Do you want to run your own business?

Do you want to run your own business?

I was talking to someone close to me yesterday about the ups and downs of running a business.

The ups?

Easy. You are master of your own destiny.  You do the work you love. You are free. You decide who you work with and importantly, who you don’t. You choose how you spend you time. If you fancy a run, swim, shoe shopping, long lunch with a friend, finish at 3pm to pick the kids up from school – insert here anything that makes you feel good but you would have normally felt too guilty to do during the course of a 9-5 (or perhaps more usually 7-7pm) in the office – then you do it. You get out what you put in. When every £ you generate is down to you, it tends to sharpen the mind on what matters and what does not, including ANY meeting you don’t want to be in. There is no hiding place and this reality often brings a heightened sense of accountability, strength and confidence when you create sustained success from scratch.

The downs?

A lack of boundaries between work and home,  knowing when to stop, feeling part of something bigger when you work on your own, the banter and support you get from working alongside others. Mostly though what you hear from those who have launched their own business, as well as those who wish they could, is the underlying fear about what happens if the work suddenly stops. Not being able to provide for your family/keeping up the life you have worked hard to build/not making a success of doing what you love will all raise their head at some point. Because if you weren’t able to do those things, what kind of person would that make you? A failure that’s what, or so the mind would have us believe when it has us gripped by fear.

Now it has to be said that if you are a compulsive avoider of failure, rejection or the unknown you are unlikely to ever start your own business.  It is way safer and less exposing not to.  But even when you have had continued success, it can come as a shock when something doesn’t come off that you really wanted, a huge project comes to an end, or you look up and forward only to realise there is not much in the pipeline. I now have a network of amazing people, consultants, designers, talent specialists and entrepreneurs who I work alongside and each and every one of us has experienced this reality at some point.  I think it is all part of the deal. There to be embraced alongside the “ups”.  There to provide learning, wisdom and renewed energy to get creative and to keep putting yourself out there, and in the case of the conversation I had yesterday, the willingness to ask others for help when you need it.

The trick I honestly think, as with most things, is the speed at which you can spot the signs and course correct. Another benefit of being so acutely connected to your customers, your cashflow and your ability to affect change.

Anyway, I got a call this morning to say that asking for help had worked.  Most importantly of all, his energy had shifted. Success guaranteed.

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