The Five 'P's of Self-Employment
The entrepreneur game is filled with an amazing variety of individuals. Laid-off workers, semi-retired individuals, inspired people with unbounded enthusiasm, and, oh yes, mothers too.
I can speak in the first person about the hardship of self-employment; the daughter of a sign shop owner, I still get nostalgic at a whiff of turpentine or paint fumes; the wife of a persistent 'start-up' husband, I've stood by many, many businesses and contract jobs while my husband ventured his talents in fields as diverse as gutter sales, RESP representative and Capital finance consultant; and memorably, I recall selling small gift items with my mother at flea markets and tried my own hand at jewellery making while still in junior high.
Yes, my experience has also opened my eyes to the devastation of bankruptcy, unreliable business partners and misleading (even deceitful) 'home business' schemes.
However, once you have the taste of independence that self-employment offers, it is mighty hard to fight back! So now, as a mother of two small children, I am more determined than ever, that I, and hopefully my husband as well, will BE self-employed with a certain amount of security and obviously, a reliable amount of income.
What can be done? Where does it start? How much will it cost? And can you come from a terrible defeat, self-employment-wise, and "rise from the ashes?"
My answer is "Absolutely!"
I swear to you that opportunity is out there. I see it, and taste it, and more importantly, I know it's been had by others. What I have also learned is that there are at least FIVE important steps I must take to realize true satisfaction in this game. Let me share them with you.
There are probably more types of work-at-home businesses (or 'schemes') than pebbles on a beach. This can be overwhelming to a new entrepreneur. But it also means that there will certainly be something you would like to try your hand at. Keep reading, keep surfing, keep asking questions. Knowledge is everything when you're planning a real business. You'll learn as much (or more) from your failures as you will from your success.
Face it, a lot of people will get excited about a new idea, but very few will follow it through. If you try something that your gut tells you is a good idea, than persist, persist, persist. Often times what makes the difference between those who 'make it' and those who don't, is that solid businesses require a certain amount of real effort. If you are giving it all you've got, than results will come.
In this world of instant satisfaction, it can come as a mind-snapping shock that MOST success stories are not made overnight. It's true that there are examples of individuals who put a few dollars into a business and became millionaires (or did they?) But you can be assured that a good business will take time to 'saturate' its market. It may be only days or weeks before you see something happen, but generally you need to expect a minimum of 6 months to a more often stated 2 years to see a reliable business take shape.
Is it all sounding too hard by now? Remember, these qualities will Set You Apart! If success was really as easy as some like to advertise, than why are there so many people struggling to pay the bills? Be Positive. If you have the entrepreneur spirit, you know you will eventually try something new, why not keep going with what you have? The rewards are there! It's been said before, but I quote this anonymous source again: Surround yourself with positive people. I guarantee this makes the difference. If your enthusiasm is being drained, DO NOT share your thoughts or progress with those individuals. Save it for when you can gloat!
5) Past Experience.
This goes back to perseverance. USE your past experiences. Never feel your investment of time or money was a waste. You cannot learn much for free these days, but these experiences will build your business on a solid foundation of knowledge, wisdom, practical experience and confidence. You will learn to trust your instincts more and more. You will spot a fraud, or at least know how to read between the lines of an offer that sounds too good to be true. Most importantly, your experience will enable you to adapt and your self-employment will be firmly fixed as your way of life from here on because of it!
I truly wish you success in your venture. In time we will all have great stories to share of our rise to self-employed FREEDOM. In the mean time, keep going! You will succeed!
Shannon Emmanuel runs her Virtual Assistant business providing valuable services for small businesses while staying home with her two young daughters. Can she help you? http://www.assistant-for-hire.com
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