10 Be your own boss
Surely the main reason for taking the entrepreneurial leap is so that you don’t have to look at your incompetent, credit-taking, talentless boss every day. Tell people you want a new challenge and to explore some ideas you’ve always wanted to pursue, but admit to yourself that it’s the last resort to stop you physically stapling your boss to a ceiling fan and flicking paper pellets at their head.
9 It’s easy
Personal shoppers, lifestyle bloggers, social media innovators, pogo stick fitness consultants – they’re all just making it up as they go along, right? Admittedly we don’t get to see the behind-the-scenes efforts, lack of paid holidays, unsociable hours and extreme pressure they’re under every day, but from the outside, it’s lots of Instagram, long afternoons of tireless self-promotion and not much else. You can manage that.
8 You are good
Whatever it is you choose to do, taking that first step is the hardest thing. Believe in yourself. Digital guru, plastic surgeon, teacher, chef, personal trainer – whatever it is you do for other people, you know that you have the skills to do it on your own.
7 To try something new
What’s the worst that can happen? You’ll lose your steady income, be unable to find clients, run up enormous debt, fail on every imaginable metric of success, become depressed and alienated from friends and resort to the charity of family merely to survive. But at least you can say you tried.
6 Work your own hours
Who decided nine-to-five was the best way to work anyway? Set up on your own and you’ll be able to implement the six-to-nine-then-a-three-hour-break-then-twelve-to-three-before-an-afternoon-pause-and-six-to-nine working system you’ve been dreaming of.
5 Get rich quick
Every business is an unqualified success and the people who start them are overnight millionaires. Everybody knows that.
4 Make branding history
Purple Tomato, Skibble, Shed 43, Big Green Tick Marketing, Quantiblius – you really can call a modern business anything you like. The only considerations should be that the name is the brand and therefore of vital importance. It also helps if it’s ludicrous and meaningless. Of course coming up the name is just a tiny step of starting a business, so don’t spend too long on it. The vast majority of time needs to be set aside to make sure you have the most innovative business cards in the city. Then after that, a business plan.
3 Change the world
Your business is not just about lining your pockets and keeping you out of the rat race. It will be a force for good that will change the world. By bringing fair trade team-building retreats to the corporate environment. Or brand realignment therapy for pets. Whatever your idea is, it should be something you really believe in, because when you own the business yourself, it’s not just your job, it’s your passion, obsession and life…
2 Work anywhere
Your genius idea might be something that requires a permanent home. A shop, café or gym, for example, needs to be in a leased environment and a full-time home, although you do get to control the air-conditioning to your own tastes and select a colour for the walls. Less location-based businesses, however, are free of constraints. Ditch office life forever and send emails from the bath, conduct meetings in cafés and negotiate contracts from the beach.
1 Jump ship strategically
It’s hard to tell you this, but there is a tiny chance you might not be the saviour of modern business and firm foundation that your employer’s company is built on that you think you are. You may not, in fact, be the only competent worker in the whole building and a shining beacon of professionalism for all to behold. It is possible you are a high-maintenance brute who is a drain on time, resources and positivity. Save yourself the embarrassment of professional humiliation by setting out on your own and controlling your destiny.
Will Milner is a regular contributor. He is a team player. Really.