Let me start off with a few questions.
I’m not trying to be overly dramatic, but you have to know where you’re at before you set new goals.
Do you want to work for yourself and be the boss, or do you just want the ego stroke? Is it just to “say” you’re the boss? Or to “act” like the boss?
Why would you want to take on all of the responsibility? Are you ready, or just think you are?
Do you want to be the boss so that you can take complete control over your life and your career, make your own path, and reach financial freedom and independence?
If that’s why then keep reading. If you just want to call yourself the boss and pass the buck onto someone else, then head back to your cubicle, this article is not for you.
Look, entrepreneurship is a calculated path that will take hard work, sacrifice, and pain. It’s not easy and it’s going to require a hell of a lot of hard work. There’s no getting around that.
But, it’s also exhilarating and wonderful. To have the unbridled freedom to make success and failure your own, to be able to work for yourself, answer to nobody, and decide your fate is true independence. It’s freedom.
Being your own boss will allow you to achieve things that the corporate cubicle world will never support.
But, it’s not for everyone:
- Some people are lazy.
- Some value status over independence (“Hello, I’m the CTO of this-big-company-that-is-about-to-lay-off-30-percent-of-their-workforce.”).
- Some can’t give up the security of a guaranteed paycheck.
- Some just don’t have the self-propelling drive to see it through.
There’s nothing wrong with any of that (well, for some). But I’m not some. And I’m guessing you’re not either, or you wouldn’t be reading this.
For the others, wasting our lives away in a cubicle with fluorescent lighting just won’t cut it. Bosses are idiots and the company doesn’t support your initiatives. Oh, and by the way, as soon as they figure out how to do your job cheaper without you, you’re gone.
Don’t believe me? Look at the statistics. Companies are cutting jobs and outsourcing more than ever before.
– Source: WSJ
“the gig economy is now estimated to be about 34% of the workforce and expected to be 43% by the year 2020.”
– Source: Intuit
“The gig economy workforce will double in four years”
– Source: Recode
Start prepping now. Get your mind right. Focus on creating your own career, hustling, and selling something. Put YOUR future in YOUR hands, not some out-of-touch boss who could give two shits about you.
The first question you have to ask yourself is this, “what would you give up to work for yourself?”
That’s a really important question. It’s the first thing you should ask yourself. Because there is no way around it. If you are going to succeed, you are going to sacrifice, period. This is where we separate those who are willing to work, and the wishful dreamers. Success is built, not given (you can quote me on that).
Sure, there are cases where becoming an entrepreneur has been easy. Becoming a millionaire is easy too; for people named Mark Zuckerberg and Sergio … (right time, right place, right product and no wife, house, kids, dog, etc.). The media loves to focus on these stories; how a nerd in a dorm room made millions after creating some weird block game that looks like crap and is killing your kid’s brain cells. But those are the exceptions, not the rule.
For the majority of us, this journey is tough. It’s a pain in the ass. It sucks a lot. And if you’re not prepared and you don’t have the “cojonas,” then why even waste your time.
So, let’s get some of the “cons” of entrepreneurship out of the way now:
- Unpredictable or no monthly salary
- Fronting the cost of healthcare yourself
- No retirement matching from employer
- Working a ton more hours than your typical 9 to 5
- Learning on-the-job
- Being responsible for everything from accounting to marketing, to janitorial
- Lack of benefits
- And on and on…
Got it? There’s a bunch of bad shit that can and probably will happen.
But…there’s a ton of good stuff too. And I know the good outweighs the bad. The good are life-changing things, like:
- Complete flexibility in your schedule
- Loving what you do, or at least, loving that you are the person who determines success or failure
- Variety (it’s the spice of happiness)
- Fewer meetings, less bullshit, less waste
- Being in the drivers seat. Let me repeat that; you’re in the f***ing drivers seat!
- Financial freedom and independence
- No ceiling on your earning potential (Over 3 million American solopreneurs reported earning more than $100k in 2017. This is up from just a bit over 2 million in 2011)
Here’s the thing; there are those who “do” and those who “don’t”. If you’re not afraid of rolling up your sleeves and working your ass off, then the entrepreneur’s life is yours for the taking.
As long as you go into entrepreneurship with open eyes, are prepared, and understand that it will likely take many years of hard work, then you’ll be successful. You have it in you.
Plus, you get to adjust the measuring stick. You’re the damn boss. No one can tell you what success means to you. It’s not written in an offer letter or adjusted based on arbitrary company objectives. You determine your own success based on how you define it.
So, that leads us back to the original question.
What would you give up?
Are you willing to give up a stable salary for pure independence and the ability for unlimited earnings? I was. And I’m glad I did. Personally, I wouldn’t trade this life for anything.
What are you waiting for? Start making a plan today. It’s time.
Should you quit your job tomorrow? No. Should you go out and get a big loan so you can pursue your half-hearted dream? Hell no. But you should start planning. Plan today for tomorrow. Get the wheels in motion. Let’s make this dream a reality.
Next time, let’s talk about how to get started and money. I have a lot of opinions on that; it may take more than one post.
Why listen to me?
Plain and simple; I’ve run my own businesses successfully for the past 16 years. Over that time, I started an award-winning agency while working in a 9 to 5 job. It took me years before I could officially go out on my own. Since then, I’ve started a software company that is profitable, helped launch a web car-buying company, and most recently started another Web Design agency for small businesses. I’ve had a few successes and a lot more failures. I’ve learned from every one of them. I hope to share these insights with you and learn from your input and comments as well.
Dream big. Go get ’em.