From Employment to Business: Lesson 2

I start of by thanking you for coming back for another lesson.

It’s the end of the Year 2016 and as I unwind, I can’t help but draw our 2nd lesson from the process filled with some constructive self criticism.

Lesson 2: The plan is almost always a mirage
As with most companies,  you have to get a clearance form signed by most heads of department. Almost like high school!!  In between the signature and being handed back the form, is usually the question of, “so where are you going?”

More often than not, there will be one of two answers to that question. Answer one, “am going into business and will be doing a, b or c. I’ve been doing it for a while now and now it is at a point I need to concentrate on it fully.”

Answer two: “Oh you know, hassling here and there. You never know I might be doing business with you soon.”

Either of them is meant to rub it in that you are entering the promised land of financial freedom with lots of time to be your own boss and you have finally exited the rat race. Your answer normally leaves a mark of admiration and a sigh of “I wish I were in your shoes” by the one signing your clearance. Let me help you. The admiration ends as soon as you walk away from the desk. On the day you leave, you will be as forgotten as last month’s weather.

The mirage effect is not necessarily in the plan you have, but quite often in its execution, level of success and impact upon your life in totality

My Take:

There is a third answer. It however does not come out to the public. It remains buried in the alleys of your mind. That answer is that you are not sure. Even you, when you are honest to yourself in the wee of the night, you will look at your plan and wonder if it will work.

My take is that yes, it will work; but more often than not, it will work in a way that you never imagined it would. When I was leaving work, I had three solid plans. So many months later, I am on something I never planned to do which is now the vehicle to what I had planned for.

It is almost always a guarantee that Plan A will fail, plan B, C, D, E and so on. You don’t just ship with a single plan. There is a reason why the emergency announcement on a plane shows you different options in case of an emergency. If one plan fails, you need to be strong enough to admit it’s failure and pick up your strength and mind to do things differently or execute the next one.

Failure is not because you don’t know how. It’s because of a combination of factors that you could not see when you were on the other side of employment. When employed, you will see things, even your business, from the lens of an employee. No one tells you that you will need to come in in the morning to clean your desk before that 8:00 a.m. meeting because there is no cleaner. You won’t be in a meeting and buzz for coffee and tea if you didn’t plan for it. Calling a taxi is your responsibility not the receptionist that you don’t have. You are the CEO of the business but you have to refill your own water bottle.

The resources you enjoy in employment are no longer at your disposal when you start your own business. A long time businessman gave me this advise, “Now that you have quit your job, you have just crossed the table to where your employer seats. You can no longer think like an employee.”

You must think of the payroll and other overheads as 20th of the month approaches.

You must be ready to embrace expansion when the market responds positively to your service and products.

You must be ready to change tact and the mode of operation if any of your plans is to succeed. Don’t be fooled into thinking that it will work flawlessly from day 1.

Thank you for taking the time to engage with me. As promised at the beginning,  this is a two in one so read on for Lesson 3. Don’t forget to subscribe to this blog and let others know about it.

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