Here is a quick post about the truth about what it means to be your own boss.
Why is it that everybody wants to be their own boss? Is it because the media tells us success stories of smart entrepreneurs who started in a barn, a garage or a friend’s couch to build a multi-million dollar firm?
There are dozens of similar success stories that trick us into believing that “being your own boss” is an easy and relaxing thing to do.
Well, it’s time to face the truth: Being your own boss is far harder than you think and requires discipline, perseverance and faith.
I think that most of us got the wrong idea about entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship. It is high time to set the record straight.
Before I start, I have to say this: please don’t get the wrong impression!
It is very rewarding and one of the most exciting feelings in the world. My point is just that being an entrepreneur is not a cake walk and I will explain why.
Just like the rest of you, I once dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur. The perspective of having more time and freedom in my life was exhilarating.
I had dreams of sandy beaches, trips around the globe, no operational work and more importantly no orders to follow whatsoever.
One day, I decided to make the big jump and suddenly reality reared its ugly head.
Not that the feeling of being the head of the company was unpleasant, on the contrary.
The main problems were the countless details that the media had left out in their success stories.
Nobody really tells you about the colossal and overwhelming efforts required to keep a company up and running.
I was under the impression that, as a CEO your job was to sit in a bunch of meetings, say yes or no to a bunch of projects and then watch the money flow in your bank account.
Ok this is a very simplistic view, but it is pretty close to the conception I had (and most of us have) about CEOs.
Only a few hours in, I realized the magnitude of the task presented before me.
You see, as a small business owner, you have, by definition, very limited resources to work with.
That means that you don’t necessarily have all the personnel. You basically have to fight every battle and be on every front at the same time.
This is when I realized that on top of being CEO, I was an accountant…a terrible one as a matter of fact!
I am really terrible with numbers and never envisioned me spending hours working on something I was allergic to.
One activity associated with accounting is of course collecting outstanding balances and chasing people to get your payments…not a very pleasant activity for me. Then it got worse.
We all tend to believe that customers know about our business, where and how to find our products, and that they will magically show up at our doorstep by the thousands to buy our products.
Well think again… You have to chase them and get sales if you want your business to be profitable.
In medium / large businesses, this is not a big problem because you have people whose job is to get sales, but as a small business entrepreneur, you have to go in the trenches and bring home the bacon.
I am not sure if I am more allergic to sales or accounting…but again this is something I hadn’t anticipated because nobody told me about it.
Back when I was an employee, I had a magic office with a magic computer. I am sure you are familiar with your parents’ magic fridge from your teenagers’ years right?
You take something out, eat it and it magically reappears the next day. Well my office was pretty much like that: the lights and computers were always on, my phone could call any country on the planet and all that seemed to run on its own.
In my CEO days, however, I realized that someone was actually paying all these bills and that person was ME. It’s incredible how much these things cost if you ask me.
Depending on the size of your business, being an entrepreneur also means managing your employees.
Managing people is not as simple as it looks because people are not automatons and they have different personalities, moods and feelings.
You have to keep them motivated busy, informed of what’s going on in the business and where you are headed.
Bad publicity is something you want to avoid and therefore you will be involved in angry customer management, client meetings, vendor meetings etc…
Of course, it goes without saying that you have to stay on top of your emails and phone calls. You have to read them and respond in a timely manner.
So here is the deal (there is a happy ending to this don’t worry).
The main motivation for becoming your own boss is certainly the desire to earn more, and have more time, but in reality, entrepreneurship comes with its load of unexpected surprises.
In most cases, rather than finding more time for you and your family, you will end up committing everything you have and every second of your time to your company. It is very easy to end up shackled to your business actually.
This is what you should expect under normal circumstances (will explain that point later): a punch of unfinished, never ending to do lists piling on your desk, very long hours, sleepless nights, stress and a non-existent social life.
The concept of weekend suddenly vanishes and you find yourself working Sunday evenings and reading emails until 2am to get up at 7am…
Isn’t that what we were trying to run away from in the first place?
You must certainly be discouraged by now but here is the good news. I am not trying to discourage you from becoming an entrepreneur.
On the contrary I am trying to give you everything you need to be successful. If you know what to expect, you are far more likely to find an answer to these problems.
There are far too many small businesses that vanish within a couple of months because the CEO wasn’t prepared to go through all this struggle and eventually gives up.
I don’t want that to happen to any of you and this is why I am giving you the facts. If you are a small business owner, please be assured that you are not an isolated case and that’s good news. Why?
Simply because some companies or individuals have developed tools and solutions with your needs in mind.
I am one of them. There are a lot of people out there who dedicate their resources to make your life easier and help you run your business more efficiently without having to go through the hardship.
I have decided to take a bullet for the team and then report my findings back to the command center.
I admit that my post could appear rather depressing and discouraging. BUT It turns out that it is possible to run a small business smoothly and reach your original goals: More Time / More money.
I spent the last two years working on that very complicated equation and managed to come up with a pretty satisfying answer.
The bottom line is “Don’t Work Harder, Just Be Smarter”.
If there is only one thing you need to remember, it’s this: Don’t Work Harder, Just Be Smarter!
I designed workflows that tackle all the problems I just mentioned and make my life easier.
These workflows will allow you to limit your bills and costs to a minimum. Who said you needed a fancy office?
Secondly, you will be able to have “employees” without having to employ them. Employees cost a lot of money because you have to pay them whether they are performing or not.
There are smarter alternatives that will allow you to limit those costs considerably.
Lastly, automation and outsourcing are the keys to unlocking your dream life.
No more sleepless nights, no more week end extra hours, no more stress. Your Initial goal of freedom can be met without having to go through the fire.
I wrote a detailed step-by-step blueprint of my system HERE. If you want to learn more about my system and how it can work for you, I suggest you take a few minutes to read it.
First I have to say this: It's not for everybody… If it's not for you, then at least you would have learned something new today.
However if you feel like this is for you, it will actually change your life
>> Click here to learn more about my nomad lifestyle design blueprint
I devoted two years of my life to this project but the reward was worth all the trouble! I met thousands of like-minded entrepreneurs who were confronted to the same problems without hopes of improvement and managed to help them out.
If we stick together and help each other out, by sharing some of our tips, we can make a difference for the whole small business entrepreneur community.
I am more than happy to help anyone who requires help. If you are interested in sharing impressions and experiences don’t hesitate.
I think that helping others involves telling the truth about what entrepreneurs should expect.
Want to learn how to make your entrepreneur journey a pleasant experience? Then click here to find out more
Stay focused and let’s help each other out