Unless you have your dream job already, you’ve probably dreamt of what it would be like to strike it out on your own and start a business. As an entrepreneur, I’m obviously a fan of being my own boss. It’s the best thing the in the world, but it can also be one of the scariest and toughest. Here are some unfiltered thoughts on the challenges of having a business – and how to overcome them.
There’s No Paycheck
When you do go all in, 100% on your own, unless you start with a few regular, major contracts, there will be no paycheck. No regular stream of income. And even if you do have contracts – depending on the type of work you do – you’re at the mercy of the decision maker on that contract. They could decide to not work with you and suddenly there’s a hole in your bank account. In fact, instead of having one boss, you suddenly have tons and tons of bosses – every client is now your boss! Tip: Start saving now like your life depends on it. When you get in business, you can’t blow every commission check or payment from a client immediately. You have to practice smart budgeting to get you through until the next payment comes in.
You Have to Give Yourself Pep Talks
There’s no boss or human resources department to tell you you’re special and how great your work is when you own a business. In fact, you have to literally find ways to psyche yourself up. For many of us, it’s simply the fact that we refuse to fail and are addicted to success, which keeps us going. Even then, it’s easy to get down on yourself or let doubt creep in if you’re not part of a larger team. Tip: Know what motivates you and set your goals accordingly. If you want some luxury item, or to go on a vacation, give it to yourself when you’ve accomplished a business and financial goal that allows you to afford it.
Entrepreneurship is a Lonely Place
I’ve previously told you how working at Starbucks, coffee shops and other places outside home helped me double my business. A big part of that was simply getting the heck out of the house and meeting people. As a Realtor and speaker, I’m forced to interact with people, but it’s really easy in some businesses to hole up like a hermit in your house and not interact with others. This can lead to a lot of problems, even depression, but it’s an easy fix. All you have to do is force yourself to go out. Work from a park, or Starbucks. Tip: Join a professional group for your industry and make connections that way. You’ll meet other business owners who are dealing with the same issues you are and you’ll also learn valuable tools to sharpen your skills.
Business ownership is hands down the best thing I ever did for myself, but it’s not all champagne and caviar and sleeping in. It’s working harder than you ever would for someone else. It’s working on nights, weekends and hustling, but you own it all and no one controls your success but you!