“I want to be my own boss” is a thought that has definitely crossed the minds of most corporate managers at sometime in their careers.
Yet most people hesitate to take this step for one reason or another. Giving up what one has today, including a regular pay check and the perquisites that come with the job to pursue a “dream” definitely appears to be an intimidating challenge for anyone who is contemplating changing his status quo. Yet for people who have made this change, the realisation is why they took so long to take this step.
It is never too late or too early to make a start. Getting over one’s own fears and anxieties is possibly the biggest challenge that you will face. Ensuring support for one’s family helps every entrepreneur to take the plunge faster.
Be prepared for a complete lifestyle change. An entrepreneur’s job is a lonely one. Days will blend into nights and weekdays into weekends. No job will be too small or big and what you take for granted as a corporate manager will be a challenge you will have to address personally. Yet, the fruits of your efforts will be visible at the end of each day.
Find out what is your calling and stay the course. Once you have made up your mind on what you want to do, take a plunge with 100% commitment. Write out a realistic business plan for yourself. Part time entrepreneurial ventures have never succeeded. Once you have started your journey, you will be confronted with challenges that you would never have imagined. Yet, no challenge will be insurmountable.
Funds will be a challenge when you start but will become a commodity when you start to succeed. A family investing its savings into a business is a strong message of confidence for any banker or private equity investor. Manage cash very carefully – costs have a habit of running out of control and revenues lag behind what you may have planned for.
Getting a strong management team and empowering them is essential for success but finding the right talent for a start up will be a challenge. Good managers will not agree to join a start up and a start up entrepreneur will not be able to afford such managers. Therefore, it is necessary to draw upon skills of friends and family and part time managers to start any new enterprise.
The author is the Chairman of Guardian Pharmacies and the author of the best selling books, Reboot. Reinvent. Rewire: Managing Retirement in the 21st Century; The Corner Office and The Buck Stops Here - Learnings of a #Startup Entrepreneur.