Do you own a business or a job?


Majority leave the school system expecting to be employed probably until retirement. Times have changed and the employment route is no longer smooth as it used to be in the 70s and 80s.
Many working Kenyans know the struggle of trying to enter the job market. It can take a graduate up to 5 years to land a first job. 3, 4, 5 months without a source of income is difficult enough, leave alone a year or two. 
Others find themselves pushed out of the job market prematurely through retrenchment or because the companies they work for either close down altogether or lose certain markets such as the Kenyan or East African market.
Some are employed but they either don’t like their jobs or their bosses or they simply don’t like to be at the mercy of a boss. There are people who are inspired by the idea of no longer being answerable to anyone and that is why they want to start a business. 
Some feel that the hours when they are at their most creative are not the working hours for their jobs. They feel like their jobs hold them back from achieving their full potential, that they have a lot of underutilized potential and building something of their own will give them the freedom and flexibility they need to exercise their creativity.

The road to entrepreneurship comes with challenges

The dream of becoming one’s own boss is definitely attractive, but self-employment is not free of challenges and disappointments especially if you do not know the way and have no one to hold your hand and guide you.
You can be very knowledgeable and experienced in your line of work and still not be able to build a successful business. There are people who say that not everyone is cut out for business. People with that kind of mentality can stay jobless and dependent on other people for years because they are out of job and are not willing to venture into business.
The truth of the matter is that no one is born knowing anything. Every skill in this world has to be learned. No one is cut out for business; those who are good in business have learned the necessary skills. 
Maybe they had the advantage of being brought up by entrepreneurial parents so they learned the skills from a young age. The good news is that anyone and everyone can learn business building skills.
Hundreds of thousands of startups in Kenya close shop every year, causing massive losses to those who invested in them. The first business I built failed, causing hundreds of thousands Kenya shillings in losses, not to mention the time spent building it.
The high failure rate of new businesses might be a major contributing factor to the fear many harbor towards going the entrepreneurial route. It is therefore important to be adequately prepared for the road ahead if you decide to venture into business. 
Much as entrepreneurship gives one freedom, building a successful business from scratch is normally more difficult than being employed but the rewards are worth it. If you don’t like your boss or your job, it might be easier to look for another job than to go into building a business.
The business environment can be quite hostile especially for the small business operators. I therefore always recommend careful self-evaluation before venturing into business. I also recommend business coaching if you are venturing into business for the first time or you have tried building a business in the past and failed.
Don’t expect to start reaping from the business the first 2 or 3 months if you plan to build a business with a solid foundation, one that will serve you long term. Farming is a good way to illustrate what building a business from scratch is like.
You buy or lease land, fence it off, have trees and shrubs cut off then you proceed to have the land ploughed and prepared for planting. You buy seeds and fertilizers and probably pay people to plant.
You water the crops, weed and all the other efforts to take care of the crop until it is time to harvest then you invest in storage and embark on marketing efforts. It takes time to begin earning from a business and even longer to recover your costs and go into profit.
Count the cost before you embark on this journey. Do you have what it takes to build a business from scratch and if not, are you willing to work on transforming yourself?

Being self employed is more difficult than being in formal employment

This illustration based on the Cashflow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki brings out the actual situation of the self employed individual. Being self employed often means working long hours, not earning enough and often getting into debt. It is actually owning a full time job. 
If you stop at being self employed, you will not get the freedom you were looking for. You might find yourself regretting for having quit your job to go into business. Many even quit self employment and go back to being employed. 
It is challenging to be self employed. Everything in the business is your responsibility. You finance the business, hire, train, discipline and fire staff. You handle all issues to do with the human resource department. 
When bills are not paid on time or customers are not satisfied with the services, all the complaints land at your desk. You solve both internal and external problems associated with the business. This situation can be very stressful.

Being self employed versus being a business owner

The phase of being self employed should not last forever. Once you put the systems in place and transform your self employment job into a fully functional business, you leverage systems and the effort of other people. 
You now have the freedom you were looking for. You make enough money. The work is easy for you and you have free time and can even retire without losing your income. You are now the CEO of your business or the business owner. People and systems work for you as opposed to you doing all the work yourself.

Are you self employed? Would you like to learn how to transform your self employment job into a business that pays you whether you work or not? I have put together a coaching program for self employed people who want to move their businesses to the next level, the level where they earn whether they work or they don’t.

Book a free session here to help you find out if this coaching program is for you. This session is 100% free.

Financial Independence Africa

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