I have just been reading Steve Pavlina’s post on 10 Reasons Why You Should Never Get a Job. Although written with, in my opinion, an offensive and patronising tone (people with jobs are morons, bosses are idiots etc) it does raise some interesting points. Including the one about ‘getting paid while you sleep’ rather than while you work. Seductive stuff!
But like so much of the self help and entrepreneurship industry it lacks balance and feels manipulative. So, in the interest of balance, here are 10 reasons why you should never start a business.
1 It may lead to debt and misery
The stats on business success are not that pretty. For everyone like Steve that earns $40 000 a month from their website there are hundreds if not thousands who are trapped in a business that does not make enough money. They work long hours for little or no money. You talk to a Venture Capitalist and most of them will tell you the same. For every 20 businesses or so they invest in the majority never make a return on the investment. A few will just about break even on the investment. And, if they are lucky, perhaps one or two will make some serious money. Serious enough to cover the failed investments in those other businesses. So what are the odds? Are you sure you will be one of the lucky ones?
2 It will put strain on your relationships
When you run your own business it nearly always takes time. A lot of time. If you have had children and gone through the ‘terrible twos’ then you will understand what I mean when I say a new business is demanding, just like a toddler. It takes time and energy. Of course, so does holding down a job, but running your own business is way, way more invasive. Many successful business people have left behind them a trail of broken marriages and damaged friendships.
3 It is difficult
Don’t believe those that tell you starting a business is easy. ‘Just follow these 10 simple steps to business success’ etc. Business is hard. And small business is the hardest of all. Because often there is only you to get the product right, to deal with customers, to do marketing and sales and to manage the money. In a small business one mistake can take you down for a very long time. Big business can afford the odd dodgy product launch. But for small business it may be the end of the road. You get sick as an employee and there will probably be a job for you to go back to when you are well. You get sick when you are the business and that might be curtains….
4 Everyone becomes a mark
Unless you are careful the pressure to sell your business will turn everyone that you meet into a potential sale. Not so long back I heard a primary school teacher telling one of the charges in her enterprise class that ‘everyone you meet is a potential customer’ and ‘remember you are ALWAYS selling’.
5 You become a mark
Once you have got a business everyone is trying to sell you something. Mobile phones, office equipment, a sure-fire way to earn money while you sleep – yada, yada…And if they are not trying to sell you something they will portray you as a profit obsessed capitalist taking us all to hell in a handcart, profiting from the poor and ruining the environment. You had better have thick skin.
6 You may become obsessed with money
Because that is how you ‘keep score’ in business. It is not enough to do good work. That work has to be profitable. And if you have not got deep pockets it has to be profitable quickly.
7 You become a lackey to Government
Contributing to their goals of a sustainable growing economy, rather than a sustainable planet, collecting taxes for them and generally helping them to maintain their economic scorecard
8 You become that evil bovine master
When you start a business you are the daddy. Or mummy. You are the idiot. And the hero. It all rests on your shoulders…
9 You will have an inbred social life
I have met so many entrepreneurs for whom their business has become their life. And they are trapped in it. They can’t stop trading, but nor can they make good money. And if they do make good money then they have no-one or no time to spend it with. They are literally married to the business.
10 You become a coward
If you are lucky, you find what works and you stick to it. You don’t take major risks. You can never walk away. Just day after day the same old same old feeding the beast.
Now of course my 10 reasons are no closer to the truth than are Steve’s. And that is the point. No-one can tell you what the right thing is for you to do.
Not now. Not ever.
So, the next time a slickly dressed and white-toothed smiler promises you that jobs are for idiots and that you too can make money while you sleep, well my best advice is just to look that particular gift horse in the mouth, very carefully. Especially when they close their post with a link to your very own ‘Make Money Online’ business.
A Crib Sheet
Workshops are fascinating and dangerous places. In the right hands they can produce things of great beauty and real lasting value. In the wrong hands they can do great damage and wreck lives.
The entrepreneur’s workshop is no different.
True enough; the tools in the entrepreneur’s workshop have no sharp edges, burning fires or high speed drills.
The entrepreneur’s tools are a set of ideas, principles, practices and habits that, applied with care and passion, can produce a wonderful lifestyle. Learn to use these tools properly and they will serve you well.
Misuse them and the consequences are likely to include debt, damaged relationships and misery.
10 of the most powerful tools in The Entrepreneur’s Workshop:
- The Truth Detector – How to decide what might work for you
- Want to or Have to…?
- The Double Edged Sword
- Getting Organised – doing what has to be done, and doing it well
- Entrepreneur Artisan or Artist?
- Have, Do, Become…
- Build a Team OR Do it All – the choice is yours
- The ‘investment ready’ Business Plan
- Situational Enterprise – the importance of technique and motivation
- Towards the Total Quality Enterprise – a tool to decide ‘What’s next?’
For more information contact Mike on 07788 747954
Never teach a pig to sing. It frustrates you and annoys the pig.
Yet this is often what we try to do.
It is not enough that we find a wonderful artisan with a great product.
No, we also expect them to be great marketers and financial managers too. We may as well ask them to walk on water while we are at it.
We try to teach the pig to sing.
Instead we should be helping the pig to be the very best pig it can be. To become the very essence of pigginess. And we should show them importance of finding someone who is able to market and sell their products and services and to make sure that their financial management and planning is robust.
The most common objections to a team based approach to enterprise?
‘I can’t afford to hire anyone’,
‘I must learn to do all of this if I am to be a real business person’.
One of the best things that the coach can do is to effectively confront the pig with its inherent limitations. Tell it to give up the vocal coaching and find someone else to sing for their supper. And it need not cost much at all – certainly to get started. It is nearly always possible to find someone who will work with you for nothing, or for commission, or for equity if they really believe in what you do.
- Ever wondered what to say or do next to help a client make progress?
- Or got frustrated when a client does not do what they said they would do?
- Or had a client that said all the right things but never seemed to make any progress?
In this one day workshop I will introduce you to 4 styles of intervention that can really help your enterprise clients to make progress. Whatever the situation that faces you one of these styles will provide you with the way forward.
Early Bird Tickets Available until the end of this week – Friday 4th June.
Based on the values of person centred facilitation, the 4 styles will provide you with a set of informed choices about how to work with your clients to make progress.
- Acceptant – how to help your clients to open up about their ideas and see things in a fresh light
- Catalytic – how to help your clients to ‘see the wood for the trees’ by using simple modles, theories and ideas to clarify their thinking
- Confrontational – how to work with clients when their words and actions just don’t add up. Perfect for challenging cleints without you or them ‘losing the plot’
- Prescriptive – how to work with clients when it is imperative that they do what you say – you really do know what is best for them.
These styles are specified in both the SFEDI standards for business advisers and in their endorsed award for enterprise coaches. I have been using them in my own practice now for well over 15 years – and they work.
At the workshop you will learn about each of the 4 styles, how and when to use them, and you will have the chance to practice some or all of them to see and feel how they work in practice.
What Others Say…
“Mike Chitty has not only helped me become a better coach, he’s also helped me unlock my personal potential. Wonderful, inspirational trainer!” Jason Martin – Senior Enterprise Gateway Director – Business Link South East
“Working with Mike Chitty has been the most important investment in my career to date. The quality of each client interaction has really gone up; we learned and practiced a coaching model to add some structure and science behind client meetings in real scenarios and I also left the sessions with a host of new analysis tools to help clients make sense of how they can make progress. Furthermore it was an opportunity to experience some high quality coaching for myself from, which I got tremendous value. This experience has also greatly enhanced my strategic contribution to enterprise development in my area.
Mike Chitty is at the forefront of enterprise coaching in this country as a practitioner, trainer and strategic influencer. If you are an enterprise coach, you simply should experience Mike’s training as soon as possible if you want to have the greatest possible impact.” – Simon Paine – Enterprise Gateway Director SEEDA
“The enterprise coaching training was excellent. The subject matter covered theory and included practical application, it was thought provoking. It challenged my perception of my coaching style which I had become comfortable with, and tested my limits in terms of acceptance. It provided a number of tools which I was then able to use in a positive way with my clients. I would recommend the course for continuing professional development.” – Barbara Morton – Enterprise Gateway Director – Business Link South East
“Having experienced Mike Chitty first hand running enterprise coach training, I found him to have a wealth of knowledge. Knowledge that wasn’t just theory, but strong, practical and powerful ways of engaging people from priority groups and delivering enterprise coaching.
These ways of engagement and delivery have been put to very good use in the work that I do, helping people to achieve their objectives. Mike balances his training with getting you to think very carefully about what you are doing, challenging how you are doing things and challenging why you are doing things. Mike’s prolific writings (check out his blogs and tweets) on the subjects such community development, personal development and enterprise development make engaging and thought provoking reads. Mike has been a very positive eye opener in many ways and will turn your thinking on its head. I relish the next opportunity to experience Mike’s training, consultation and knowledge.” Gareth Sear – West Sussex Enterprise Gateway Director