OK, “lie” is a pretty strong word. Most likely the people who give you this false advice are not doing so maliciously but because they care about you and want to see you stay “safe”. But their version of safe is uninformed or a reflection of their own fears.
So, let’s call it 8 “myths” people tell you that squash your dreams:
- “It’s stupid to leave the security of your job in this economy.” This makes me want to scream because it’s just blatant ignorance. Hundreds of thousands of workers in the US alone lost jobs in 2011. How can anyone look at those figures and believe their job is secure? If anything, this economic climate is a great time to start working on your dream because you may not have the luxury of deciding when it’s time to be jobless.
- “Being self-employed is so stressful”. This goes hand-in-hand with “job security”. What’s stressful is uncertainty. With your own business, assuming you haven’t let yourself get into the situation where most of your income comes from one source, even if you lose a couple of good clients, you still have a business. As an employee, it only takes one person, your boss, to decide he doesn’t need you and you’re source of income stops. There’s also the stress of lack of control. When you’re your own boss, you are in control of your own situation and outcome. As an employee, you may be responsible an outcome but lack the power to control the forces it takes to achieve that outcome. Now that’s stressful.
- “You can’t possibly make a living as a (fill-iin-the-blank).” A hand analyst in Arizona makes 7 figures discovering people’s life purpose. Really. In a world where a palm reader can become a millionaire, don’t let anyone tell you your dream can’t be profitable.
- “Only a handful of people make it in that field”. True in some fields. What if Paul McCartney, Paul Newman or Paula Dean had listened to that advice? If you are very good at what you do and willing to do the hard work to get there, you can make it in your chosen field.
- “No one is going to pay you to do that when they can do it themselves.” Well, I don’t know about you but even though I know how to wash windows and clean toilets, I pay someone else to do what I don’t like to do. There will always be people who because of time constraints or just plain laziness will pay you to do something they are able to do themselves. Find those people and let them know how they will benefit by having you do it for them.
- “You’ll never have the benefits on your own that you get from your employer”. Actually, you’ll have more. All the perks your employer covers you can purchase on your own and they are tax deductible when you have your own business. Think of all the things you pay out of your own pocket now: your cell phone, travel, internet and auto. When you are doing your dream, they are business expenses.
- “You have to have lots of start-up capital or investors to start a business.” This is simply not true unless you plan to open a brick and mortar hardware store in which case you’ll need a half million in inventory. Most businesses can be started on no or very little cash. Most of us who are serial entrepreneurs started small and grew our businesses by reinvesting profits. Particularly if you are in the business of selling information or a service, often all you need is a working computer and an internet connection. You can start many other business, including some brick and mortar without a lot of capital.
- “If you start a business, you have to have employees or do everything yourself.” Actually , you can run a very large business with no physical employees. You may have to do several of the jobs yourself at first but once you are generating income, invest in a virtual staff. They bill you for their service so you’re not paying benefits, worker’s compensation or payroll taxes.
There will always be naysayers, people who are fearful about self-employment because they don’t understand it and are protective of you. Most are probably well-meaning but don’t listen to someone who hasn’t done it themselves. When you’re considering starting your own business, surround yourself with others who’ve been on the journey and choose a guide who’s walked that path before.Lets Connect