Starting your Own Business is RiskyMany of us covet dreams of business ownership, thinking that the hard work we do for others could be better channeled for ourselves.   It is a heady concept….not working for “the man”. However, one thing that I learned a long time ago is that not all of us are suited to own our own business.

Your passion, resiliency, tolerance for risk, your ability to make (or not make) decisions, and your ability to multi-task all play into your predisposition towards entrepreneurship.   In addition, owning a business is about sales….sales and your ability to sell will permeate almost every aspect of your day-to-day work life.  You have to be comfortable with this idea and the possible (in some cases, probable) rejection that you will face.

Is Passion Enough?

Passion is probably not enough.  Even if you are passionate about your idea, if you are risk-averse, struggle making decisions, or collapse when you receive negative feedback, then entrepreneurship probably is not for you.

If you do not embrace the “sales” aspect of starting a business and only focus on the administrative side of the process …buying business cards, setting up the website, etc…..then you will probably fail.   Now, when I say “sales” I am not talking about the stereotypical perception of sales – trying to get people to buy your product or service.  Sales for a small business owner incorporates many, many other things – many of which we do not naturally think of as “selling”.  Persuading others to lend you money or to work longer hours or constantly talking to others in order to promote your business are all aspects of “sales” that many would-be entrepreneurs do not think about or embrace.

Ideal vs. Reality

For most people, the reality of starting a business is much different than they thought.  It requires the ability to multi-task and constantly think of ways to grow and improve.  For many of us, our comfort zone remains in the knowledge that we are doing our part for the greater effort…not that we are responsible for the greater effort.  Where is your comfort zone?  You may be more comfortable working for others.  This is OK.

Risk vs. Security

New business owners work long hours and have fewer opportunities to take vacations or focus on hobbies.  Benefits, such as paid time off, retirement plans and even health insurance may be non-existent.  Income may not be steady, and for many people, not knowing when their next paycheck will arrive is uncomfortable.  In addition, many of the tasks small business owners have to take on are very unpleasant, such as firing employees or refusing to hire a relative.  These tasks could be outside your core comfort zones, causing you to lose sleep at night, and taking your focus away from what you truly should be paying attention to.

One of the greatest aspects of working for another person/company is security.  Now, let’s be clear here…I do not mean “security” as in “I-will-never-get-lose-my-job-security”.  I mean the security that is wrapped around a consistent paycheck and the knowledge that as long as your company does well and you do not get into trouble and/or make mistakes, you will probably have a job.

This does not mean that any business venture is doomed to failure.  That is absolutely not the case, as Ruby Receptionists, OtterBox, PopChips and (yes, even) Facebook can point out. But starting a business is hard work.  You may start thinking that this business will lead to a wonderful, flexible lifestyle, but in many cases that is not the case.

Do some soul-searching, and if you decide that entrepreneurship is not for you, think about Snelling for any job hunt needs you might have.  With over 120 offices nationwide, our staff of talented staffing managers can sit down with you today to figure out your goals, and next steps.  Visit our website today find your local office.  We are here to help!!

By Christiane Soto,

NOTE:  A full-color, downloadable PDF is available.