Is it a sign of the times that many of my coaching clients wonder whether to stay in their jobs, look for other employment or indeed take the bold route of going self-employed? I’ve had two people this week talking about their bosses – one said “he drives me mad, is obsessive, bombards me with emails and tries to micro-manage me”; the other mused ruefully “she has no idea how to manage me and seems to resent my ability.” Some of the key-words included: unbearable, awful, boring, hopeless, depressing and claustrophobic. It’s not hard to pick up on the feelings of frustration.
When I asked “if money were no object, would you stay in your job, move or become self-employed?” they, like many others, answered that they’d love to go it alone. At that moment you need to balance flights of fantasy with reality checks. It takes great courage, planning and conviction to start your own business and generate enough money for your needs. If you’re half-way serious about the idea, employ a reliable sounding board and get some knowledgeable guidance before saying goodbye to that salary.
There are so many choices, compromises and decisions that can be made. Could you negotiate a shorter working week within your company, while setting up your business? Several clients have successfully done just that and, when they have their first projects under their belt, they have moved more smoothly into total self-employment. This transition period can be used to produce the business plan and work on branding, marketing and so on.
Others wonder whether they have spotted that enticing ‘niche’ which would let them work from home and balance their lives and commitments more comfortably. They need to be helped to research their business concept thoroughly and at the same time to consider the effects their decision will have on their family. There’s plenty of information in business books, on the internet and provided by agencies and professionals, but never underestimate the amount of support, motivation and encouragement that is needed to get from the germ of the self-employment idea to confidently saying “I run my own business”.
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We would like to thank you for your practical advice and sensitive support which was much needed and hugely appreciated by both of us. Thank goodness we found you and managed as civilised a separation as possible – we are so grateful, both for ourselves and for our children.