I know many people (some who have worked for me) who have decided to take the plunge and go out on their own. Congratulations! The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence, but you still have to mow the lawn. Recently I was talking to a past employee of mine who went out on their own, who wants to come back and work with us at Master Connection Associates. They were blown away at how hard it was to get their business up and running and when all was said and done, the ROI was just not worth it.
Here were some of their struggles – all of which Lefty and I know firsthand and have had to overcome to keep a successful business running for 27 years. Our motto: “You can knock us down, but you will never keep us down.”
So here are the struggles my past associate shared with me:
- It is hard to get funding – people will always say they want to invest in you and your ideas, but few show up with the cash
- It is humbling to go out with your new business cards and website and call on clients who don’t give you any time. In your past job, they knew your company and would return your calls. Now you are a lone ranger struggling to get to first base
- Finding the right people to partner with, work for you or create strategic alliances with is very hard. Hiring is difficult even in a Fortune 100 company, but in a start up the stakes are so high. Be very careful who you let in your circle. I have learned my lessons the hard way
- Where you work can define your success or lack of it. Great office space may look prestigious but if you can’t afford the rent you will be out of business faster than you got in – be smart in investing in space. Today with so many people working from home, it is more common to have a ‘home based office’ as long as it is a real office and not a bedroom
- Don’t waste money on the so called "experts" who say they will help you. If they have so many ideas, then why haven’t they implemented them?
- Fight through the fear – you will feel like you are on an island and this feeling will not go away for a long time
- What is all this paperwork? – IRS – taxes and regulations???? Not to mention health insurance
- There are NO VACATION DAYS!!! You are always first in, last to leave and you have no black-out periods. You are always on
- There are no ‘slow days’ where you can just coast. Entrepreneurs don’t get the luxury of those days when you can just ‘clean up your desk.’ Remember cash flow
So remember that being an entrepreneur is the BEST! Simple, but not easy! There is a huge difference between being authentic and original; many try to take the easy way out by stealing the idea of someone they worked with and then trying to make money. Short term cash doesn’t deliver long term results. It is just that simple - The definition of a Charlatan is a person who falsely pretends to know or be something in order to deceive people – not a great way to begin your business.