As of May 2015, 15.5 million people in the U.S. were self-employed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics—an increase of roughly 1 million since May 2014. That number is expected to keep growing at a steady rate. By 2020, a separate study estimates that more than 40% of the American workforce, or 60 million people, will be independent workers—freelancers, contractors, and temporary employees. There are many reasons to blame for this shift—economic conditions, corporate downsizing, and employee satisfaction, just to name a few.
Many people want more flexibility than the traditional worker, and more people are stepping out to take charge of their own careers. In our culture successful businessman like Donald Trump and Steve Jobs are heralded as pop icons. We see commercials and advertisements that convey the message that if you just work hard you’ll be successful, and that success is always associated with a huge bank account. Everyone believes that they can be the next entrepreneur that will make it big. Nevertheless, just for a moment, I’d like to shine some light on the not so glamorous side of entrepreneurship in an effort to provide balance.
You Need Money to Start & Grow A Business
I don’t care what kind of business you want to start, you will need some capital to start and make it grow. With the growth of internet based companies, people believe there is no money needed to start them. That’s a fallacy. You will need advertisement, website design & hosting, SEO, and many other aspects that you may not be aware of until you’re in the thick of it. Social media marketing is very powerful, but if you are running an internet based business, you will need site engine optimization if you want to be found by potential customers. SEO can be very expensive. Let’s not even talk about an actual brick and mortar business. The amount of funds associated with these types of businesses can be astronomical. If you are planning on starting a business have a plan and a strategy for money before getting going. It is very frustrating when you know what you need to grow your business, yet you lack the funds to do so.
Results Don’t Come Overnight
Most business owners I know have put in years of time to reach success. People think that all it takes is an idea and a free website, a few advertising posts on social media, and the work is done. It doesn’t work that way. I started my business about 3 years ago and I am just now starting to see the results of the work I put in. In all honesty, I really don’t credit my work for the progress (although I have worked really hard), I credit God for blessing the work of my hands and for giving me the direction as to the purpose I am here. If you are not passionate about the business you are starting, it will not last and more than likely you won’t have success. There is no set amount of time for a business to start seeing growth, but you must be patient or you may give up before you get started.
Frustration Waiting On Your Dream To Happen
For me, doing anything that is not related to what I feel I have been put here to do, is a waste of time. Although I am learning that life is not all about the destination, but the journey as well, it can be very frustrating waiting for your dream to become reality. You may have to work jobs that you really don’t enjoy, when all you can think about is growing your business to a point where you can not only do it full-time, but actually provide for you and your family. If you are not careful, this stress can weigh on your health. You must keep a positive attitude knowing your breakthrough will come.
When you choose to work for yourself you will have to provide your own health insurance, which can be very expensive. I have known people who stayed at jobs just to keep health insurance for their family. Sure there is private insurance that you can get, but it’s not always as good as when provided through your employer. The co-pays tend to be higher as well.
Money Needed For Daily Living
Having to work to provide takes time away from your business. Not having enough money to be able to focus on your vision full-time can be very frustrating. Most entrepreneurs would love to quit their day jobs and focus on growing their business, but can’t because their business may not generate as much money as their day jobs. Even if the entrepreneur’s passion generates a pretty good income, they may not be comfortable leaving their steady paycheck. At some point, most business owners have to decide when it is the right time to leave their jobs and focus solely on their business. This is not an easy decision since they may have families that depend on the income they bring in from their jobs. If you can save money before deciding to launch your business, it will pay off in the long run and give you more time to focus on your business.
It’s Easier to Get a Job
Starting out on your own is very scary and hard. I hate to say it, but it’s actually easier to have a dream job and pursue it as opposed to starting a business. I am not trying to downplay how hard it is to find employment, especially your dream job. It can be very challenging, but starting a business and having success is more difficult. It’s not the path that most people choose nor is it really suggested in the United States. In our country, we gear people towards jobs as opposed to entrepreneurship. Our most common question to High School Graduates is “Where are you going to college”. College can be a great experience and it’s vital if you have a dream job. Nonetheless, the purpose of college is to prepare people for employment and not entrepreneurship. A better question would be, “what kinds of problems do you want to solve” or “what kinds of activities do you enjoy the most”. These questions focus on activities that a person enjoy as opposed to assuming everyone should go to college. I’m a strong believer there should be more alternatives than college. Exposure to entrepreneurship should be more prevalent early on, even amongst elementary aged students. There are plenty of jobs out there for people, but there aren’t many training programs and activities for people looking to run their own business. As a business owner, you don’t wake up every day thinking about your next move as it relates to a job. Your business is one of the biggest passions you have in your life and you are always thinking about how you can make it grow.
Lack of Support
No one will believe in your vision as much as you. Family and friends will sometimes try to discourage you from going the entrepreneur route. As I mentioned earlier, it’s much easier to get a job. If they don’t see immediate results from your business they are quick to tell you to move on from it. I have been told on countless occasions that I should just focus on my job instead of my business. People who have grown up with the idea that the way to support a family financially is by getting a job will never understand the idea of starting a business.
There will be some sacrifice made if you decide to start a business. You will have many late nights, maybe even some sleepless ones. If you are working a job, you will have to work on your business after work, when your family is asleep, and on weekends as well. My family is very important to me and I make it a priority to put them first. In doing so, you may have to work very hard to balance family, work, your business, and other responsibilities. There are times when you have no choice but to work on your business. I am really good at sticking to office hours that I have set, but working a fulltime job during the day, I have to communicate with clients after hours and on weekends. That’s the kind of sacrifices that you make when you want a successful business.
This may not be a popular view but I don’t think that everyone is cut out for entrepreneurship. I believe that since we are all unique, we all have different gifts and paths to take. Entrepreneurship is no better than having a career in Corporate America. The key is to figure out what your natural talents and abilities are and choose the best path for you. I didn’t realize it when I was younger, but situations that occurred in my life were leading me down a path of starting my own business. However, my main priority is not centered on getting rich and making a lot of money. My desire to run my business is grounded in wanting to help people the way I think is most effective as opposed to having to do things the way someone else tells me to. Also, I plan to make a huge impact on my community in the near future using my gift. Knowing what I know now about starting a business, I would never have chosen this path voluntarily. It’s a rough road that is often times full of stress and frustration. It would be so much easier if I wanted to grow with a company. No matter what job I have ever held, even when I liked aspects of the job, there has always been something inside telling me it’s not what I am supposed to be doing, and that I can’t get comfortable. That doesn’t mean just because you don’t like your current job you are an entrepreneur. Sometimes you just need to find your passion and find the right job.
The problem I see is that there are many people who try to put a square peg in a round hole. There are people working jobs every day that should be running a successful business, while there are many people who are taking the entrepreneur route that would be best served working a job. In the end you have to figure out which road is best suited for you.
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Thanks for reading my post! I am the owner of Career SkyRocket LLC a professional resume writing, career coaching, and training service. I have also been published on CAREEREALISM as well. Follow my blog Career Thoughts. Let’s Connect! Follow me on Twitter, visit my Facebook page, or connect with me here on LinkedIn.