Ever imagined that one day you will be free from working for someone else, sitting in your own cosy office and growing your dream business empire?
Being your own boss, or self-employment can be a reality, but not everyone is suited for it. For one, the road to successful entrepreneurship calls for long working hours, resourcefulness and the tenacity to get through rough patches while taking the risk that your dream may not come to fruition.
Some prefer to see work as a means to earning money in order to pursue other interests in life, so going down the route less travelled is not something they will risk.
Having said that, working for yourself can be immensely satisfying… But do you have the following 4 attributes and personality for it?
Discipline tops my list of ‘must-have’ attributes for anyone thinking of working full-time on their own. Having discipline means finishing projects on time, giving yourself key milestones to hit, hunting for new clients when you need to (even if you don’t know how) and actively finding solutions to problems.
Many people have a misconception that working for yourself means you can take time off whenever you want – technically yes, but it also means staying up late at night to finish client projects or working weekends if needed. Personally, this just means that you achieve greater productivity by working to your own rhythm instead of sitting at your desk from 9 a.m to 5 p.m even though your mind is in the Maldives.
If you need someone to motivate you into taking action, you can safely forget about working for yourself.
When you work in a company, you typically have a limited job scope. For example, if you are a marketing executive, you will not need to deal with HR matters such as payrolls or recruitment. Running your own little business means you need to do EVERYTHING – from registering your company, keeping your accounts, recruiting manpower and even buying ink for your printer… At least at the start.
This will likely mean there will be work that you hate or are less competent with, so you need to be resourceful in either outsourcing these matters or finding a way around them.
3) Risk-taking Attitude
I’ve met many people who try to keep to their full-time job and work on a side project/business, hoping it will take off eventually. This is a good way to keep your ‘rice-bowl’ intact, in case the side business does not go well.
But the problem with this approach is that well, it may remain a side project forever. My stand is that you will need to decide if this ‘project’ will be a supplementary income, or do you want it to become your main income?
Given the limited time and commitment you can allocate to your side business, it will probably be 3 or 4 times faster to develop it if you go full scale. If you can allocate an amount of money to sustain yourself for a planned period of time, then it is probably worth it to have a go at it based on calculated risk.However, do not quit your day job if you do not even have a business idea or plan in mind. That’s just plain risky.
You should have a well-developed plan, done your market research and started out on the initial steps for a few months or test the market before you focus on it entirely on a full time basis.
4) Financial Savviness
I do not mean you need to be fully fluent in reading financial statements or capable of doing complicated financial modelling. Well, not unless you are looking for investor funding at least, with which most start-ups inflate their forecasts anyway.
What I mean is firstly, you need to be in good financial standing and not be mired in debts which requires that you secure a regular income to pay off.
Needless to say, it’ll be safe to have enough savings to cover you for at least the next 6 to 12 months while you work on your project.You’d need to also find out how to work the cash-flow cycle to sustain your business or work it to your advantage, as well as protect your own financial well-being with the necessary insurance and CPF contributions.
If you have a great business idea and possess the above key attributes for entrepreneurship, do consider taking that leap of faith before you have too much commitment (family or financial) on your plate.
[featured image credits: www.recruitmentagencynow.com]