There comes a point when you run your own business when you have to answer one question. And it’s a doozy. It’s one that changes everything.
Are you a business owner? Or are you playing at it? Here’s the difference.
A hobbypreneur spends time and money on stuff that feels like work and it keeps them very busy. But….they have very little to show for all that activity.
A business owner, on the other hand has a plan of action, executes and gets it done. However they feel, whatever else comes up, they get the work done. This is tougher than it sounds.
We went into business for ourselves to run our own day, to be the ones in control and so it can feel like whatever you choose to do is you being in control. The truth is….the amazing vacations and the beautiful houses will come, but it takes work.
Think of it this way – on your first day on the job, fresh out of college you don’t get to have the CEOs perks. Its takes time. You have to do the work. You are the CEO, Founder and President of your business …you are also the head of marketing, sales, communications and operations AND you’re the front line operative in all these (and more) areas to execute the plans.
We get so excited about having our own business that we forget that there are many moving pieces in a business and in the early days – that’s all on us. No one else can take the action for you. Yes, VAs do amazing work and can help a ton but…they have to know what to do and that means you have to know what needs to be done, in what order, by when.
Owning your own business is not for everyone and that’s ok because we each have our own gift to give the world.
Give yourself permission to be honest and have that be ok. Ask yourself:
What do you really want?
Why are you in business?
How would it feel to go back to corporate?
There are no right or wrong answers here, only what’s right for you.
But the questions do need to be asked.
When it’s time to put your head down and do the work that will move your business forward even though it’s not the part of the biz you love; you need to know why you’re doing it.
You need to have skin in the game. You need to be in it for the long haul. There is no-one else that’s going to come in and pick up your work. No one covers your sick days. In the early days, holidays have to be figured out. You have to show up and do the work when you see results and when you don’t. It takes time and when there isn’t a rock solid reason to keep going…
Am I trying to put you off? Yes and no.
The benefits of being an entrepreneur/business owner are awesome. They are. I couldn’t imagine living any other way. But. It’s not for the faint of heart. To get the glory, it takes guts. Can it be beautiful? Can you enjoy the journey? YES. A thousand times yes …as long as you know you are on a journey and you’re prepared for the ride. If you’re not? Well, it’s one hell of a rude awakening. “Build it and they will come” does not apply here. It’s missing one key piece, you have to go and find your clients. And the world is noisy. Build it, tell everyone is your universe about it, establish your expertise and keep going and going, they will come.
Before you do anything, know what you truly want.
A bigger house, a new car, vacation time with your kids, working less hours. All those are totally valid. And there are other ways to get them. Easier ways.
Those awesome entrepreneurial peeps rocking the life you want? This is not their day 1 or they’re day 101. They’ve already put in the blood, sweat and tears and now they are reaping the rewards of their hard work. That’s a good thing. It means that you can do that too. It means it’s repeatable. As Tony Robbins says “success leaves clues” so look for the clues and take what works for you.
What to do if you’re not sure.
Stop. Just stop. Stop throwing time and money after the dream. Businesses don’t run on air and if this isn’t for you, spend your money in ways that feel good to you.
- What is it that’s attractive about owning your own biz?
Be specific. Break it down until you’ve got a solid list of reasons. So no“ I want to run my own day” statements, instead I want to take my kids to school, I don’t want to commute, I want to take an art class etc.
- Why do you want those things?
Get super clear on this. What is the difference it’d make in your life? Why does it matter?
- Can those reasons be met in other ways?
Get all the ways down. Even if they cost money, time, or you don’t think its possible. This is not about judging the list, its about capturing.
- If you don’t get those things, does it matter?
- What’s stopping you?
Boss never listens? Or is it that you haven’t asked? Have you thought through a way that could work for you and your boss?
- What are you prepared to give up to get those things?
If you’re not prepared to give up anything? How is being where you are serving you? Because the choice to change or not. It’s your choice. Be honest with yourself.
If you can define exactly what’s not going your way in your life, figure out what you do want and devise a plan to make it happen without registering a business name. Chances are being an entrepreneur is not your answer. It may be a career change, going back to school, moving, ending a relationship, introducing a date night, going part-time or actually using your vacation time to go on vacation.
Owning your own business can seem like the right answer and for a growing number of people, it’s the only answer, but it’s not for everyone. And that’s ok.