Today’s show was inspired by the wonderful community members over at the NurseUp Facebook forum , founded by Andrew Lopez. Thanks everyone!
Is your job getting in the way of your entrepreneurial endeavor? I ask this question of most hesitant “would-be” entrepreneurs almost on a daily basis. That may sound harsh, but you’re going to have to realize that if you’re not going to be honest with yourself, I certainly will. It’s not that I don’t mean well, in fact I very much want you to succeed, but you’re going to have to take that leap, eventually. That is if you have it in you to take those risks, execute on those ideas, and really make a go of it at your dream.
I don’t want to sound like one of those cliche’ sayings about if your life were to end tomorrow would you say that you were fulfilled in a personal sense? Did you squeeze the juice out of life? Are you where you want to be and living/working at your full potential? Instead of hanging on the sidelines afraid to fail or waiting for your chance, did you decide to seize the moment and do what you’ve always wanted to do?
I think you get where I’m going with this and I just want to make sure we do a gut check to make sure you’re not being asphyxiated by the usual grind.
Now do let me put my usual disclaimer out there again that I realize entrepreneurship is NOT for everyone, but you’re all still in good company here. I also want to reiterate that there is risk involved and each one of you wanting to take these risks has to calculate them based on your own personal situations. Supporting yourself, and in some cases supporting a family does come first. However this was actually a driving force for me to actually commit myself full time to entrepreneurship, and I’ll explain what I mean.
Let’s expand a little on these five big obstacles in your way.
I’ve Got Job “Security.”
I have to say that this concept of job security is one of the riskiest thoughts when working for someone else. There are so many variables that could change in your current employment situation that you may have zero control over. An example may be that new management comes in and maybe you’re not feeling the support you once did, your job is outsourced or downsized, the company has been operating in the red for months if not longer and you’re forced to take a pay cut or lose certain benefits. I could pick at this thread all day until it unravels, but I think you get the idea. Job security is about fear, and the more I think about it the more suffocated I feel.
The advantage of entrepreneurship is that I have control over the changes that happen in my businesses and I am aware that if something isn’t working then I can make changes where needed to keep things running instead of relying on someone else to take care of them, which if those changes either aren’t happening or aren’t swift enough, it then gets to a point of no return.
Speaking of job security and telling yourself that my previous mentioned “what-ifs” couldn’t happen to you, have you ever asked yourself why we seem to have more of an influx of entrepreneurs these days? Well, most of them have risen up out of the ashes of being laid off from their jobs during the recent recession. Many of them may have been forced, but at least they were able to realize that they could pivot and build something of their own. Call it a swift kick in the pants, or some other motivator, but whatever it was it got them moving.
What about my benefits?
The benefits of entrepreneurship are almost unlimited. I’m still eligible for health insurance under my company, a 401k, HSA, school loan reimbursement, discounted or free membership fees to various venues, corporate wellness programs (we are a concierge healthcare business, right?), and paid time off just to name a few benefits.
What about the unrealized benefits? Well, after I’ve completed the show notes and the recording of this podcast I went out for a mountain bike ride in the middle of my work day and I’m coaching my kids’ soccer practice this evening. Speaking of the kiddos, my wife and I both appreciate my flexibility to be able to pick up the kids if I need to in the middle of a school day due to illness or injury.
A very true story that I’ll share with you. Just last week my oldest son fractured his arm while playing outside at school. I’m always first to get the calls. Nurse! Yep, as soon as I made it to school and saw how this all presented, I knew he just bought himself a cast for the next several weeks.
And, because my company provides concierge services just like this in the communities we serve I knew exactly how to handle this situation to avoid the ER. I called his PCP directly to request an x-ray based on his symptoms, the order was sent to radiology in the same building she practiced, an assessment occurred and the fracture was confirmed, and this all occurred in just under 2 hours by the time we left school to the time we walked out of her office with a temporary cast and an orthopedic referral for the same week. Boom! And, done.
Now, let me also follow this up with my work schedule. I’m not working at home in my pajamas and I’m not promising any of you that this is what entrepreneurship is like. I traded what most consider a full-time job at 40 hours a week for 75-80 hours as an entrepreneur. I’m out here hustling like it’s my last day on earth and I’ve got to get it done before I leave. However, I will tell you that my hustle is on MY terms.
There is no benefit greater than the time I have to work how I want and to live my life how I want. There’s just no substitutes. That is my ultimate fringe benefit.
But I Don’t Have Enough Capital.
Fair enough. I always encourage budding entrepreneurs to streamline expenses and find the capital that they need to build that runway. I mean, you can build that metaphorical plane while you’re trying to fly it, but you still need a runway to take off.
Venture capital could be an option, but for many of you maybe this isn’t the route you would want to go. Although, if by quitting your job and ramping up your business you can also establish enough capital, then would you do it? In my own company I found that all I needed to do was to free myself up to generate more revenue and expand my business offerings. I was already doing it on a smaller scale and all I needed to do was to turn things up to 11 and start amplifying my brand.
I share another personal story on this one, but you’ll have to tune int to the podcast to find out those details.
The thing is, I knew I had control over my expenses and I could make decisions on how to make the money and where it needed to go to fund certain aspects of my business and to also pay myself a salary.
I Just Need To Wait Until…
If you’re constantly deciding to wait until (fill in the blank), then you may find yourself in a chronic pattern of always waiting. As nurses, we know that chronic is often not a good thing. And, waiting for something to happen is also not a good move.
The longer you wait to execute on those ideas then the less time you’ll have to build those quality years you could be having in your business endeavors. Yes, sacrifices will likely need to be made, but if you’re determined enough to make this happen then those sacrifices could likely pay off in spades down the road.
But What If I Fail?
There, we went ahead and ripped that band-aid off didn’t we?
Fearing failure is just not an option. It’s going to happen and I’ve experienced it many times. These are the best opportunities for learning, and what I can tell you is that it has allowed me to implement backup plans, to not have a silo mentality, and to create multiple streams of revenue. If one of those streams starts to dry up, I can either try to fix it, put more effort into other streams, or dig a new path for another stream. Either way, I’m going to win every time, even if I fail. Because I’ll learn how to do it even better next time.
If you’re really serious about pursuing this, then it’s time to start working on that exit strategy to execute on your business. It’s time to start thinking about your future and how you’re going to make the most of your future, now.
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