What It Takes To Be An Entrepreneur

Why Being Your Own Boss Isn't Always Plain Sailing

Written by Jay Shapiro for Gaebler Ventures

Being a dreamer isn't enough when it comes to running your own business. If your main aim is to have a fancy workplace, designer clothes and a fast car then you might need to rethink your reasons for going it alone.

Okay, so you've got the big dream.

You've thought about it for a while now. You really want to be your own boss. You envision sitting in your vast comfortable office with its stunning view over the city. You buzz your obliging secretary to request more coffee. You make a few calls, talk out a few deals - big money stuff. You are master and commander of your own ship of destiny and let's face it; you look good in a designer suit. Your Porsche is parked in the space marked BOSS in the car park.

Now let's get real. Being your own boss isn't like living a scene from a slick movie. And when you're starting up the vast office and the designer suit might have to wait a while. Certainly the Porsche will. Even the secretary, unless you really need one, could be something your budget won't stretch to.

People often alight upon the idea of being their own boss following disappointments with the 9-5 employed route. And it's good to have dreams as they often formulate the basis for a strong business. But a dream is not enough, and if your only reason for wanting to run your own show is because you think it's the easy option, it's time for a rethink. Here are the realities that dictate being your own boss isn't always plain sailing.

You take the all the credit and the blame

Being your own boss means you are responsible for everything. That's everything that goes right and everything that goes wrong.

Work comes home with you every night

You can't just leave work at the office when you go home. You are the office. You are the business. You will take it home with you - inside your head. It might even keep you awake nights. No really.

Long hours as a labor of love

You will very likely work longer hours than you did when you worked for someone else 9-5. Own businesses are notorious time thieves. And you won't always be able to pay yourself extra for overtime. It's called a labor of love, so could you love a business that much?

Head cook and bottle washer

You need to be a Jack-of-all-Trades. Yes, you make the coffee and wash the cups afterwards, you organize appointments, you buy in stock, you deal with clients, even the dissatisfied ones who scream at you.

Making sure it all adds up

Accounts. Now that you work for yourself there isn't an accounts department to deal with all of this so you need to keep track of every scrap of paperwork that pertains to your company's outlay and income.

Does the dream still appeal? If it does and you're not put off by the harsh realities of starting up a business of your own then chances are you've got what it takes to fare well. And with determination and belief like that the plush office, fancy car and devoted secretary could well be within your reach.

Jay Shapiro is a freelance writer based in the UK. Jay has a particular interest in the emotive aspects of the entrepreneur's character. "Alongside the nuts and bolts of business, the character of the person is often the ingredient responsible for success."

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