One of the scariest things I ever did was quit my first (and only) “real” job so I could begin my own brand of creative work in the world.
I became – gasp! – self-employed.
I was warned of the risks. I was told I’d lose my benefits and security. I was told it’s “hard out there” working for yourself.
The assumption so many people base one of their biggest life choices on is that working for yourself is risky. After 16 years of making a living on my own terms – I believe the exact opposite!
So, here’s my 7 reasons why the biggest rewards come from taking the risk of starting and building your own business…
1. Having a job (let’s face it) is risky!
When you have a job, someone can take away your income in two words: “You’re fired.” This is happening more and more as companies crumble in the face of global changes.
If you ask me, there’s nothing secure about that.
In your own business, when a client or customer moves on – then guess what? You get to say, “Next!”
2. No Bonus Pay for Messing Up.
When you mess up at your job, you get punished, maybe even a pay-cut. Then you have to run around “making nice” to the people who might lay you off or promote someone else who’s younger and “hungry.” (Hungry for what? More time at the office?)
When one of my clients faces challenges in her business, I remind her to be excited. She’s getting paid to learn! Every mistake teaches her more about how to succeed.
Instead of getting an MBA – she’s getting a TBF. (Trial by Fire!) TBF’s yield a high ROI!
3. Your Job Ceiling isn’t Adjustable.
Often, I show clients multiple places they can generate income in their business within the next few months. Their eyes light up as they realize that the possibilities are endless. They stop thinking in terms of “hours for dollars,” and start thinking of passive income. (Hey, why not get paid while you sleep?)
In a job, you can’t adjust your income based on the value you provide. Instead you have to ask for a raise. Not fun.
As I write this, I’m working.
I’m wearing a Tarheels baseball cap, a t-shirt, and jeans. I’ve got my feet propped up on the deck railing as birds sing at the feeder.
When I had a job, there was a dress code. And rules about what you could have on your desk. There was limited time for lunch, and no time for creativity. And don’t even get me started on pantyhose!
5. Your Money Doesn’t Go As Far.
Did you know that employee income is the most heavily taxed income in the U.S.? As an employee, almost half your salary will go to taxes. You get to spend what’s left on living expenses.
One of my first self-employed discoveries was that my money went MUCH further – because I could invest in myself with pre-tax income. Any good accountant will help you make your dollars expand in your own business.
6. Focusing on your Weaknesses.
Have you ever heard of a “360?”
That’s when your co-workers and supervisors (and anyone else who wants to chip in) analyze your job performance. You learn all about your weaknesses – and you get a review outlining the ways you need to work on them. Often, people leave these “360” reviews in tears.
In the world of the solo-preneur, we don’t mess with our weaknesses. The motto is Strengthen your Strengths. Hire your Weaknesses. In other words, as you become aware of your weaknesses, you don’t waste your precious energy fixing them.
7. Negative Environment.
Many office environments don’t encourage creative thinking or positive focus. Instead, there’s lots of negativity among employees who feel powerless.
In your own business, you set the tone, and you choose who enters your environment. You become personally responsible for every aspect of your life.
This is often more uncomfortable than sitting back and blaming “The Man,” but it will absolutely free you.
Tell me your reasons! In the comments below, share with us about your own relationship with risk. Did you have to get over the fear of starting out on your own? Did people warn you of the dangers? How did you handle it? (Someone out there needs your story!)