Great job! Keep up the good work, and continue to creatively find ways to expand, or hold steady.
However, you might be in the opposite camp. Perhaps fear has held you back from going full-time with your business. Perhaps you’ve been in business for a while, and you’re tired of watching your plans deteriorate.
And maybe, after deciding that this was your year to try entrepreneurship, you’ve realized that things didn’t turn out the way you’ve hoped or planned.
Unless you’re independently wealthy, finding yourself in the second camp is a problem because you’re not earning enough money to meet your business expenses, expand, or grow.
And there’s a strong possibility that you’re not meeting your personal expenses!
Here’s the bottom line:
In spite of our best intentions, sometimes it’s in our best interest to be honest with ourselves!
There comes a time when we’ve got to admit to ourselves that it might be time to take another path.
If you’re not making it as an entrepreneur in the way that you’d hoped, that means one of three things:
- You’ll need to move forward with a new business idea
- You’ll need to go back to full-time employment
- You’ll need to find work as an independent contractor
Let’s explore each of these options and their advantages.
Trying Another Idea
Have you ever watched the U.S. version of Shark Tank? If so, then you’re familiar with Kevin O’Leary’s tell-it-like-it-is style of speaking to the entrepreneurs.
It’s not uncommon for him to advise an entrepreneur to “Take that idea behind a barn, shoot it, and give it the mercy-killing it deserves!”
This type of advice can seem downright cruel on the surface, but what Kevin is trying to express to the clueless entrepreneur is that they should stop wasting time with their current business plan.
It won’t work, it will cause the entrepreneur suffering and pain, and they’d be better off coming up with a new business idea that has far more of a chance of becoming successful.
However, if you watch the show, then you know that sometimes, the ill-fated entrepreneur refuses to allow their idea to die. They’ve invested too much time, money, and energy into their venture to admit that it’s time to let it go–much to their own peril.
Maybe you secretly feel the same way, or you know someone who feels this way.
Here’s the great thing about having the mind of an entrepreneur:
If you’ve thought of one marketable idea, then there’s a very good chance that you can think of more!
It’s perfectly okay for you to let go of that idea that’s not working. Maybe it’s a perfectly good idea that works for others, but for some reason, it’s not working out for you.
That’s fine, and if you’re wise, then you’ll let it go before you have nothing left to give to a new business idea.
Punching The Time Card…Again
Here’s the interesting thing about working for yourself:
You come understand that employment is often for those who have no creativity or working knowledge of how to earn a living on their own terms.
Having said that, employment inherently guarantees that the employee will receive a stable income that they can count on. This is especially important if the employee has a family to support.
And let’s face it. The employee can get away with doing the bare minimum their job requires and still expect to get paid.
Your creative mind might have led you towards earning money on your own, but finding creative ways to pay your bills every month gets old and tiresome…very quickly!
You might do well to close shop on your business (at least for a time) and find a source of employment. The good news is, there are more ways than ever to work from home as an employee, so you won’t have to worry about suffering through time at the office.
And, there are companies that allow you to select your shift so that you can still enjoy a certain level of flexibility in your personal life.
Independent Contract Remix
The terms entrepeneur and independent contractor are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference between the two.
An entrepreneur builds a business from the ground up, but the independent contractor works for an established business on a contract basis.
Maybe you were interested in becoming an entrepreneur because you enjoy the idea of working from home (or anywhere there’s an internet connection). Perhaps you enjoy a flexible work schedule, and for some people, a flexible work schedule might be necessary.
As an independent contractor, you can still enjoy many of the benefits of working for yourself that you did as an entrepreneur without enduring many of the headaches!
Best of all, you can stack up as many contracted jobs as your schedule will allow.
Since you don’t have to be concerned with entrepreneur aspects of the business such as marketing, sales, client acquisition, accounting, etc., then you’ll have more energy to focus on other ways to earn money.
Why Going Back To Employment Is A Faux-Fail
One of the reasons why you might hesitate to put your entrepreneur dreams on hold (or kill then altogether) is the feeling of failure. No one wants to feel like a failure! Feeling like a failure can cripple you and kill your self-esteem.
But here’s the great news:
Leaving entrepreneurship doesn’t mean that you’re a failure!
Trying something grand in your life and not being able to develop it successfully isn’t a fail. It simply means that you’ve tried, and things didn’t work out as you hoped, for a variety of reasons.
For example, you might not have had time to develop your business as you needed to. You might not have had access to the right types of leaders to advise you and guide your steps. You might have lacked money.
Or, as I’ve mentioned in a previous article, entrepreneurship might not be right for you!
Now, if you still believe that entrepreneurship is the right path for you to take, then consider the benefits of building your business even as you work a j.o.b:
You can build a business in your spare time.
When you’re employed, you’ll have the money and the time to test what works for your business without worrying about the need to generate revenue quickly.
On the other hand, when your business and personal expenses are all generated from your business, you’re bound to make rash decisions out of the need to earn money.
You’ll have time to find mentors.
Again, when your back isn’t against the wall, then you can relax and find the right mentors for your chosen business industry. Richard Branson gave an Entrepreneur Magazine reader this advice:
Your mentors will also be the people you will turn to for advice and assistance when things don’t go according to plan. And you can be certain that things won’t go as planned, though that’s half the fun.
Decision-making can be more difficult when the wrong call can make the difference between your being able to pay your bills (and your employees) or not. With a strong support network of people who have experience and know-how, you’re more likely to make better choices.
And who knows? The mentors who are right for you just might be located at your future j.o.b!
Develop your skills training and acquire necessary tools.
Let’s say that you’ve realized the hard way that your business didn’t pan out because you need more industry skills training. It could be that your current skills aren’t advanced enough, or you need to upgrade your skills so that you can generate higher levels of revenue.
Your employment will (hopefully) allow you to have enough disposable income to invest in industry skills training. Certainly, you can start to invest in the necessary tools you’ll need to market and promote your business.
Bidsketch offers very affordable subscription plans that will allow you to reach out to prospective clients.
You can bet that you weren’t turned down because you rushed off a sloppy proposal that made the prospect ignore you, or lose respect for you!
Rahul Varshneya says it best on The Next Web:
Entrepreneurship is pretty darn tough. Quitting your job to start a venture is like abandoning a sailing ship in the middle of the ocean looking for adventure, seeking an island sailing on a dinghy.
It looks fascinating and adventurous, but not everyone’s cup of tea to face storms, possible capsizing and navigating through shark-infested waters.
If you’re experiencing choppy waters on your entrepreneurship journey, then there’s nothing wrong with recharting your course! Any feelings of failure are false, as long as you learn from your mistakes, correct any deficits, and when the time is right, try again!