Friday, February 3, 2012

Three Myths About Being an Entrepreneur

Myth #1 -- We are rich with endless buckets of cash -- Yes, being an entrepreneur you can definitely make more money than if you work for someone else. The truth is you have more ups and downs. Sometimes you have more work and sometimes less work. The trick, of course, is to budget and prepare for either the up or the down. While I might  have a very good month the following month might be much tighter. So, I try to set aside cash to compensate. The best way to manage the fluctuation is to set up a budget and if you do have a great month, give yourself a reward to celebrate and then put the rest away for the next month (just in case). And the risk is all mine. When clients fail to pay their bills, it is not my staff who takes the brunt of non-payment. If a project takes a financial hit, I personally take the hit. The reverse, when a project is profitable I get to enjoy those profits.

Myth #2 -- Your staff does all of the work while you sit in your big, black executive chair and issue orders -- I don't know about the rest of you, but I probably work harder than anyone on my team. The clock strikes 5:00 p.m. and my day is nowhere near over. I work with people in different time zones. For example, last night I had a conference call until 6:30 p.m. I can't tell you how many countless evenings I've spent eating lunch AND dinner at my desk. I work at least three weekends out of the month just to stay ahead. I don't take endless vacations (another myth). In fact, when I worked in corporate I had more time off then I do now. I used to take two two-week vacations per year. Now I'm lucky if I get a week in. Don't get me wrong. I would never trade it. The freedom to decide if I do or do not want time off is worth all of the weekends given up. And when I used to put nasty hours in at corporate, I was on salary and never got rewarded.

Myth #3 -- It's hard to be an entrepreneur -- Yes, sometimes it's hard. The cheese stands alone, absolutely. I love the freedom. I love the sense of independence. I love deciding on my own and applying my own judgment to decision-making and leadership. The very thought of someone else telling me what to do now is just a turn-off. Yes, I've been sullied and ruined for the corporate world. No other CEO would want to tolerate my rebellious streak. In my opinion, there is no other way to make a living. I highly recommend it.

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