You’re dreaming about the day you’re the boss and you no longer have to answer to the man (or woman). Entrepreneurship looks cool, sexy and something you can so handle. But I want you to know that even though entrepreneurship is wonderful, it is not for everyone. Yes, sister girl. It is not.
I’ve been self-employed for ten years and many times over those years I have questioned my logic for making this choice and I have contemplated re-joining the workforce. Quite often, aspiring business owners walk into entrepreneurship unprepared for the rigors of business ownership and it affects them and those closest to them greatly.
Over the last five years, I have seen an increase in the push towards self-employment as more people want greater control over their financial future. Globally, women are at the forefront of this trend. You can’t blame them. The global economy has taken a tumble and companies are royally screwing many of their faithful and long-standing employees in favor of profit and shareholder satisfaction. Women want security for themselves and families and are taking things into their own hands.
What concerns me, however, are the things I’m seeing online – content and discussions that bash the employed and are rooted in the thinking that being salaried is for the lazy, unimaginative and those who lack ambition. A day doesn’t go by where I don’t see a jab at those who work for the man. The most recent being the foolish idea that your salary is a bribe to keep you from your dreams. Yes, I just said that. Google it yourself. This is a terrible way of thinking. We all cannot be bosses. How practical would that be? The simple, economic truth is that if there is to be production, there must be workers to produce.
Girlfriend, don’t leave your job unless you have to. If entrepreneurship is in your blood or your future, be sensible in your journey towards it. Do your homework, have a business plan, get a mentor, attend classes on business ownership, build a network and up a year of savings and then some. Have potential clients and partners lined up as well as a support system. Too many entrepreneurs start businesses without having considered many of the things I have mentioned, and they reap the consequences for not thinking and following things through. If you feel like your idea or future business doesn’t warrant these considerations, be prepared to count the cost.
One of my closest friends left her job to start the business of her dreams. It flopped and took her savings and dignity with it. Since then, it is a constant struggle for her. Her experience is not uncommon.
Are you prepared for the possibility that things may go south? Do you have a contingency plan for when clients don’t pay and sales are slow and the incoming bills are the only constant? Do you even know if entrepreneurship is for you? A great idea or talent does not necessarily equip one for entrepreneurship. I’ve seen talented people with good ideas fail at business simply because not every good idea deserves a business or they did not have what it took to run a business. I have also seen many once passionate people break when their businesses failed. As I always say, passion is no substitute for a business plan and practical thinking.
I am not trying to deter you from your dreams. For the most part, I am living mine, though the struggle is real. I’m simply asking you to give consideration to how you move from dreamer to thriving, sustainable business owner. Because that is what you want to be.
Your turn now. I have said quite a lot. Have your say in the comment section below.
Love, light, and grace.
Carlana Charles is the visionary and editor-in-chief of FemmePowered. She is a womanist, writer, speaker, story midwife and facilitator of meaningful and engaging conversations. When she is not working in or on FemmePowered, she can be found resting, baking, reading or scribbling furiously in her journal whilst sipping wine or coffee, sometimes both at the same time. She is currently working on her first book and hopes to release it in September 2018.