At first, my co-workers were skeptical and figured I’d be back within a year, begging for my old job. Many years later, I’m still working for myself and some of those same employees are still working for the company I left. I’ve never looked back.
Now whenever I run into anyone from my old job, they usually tell me that they wish they could work for themselves too.
Being an entrepreneur definitely has its benefits, but those of us who own our own businesses know that there are advantages and disadvantages to being the boss.
In her article, “Five Myths (and One Absolute Truth) about Entrepreneurship,” Author Carol Roth shoots straight about what you can expect when you’re an entrepreneur.
Myth 1: You get to do more of what you love.
Everyone thinks that if you love to do something, you’ll get to do more of it when you run a business. Wrong! When you run a business, you have to do and oversee many functions, from marketing to accounting to handling employees to dealing with customer service and more.
Myth 2: You are the boss!
When you’re the boss, guess what? You’ve increased the number of bosses that you have—exponentially—because every single customer will be influencing your decisions.
Myth 3: Business is about you.
If there is a gap in the market that customers are desperate for a solution to and willing to pay for, that’s a darn good reason to start a business. Successful businesses are all about servicing customer needs.
Myth 4: It’s easy!
There is a reason the word scheme usually follows the phrase “get rich quick.” Businesses take a long time to build, sometimes taking two years or more to even get their legs underneath them.
Myth 5: You can equals you should.
Just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should, that you will be successful, or that it’s the best choice for you given your goals, circumstances, and opportunities. You have to look at the rewards of your opportunity and see if they justify the risks—and I’m talking both financial and qualitative risks and rewards here.
And the one truth: The Rule of 3.
Everything is going to take three times longer than it should to complete (whether your legal contracts, getting revenue, or getting your website up and running), will cost three times what you have budgeted, and will be three times more difficult to execute than you expect.
Being an entrepreneur takes hard work, otherwise everyone would do it. But this list shouldn’t discourage you from pursing your dreams. After all, those of us who work for ourselves know that the advantages of being our own boss far outweigh any advantage of working for someone else.