Over the last few months I have been asking lots of my friends and contacts why they set up their own business. Its amazing the wide-ranging motivators and drivers that led them to make the decision to go it alone. In some instances there was no other option – redundancy, for example often forces individuals to go it alone because of the shear need to just keep food on the table. I am sure the economic downturn will be the catalyst for the next generation of entrepreneurial superstars who have been forced to do their own thing.
Having said all of this, there is a large group of individuals that leave well paid jobs and the security of a monthly salary to pursue their passion. The people I have spoken used phrases like – I wanted to be in charge of my own destiny….I wanted to get it out of my system….It’s the only way I can create true wealth…I did not like working for someone who I was better than….Freedom to make my own decisions…I can do things better. The reality is the people who go and work for themselves start to think about it a long time before they make the leap, it can be as long as five years and in some cases more. However, I believe that individuals get to a tipping point (someone described it as an elastic band that snaps) – once it happens there is no turning back. It’s almost like you disconnect from the old world of employment into this new landscape – once your mind is in this place there is no turning back. It feels weird, almost uncomfortable to a point, yet exciting – it’s now down to you to put cash in the till.
Self employment is a wonderful thing when things are going to plan – when it goes off course, it can be a lonely place to be – but that’s part of the challenge. Going forward the UK needs more enterprising people to create jobs for others – whatever happens in this new environment of LEPs and all that other confusing nonsense that is going on at the moment – we must make sure that the people advising the next generation of self-employed people have been there and done it for themselves – you can only advise when you have done it yourself. Totally empathy with the start-up entrepreneur is vital!