Should I leave my JOB TO START A BUSINESS?
Stephina Zwane answers the question that's on everyone's lips
NOT everybody is cut out to be an entrepreneur and this is not a bad thing. When thinking of leaving your job to start a business, you would have already thought of the financial implications of this decision. But what you might not have considered are the emotional and psychological implications of this.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
There will be days when you are so excited you can’t even fall asleep because of a meeting that you’ve set up, that has the potential to turn your life around for the better. However, there will also be days when you don’t want to get out of bed and go to the office. It’s when you become an entrepreneur where you will realise who your true friends are. There will be those who won’t buy what you are selling but are expecting you to give it to them for free, because they will ‘market it.’ There will also be those who will be your biggest supporters both emotionally and financially.
Every new day as an entrepreneur is vastly different to the previous one. Today, you could be sitting with top CEOs and government officials who, in that moment view you as an equal, happy to be engaging with such a bright mind. Tomorrow you could be wearing overalls, full of dust, lifting heavy equipment onto a truck. The best way to describe being an entrepreneur is that every hour is a roller coaster ride. So, if you’re too shy to ask those who owe you money to pay you, if you’re too scared to introduce yourself to the CEO of a listed company, who could be a potential client, or if you get heart palpitations at the thought of firing someone, then no, don’t go into business. Stay where you are.
These days, I hear a lot of entrepreneurs questioning those that have full-time employment in big business about why they don’t leave their jobs and start their own businesses.
I have even had some husbands asking me to speak to their wives to encourage them to start their own businesses. When I dig deeper to find out why people are pushing each other to start businesses, I find out that they have a perception that entrepreneurs make a quick buck.
Of course, this is not true. The hardest thing I have ever done in my life is to start a business. One of the most common advice I give to people is to not start a business.
The reasons behind that are plenty, but the main one is that, running a business is hard work. Your life as you know it will change drastically when you go into business, you will work late nights every night, your weekends will belong to your business and even when you are sleeping, you will be dreaming of new solutions to make your business even better.
DON'T GO INTO IT ONLY FOR THE MONEY
Entrepreneurs often know how to provide the service or make the product, but they don’t always know how to sell the service or product to their potential customers. This is what makes it even harder to make a profit.
Understand that entrepreneurs are born that way; they have a different way of looking at things and are constantly trying to find solutions in the societies they operate in. If you are going into entrepreneurship to make money, you might be sorely disappointed.
Go into business to make a tangible difference in the industry that you operate in. Be prepared to work hard and expect more than a few bumps along the way but never take your eyes off the prize. If you are dedicated and work hard at building your business, you will eventually succeed.
Stephina Zwane, who co-owns a media company, says starting a business is not for the faint-hearted