The Richmond Register

June 2, 2013

Taking charge of your life: The Transition to self-employment

By Jennifer Napier
Register Columnist

RICHMOND — Do you dream about the day when you will be able to quit your job and start your own business?

Do you envision the awesome new office space and state of the art equipment you'll have to work with?

Can you picture yourself driving a brand new vehicle with your own company's logo on it?

Do you daydream about the luxurious vacations you'll be able to take because you'll be self-employed?

If the above vision occupies your mind when you think of what it would be like to leave your job and become self-employed, you are living in a fantasy world and most definitely not ready to start your own business.

If you think like this, you'll be among the high majority of businesses who fail within the first three years of their start-up date. Not only will you fail, but you will incur an overwhelming amount of debt that will haunt you and occupy your future income when you go back to having a J-O-B.

Inventor Thomas Edison was quoted as saying “Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.”

Making the transition to becoming self-employed doesn't make your life easier or provide you with more time to spend with your family -- the exact opposite is true.

Starting a business is hard work and requires a tremendous amount of time and effort because you are now the CEO, manager and employee of every aspect of your business.

Becoming a small business owner means you are in charge of marketing, sales, accounting, shipping, receiving, training, professional development, human resources, and so much more.

Notice payroll wasn't mentioned?

Most new start-ups don't have the money to pay the business owner an income until after the business becomes better established -- which means you won’t be issuing yourself a paycheck when the business starts.

Consider the fact that you may have employees who will get paid -- even when you do not. That’s a hard fact to swallow, isn’t it?

So why do people want to become self-employed? What is so attractive about starting a business if so many of them fail? How can anyone ever be successful when the odds seem to be stacked so high against them?

There is a powerful adrenaline rush in reaching a goal and achieving success where others usually fail.

There is also the realization that no one else will determine your value and salary any longer.

As you build your business and grow, you begin to understand that your income is only limited by your own inabilities, stagnant out-dated business practices or lack of preparation for future changes and growth.

What tips can help you achieve successful self employment?

Do your homework on the potential business before you start it.

Stay out of debt, build and maintain an extensive network of business and client relationships, start small and grow.

Work harder than anyone else in your field.

Most important will be your personal values like integrity, superior work ethics and honesty.