Common Misconceptions About Being in Business for Yourself

Just the other day I was talking with a friend who said “I want to do what you do – I want to be in business for myself.”

There are various reasons why someone might choose to start their own business. Maybe they have lost a job and are having trouble finding a new one so decide to start a business.  Perhaps they want to “be their own boss” so they do not have to answer to anyone at work.  Maybe they want to be in control of the culture and foster a better working environment for themselves.  Or maybe they want to follow a passion or develop an idea they believe will bring value to others.  All this being said, starting and being in business for yourself is not for everyone.  In fact just a few months ago I met with another friend who was closing the doors of her business after it had been losing money for some time.

So I thought a good place to start might be to clear up some misconceptions about being in business for yourself” as a Part 1.  Then in a Part 2 outline, what I believe, are the personal characteristics you must possess in order to successfully be in business for yourself.  So….

Part 1:   Common Misconceptions About Being In Business For Yourself.

Starting a business might appear to be an easy option if you are desperate to get out of a situation but running a business is not as easy as it appears to be.  Success doesn’t come overnight. There will be sacrifices you will need to make to get started.  There will be disappointments and failures as you get started and even once you are established.  If you cannot withstand these pressures you should not contemplate starting a business.  The mental toughness to withstand all these pressures and remain motivated is absolutely necessary for you to succeed.

The general impression created in the minds of many people is that you can make a lot of money by running a small business. A few people do make a lot of money by running a business. On the other hand there are many people who lose a lot of money.  As with most things though – the majority of businesses fall right in the middle and are able to generate a livable income while oftentimes creating a more flexible lifestyle.

Another misconception is that you are the boss, so you can work when you want, relax when you want and go on vacation when you want. Indeed, you are the boss but your clients and your customers are “bosses” too.  There are many things that come up which require your time and attention.  Oftentimes clients and customers place demands on your time that quickly derail a planned and even needed day off.   Most business owners I know work in their business.  They do all the tasks that range from being the CEO to being the custodian.  In “Chained to a Desk Work Where You Live” I covered the 10 business technologies and trends predicted to be extinct by 2017 along with why and how to get rid of them in your office by the end of 2012.  I also mentioned that working for yourself does mean you get to work half days.  But it is not half of an 8 hour work day but rather half of a 24 hour workday.  If you do not work, it is not going to be successful.

So keep working toward your goal of starting your own business.  Just know that as you look at those who have done it and succeeded, they might be making it look a bit easier than it really is.  In Part 2 we will step through the personal characteristics you must possess in order to successfully be in business for yourself.


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