Do you have what it takes to work for yourself but not by yourself?
6 key criteria
To work for yourself I believe you need to have 6 key criteria to be successful at this. Do you think you have what it takes?
- Self Discipline. Do you get up in the morning and get into the office at 8.30am and work until after 5 because someone is making you? Do you shuffle around your desk when there are gaps in your day and keep an eye on the boss so that you know when to look extra productive?
An analogy I heard quite recently is of a teenager of 18, leaving school and going into university. They leave 13 years of structure and someone asking for homework to be turned in and checking on their work. They then enter a University where they are just a number, no one cares if they do the work or turn up to class and with a bar on campus a beer at lunch can very quickly turn into an afternoon of missed lectures, I know I have been in that bar, – and no one is handing out detentions! But then the end of semester 1 rolls around and the grades are looking concerning at best.
It has been seen on many an occasion where the rush of freedom and in a sense liberation that comes from no longer having to answer to a boss can actually be very overwhelming. For someone who isn’t self motivated and self disciplined this could actually be something that really damages their business dreams and / or makes the timeframe of when they can quit a lot further away than expected.
- Are you prepared to make sacrifices? This comes in so many forms – financial family and lifestyle are probably the two most significant. Unless you are fortunate enough to have deep pockets or someone who can back you, the word budget is going to become your new best friend. Every bank note counts and you will need to be disciplined to make it work, but remember this – when you do reach a point of success and you have sacrificed to get there the rewarding feeling goes well beyond what you may be able to buy with it! Lifestyle – this isn’t just about not taking a really nice holiday this year, this is about the fact that for a period of time your life most likely needs to go on hold – think big picture here. The house work gets left because you have an appointment to get to. Work hard for a few months to get the business off the ground and then you will see the fruits of your labour. This leads to the next point…
- Can you work on your own? And I mean really on your own! This isn’t a case of being capable of carrying out your role independently whilst being in a company of 100 employees; this is you being your own motivator. Firstly you need to be a person who can clearly make decisions, who can look at the big picture as well as the details. It is definitely going to help if you are open to learning as you can talk to me, to bounce ideas off when you need to – think of me as a business mentor. If you choose to take it all on by yourself the reward in terms of satisfaction when you succeed is going to be indescribable, just make sure you are prepared and strong enough to make it through the hardest days on the road to success totally on your own, that is the true test, but if you’re not I am still here to pick you up, dust you off and push you back on the road to your dreams. After all you’re not by yourself.
- Do you have a support network? Or at the very least the people around you to be supportive of what you are undertaking. It is very easy for people to want to be there on the good days, but that support needs to extend to the bad ones too. The people around you also need to fully understand how long it might take, and the changes you will need to make in your life to get there. Negativity is the last thing you want to hear when you are putting your heart and soul into something because the expectations of the people around you weren’t set from the word go. Although you have me available, you may need a babysitter while you speak to a customer or a new business partner.
- Do you have a sense of adventure, and a sense of humor? This is going to be quite a ride and when you make it, when you look back on the journey many years down the track it will most likely be one of THE single most rewarding and exhilarating adventures you ever took. There is no Risk, you are not investing 10K or even 100K on a premises for it to fold in 4 months. You are investing your time and energy but it will be worth it when you achieve what you set out to. And the sense of humor… what can I say, there will be days where you feel you might want to just throw the towel in but if you can keep a level head and sense of humor you’ll find a way to get through it and be a great success
- Finally, but also MOST importantly, Do you have a positive outlook? You might think that is a pretty silly and fluffy thing to put on the top of the list, but if you don’t have it, it won’t work – it’s as simple as that. Be positive and when you do get knocked down you will be able to pick yourself back up – no one else is going to put your feet back under you. Also make sure there is positivity around you, that is the quickest way to suck the energy out of what you are trying to achieve. Don’t however confuse positivity with blind optimism – you need to be realistic and level headed as well!
When someone new starts in this business it is these elements that are the most crucial to whether or not they are going to succeed – the upside for them is that we are right there along for the ride and have seen it all before! Providing that support network to allow someone to navigate this sometimes treacherous journey is incredibly satisfying when success is reached!
But, unfortunately it’s not for everyone so careful consideration and truly looking at yourself critically in the areas listed above is essential to find out if you have what it takes.
If you think you have what it takes then please get in touch. ben @ flp.com