And don’t let anyone spook or shame you out of it.
No one will, anyway. Your friends and family will be happy for you. And if they’re not happy for you, well… why are you hanging around them?
Most folks you don’t know, don’t care. There really isn’t anyone holding you back from self-employment. So it could be that the only one spooking you out of that choice, is you.
Yes, it’s a big decision. It could be a scary one, until you get some perspective on life. But if you can afford to take a year or more, and still handle all your responsibilities, why shouldn’t you take a running jump and work for yourself? Life’s short. Don’t look back on it and wonder what if.
You wouldn’t be reading this post if you didn’t already have a certain itch, or maybe a drawn-out craving, to throw up your hands and walk out of your job. If the thought’s tormenting you, daily, then there’s probably a very good reason. Your thoughts, dreams, ambitions – maybe even your body itself – wants you out of there. You’ve got things to do. Your own things. Don’t just ignore it.
You’ll need a plan, of course. You’ll need savings to live on until you can turn a profit. There’s a lot to learn about business. But it’s all out there, if you look for it. YouTube’s a gift from the gods.
But just please, don’t, go into debt. If you can’t turn a profit and keep your head above water, you just won’t survive working for yourself. The point is to make profit. If a business doesn’t do that, it’s not a business. Commit to learning more about your market, your industry, and your potential for profit, before you jump in and work for yourself.
You’ll have to take care of your own taxes too, of course. It’s not a frolic in the park with kittens and puppies, but then again most things aren’t. That’s why we have things like frolics in the park with kittens and puppies, to take our minds off it all. (That’s a business idea right there, see.)
You’ll also need to understand cashflow and returns on investment. Understand assets and liabilities. Know that while riches are measured in money, wealth is measured in time. You’re saving up money to buy back a year or more of your life for yourself – and your own ambitions. And if all this sounds strangely like a certain Robert Kiyosaki, that’s because I learned all this from him. If you don’t know who he is – and you want to work for yourself – then get knowing.
Most importantly, take your feelings out of the equation and look at whether the numbers you make are the kind of numbers you can live on. If not, you’ll need to work out how to make those numbers slightly bigger before you take the plunge. Get a feeling for sales, and the processes involved. Again, it’s all out there in books, articles, podcasts and videos.
Is there a chance you could fail? Of course. Most businesses fail. That’s always on my mind. It just depends whether you’re willing to move on to the next business idea, and take the plunge again into self-employment. Just make sure it’s a calculated risk – a decision coming from a place of knowledge and experience. Passion’s the rocket fuel, of course… but it’s counting on there being a functioning rocket engine to work through. A boring, horrible but learnable rocket engine, made of finance and maths.
Funny thing is though, finance suddenly becomes very interesting when there’s more of your own finance around. And it’s going into your bank account every month. You get to like this finance stuff. You suddenly want to make more of all this wonderful finance. You’ll write love songs to the stuff. Oh, glorious finance, you shall say. As you stare longingly from the window, clutch your aching heart, and sigh. My sweet darling, finance. How did I ever live without you.
But anyway. Passion’s crucial, but it won’t put money in your pocket. You need cold hard facts for that. Make sure you know the facts about your market, and your industry – like whether there’s really enough market demand for that idea to turn a profit – before you jump in.
Not a day goes by when I don’t worry about making enough money in the future to keep working for myself. But that goes with the territory. It’s a risk.
It’s also a risk I’m more than happy to take. Over and over, for the rest of my life. Because none of us really know what freedom feels like, until we actually work for ourselves. Creative freedom, financial freedom… general life freedom. The kind that America sings songs about. Y’know, all the eagles and flags and apple pie. Yep, you’ll finally get the appeal. Freedom’s really, really, nice.
So how about you? Are you ready to do this self-employed thing, or what?
Truth is, there’s never a good time to take that kind of jump. But you don’t know what you’re missing until you do.