If you spend just a little bit of time on Instagram or any channel of social media in 2019, you’ll be very aware that freelancing and entrepreneurship is en vogue again.
I say en vogue as if it were cool at one stage in time. Come to think of it, entrepreneurship has likely, never been cool.
Yes, during certain ‘rushes’ or immediate changes in the way things have been done, people will do what they can to cash in on easy money. For example, ‘the gold rush’, ‘the internet stock bubble’, ‘the London property bubble’ and many more.
Here are a list of reasons why, going into business for yourself in the ‘internet age’ is not necessarily the fire breathing dragon that a great deal of people believe it is.
Whereas 100 years ago, winning in business was more likely to be had by the individual with ‘uncommon common sense’, today, that think called Google is a gateway to finding out the steps that other success stories have had. Ok, no two business paths are the same, however, a savvy individual can simply know whatever it is that they would like to know at the click of a button. That problem that is really holding you back, yep, you can find and ask other people for help. Quora, forums, business mentor websites, Wikipedia, Amazon (who needs to go to the library anymore?) the support list goes on..
Again, with the Google! Are you thinking of compiling a ‘competitive analysis’, possibly enlisting the assistance of an expensive market research firm? Why, when you can review the universal selling points (USP) of the people who are already in the market that you wish to get into? You don’t even need to blindly go through them all. Page 1 AND 2 of Google tells you who the 40 highest performers are. Pick who you think are the standouts and dive in. Study their messaging, their offers, their brand tone and story etc. Most people don’t really think of doing these small tasks, but I can be done easily and (relatively) quickly.
Years ago, when I was a sales manager, I met a business mentor for lunch. Yes; I was super stressed (huffing and puffing and everything). He put a stop to my whinge fest with a few simple words. Simple is always effective.
“Max, calm down, your job is to make lots of money for your boss, which you are very skilled at. But it isn’t like you are the President of a country or the head of a hospital, where your wins and losses are actually felt by masses of humans...”
Those few beautiful sentences immediately put things into perspective and later fuelled my decision to directly add value to my clients and the market in general, by becoming a Strategic Sales Consultant. I’ve learnt, that you may win or lose-temporarily, but you are never truly finished. The more life lessons you have to draw on, the better business person you are.
In his classic on start-ups ‘the art of the Start’, former Apple VP, Guy Kawasaki states that ‘kids are the ultimate start-ups and I’m lucky enough to have three’. This statement really serves to place everything into perspective. Ask yourself, At the end of the day, what am I more likely to look back and be proud of? Your successful business or your children who have become good citizens. I imagine that you went with the latter. This may have something to do with the fact that your children are a reflection of you as a manager, cheerleader, disciplinarian, provider, enabler. Do these traits sound familiar? Start-up founders have the exact same hats that they must wear. There really isn’t that much difference between being a successful founder and a successful parent and so many people go on to raise healthy happy kids. Chances are that you will not do anything more challenging or rewarding in your life than raising kids into happy adults.