A Cynics Guide To Running Your Own Business – Part 4: Questioning Your Decision

I have been struggling to write the last parts in this series of articles since I haven’t been following my own advice.

My work from home set up has drastically changed over recent weeks and now what were minor nagging doubts in the back of my mind about what I was doing, are full live monsters threatening to dissolve everything I have worked for so far.  

So it is perhaps ironic that the next part of this series is about questioning your decision. And it strongly links in with the previous piece I wrote about perspective.

You may never have to question your decision if you have perspective. Even so, throughout your early years, despite the highs and lows, you will question your choice to run a business. It’s understandable.

A lack of funds, long hours for little pay to remain competative and the isolating atmosphere of living and working in the same environment are big threats to your ability to do your job effectively. They will make you question your choices at least once every so often, and perhaps even when things seem to be going well..

If you’re working alone it’s easy to lose track or wonder at your long term aims and ambitions. Sometimes just not worrying about money or having to constantly hawk for new contracts will make the lure of full time employment under someone elses mantel very attractive. And if you choose that option it’s fine. Because it doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It means you have taken a side road. And it’s very important to remember that. Because persevering with something that doesn’t make you happy but you stick at because you don’t want to fail, is far worse than simply walking away or taking a back step for a while. 

It doesn’t mean you can never come back to your ambitions or that those options are now out of bounds. And if you don’t come back to it because you find something else which ticks all your boxes so what? You tried and you know you did your best.

Never punish yourself for giving up, even temporarily. I have backed up several times and I’m not at the end of that road yet. Unfortunately I keep coming back to the same self employed option, which for me means working as an employee in anothers company isn’t an easy option.

If you’re used to being your own boss the discipline of working under someone else rather than as an equal may be difficult. It’s also hard to compete with the yearly glut of new graduates who may be in a position to work for even less than you. Experience is worth money but companies aren’t that keen to pay for it. 

I would love to have the answers to this particular problem, but there are a myriad of elements which all conspire to make you doubt your ambitions. Sometimes thinking rationally is hard. Get perspective from other industry people, or even friends or relatives who can cast a fresh eye on your situation. Sometimes you cannot see the wood for the trees. It’s a corney line but it’s true. Don’t go it alone if you’ve reached that crossroads. Get advice and look clearly at all your practical options.

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