Right from high school some of us begin reading about “how and why to be your own boss” and the excitement that comes along with it. Books like “Rich Dad Poor Dad”, “Quit your 9-5 job now”, “Why have a Boss when you can be your own Boss?”, etc. make us obsessed with the idea that owning our own business is one sure proof way we can make wealth for ourselves, no matter our backgrounds.
I was one person that was particularly affected with this fallacy. They give positive advise of course, but they aren’t 100% proven as they seem. Like many people, I interpreted lot of the books I read very wrongly.
Bear in mind that whenever a particular paragraph in a book is read by different people they can all interpret it differently, and this is how we sometimes get things wrong.
So I knew you could choose to either be an entrepreneur and your own boss irrespective of how much money you have, but I didn’t consider the fact that being an entrepreneur isn’t a sure proof way to wealth. You can be an entrepreneur and your own boss, and yet whether you work alone, have partners, or have employees, you will be on your way to poverty instead of wealth.
The solution to wealth is not just to become your own boss as many motivational books make us feel. There are so many factors to consider before deciding to start a business. The focus isn’t just the fallacy that you want to also be a boss, but to prepare yourself to be ready to actually run a business. Find out business ideas that will be lucrative within your location, determine the kind of clients you want to target, and the kind of services to provide or products to sell, etc. Consider networking to attract a good client base, all these factors are what we should consider rather than continuously fantasizing about being entrepreneurs just to escape the so called “rat race”.
Entrepreneurship isn’t a game to boast about, it’s real life and should be taken very seriously. I’m publishing this post to educate others who have been misinformed like I was when it comes to reading and educating ourselves on wealth creation through entrepreneurship.
Let me tell you a short story about someone I know with similar experience.
When he completed graduate school he decided he was going to set up a consultancy business. He used his experience, knowledge and academic background to set up this business as a freelance writer. He enjoyed every aspect of this business and he was his own boss. He made enough money and loved what he was doing. He also had enough clients to sustain his business over months.
Now, his business was a business and academic writing consultancy, with the majority of his clients being graduate students; providing academic assignment support, research, proofreading and editing, and the business services he provided were business planning and development services like doing business plans and proposals and financial analysis. Since he was living within his old school vicinity he was still in contact with a lot of students, and it was very easy getting clients.
And that’s all before real life hit him. He completed school and moved to a different town, very far from where he had schooled: a town with very little academic institutions and mostly constituted with farmers and miners.
It became very difficult for him to get new clients because he was suddenly unavailable for face-to-face meetings with potential clients. Due to this same reason he gradually lost most of his old clients. In his new town too it was nearly impossible to provide his services, and he had to figure out what to do. Over time he spent all his savings, and he was back to square one; no job, no money.
He eventually had to hunt for work, and luckily he landed a good paying 9-5 job, well, let me say 7-7 job because he worked from 7am to 7pm approximately. There were times he got home as late as 9:30pm – 10pm. After a few months he gathered up some reasons he wanted to quit this job and go back to self-employment, one of which were the fact that he had to work way more hours to get paid around the same amount he earned back when he was a freelance writer. Forgetting that his environment was completely different. He had so much advice to hold on and learn to manage his life around this job, but he was hesitant due to lots of books on entrepreneurship he had read and misinterpreted, and he was set on quitting his job. It seemed like something brave people on a mission had to do since that’s what lots of entrepreneurs seemed to have done to start their journeys.
So he sent in his resignation letter and quit. He quit his full time job and decided to go back to his writing job full time. He planned on setting up an office this time, and making it his own 9-5 job. Well he actually did that, but business didn’t go as planned: poor location and little-to-no clients were his problems. He couldn’t get in touch with his previous clients from years ago when he was a freelance writer, due to the complete change in location and the break in time when he was into full-time employment and wasn’t accepting writing contracts. Aside his academic writing services too his business writing services couldn’t fetch clients because it seemed the services he provided weren’t needed in his vicinity. Everything was going wrong for him. Now he was an entrepreneur alright, but couldn’t even gather enough money to pay for rent and utilities. He had to be under the support of family once again, at almost 30 years.
Now do you see what he did wrong? First he should have done enough research and thinking before quitting his job and deciding to start business again. It’s never wrong to read books, but how we interpret and apply them really matters.
Now he has started over his life; gotten himself a few mentors through LinkedIn to communicate with, and some who have helped him figure out how to find and maintain clients for his writing business as a side job while sustaining a simple and manageable 9-5 job.
My simple takeaway for you is that you should read more, yet mind how you interpret what you read. Consider communicating with people who have experience in businesses or investments that you plan to enter into, mentors and experts, to know more as you do your research as well. Don’t blindly follow one person’s words or theories. Since there is nothing new under the sun, always seek more knowledge before undertaking any step in life, especially in business.
Thanks for passing by.