This is at the heart of everyone who thinks of pursuing self-employment. If you are currently paying your bills through a traditional job, when you break down your fears and concerns and doubts about really pursuing self-employment, you are thinking of the risks. And those risks are primarily two:
Financial & Relational
And they generally come in the form of these specific worries:
- Will I end up wasting time and money, and have nothing to show for it?
- Will I stress my time with my spouse and kids, and not succeed and have a big payoff to show them?
- Will I get disapproval and maybe even criticism or ridicule from friends and family for trying to pursue this, and if it doesn't work out, have less credibility in their eyes?
Listen to today's show that discusses this blog here:
Free Agent Underground Show - "Is it going to be OK?"
First, let's recognize and agree that we live in a society that is hell-bent on not rocking the boat. Above all, the most important purpose of life is to have secure finances and the socially acceptable amenities, otherwise we'll jeopardize our relationships. Our spouse will be scared and our friends and family won't think we're very important.
And friends, in today's world, this trumps the pursuit of values and purpose and meaning.
Setting that out on the table and looking at it for what it is, helps me deal with it. Otherwise, I start feeling alone and questioning the struggle of swimming upstream. But when I see it plainly, it helps bolster my resolve and faith.
Next, shouldn't the main question really be, "Is it going to be OK if my life is just as it is now…in another 3 or 5 or 10 years?!" You shouldn't get married to someone who you believe you could live WITH, you should get married to the person who you believe you can't live WITHOUT. If you are considering self-employment, it should be because there are major areas of value that you believe is crucial for your life and you see self-employment as the best vehicle that will provide them. Count the costs…sure. But they should be secondary to your convictions.
This thinking led me to posting a Facebook discussion earlier today that asked: "What will suffer if you are still in your current work situation 2 years from now?"
The responses were profound, but not surprising. Reading them however, I bet will validate what you feel at heart. You can review them here: FreeAgentUnderground Facebook Discussion
Lastly, regarding those primary worries…you WILL experience most of them at some point before you succeed. You'll spend more time and money than you had hoped, you'll stress your relationships and you'll endure some criticism. And along the way you'll lose hope, at least for a bit. If it was easy, everyone would do it, eh? You can't succeed and come out unscathed. Most of you spend time every single day watching celebrities and athletes on TV. How many of them do you believe, would say that they got to where they are…easily. "No big deal!" You know the answer. None of them.
It will be hard. But those who make it will testify that staying where they were, would have been even harder. And the payoff is unprecedented.