from your logo to your website to the products or services you sell to the way you sell them.
That’s freaking exciting.
Con #2: You Have Do Every Thing
Starting you own business means you have to do every thing – because chances are, you don’t have the money to pay any one else!
As well as all the fun stuff, you have to do the not-so-fun stuff – from making sure there’s paper in the printer to managing all your administration and doing your tax, to creating your products and services.
It’s often all the administrative stuff, like paperwork and cashflow, that many people don’t want to deal with. You just want to be doing the fun stuff. I get it. But until you’re REALLY up and running, you have to take responsibility to do all of it.
Pro #3: You Can Utilise Every Thing You Know
Finally, you can implement all the stuff you’ve learned about your passion and your product and services. You can get this stuff out to the world and finally share your message and start helping people.
You can implement all the stuff you’ve learned along the way about business and do thing better than any where else you’ve ever worked.
Starting your own business means that you have the opportunity to utilise ALL your expertise, in every thing. No longer do you have to be pigeon-holed.
Con #3: There’s Still A Lot To Learn
There’s ALWAYS more to learn – ALWAYS.
You already know that starting a business means you’re responsible for every thing, so in order to do your best you constantly have to keep learning and educating your self:
- So you can do it in the first place
- So you can outsource it down the track, knowing exactly what it is that you need done.
Starting a business is one of the greatest lessons in life and personal growth. Not only will you learn about the game of business but you will learn about your self. The journey of personal change is different for every one but well worth it.
Pro #4: You Work When You Want – On YOUR Schedule
Starting a business means you get to work when you want, where you want.
If you work best at 6am before any one else, then go for it – that’s going to pay off in the long term.
If you’ve got to drop off the kids at school and don’t get going till 10am then maybe this is the best time to start your day.
As a small business owner, you get to design your day and do things on your schedule and timeline.
Con #4: You Need To Have Focus And Discipline
When you work in a job, you know the hours you are expected to be at work and you do it. And while you’re there you have a heap of tasks to get through. The sooner you can get through them, the earlier you can finish up.
The key here is that when you’re at “work” you are at work – you know what needs to be done.
When you are starting a business and working for your self, you’re most likely working from home. It’s an environment where you relax and chill out, so there is a huge amount of focus and discipline required to sit down and get the work done.
It can be really easy to look out the window and head down to the beach for an hour, which is fine – as long as you are really, truly, committing to the time it takes to get the “Real” work done.
Pro #5: Your Earning Potential Is Unlimited
When you start your own business you have the opportunity for unlimited earning potential. It’s capped only by your creativity.
When you understand the concept of “leverage” you can create something once and sell it multiple times.
You STOP exchanging your TIME for money, and START exchanging your VALUE for its true worth.
With this kind of philosophy, your earning potential is unlimited.
Con #5: Your Income Is Uncertain
When you’re in the early stages of starting a business, your income is going to be erratic, and possibly non-existent at times.
How well your marketing goes and how well your product or service sells will only be determined once it happens.
Never again will you have a stable, regular pay check. However, the size of that paycheck has the potential and opportunity to be much bigger than you can ever receive in a job.
Pro #6: It’s Lonely
This is one that a lot of people don’t want to hear. But you need to know this.
Starting a business is lonely. Because it’s just you.
There’s no-one to whinge to about the phone company’s stupid policy, or to help you fix the printer when it crashes. There’s no-one to have a quick chat to when you get up from your desk.
When you’re working from home, it’s just you, and that can get lonely.
Con #6: There Is No-One To Distract You
On the flip –side, when it’s just you, you get shit done. And I mean a tonne of it.
When you’re working on your own, you can totally shut your self off from the world and just create. You get to focus on the things that are really important and make them happen.
Because there’s no-one to distract you – no crazy admin lady funnelling calls from clients. No office gossip whispering about trivial garbage over the cubicle, no pointless meetings.
All that stuff is gone – and it’s bliss!
Pro #7: You Are Constantly Creating And Building A Legacy
Starting a business is starting a legacy.
For the first time in your life you are creating and building something for you. Something tangible that has the potential to become big. It’s something for you to pass on. Something for you to leave behind.
Rather than being a cog in the wheel producing random bits and pieces for someone else’s dreams and legacy.
Con #7: Things Often Take Longer Than You Expect
Creating something big and beautiful takes time.
Far too often people place too much pressure on them selves. But starting a business takes time to grow. You need to sow the seeds and water them. You need to give them time and space to grow and flourish. You need to be patient and allow your seeds to take hold, plant roots and bear fruit.
This takes time, and it’s important to understand this. But all to often, the fruits are well worth the wait.
Pro #8: You’re Changing The World
When you’re starting a business you have the opportunity to make a real difference in the world – in a big way.
You have the opportunity to share what you know and create something that makes a difference to people’s lives.
That’s a huge responsibility – and it’s really cool. That in its self is reason enough to start your own business.
Con #8: You Must Keep Sight Of The Bigger Picture
Times can get really tough when you’re starting your own business. Things don’t go quite as planned, you make mistakes and at times you wonder what the hell you’re doing this for.
It’s critical to have a really clear vision about what you want to create and keep your eye on THAT, especially when things get rocky. This can be tough to do, and takes focus but it’s critical to keep you inspired and moving towards where you want to go.
Pro #9: It’s Rewarding
Starting a business is really rewarding, especially when you finally start to see things come together.
When you see your website working, when you get your first subscriber, when you create your first product, when you make your first sale.
The feeling of accomplishment and seeing the results of your labour can be extremely rewarding.
Con #9: It’s Hard Work
Creating something mazing is hard work. Sometimes things work, sometimes they don’t.
You can waste time money and energy trying to figure it out.
But in order to get the rewards, you need to do the work.
No-one got to the top of a mountain by looking at it.
Pro #10: The Potential Rewards Are Huge
From every thing I’ve outlined to here, you can see that the potential rewards in starting a business really are pretty big.
You have the opportunity to create what ever you desire in your business and your life.
It’s on you to decide what that is, go for it and do what it takes to get there.
Con #10: It’s Risky
Going out on your own is risky.
It takes courage and commitment to take a leap of faith – to go against the grain, to let go of the financial and emotional security of a job.
People will shun you, question what on earth you’re doing and you’ll question your self.
You’re likely to go down the wrong path on more than one occasion and wonder if it’s all worth while.
But it’s the risk-takers that are the most interesting and inspiring people on the planet…
Pro #11: You Will Succeed If You Keep Going
If you know where you are going and you keep taking the steps you need to take, every single day, then you will eventually get to where you are going.
You will eventually succeed.
You can’t not. If you keep walking towards your destination you will eventually get there.
There will be challenges and obstacles to overcome that send you backwards or stall your journey but they all offer the opportunity to learn.
Success is yours when you choose it.
Con #11: You’re Going To Make Mistakes
You’re going to make mistakes. You’re probably going to completely fail at some point.
Creating a product that didn’t sell. Or investing in a sales training that really wasn’t for you.
But mistakes are where the lessons are. It’s where you learn what NOT to do, or what to do better next time.
They’re going to happen, and they happen to the best of us.
This list is intended to show you a balance of what really goes on when you’re starting a business.
Like every thing in life, there’s good and there’s bad, but it’s actually all good if you take the lessons and learn from them.
If you’ve started your business I’d love to know what YOU consider some of the Pros and Cons of making this decision.
If you’re thinking about starting a business, what are your thoughts about some of the issues raised.
Leave your comments below.