There are risks in everything we do in life and they come in all shapes and sizes.
From your morning commute to work to where you invest your hard earned cash we encounter it on a daily basis without even thinking about it.
Starting a business is one of those endeavours which has no shortage of detractors around you telling you that it would be a mistake.
Don’t misunderstand, there is definitely a gamble in creating a product, obtaining startup capital, hiring people to build a website and market it, all in the hope that your sales revenue exceeds the costs it took to make everything possible.
Irrespective of these short-term challenges that everyone must face should they want to become an entrepreneur there are also numerous risks that are very rarely discussed in not even attempting to pursue a business.
We’ll start with the biggest.
When Steve Jobs made this viral speech at Standford University, one of the most salient pieces of advice he gave was to make every major life decision with the thought that you are going to die one day.
He explained that is only with the certainty of death that you can make the most rational decisions. You are going to be “working” for most of your life don’t waste it doing something you don’t want to do.
The speech is more poignant after realizing that Jobs had battled cancer years before his death in 2011. He knew first hand that not taking chances in his life would have been a massive regret, especially when he was told he had months to live.
Starting a company is not just something to fulfil any potential regrets you may have in the future, you have to be 100% committed to it…and it is hard work. However, if you keep saying you will take the plunge but never do Jobs’ speech could provide the inspiration you require.
Lack of Control
One of the biggest advantages of being in employment is the security that it has the potential of providing in the short term. It gives you the ability you to qualify for that mortgage and get the house you always wanted.
But is it that secure?
As an employee you are more vulnerable to the potential whims of people outside of your control. If your company feels you have become expendable or they want to move in a different direction you may be the first casualty without warning.
Economies always go through ups and downs and we all face them whether you are self-employed or not. They question to ask is would YOU rather have the power directly to mitigate the uncertain circumstances of the future or would you prefer your destiny to be decided by someone who may not have your best interests at heart?
It’s your choice.
During the 19th century, the west coast of America famously saw an influx of people “rushing” in to participate in one of the biggest discoveries of gold in the world.
As news spread about the discovery approximately 300,000 people travelled to California in search of new-found wealth. They came from all over the world after hearing multiple stories of people getting rich overnight.
However, by the time the masses had started to swarm the area no money was being made. The opportunity for getting rich quick had passed as it was those who got in early who were the ones that made it.
Towards the end of the gold rush, the only people making huge amounts of money were the ones selling the equipment that the over-enthusiastic newcomers would purchase in pursuit of their dream.
The gold rush is an important lesson to learn and is still relevant today, as more and more millionaires are being created by the internet NOW. Never before in human history have we had a communication system that allows you to potentially sell your product to billions of people and all from the simplicity of a hand held device and an internet connection.
There is an opportunity of a lifetime happening now – don’t be the one to turn up when it’s all over.
When you work for a business you are not just working with customers and clients, you also have to deal with your fellow work colleagues. Making sure that the people you are going to be spending all day with is rarely at the front of our mind when we apply for the job but it is definitely there when we decide to quit.
Who you work with on a daily basis has the potential to enrich your life in and out of the office, but they also have the potential to dominate and ruin your life.
Your personal relationships will always suffer if you are dreading turning up to a hostile environment every morning because of individuals looking to bring you down.
Being in control who is in your company allows you to create a unique ethos where not only you will thrive but those you hire will as well.
Financial freedom is the goal for millions of people even though they may never experience it in their life. The ability to change your schedule at a moments notice to take advantage of an opportunity is something that can rarely be done if you are working for someone else.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is richest man in the world and one of the biggest things he focus’ on in his day to day work is not to become over-scheduled. Whenever he feels that he is becoming overwhelmed with things he has to manage (and he has lots to manage!) he cuts his schedule and limits his access.
Do you think an Amazon employee could do the same? Probably not.
Being in charge of a business can have more onerous demands at the start but when you are up and running you get to decide how far to push the envelope depending on your current state of mind.
This freedom is essential as we can’t all be working 24/7 with the peddle to the metal. Downtime is just as important to focus on things that mean a lot to your wellbeing, like your family and your health. Better to have that luxury in your own hands rather than someone else’s.