When someone asks us who we work for, most of us would give the name of the company that signs their paycheck, or the place we go show up every day and do our thing. Yet, in this new economy, more and more people are taking on the entrepreneurial mantle and launching out on their own.
As much as I applaud this new movement, there are people who need to be the supporters of the dream and not the dreamer himself. Don’t feel intimidated or insecure if an entrepreneur’s mantle is not for you.
Here are five signs you don’t need to be going into business for yourself.
- Sign # 1: You have no skill or knowledge that can be outstanding. Businesses are driven by ideas; compelling ideas that get turned into products and services. If you’re fuzzy on your big idea, if you don’t have a problem you’re willing to own and obsess over solving, you probably shouldn’t be in business for yourself.
- Sign # 2: You’re not a self-starter. One of the greatest challenges entrepreneurs face is they are not on a clock. They can work when they want to, as long as they want to, and as much as they want to. Someone had laughingly said that if you work for yourself, you’ll have the worst boss you’ve ever had. And I see the truth in that because you’re the one who has to tell yourself when to get up, when to get into the office, and when to make it happen. If you find self-starting, self motivating difficult, you should probably be working in a company where someone else does that for you.
- Sign #3: You don’t know how to set boundaries. This is the opposite of Sign #2. More times than not, the problem with entrepreneurs is not that they don’t start; they don’t know when to stop. They simply work way too much, way too often, and they don’t know how to set boundaries. This is particularly true if you work from home. Sometimes you work in a place where mere inches separate your work space from your living space. If you can’t set boundaries and turn it off, you probably don’t need to be working for yourself because you’ll burn yourself out no matter how passionate and motivated you are today.
- Sign #4: You don’t like chaos. The old axiom simply says this, that growing things change; changing things create chaos. If you need the nine-to-five and the orderly life, then certainly don’t embrace the chaotic life of an entrepreneur. As thrilling as it us for those of us who love the chase, discontinuity and uncertainty shut other people down. They are simply unable to operate without the orderly atmosphere and environment provided by our “work for the man” job.
- Sign # 5: You are afraid of risk. Now, obviously I need to make sure you understand that I don’t like risk. I don’t take any more risk than I absolutely have to. But neither am I afraid of it. I realize that to risk nothing is to mean that I can expect nothing in return. It’s the farmer who risks his livelihood every Spring by tilling and planting. And if the harvest doesn’t come, he can indeed be ruined. So while risk-seekers are really just foolish people without discipline, risk-takers are those who calculate the risk and take only the risk that has a high probability of success, as well as a high probability of return or profit.
Discuss these five points with a friend, your spouse, and ask yourself, “Am I an entrepreneur, or am I better off on a high-power team, supporting the big idea of other entrepreneurs?”