Starting a business can be scary. When you choose the road of self-reliance, you give up a lot of what people consider “security” in exchange for taking on all the responsibility of providing for yourself.
But is being self-employed really more risky than working for someone else? Is the employee more secure than the entrepreneur? The answers may surprise you. So, in this article, I’m going to debunk 5 myths about starting a business, using facts and my own experience, and show you how you can overcome them and start reaping the rich rewards that come from being your own boss.
MYTH #1- WORKING FOR SOMEONE PROVIDES GREATER SECURITY
It is true that when you work for someone, you can generally count on getting ‘x’ at the end of a week or two for working your assigned hours. And people often assume that having a job means that job will be there tomorrow and the day after, and on and on, until they decide to leave.
But that’s not necessarily the case. First of all, your employer can fire you and replace you with his nephew (or niece). Second, your company could go out of business. In today’s climate, many businesses have already folded and experts say 40% of those jobs will not be coming back. Try talking about job security to the 40 million Americans (and counting) who have filed for unemployment since the pandemic began.
TRUTH: Yes, your business could fail. But remember, so could your employer’s. When you work for yourself you can take measures to increase your chances of success. You can stay on top of your marketing to expose yourself to a broad base of clientele so you are not impacted by the loss of one, or even a few. You can provide outstanding service so your customers become loyal clients who won’t want to leave you. When the economy shifts, you can pivot and adjust with the winds to follow economic demand. Also, no one can fire you from your business. You are the boss!
MYTH #2- I’LL MAKE MORE MONEY AS AN EMPLOYEE
This is the reason so many of our parents from my generation said “get a real job.” They firmly believed that you can make more and steadier income working for someone else. But is that true?
When I first took the dive into being self-employed my constant worry was making at least as much as I made when I had a 9 to 5. Well, to my utter surprise, I was able to increase my hourly rate 5 x’s and double my annual income in my first year. That meant I made more, while working less!
Consultants and coaches routinely charge double, triple, or more of what they earned in their former jobs. And companies accept that as the cost of doing business because they value their expertise and recognize that you have to pay your own benefits and other expenses.
TRUTH: Too many people sabotage their income by charging too little, when the truth is people often judge your value by what you charge. That means if you work for peanuts, they won’t perceive too much value in your services. But if you charge a premium, mentally they often assume you must be worth it. Here’s a simple trick to deciding how much to charge. Figure out how much you want to earn annually. Then drop three zeroes. You now have your hourly rate. For example, say you want to earn $100,000 per year. You would drop three zeroes from that and end up with an hourly rate of $100!
MYTH #3- IT’S TOO LATE FOR ME TO START A BUSINESS AT MY AGE
This is a common belief and nothing could be further from the truth. Vera Wang didn’t start designing clothes until she was 39. Ray Kroc was 51 when he started the company that would become the mega-success named McDonalds. And Colonel Sanders started KFC at the ripe old age of 65!
TRUTH: You’re never too old to start over. All it takes is the vision, a belief in yourself and the work ethic needed to make it happen. The cases I mentioned above, and so many others you can Google for yourself, prove that point. So, wherever you are in life, just get started. It truly is never too late!
MYTH #4- I DON’T HAVE ACCESS TO BUSINESS FUNDING
So many people actually believe you need to raise a ton of money and go into debt to start a profitable business. That wasn’t true back in the day, and it’s even less true now. With the internet and other technology, the playing field has been leveled. Now you can reach not only your neighbor, but customers in Bangladesh who want and need your product or service.
TRUTH: Technology makes your reach global. Also, you don’t need to sign a lease for an expensive space for your business. Endless numbers of successful businesses have started from kitchen tables or garages. Dave Ramsey, noted financial guru, is fond of stating that he started his business from a card table in his living room. That business is now generating over $200 million dollars per year. And I started my business using a desk in my bedroom, a laptop computer, printer and business cards. Total investment: Less than $100 since I already had the desk and computer! And most of us already have that going for us.
MYTH #5- I NEED TO WAIT UNTIL THE RIGHT TIME
Listen. There is no more mythical thing than “the right time.” There will always be a problem or obstacle in your life. You’ll be stressed out. Your money will be funny. Your kids will be driving you crazy. Your boss will make unreasonable demands on your time. Your health may be suffering. Blah-blah-blah… Life sucks. The list can go on and on. We live in an imperfect world full of imperfect people. So, there will never be a perfect time.
TRUTH: The perfect time will never come. If you wait for it, you’ll be lying on your death bed regretting all the things you never tried or did. So, just start. Kids stressing you out? Start. Job devouring your time? Start. It’s raining? Start. It’s cloudy? Start. Putin’s acting up? Just start. I was broke and unemployed when I started. Wherever you are with whatever you have… just start from there. And when you start, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to keep going.
I hope you benefited from breaking down those 5 common myths that keep people from starting a business. Really, all of these can come under one heading: Fear. And fear is, at the end of the day, a lie. It is False Evidence Appearing Real. So, kick it to the curb and just do it. The rewards are well worth it, as I and so many other entrepreneurs can attest.
If you want more info on starting a side hustle, growing a business or managing your income, check out my blog at www.Org4LifeSolutions.com. There you can also schedule a free discovery coaching session with me. I wish you all the best and a healthy, happy life!