Let’s take stock for a minute. Why would you want to do this? Are we all individually or collectively mad even thinking of setting up our own businesses?
Do you really want to give up the security of a regular, predictable salary? How do you feel about having to work to a survival budget until your business is fully functional?
It might help you to reflect on some of the reasons. Let’s consider a couple of these in more detail.
- Firstly fulfilment; something I have seen over the last eight years is that people get a massive buzz and a sense of fulfilment out of having an idea, getting it onto paper, and then proving to themselves that they can actually go and do it.
The money is almost secondary; I stress almost secondary! Proving to yourself that you don’t need a big organisation and that you can do it on your own is hugely fulfilling.
- Secondly, flexibility. This one is very important to me. My daughter, who is now 22, was 13 when I started my own business. She is a very talented athlete. At the age of 12 she was playing senior ladies hockey; put a stick in her hand and she is frightening!
She went on to captain club, school and county; she also played at university, both at Durham and at the University of California. A number of her matches were during the week, when I could be in Singapore, or New York, but certainly not in downtown Reigate.
All of a sudden now, if I could organise my diary, I could take the afternoon off. If that meant I had to work in the evening or part of the weekend, that was my call – I was the boss!
There is no better feeling as a parent than watching one of your kids doing something that they really enjoy and excel at. It is something you can’t put a price on financially, so this benefit became really important to me.
- Thirdly, exploiting a gap. Now most people going down this route will probably either be doing something differently or better than current providers. Occasionally you will find someone who will be exploiting a gap. From Crew to Captain includes a detailed case study of one such individual.
Our interviews showed that these were the three most common motivators