Working for Yourself Versus Following the Leader

Some of us feel we were just born to do our own thing, go our own way and tell the world how we are going to live our lives – we are independent women who respect the choices we can make, so why not make them?  Others feel that although we like to do our own thing there’s still a respected security which comes from working for someone else and this security can range from the fringe benefits of health insurance to the fact that if the business happened to fail then we as humble employees wouldn’t suddenly become liable for any costs incurred.  Each perspective is as valid as the other with its own pros and cons – so what do you do when you want to start a business and not only break that glass ceiling but also ensure you won’t incur the possible financial devastation of a new business which statistically has a greater chance of failing than it does of making it to this point next year?

Our first mistake is actually believing the statistics and letting them convince us that we’ll never succeed.  Statistically the world is against us but I’m a believer that the universe isn’t and that if we’re prepared to work hard enough for a result then we will, with all of the effort in the world, get it.  When I started my first business every statistic going was against me (under twenty one at the time, in university full time, already in part-time employment, female and I set-up shop without any start-up investment) but I put solid work and effort in to achieve positive results eventually taking my fiancé on as a business partner to make the business stronger and an even bigger success story.

The difference between entrepreneurs and everyone else is that yes we all see problems but entrepreneurs identify the problem and come up with an efficient solution to follow soon after.  If this solution doesn’t work then we’ll find another and another until we arrive at something which works in the long-term.  Often I write about how emotional investment in our start-ups is a bad thing and nine times out of ten this is true as it means that negative customer responses to the business and other downturns get taken personality and I know from experience how much of a negative impact this has for our own health and wellbeing.  In truth however the one advantage of being an entrepreneur who is to some extent emotionally invested in her business is the fact that we will strive to find every single possible solution there is before jumping ship – this reluctance means we can always say that we have tried our best, after all who is going to turn their back on their own business without having tried every possible solution?  This is for me one of the best things about being a woman in business today.

Leaving the safety net of the fringe benefits which often come from big companies behind is another tricky hurdle to overcome on both a physical and emotional level but when we realise that there is very little difference between running our own business and working for someone else’s career aspirations this is when we can begin to see our own potential in a business of our own design.  With companies opening the doors for smaller business structures such as sole proprietorships and single number partnerships you don’t have to leave anything behind by starting up on your own.  In fact usually there’s the potential to achieve more by being the business owner and offering these services to any employees you may have.

Finally when it comes to gaining confidence about the liability you may have against your business there is a way around this and it’s quite simple.  Aim to go into your business with no debt and acquire no debt along the way.  I was nervous when I first started up so yes I got a basic business bank account and got some advice from local government start-up advice centres, however I didn’t ask any organisation for a loan as I knew this would have me work to pay back the loan not because I wanted to build a business on something I was passionate about.  I started with £50.00 to get some flyers and went door-to-door with a few friends, humble beginnings but as the income grew so did my business and with the pitfalls came my growth as a woman in business.

So yes it’s easy to fear going into business because it can leave you financially liable for debt but here’s the shocking fact – it doesn’t have to if you don’t want it to.  I’m not financially liable to anything as I don’t have any business debts to pay and with good business insurance you can be covered for nearly every eventuality.  Perhaps it’s time to prove that you aren’t another statistic and succeed in something you’re passionate about to join millions of other women across the world today.

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