Are you considering starting your own business to achieve self sufficiency?
It takes a special kind of crazy to start up your own business to achieve self sufficiency. In a world where stability and security are so desperately clung to, and for very good reasons, why would someone think to jeopardise that with wild notions of doing something so unpredictable as going out on your own?
And yet, over the past 3 years, there has been a steady increase of businesses starting up in Australia, with almost 20% of all businesses last year being an entry (Source: ABS: Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits). Has everyone lost their minds?
I have to laugh, as one of those crazy people over 18 years ago, entering the world of running my own business to become self sufficient. It gets no less crazy every year, but if you make these kinds of decisions on logic and reason alone, no one would ever take that risk, I mean, opportunity.
As a teenager, I always knew I wanted to run my own business. My dad ran his own business, and both of my parents have been huge examples to me of self sufficiency, so I just accepted this is what you should do. It never occurred to me back then that it would have any risk attached to it, but then, I’ve been a glass-half-full kind of person my whole life. A serial optimist.
So when you start up a business, did you know that if you’re wrong, and no one wants what you have, you still have to pay? There are overheads from the first moment that you will be required to have before you can make your first sale. Do you have the legally required insurances in place? What about a registered trading name? There are bank fees, licences and registrations, and if you want to protect your personal assets, there are accountants and lawyers and advisers.
There is the risk of getting a bad reputation if you have 1 unhappy customer. There is the risk of finding out you’re not actually as good as you thought you were. There is the risk of your competitors actually sabotaging your market share. There is the risk of global warming bringing the earth to its knees, there is the risk of your partner not being able to look after the kids. There is the risk of being cyber-hacked, of being defrauded, of owing everything you have to the bank and losing it all.
If it doesn’t work, not only will you not achieve self sufficiency, you could be dependant on others to bail you out.
Does that not sound like the craziest thing to do? But wait, there is a flip-side.
The SELF SUFFICIENCY OPPORTUNITY
Imagine that you have just hit your first target. Your goal was to get 10 customers, and it just happened. How would you express that feeling? Probably not fear and regret, it would likely feel a bit more like achievement, hope, success, and my personal favourite – self sufficiency.
This has been a driving force in my life – the ability to take care of myself, to do things myself. For me, being self-sufficient equates to being capable, accomplished, and in a position to help others instead of being the one needing help from others. In running your own business, you are directly in control of what the business does to receive the income it needs. It’s not guaranteed, but it’s up to you to do the work to make it happen.
We feel, we create, we imagine and dream. We are each entirely unique. Running a business is a wonderful way to express your own individuality. Infuse your personality into every fibre of your business. When you’re the one running the show – why not? I promise that you won’t appeal to everyone, but then, you don’t have to. You only need to matter to the people who get you, who feel the same or similar as you, the ones you have something in common with. No one – ever – will be agreeable to every single person.
As you create your own little version of you, you have this opportunity to make a positive impact in the realm of your influence. You can help someone with the solution that your business offers. Share what makes you special. Whether that is a product, a service, a skill, a connection, a talent, it doesn’t matter what it is, it was given to you to make the world a better place. Doing that by using the vehicle of running a business is an opportunity not to be missed.
IS THIS A LIFE FOR YOU?
If you can make your business a success, what would that mean to you? How would that make you feel? Could you get that feeling from staying in your current employment?
There are people who are drawn to the opportunity of running their own business like it’s an irresistible divine calling. For others, the risk and potential pitfalls will keep them in the safety and security of employment, and that’s TOTALLY OK!
There are others who jump in without looking, and regret it afterwards, when all they needed was some guidance to do it better than they could on their own. And others will research and learn and plan and prepare for years before ever taking that leap of faith. And then there are those who just should not go into business for themselves because they don’t have that special kind of crazy that it will take to make this work.
WHAT YOU NEED
If you have or develop these qualities, you will be better prepared to weather through this journey of entrepreneurship. It gets pretty wild, and it’s not always fun, but it will be worth it!
- Mindset – open up your mind to what is possible, think big, dream big, believe that it’s possible. If you can think it, you can achieve it.
- Skills – a trade, a craft, an ability that has been developed to a commercial grade quality.
- Dedication – to not give up, no matter what. A commitment to yourself to achieve your dreams.
- Passion – what you do in your business should fire up your soul in some way or another. It needs to be strong enough to get through the bad times.
- Safety Net – be realistic about the risk, and prepare a back-up. You can still find motivation through the pull of the dream rather than being pushed by the fear of failure. No need to set yourself up for failure just to make a point.
- Plan – A goal is a dream with a plan. Plot how your dream will come true, one step at a time – and then stick to it.
- Advice – learn from those who have gone before, to not repeat those same mistakes. Find people who know what you need to know, but don’t yet.
- Accountability – understand that it’s you. It’s your job, your responsibility. No one else.
It might be worth exploring your business idea with someone who can help you unpack all the bits and pieces, to achieve a clear vision of the risk and the opportunity, and then you can make a more informed decision.
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