The buzz right now is that you need to start your own business, make it big and make your dream a reality...
The list goes on and on. I truly believe that this is honourable, but also know, from personal experience, that it takes a lot of hard work and determination to get your own business off the ground. But, what if that’s not for you? What if you’re a team player and need to work alongside others, but can’t handle working in a 9-5 situation? In my many years as a life and business coach I have found that we sometimes have this obscure idea of what success really is.
Let me put this into perspective. I would like to tell you a story of a woman I met; let’s call her Claire for the point of this story. Claire had no interest in the 9-5 grind and started her own business. It took off well and her business thrived for two whole years. But soon after that her business started showing cracks and she was receiving less and less business. When she started reflecting on what was going wrong, she realised that she was treating her clients differently. Over time she had become less and less forthcoming towards her clients and stopped putting them first. She lacked understanding and empathy, which in turn led to even the most loyal clients walking out the door, never to return again. Although this was a shocking realisation for Claire, it was a liberating one. She now knew that she was not a lone wolf. The weight of the big decisions, the risks she had to take, the worries and the stress all fell entirely on her shoulders. There was no one to help her out in tough situations and carry some of that weight.
A little lost and defeated, Claire had to think long and hard about what to do next. She knew that she did not want the 9-5 job but couldn't deal with the tough times a business brings with it, on her own. After some reflection and talking to other people in the same predicament, she realised that she needed to live her dream working alongside other people, while not owning the company outright. This would make the tough times more bearable. And that is exactly what she did. Through her previous business, she had met people that she could partner with in a new venture, who could offer her the opportunity to start again.
Sayings like “Build your own dreams before someone hires you to build theirs” will give you a wrong impression and may just lead you on a path that isn’t right for you. Make sure that you listen to your heart like Claire did and know what’s good for you. If something still feels wrong after 2 years of doing it, it really isn’t the right thing for you. Make a change. Be brave. Be you.