There’s an undeniable allure to being your own boss: the freedom to define your own goals, set your own hours and truly reap the rewards of your labour and talent.
But is that really a grand-enough aspiration in this hyper-competitive, hyper-connected professional landscape?
Self-employed individuals are a dime a dozen in Trinidad and Tobago, with a variety of skilled professionals, tradesmen and artisans joining the race to self-sustainability through self-employment.
Today, it’s almost too easy, with limited controls in place to regulate product and service quality. It’s almost as if they’ve watered down the dream, relegating self-employment to a second-class status. There’s even a bit of stigma and some elitism, with senior-level managers beginning to believe that employees are branching out on their own simply because they can’t handle the demands of a high-performing work environment.
So what do you do, if the 9-to-5 grind is simply not for you?
When Steve Jobs, Bill Fernandez and Steve Wozniak gave birth to Apple in Jobs’ garage, their dream wasn’t of self-employment. It was of creating something new, innovative and useful for the world to enjoy.
So what’s your big picture? There’s nothing big about a carpenter who builds chairs. The carpenter who’s going to make the cover of Forbes and Time is the carpenter who has sufficiently honed his talents and familiarised himself with his competitive landscape to revolutionise the act of sitting.
Are you prepared to fail? Because no one gets it right the first time. Or the second time. Or even the hundredth time. Persistence is key, and you should prepare yourself to revise and repeat until it’s perfect. Surround yourself with naysayers and critics instead of yes-men, because when you’re able to silence the “haters,” you’ll know that you’re actually done.
Is this about love or money? (Be honest.) Because if it’s about money, you should probably just keep your day job and hire a good investment banker. And if it’s about love, stop thinking about the money. Pour your heart in to it, give people – your potential clients and customers – a legitimate reason to love it, and if you’re very lucky, the money might come after all.