Is Going Solo a Career Option for You?

Everyone usually dreams about getting out of the rat race and being their own boss.  However, things are not always black and white.  You need to consider what you are getting yourself into because being an entrepreneur is not for everyone.  Before you make a decision you really need to weigh your options and give some serious thought to each of your reasons. Just about everyone, at some point in their lives, dreams of starting their own business, getting “out of the rat race,” “being the boss.”

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If you’re thinking about going solo, either as a freelancer or consultant, or as a business owner in some other type of business, that’s great! I really believe there is a lot to be said for owning your own business and running your own show.

However, I would caution you that things are not always black and white.

You should seriously consider what you’re getting into, because entrepreneurship is not for everyone. I hope that if that’s what you want to do, you will find it very rewarding, but you should give some thought to each of your reasons before making a decision.

Why do you want to run your own business?

If “getting out of the rat race” is your main reason, you have a good point. What most people mean by the rat race is doing someone else’s bidding all the time for no apparent reason. Of course, when you have clients, they will be calling a lot of the shots. Fortunately, if you are careful in choosing your clients, and fire the ones who are not who you want to work with (or say no in the first place), you can greatly reduce the amount of time you spend running in circles.

Being your own boss is also a matter of being in charge, but choosing the clients you want. At first this may be difficult, because you will need the money. But you will find that when someone is a jerk and is never going to be satisfied, you’re not going to satisfy them. Letting them go not only gives you time to work for people you want to work for, but allows you to identify those people more readily.

If you’re starting your own business just to make more money, you’re probably in for a rude awakening, but if you hope more money will come eventually and you’re prepared for the delay, you may find that you’ll be much more financially secure five years from now by running your own business.

About the only reason for going solo that is really unrealistic is hoping to work less. The fact is, you’ll have much longer hours and harder work for your own business. This is not a problem for most people because they enjoy the challenges and are willing to work that hard because it’s their own business. But if laziness is motivating you, you’re going in the wrong direction.

Of course, the main reason for going solo and launching your own business is so that you can set your own direction and be your own guiding force. I can’t think of a better reason to do anything.

How to decide whether it’s time for you to go solo:

  • Can you afford to do it now?
  • Will you really enjoy working solo?
  • Are you ready for the ups and downs?

Thanks to Jonathan Fields for including this post in the Career Change Carnival, and to ask the Career Counselor for inclusion in the Carnival of Career and Job Advice.

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