Why work for someone else when you can work for yourself? Why work a 9-5 when you can work your own hours even from your own bed? Sounds like an amazing dream, doesn’t it? Why isn’t EVERYONE an entrepreneur????
God bless millennials, but we may have jumped the gun on the entrepreneur wagon. Sure you don’t have a boss. Sure you can start working at 2 pm for all anyone cares. But are you ready for an irregular cycle of pay checks? Spending more money on your business than you actually make back? Taking the time to create a worth while product or service (not just something convenient you can recreate)? Spending hours on branding only to receive next to nothing in social media engagement? Does the idea of losing for something you’re passionate about intrigue you?
Now of course being an entrepreneur isn’t all cons, there are some amazing pros to working for yourself. However, you shouldn’t just jump into entrepreneurship because it’s the cool thing to do. Everyone does not have to be their own boss, especially right now when most of us are still figuring things out. You can very well work your way up in your industry to one day go into business for yourself. Or you can just enjoy the climb to your CEO desk and never become an entrepreneur. That works too!
But if you’re seriously contemplating wanting to take that leap, there are some things to keep in mind. First things first, figure out what you’re really passionate about. What can you offer the world that represents who you are or what you’ve been through? If you’re going to be your own boss, why not be in charge of something that literally is an extension of yourself? Don’t get trapped into the get rich quick schemes of selling merchandise that doesn’t relate to you. Because how motivated will you be with a bunch of random merch in your house you don’t actually care about? Probably not that motivated at all.
After you find your thing think about what it will cost to be an effective business. What materials will you need to create constant product or content? What new monthly bills will you have? How much sweat equity will building and running your business take? Making one t-shirt may have taken you a few minutes and cost around $10, but how about 50 more shirts? It’s a reality many entrepreneurs don’t realize until they’re already burried in expenses and responsibilities. Which brings me to my next point. Will you need a team? Eventually we all need a team, and starting out you may be on your own. How well can you run your business as the boss and the employees? It’s not impossible of course, just takes a lot more work.
Next you can begin to develop your brand. This is the fun, creative part where things like your business name, colors, mission statement, social media aesthetic, etc come into play. The beautiful thing about social media is it’s extremely accessible and lucrative, however it takes a lot of consistency to build your presence. This will require more work from you, outside of actually delivering your product or service. Your digital brand could also bring more bills with things like social media management sites, your website fees, and running promotions or ads.
And last but certainly not least, the battle to keep your day job while you grow your business.
It’s very difficult as both will require a substantial amount of your energy, however it may be financially smart to do both. When you first start out you may acquire more losses than gains and unfortunately bills don’t go on pause while we chase our dreams (don’t you wish they did though??). You’ll probably also need the extra cash from your day job to put into your business. You could also begin a separate savings fund which will allow you to one day quit and go 100% into your entrepreneurship. Or you can go all the way and just drop everything. Take a minute to think about how the lack of financial security may effect your ability to create.
So now….. are you really ready to be an entrepreneur? Please remember this is not to kill your dreams if entrepreneurship is really your passion, but more to shed a light on the reality of that decision. Everything won’t be as glamorous as it may seem, and you’ll need real drive and passion to keep pushing your forward during your dark days. If it’s too much for you, don’t force yourself into it. You can very well still be a #girlboss while you work for someone else. Think about it!
A struggling 20-something year old with a passion for lifestyle, pop culture, and all things black girl magic.