It’s fair to say that many people taking the time to read this article will have had the daydream of quitting their job and setting up a business or service that allows them to be their own boss. At the same time some readers may already be fortunate enough to work solely for themselves.
It is a step that is arguably one of the biggest that you can make, moving away from the security that a guaranteed wage and more importantly income will bring to the unknown of just where your next revenue stream will come from.
MAKE THE DREAM A REALITY
For many the daydream stays as just that, due to the fact that they simply are not brave enough to stick it to the man and go it alone. However, for the few making the giant leap and going it solo it can be one of the most rewarding things that you do in life.
However, it is not a decision that can be taken easily and certainly not one that should be rushed into. It is something akin to rolling the dice at the Casino, are you brave enough to take the gamble that leaving the secure day job will entail. You may actually think that gambling on slots is a way for you to generate income, although the odds are very much against you with the vast majority of players walking away with nothing but losses.
The decision is usually one that is underpinned by whether going self-employed is financially viable or not, unfortunately just displaying heaps of passion in your new-found career path will not pay your rent.
Therefore, unless you have lucked into a lot of money thanks to either a lottery win or a deceased relative the chances are you will need to have a sizeable nest egg to fall back especially in the first few months of your new operations.
One that will more than likely come from savings that you have accrued over the past few years and this is arguably the most important requirement when starting up any new business venture for yourself.
It does not matter how good your idea is, how strong your work ethic is and how much drive and determination you may have. At the end of the day you will still need to take care of all the usual costs you had beforehand and you will probably incur a whole heap more.
Not only that but it takes time to get the wheels turning when moving into the sphere of self-employed work. Very rarely do you land that career defining contract straight off the bat, a lot of time and energy is spent on pitching for work.
Something that can be incredibly demoralising, especially when you are repeatedly told ‘thanks but no thanks’ or ‘your idea is great, but we simply don’t have the resource at this time’ and that is if you are even lucky enough to get a reply.
At the same time though, regardless of what field of work you decide you throw yourself into and no matter how competitive that field maybe there is always the belief that good quality will eventually rise to the top.
IT ALL TAKES TIME
It may be a slow and laborious process, one that has seen many self-employed workers fall by the wayside. After six to twelve months of not being where they hoped to be, many go back to the safe option and find a permanent job once again.
It could be a decision that comes from desperate necessity as the financial buffer that you have built up has been eroded, this is due to the level of work that you first planned to receive has not been as forthcoming as you would have hoped.
But at the same time if you can learn to live with the knockbacks in the first place and develop a tough skin then you will start to reap the benefits down the line, as you start to build momentum with your new business.
Unfortunately, there is no exact time scale as to exactly when you will see a step change in your earnings after persevering, if there was then chances are we would all be self employed by this time tomorrow.
At the same time though, it’s all about being able to get your name out in your respective field of work and putting all the building blocks into place. A process can take at least 18 months or so before really hitting your stride.
That is why it is advised that before undertaking any departure from permanent work, you have at least six months of salary in savings for the rainy days that will follow at the beginning and there will certainly be many of them to start with.
And although there will be occasions that you will need to dip into savings, the key is to make sure that it is not an all too regular occurrence. Burn through them too quickly and the dream of being your own boss will have subsided in an instant.
That said, that’s exactly what savings are there for so don’t feel too downbeat if you need to take a hit for a financial emergency as long as you can eventually counteract this with constant and flourishing revenue streams.
One way to do so is to make sure everything you do workwise has some sort of value, that way your precious time is not being used up with acts that then see no financial return. Sometimes it might be payment up front or it could also be a benefit in kind.
The latter is fine as long as you see an eventual upside to it, for example you may work on a contra basis on the understanding that a month later there will then be a guaranteed paid project off the back of it.
Sometimes you will need to be prepared to offer your services at a lower or gratis rate, if only to help the key element of networking. If you can build connections early on, it can give you a massive boost in the long run.
Just be careful that you are not doing too much work for nothing as otherwise you will be too tied up with the wrong kind of projects and the opportunities to pitch for paid work will be one that more than likely passes you by.
Get the balance tipped in your favour and the paid roles will start coming in, it could even be to the point where you start hiring staff of your own to help with the increased workload. It’s a bold step to be your own boss, but as they say fortune favours the brave.
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