Do you dream of having the freedom to dictate when you want to work? Or the freedom to control how much you earn?
Many people, especially millennials, dream of becoming their own boss, finally becoming free of working to realise the dreams of someone else and to realise their own dreams instead. We seem to have the illusion that running our own business means that we have lots more freedom. That is not entirely false, but we might not be able to have that ideal dream right from the start.
Some people start their own business, thinking that they will then have more time to spend with their family. But the pitfall of entrepreneurship is that pretty much everything ahead is unknown. Sure, you can outsource the work by hiring someone to work for you. But are you able to go away for one year and still have your business running properly for you in a year?
We are often blinded by the vision of what a successful business can bring us that we forget that there will be a process of getting there. So before you plunge right into starting your own business without first relying on other streams of income (perhaps through employment or freelancing, unless you have a huge financial cushion to fall back on), do consider the issues that you probably would have to face.
1. Uncertainty of income
If you think that a business can immediately replace and even exceed your former income, think again.
As an employee, you have a guaranteed income every month. Yes, there might not be the unlimited income potential as compared to a business. But at least you know how much you are going to have coming in every month. Now, I am not saying that being an employee is better (or worse) than being an entrepreneur, but there are advantages and disadvantages to consider.
As an entrepreneur, you receive what is leftover from the business after paying everyone else. You have the responsibility to pay your employees, your suppliers, your rental, and even your utilities first before you can even receive anything. If you have not tried looking at your business expenses drain away your cash reserves with no guaranteed revenue coming in to replace those expenses, maybe you should try and see how that feels.
2. Uncertainty of time
If the only reason why you want to start a business is to have more time to spend with your loved ones, you really should question your motives again.
Entrepreneurs are often people who are willing to work 80 hours a week for themselves just to avoid working 40 hours a week for someone else. You can even forget about having paid leave or even paid medical leave. When your employees are sick and unable to go to work, you not only have to continue paying them for that day, you might even have to spend the time to cover their duties on top of your responsibilities
3. Uncertainty of choice
As an entrepreneur, you have an unlimited number of choices to make. How are you going to make your decisions? What are you going to do when you meet a problem? You are no longer limited by your job description. Now you are going to have to wear many different hats. From marketing and advertising to design to finances, you will have to make the majority of the decisions, at least when you are just starting out. Do you have enough experience or the grit to pick up skills in these areas?