From Big Job to Your Own Job

Posted: May 10, 2015 by Mark Matthews in Culture, Leadership, Startup

MarkMatthews-Blog-badgeYou worked hard in your career. You put in the long hours, missed family events, changed cities, and made sacrifices so that you could move up the corporate ladder. And it worked. You took on roles of increasing responsibility and achieved a lofty position with a Fortune 500 firm.

Man, you were somebody who had it all. Then one day, it was all gone. Perhaps you got “downsized”. Perhaps you were tired of all the sacrifices and then decided to chuck it all and not “work for the man anymore”. OK, so now what?

There can be a sense of loss going from a big job to being your own boss. First let’s talk scale…you are the entire staff, at least in the beginning. You make the coffee, and the travel arrangements. You are the senior (aka only) sales representative for your business and you are the marketing department as well. You don’t have anyone coming into your office asking you to fix a problem or give them career advice. Many of your work “friends” have already deleted your number from their contact list. Your spouse helps with the back shop functions at night around the kitchen table. You are, in fact, alone. You are no longer “the Big Cheese” and you’re deal with the reality that you, in fact, are dispensable. Even if you planned the exit from your last company, you can’t really prepare for what is coming as an independent business owner. You have to live it to appreciate it. But it isn’t gloom and doom…

Here’s the really cool thing…you will meet wonderful people out there who are all willing to help you succeed. For me, that has been one of the most gratifying aspects of owning my own business. Of course, growing your business into a successful enterprise is tops, but enjoying the ride along the way is so important. There is this fantastic community of other independent business owners out there, fighting the same fight like you. They are your new friends and colleagues. Relationships are genuine because they don’t want your job. They want you to succeed. And they will help.

It is very gratifying knowing that you had what it takes to build a sustainable business. Not everyone can do it. You also learn to measure happiness in life by the mark you leave, rather than the title on your door. The struggles make you appreciate the small successes like never before. And you develop a sense of gratitude about life and things; learning to never take anything for granted.

Yes, moving from the corporate world to being your own boss can be a real slap in the face. But what you learn about yourself on the journey, and what you get from your success, makes it all worthwhile.

Take the plunge. It will be the best move you ever made.

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