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When I was young, the thought of working as an entrepreneur appealed greatly to me. The list of things I’d consider doing was endless: start a PR firm, dress shop owner, pet salon owner, open a temporary employment office, day care owner, freelance writer, artist, etc.! The possibilities stretched to the sky.
I never pursued one of the gazillion dreams I used to conjure up in my mind because there was one tiny obstacle I failed to overcome [until recently!]. The dreaded, four-letter “f” word: fear! The risk involved with starting your own business, in my mind, was always way too big; monstrous proportions.
Like many, I settled for working for someone else all in the name of security (monthly paycheck, health insurance, paid vacation, and a desk with a chair that would quickly be replaced should it break down.
I worked for a large company right out of school: MCI Telecommunication. It was rapidly growing and full of yuppies. When was this? What decade? The 1980s – I know, a long time ago! Though many things in the work force have changed, namely technological advances, fear of branching out on one’s own remains a challenge often avoided. If someone desires to work for themself, many of the same fears and risks apply today that did yesterday.
One thing I loved about working for a large corporation was the social life. There were a lot of great, educated people and always something fun going on. I even liked my job. I worked in Human Resources both in compensation & benefits and recruiting. I love people and HR afforded me a terrific amount of people contact. Another plus about a large corporation is you have an opportunity to move around to find the department best suited for you.
Unfortunately, there was a down side to corporate life and it far outweighed the upside. Politics, backstabbing, self-interest and inequity were all too prevalent. The large corporate culture seemingly breads all of it. I wanted out but that pesky “f” word hung in the balance. I was chock full of fear.
There is one thing I happen to like about getting older. That’s saying a lot because in American culture, there really isn’t anything to like about it. Certain fears diminish, at least for me, as I’ve gotten older.
It took reaching my late 40s before I decided to take the plunge, work from home, freelance and do something I really like to do. I am a freelance writer and artist and am forever grateful not to have to answer to anyone but myself.
Ok, it’s true; I’m not paying all the bills on my income. But, that’s not the point I’m trying to make. The point is, it was time for me to go back to work (I don’t believe in retirement) and I did not want to work for someone else, so I’m not. And even if I was responsible for all the bills, I’d up the ante and try valiantly to not call someone else “boss.”
Countless (countless!!) people hate their jobs and that’s sad. Many dislike them for the very reasons I mentioned above (politics, backstabbing, self-interest, inequity). A lot of these people have great ideas of how they would do things differently if they were calling the shots on how to treat, advance and manage people. Sadly, they’re fearful, like I was to take the risk of starting, nurturing and hopefully growing a business.
If I knew then, what I know now – without question – I would have sought loans and jumped in with all the knowledge and energy that a young, upward-mobile, [dreaming] person has and been an entrepreneur.
With so many people working online, it’s now easier than ever. If you have the motivation and drive, don’t let fear stand in your way. Even if you fail at first (most do!), keep going and going and going! With perseverance, you’ll get there and at the end of the day, you’ll only be answering to yourself.