I was having a catch up the other day with one of my old mentors. It had been a while since we last spoke so he politely asked how my business was going, and I responded with; “Very well, thanks. If you’d have asked me six months ago, I would have given you a different answer!”
I spent almost a decade working for some of the best recruitment firms in the #MicrosoftDynamics space, and I know plenty of people who say to me now (re. starting their own business), “I wish I had done it sooner” or “I wish I’d done it before kids etc.”. Nothing against starting a business when you have a family, but I bet it’s easier to start one before that stage of life happens!
So this is what I’ve learnt about starting a business (and myself) over the past year and a bit…
- Starting a business is like an iceberg – your expectations are the visible part, reality is that + what’s lurking underwater.
- There is no “right time” – the time is NOW!
- People will think you’re mad. “You’re walking away from a great salary”, “what if it doesn’t work out??”.
- I’ve never worked so hard for so little.
- You overestimate your progress and underestimate the time it’ll take to get there.
- There are challenges. Lots of them.
- There’s no cavalry coming over the hill to save you. You have to save yourself.
- It’s the best feeling when the business it doing well. I’m not a parent but I imagine it’s a bit like having kids??
- Take care of yourself. Your mental health will take a beating and it’s important to expect that.
- I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Having chatted to a lot of people thinking of starting their own business, I can tell you that most end up not taking the plunge. Ultimately the security of a permanent job wins and I only hope that they don’t look back and regret it. Even if I’d known that Covid-19 would cause the industry to suffer what can only be described as a cardiac arrest, I still would have done it. I know I’ve come through the first 12 months stronger and that gets me really excited for 2021!
Please reach out me if you’re thinking of starting your own company and need some pointers or answers to questions – I’d love to help.