Nearly a decade ago, I began providing freelance web services for small businesses while working my 9-to-5. A few years later, and I was making enough money that I could leave my day job to pursue the freelancing full-time.
That first year was a whirlwind of excitement and struggles.
Usually, when you talk with others about owning a business they’ll come back to you saying something like “oh wow it must be nice to be your own boss!” True as it may be most of the time – it’s not always so – there are the ups and downs of being the boss.
Let’s start on a positive note…
The biggest up of launching a business, in my personal experience, is the fact that any idea can become a viable option. Somewhere out there are individuals willing to pay for your services.
Sometimes you may find them locally while other times you may need the extensive power of the net in order to reach the fringe.
Let’s go with an example: Say you enjoy doing massage therapy; it’s a service that many individuals want and desire. After the core education, a massage chair for sale, and online portfolio you’re ready to setup shop.
Once you realize the ease of starting a business, you begin to enjoy the sales and marketing. You gain a thrill of chasing new markets whether it’s local or online. There are always new strategies to improve the branding and reach of your business.
After you’ve become established, a great joy comes from customer service. Being able to provide something of value to people is truly rewarding; being paid for providing a great service is doubly so.
You’ve built a livelihood along with creating something fantastic for the community!
Now let’s look at the downsides…
The biggest down of launching a business – again, my personal experience – is the fact that any idea can become something the competition can rip.
You may have a fantastic idea but sometimes the competition is able to throw a great deal of funding behind it so they gain a leg-up on your efforts.
Example: How great would it have been to be a vocal member of a hobby on the Web if only you had built a site or promoted it like crazy just a year or two earlier? Sometimes you may even feel like you have a greater understanding but once that branding is in place it all feels moot.
A frustrating point of launching is the fact that you’ll often second guess your competition. You notice that you’re not marketing as well as you could be because you took things for granted or didn’t dig deep enough into the analytics.
Suddenly you are now frustrated and every piece of work that you do feels like it’s not quite landing its mark. Because of all this, you begin to doubt yourself and that can stifle your creativity and motivation.
When you’re in a down period it feels like all else isn’t up-to-par. You may feel that you’re spending too much time working when you should have gained freedom when going into business on your own.
You may struggle for finances because not every piece of work coming in is stable. There’s a shakiness to it all that can make it very frustrating and scary.
Going out on your own to start a business and being your own boss is totally worth it.
The thrill and pressure to perform lights a fire like you’ve never felt before; there’s so much on the line. Equally so is the fact that you are able to explore your creativity without every idea being shot down from those higher up.
Success relies entirely on your abilities and experience – it’s a rush.
Would I do it all over again? Of course! You should give it a go.