|04-06-2007, 02:17 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2007
The taint of entrepreneurship
Has anyone here left their jobs, taken steps to start their own business, ran it for a while, then found they had to rejoin the 'regular' workforce? How did you take it?
I'm in such a situation. I quit my office job for other reasons, started a small home-based business a month later, ran it for a few months off my savings, but now have to get another 'real' job to pay the bills. It's the logical thing to do, I need the money and the business can be run part-time no problem. It's also not going to pay the rent for at least another year, if ever.
The problem is something has shifted in my mind in the past few months I've been in entrepreneur mode. I find myself very conflicted and unenthausiastic about getting another regular job. It's hard to explain, just this vague aversion to going back to that world. It's like I've had a little taste of being my own boss and I don't want to go back. I find it's causing me to sabotage my job search through half-assed searching, procrastination, wishy washy thinking, and constantly changing ideas about what kind of job I think I want.
I know I just have to suck it up and force myself to get a job, but there's a part of my mind that just doesn't want to have any of that. I think I need to assassinate it. I catch myself day dreaming about putting my living expenses on the credit card for another year so I can solely work on my business until it takes off. Totally irresponsible, self-destructive, and unnecessary, but I still think it.
Anyone else ever experienced anything like this? How do you get over it?
Last edited by Lucius; 04-06-2007 at 02:21 AM.
|04-06-2007, 08:03 AM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2006
Lucias, first of all, I want to applaud you for having the courage that most other people may not have (i.e. quitting your job in pursuit of your own dreams). I have not been through what you have gone through but it's has always been my dream as well to start my own business, so I definitely can feel for your circumstance.
Personally, I think it's basically human nature to resist the thought of going back into the workforce especially when you're already accustomed to the lifestyle of a entreprenuer (i.e. you set your own schedule etc), so don't feel sorry about it.
However, if you really need to stand tall and feel positive about finding a job, you need to get out of this "eating the humble pie" reality and start associating your actions to be another step towards getting your business to another level. Imagine what the increased flow of funds (i.e from your paycheck) can do for your business. Visualise the new contacts you can get from your job that can help your business. Think of the new positive relationships you can build in your job. Once you start associating positive connotations to the "job", you wouldn't feel repulsive towards it, though deep inside your head, you know the it is just a temporary measure.
No matter what the obstacles are, don't quit on yourself! Remember, quitters never win. Winners never quit. All the best to your business
|04-06-2007, 02:01 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Beavercleaverville, AZ
Oh do I EVER understand! I quit my teaching job for a year to become a realtor. I ate it badly. So, I had to go back into the classroom. It saved my teaching career, actually. It gave me a new-found perspective. But, many years later, as I was about to retire, BOY WAS I READY! I've been pursuing my own online business for many years, but now that I'm retired, I'm after "it" all the more. I've had limited success. So many of us are looking for success, but it's one elusive SOB, that's for sure. I do know that I can not, nor will I ever, GIVE UP. I am so hard-wired into making it online that I will continue NO MATTER WHAT. Good luck, my friend.
P.S. I've applied for "real" jobs a few times and just felt sick about it. It must've showed, because I haven't landed a one yet! LOLOL!
|04-06-2007, 02:57 PM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Been there, doing that.
I quit my full-time financial services job last September, intending to invest in real estate and build a computer services business with my roommate. Business was booming for him at the time, so we thought he could afford to pay me about the same amount as I was making, and all we had to do was ride the wave. I don't know if it was my fear of success quietly sabotaging our efforts or if it was just bad timing, but business plummeted shortly thereafter, sending both me and my roommate to poverty. And the real estate? Well, I'm slowly learning that you can't focus on 20 things and have them all turn out well. Thank God for my husband and his steadily paying job.
Through all of the last 6 months, the "logical" thing to do would have been to get a job. But I knew it wasn't right for me. Making resumes was boring, and had nothing to do with my goals. Setting up interviews created the I'm-lying-to-myself excited feeling to mask the why-am-I-doing-this? sick feeling in my stomach. And the interviewers could tell, and I could tell... no matter how excited I was when I applied to the job, I was always just kind of dead by the time I got to the interview.
Fortunately, November is a great time to go looking for a temporary job... as long as you're willing to work for minimum wage in retail. I found a job at the mall with a great boss and pretty good perks (like shooting customers with air-zookas). The $400-$500/ month that I draw in from that has stabilized our cash flow, and we can live on it as long as we don't get too attached to variety in our diet.
I also get money from 1-2 day temp jobs through AppleOne temp agency. I also tutor math on the side. The computer business pays me whenever we can. I have a contract to design low-end websites for small businesses. I have a commission from my mother for spreadsheet design.
And one way or another, it works out. Once I realised that I was attracting the unemployment through my own thoughts and desires, I realised that there was no way I could muster the desire for a job that would be necessary to actually get one. So I declared my job search hopeless and focused on making the rest of my streams of income work out after all. I wouldn't call it the good life, but we do pay the mortgage each month, and I am free to pursue my own interests and desires, and find out who I really am and what I really want. The main problem is actually in talking to other people. When they say, "What do you do?" I'm not sure what to tell them. The retail job is the only one other people consider "real", but it's the least important. *sigh*
Anyway, I wrote a blog post explaining the mental differences between an entrepreneur and an employee. It's hard to make the transition. But once you've made the transition, it's hard to switch back. And I'm extremely wary of trying to switch back, because I'm afraid that if I do transition back into the employee mindset, the switch back to entrepreneur will be just as hard, and I might not make it.
Anyway, I'm not sure that'll answer any of your questions, but it's my experience to date.
Good luck, whatever you decide.
|04-06-2007, 05:25 PM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2006
I can understand how that would be a difficult thing to deal with, but if I was forced to work for someone else due to a failing business, it wouldn't shift my perspective of who I am.
Everyone is ultimately self-employed, and setbacks do happen, but having to go back to a 9-5 is pretty meaningless in the end. Just keep focused on what you want and continually work towards it. You'll get there soon.
Last edited by Joe826; 04-06-2007 at 08:23 PM.
|04-07-2007, 05:00 AM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Where I Live
I'm currently experiencing the same thing, although in a slightly more self-inflicted way. I saw what living where we were living was doing to my family. So I did what any reasonable, loving family man would do. I closed up shop, packed up everything we cared to take with us, and moved to the place I knew we were all longing to be anyway.
That's a whole other thread right there. But suffice it to say that if a person or family isn't happy where they're living, nothing else is going to be very right either.
So, since I took such sudden and drastic measures to get us across the country, I am looking at starting over from the ground up. And on top of that, not being able to go back to what I was doing right away. Pesky licensing fees and the like.
So I have found myself faced with the prospect of obtaining a J.O.B. or starving, more or less. I found a position, and had my first day today (Friday). It was a nerve wracking experience. The idea of someone else telling me where and when to be, how much I am worth while I am there, and exactly what I will be doing in damn near every meaning of the phrase. DISGUSTING.
But I realized something by the end of the day. It is a means to an end. My Wife so smartly pointed out that, unlike your typical wage slave, I have a specific, well-defined, goal with a definite timeline, and a buring desire to achieve it. Undoubtedly, if I never waiver from that goal, it is inevitable that I will achieve it and be right on track with where I left things when we moved.
So just consider it taking a step back, regrouping, and (as someone mentioned earlier) view the J.O.B. as a revenue stream to use as capital for operating expenses while you build up your business. You yourself said that you could run your business in its current state part-time. Continue to do so until such time as it requires more of your attention (and is providing adequate income to meet your needs), then fly the coop on the J.O.B.
|04-07-2007, 10:18 AM||#7 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2006
I feel very sad reading these responses. I'm seeing this attitude of entrepreneurism as bad, for some reason (a taint?). Nooooo. Not so. You're awesome, and you've had the courage to truly take your own livelihood in your own hands. Don't judge yourself so harshly!
Man, use those skills as a bargaining chip. Be a consultant, not an employee. You'll be more marketable that way. I don't know exactly what your field is, but can you hire yourself out on a project basis at a good enough fee to cover insurance and other necessities? That may be more in line with how you are. It also may be a great way to leave yourself time to work on the other business.
Trust me, managers can smell independence and courage from a mile away, and they will run from it like the damned wind. Your mentality is now super-efficient, no doubt, and also no-nonsense. That means that many companies won't see you as a "team player". Also, companies fear that you can leave and start your own thing at any time, so they may not hire you.
I know I sound really pessimissy, but I'm hitting one of those "threes" (my third month, for the most part), and I'm feeling down on myself, wondering if I'm nuts for trying and doing this all when I'm poor and it just isn't rolling in so easily. I finally accepted the fact that, for many of us entrepreneurs, there is no going back- not unless someone wants to use us for our skills in a consultant capacity or something, or in a very manager-hands-off way.
Also, don't try to grin-and-bear disappointment or pain away. It may feel like you failed. Accept and examine your pain, explore it, revamp, and restart.
|04-07-2007, 03:18 PM||#8 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
I haven't left my job yet but I have been in part-time ent. mode for several years now. It brings nothing but conflict at work.
My guess is that you will be a blessing to your coworkers and peers. You will be able to deliver on time what has been expected of you with no strings attached. However dealing with mgt will be a different story. You are an independent thinker who can make decisions without groupthink. You will not be a 'sheeple' waiting to be spoon fed. Managers don't like this, they want moldable people who can be shaped to implement their political agenda.
My suggestion is to find a semi-permanent job like consulting or contracting. Stay away from big companies. It will only bring you heartache and grief.
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