It’s a word that sends shivers down the spine of many a business owner or entrepreneur. JOB. The 9-5. Working for the man. All of those things we’ve tried so hard to get away from.
(Despite that fact many of us now work 80 hours per week so we don’t have to work 40 for someone else!?!)
So would you ever return? Would you ever give it all up and go back and get a ‘real’ job?
I’ve been having a number of inspiring conversations recently, some with those running their own show and some with those employed by others, and then a couple with people who did have businesses of their own but have shut up shop and returned to their corporate gig.
…and it’s fascinating.
The reasons, the reckonings and the motivations.
Why do we start a business in the first place?
We start businesses for a number of reasons:
- We feel trapped in the current ‘system’
- We want freedom to choose our own adventure
- We want to create wealth
- …and many more.
If you’re like me and have been to any of my workshops to hear this story, then really I started because I couldn’t find a job that I really wanted to do in the place I was living (p.s. this is not the best reason and I spent many years re-engineering the model!)
Why do we hold on to our businesses?
Once we’ve had a taste of the ‘other side’ we start talking about never being able to go back to a ‘real’ job. Never being able to once again ‘tow the corporate line’.
…why is this?
- Is it the feeling of failure (rightly or wrongly) we would have if we gave it all up?
- Is it the fact that we’ve poured (often literally) our blood, sweat and tears into building something and really can’t face the thought of letting it go.
- Is it the feeling of being ‘trapped’ again – not able to set out own hours, work on our own schedules and organise our own workloads?
- Is it the feeling that we’d prove them all right – the friends, the family, the naysayers all those who doubted it could work and would quote figures about failure rates at every opportunity.
Or is it simply because we reach a point where we believe we’re not ‘unemployable’ – that we’ve been out of the game for so long that well, who would have us now!?
So much respect for those who walk away
The conversations I’ve had with people who were running businesses and then decided it was time to walk away and return to corporate-land – wow I have a lot of respect for them.
It takes a lot of guts to open a business, to bare your heart and soul to the world for judgement but I reckon it takes even more to walk away.
Walking away, shutting up shop and finding a job takes a lot of soul-searching. It takes a lot of work on mindset. It takes a lot of confidence.
And I am truly respectful for those who do it.
Again the reasons for exiting were varied, businesses that were possibly simply too early into market for the investors to jump on board and then on the flip side businesses that were actually going really well but the owners’ heart wasn’t it in, it wasn’t bring joy or fulfilment.
My husband is in the Navy and has been for many, many years – I joke about him being institutionalised and that he wouldn’t cope on the ‘outside’. But are we ‘institutionalised’? How do you think you would cope going back to a job? Do you ever think about it? Would you ever do it? Let me know!
"Confessions of a Small Business Owner"
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Chief Brand Strategist
Kerry Chick is a stressed out business owner who, in her head runs a super streamlined, beautifully efficient, well-oiled machine of a business. The reality is a little different….here are her confessions!