Full time employment or be a Solopreneur? The right choice will be determined by your purpose, moral support of family and money in the bank.
Since I decided to pursue solopreneurship a few months back (note: 2010 actually, this was written almost 6 years ago), most friends often ask “how am I doing”? A subtle way of saying “hey dude, are you not starving yet? You can still change your mind”.
Majority of my friends and relatives believe full time employment is a better option, and I used to believe that too. Well, a regular income, benefits as a regular employee and perks for being an executive is something that you can easily get comfortable with. But is it worth it?
I thought, I am helping someone achieve his goals, but what about my own goal? Can the comfort of full time employment satisfy the cravings inside me to make waves that I can call my own? After so much thought and consultation with family and friends, I made a decision to go solo, and in the process, become more of hands on dad, which a full time employment cannot give.
Economic globalization, off-shoring, outsourcing and the web paved the way even for micro and small entrepreneurs to go global. Just tap your skill and strength, find a need, offer a solution and convince the market that you got something that they need.
Its easier said, but can it be done? Yes it’s doable. It’s not an easy path though. Allow me to share some tips to help you evaluate your situation :
First, you alone must decide which path to take– To be successful working for someone else, or become a COO of your own company [even though you’re the only employee, ha ha ha]. No one should make that choice for you, that is after you included in the equation the needs and thoughts of your wife and kids (or your parents if you’re single). You’ll figure out which path will make you happy and give you peace.
Second, before you leave full time employment, take an inventory of your acquired skills and revisit your goal. Rekindle the flames of what you are passionate about. Ask yourself, what are the skills I have developed over the years? What can I do best? What am I known for? What are the things that I enjoy doing and willing to do it for free? Do I have ideas that I want to pursue even though this has nothing to do with the skills I acquired? Are my skills and ideas enough for me to take the plunge?
Third, find a need, where your acquired skill or the idea you’ll develop, can be a solution
Fourth, market yourself and go global. Globalization and the Internet have made marketing, buying and selling at your fingertips. With the advent of social web, you can expand your market outside the boundaries of your geographical location. Set up your own blog, create an account in different social networking sites, participate in forums, and build your online reputation.
We can cover social web branding and marketing, in a different discussion. As a testimony, though, I was offered (and I accepted) an Asst. Vice President in Human Resource because of this blog (the old version) and my LinkedIn account.
Fifth, ensure that you have
1 year 2 years worth of salary in the bank to cushion you of the impact.
note: 1 year worth of savings is enough, the rest is just a buffer in case something bad happens. The 1st year is rough, this is where the understanding and support of your family comes handy.
Sixth, secure the (moral) support of your love ones. If you miscalculated in your decision, it’s a given that you’ll silently beat yourself. During this critical period, you don’t need your love ones to beat you further.
Being a solopreneur has it’s pros and cons, so is full time employment. The right choice depends on your situation. But one thing I personally learned, I would have not find my place (and in the right track to pursue my purpose) had I not made a foolish move to take the plunge. If I could go back in time, I should have done it earlier in my life.
Are you in the crossroads? Care to share your choice and why?