I’ve been in business for over 10 years now? Would I ever go back to a job? No, no and no!
I’m going to tell why being in business is better and dispel some myths that cause many people to stay in a job they don’t like.
That’s not to say, there’s a one size fits all approach. Some people are better suited to having a job. Some careers only work if you have a job. And I’m not telling anybody to chuck in their job. If you love your job – that’s great – stay! Also, a transition phase from job to business often works well. But if your gut is telling you to start a business, this is why you should go for it!
Jobs Are Not More Secure than A Business
You may think it’s more secure to have a job. Hmmm… well, I think the pandemic has busted that myth. How many retail jobs, travel jobs and entertainment jobs have disappeared. Poof… gone!
Even in normal times, redundancies are common in the UK. In my 10 years of working full time in a job, I was made redundant from one job. And was up for redundancy in another job (they kept me but got rid of many of my colleagues).
Job security isn’t a thing. Many businesses will restructure or relocate and your job will be gone. You have no say or control. And more than likely it will be an unexpected but nasty surprise.
It’s also true that being in business doesn’t guarantee security. But you are more in control. You can easily change the focus of your business if you need to. The pandemic has proved this. Many businesses have adapted their product or service to a virtual offering or thought of ways they to operate during the pandemic. In many cases, this has increased their profits.
The truth is, security is only gained through developing your own skills and experience. Investing in yourself is the way to go.
Jobs Bring a Guaranteed Salary…but….
Yes, the salary is there every month while you have a job. But there are 2 problems Firstly, see the above point – the salary is there until you’re made redundant.
And secondly, how boring! Your money is guaranteed every month. It won’t go lower but it won’t go higher either. If you work hard one month, it won’t impact your pay packet. In business, there’s no limit on the money you make.
Some people are able to develop their business so they make passive income, which means they earn money while they’re not working. Their business tick over with little effort on their part. For example, many people build online courses to teach all kinds of skills. They build them once, but the courses are there to sell for months or even years afterwards.
Other people may outsource much of their business, so other people run it for them.
There are many ways to earn passive income, but having a job isn’t one of them.
A Business Doesn’t Mean Working all the Hours God Sends.
It really doesn’t. There are many business people that will tell you that is the case. However, this is just the reality they are creating for themselves. There are many people that have made millions of dollars and have a very short work week….
One of my favorite businesswomen is Leonie Dawson. She works 10 hours a week on her multimillion pound business.
Tim Ferris famously tells us how to work a 4 hour work week in his best selling book.
In the beginning, there is likely to be a period where you work harder on your business, but not necessarily. The key is to figure out the activities that will grow your business and focus on them. Cut out the fluff. For many businesses, the key activities will be finding clients and selling them an amazing product or service. It’s that simple!
Outsourcing and automated software drastically cut down the time you spend on working. The key is to work smart, not hard.
A Business Is Flexible.
The truth is jobs are inflexible. You are contracted to work a set number of hours. Generally, there’s little flexibiltiy on start and finish times. If you want to watch your childs’ school play, it relies on an accommodating boss. You are limited with the amount of holidays you can take. You may not go on holiday when you want. Jobs put real constraints on your life.
In contrast, having your own business offers amazing flexibility if you set it up correctly. You choose how many hours you want to work on a business. It’s up to you when you go on holiday and how long for.
The size of your business is also flexible. You choose how big or small your business is.
Many people think that going into business means building something big. But, it doesn’t have to.
For example, you could have a part time business that serves a few key clientele. This doesn’t have to mean a drop in income. Many people upsell to the same customers with little extra effort. How can you bundle your services so that you charge more for your service or product? How can you upgrade your product or service to have it all “done for you”? People out there are busy, they’ll pay more for less stress. Fewer clients who buy more means less work for you to do.
You could also arrange your business so you can take time off when you want. We recently used an electrician who worked full time for 5 weeks in a row and then took a couple of weeks off to go on holiday, before repeating the same schedule. There are many businesses that work this way.
Perhaps you want your business to support you while you care for elderly parents, look after small children or study part time. You structure your business to suit how you want to work.
And if you love what you do and want to spend 14 hours working on your business, awesome! You can do that as well.
Starting a Business Doesn’t Have to Be Hard
Getting a job can be hard, especially if you need one now! You need to polish your CV, get interviews and be successful at interview to get a foot in the door.
Starting a business doesn’t have to be hard. Start small. Get one client and sell them your product and / or service and you’re in business. Many people do this while still employed. This allows them to get experience, testimonials and find new clients before they leave their job. Put up a Facebook page (takes approximately 30 minutes) and get people to share it. There’s your online presence. Your first clients could be people you know.
Legally in the UK, you have to register with HMRC. But this doesn’t take long. Then open an excel spreadsheet, make a note of income and expenses. And keep receipts.
Start small and take on your first clients slowly. This is a great way to go. Learn things as you go along. Starting with 1 or 2 clients makes the jump into business a little easier. Work out the paperwork and other logistics as you grow.
Most Businesses Don’t Fail in the First Year
You will have heard most business fail in the first year! This is a God damn lie. It’s just not true. It’s been repeated so many times that people believe it. But there is no basis in fact. In fact, in the US the failure rate for the first year is about 20%.
Yes, some businesses fail. But that doesn’t mean yours will. Don’t let this be an excuse. It’s my opinion that business fail because they start too big. Try starting your business on a small scale.
Going into Business is Possible For Everyone.
You may have an idea that going into business only works for ruthless and ambitious people. Hmmm….Well, I’m in business and that’s not me or any of the business people I know. In my networking group there is a catering business, an accountant, a recruitment consultant, a web design company and lots more. Not one person who run these businesses is ruthless. They might have ambition, but even that isn’t a prerequisite. Some people just want a small business that pays enough to live comfortably, they don’t want to take over the world.
All kinds of people own business. Think of the people you know who have a business. I know a self employed mechanic, a nail technician, a life coach, a dog groomer, a dog walker, a magician, a singer who runs a gospel group, a few web designers, a co-operative who run a media company… the list goes on. They are mothers, fathers, part time workers, refugees, people with degrees and people with no qualifications. They’ve all done it. That means you can too.
When you’re working in a job, you’re working for somebody else. You are working on somebody else’s terms. Often to make money for somebody else.
Give yourself the gift of choosing yourself. Put yourself and your dreams first. Nobody else is going to do it for you. Make your own living and opportunity. Having your own business means choosing yourself. You are your priority. Spend your days working on what’s important to you. Choose your own clients, work hours, rates of pay and make your own decisions. Yes, there’s responsibility, but you get that in a job anyway. What you’re gaining by choosing yourself is freedom.
You Don’t Have to be the Best!
Getting a job means being the best candidate at interview. To get a promotion, you have to be the best in your field. Or you may have to be the favorite to progress.You’re reliant on a boss or manager thinking you’re the best to get pay rises and move forward in your career.
In business, it doesn’t work like that. You don’t have to be the best web designer to do an excellent job and get clients. You don’t have to be the best coach, hairdresser or consultant. There’s room for many people doing the same thing. You don’t have to be completely unique or perfect to start a business. You can be good enough and be successful.
Business is Exciting
It’s easy to get stuck in a comfortable job for years. It’s feels comfortable. You know what you’re doing. You know the people. You know the environment you work in. But the downside is that it’s boring. You may stagnate, especially if you’re doing the same tasks week in and week out.
Your business is your baby. Develop it the way you see fit. Take it in new and exciting directions. Expand your experience in everyday work. It’s possible to work towards outsourcing the work you don’t like and developing the work you do. There is more possibility to learn and grow.
Life is short. If you don’t love your job, plan how you’re going to leave. Being in business is a challenge. But the freedom and opportunity it gives you are worth it.