Career Key

Author: Career Key's President and CEO, Juliet Wehr Jones, GCDF, J.D.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Self-employment and starting a business in tough times

Now may not feel like the time for taking financial risks, especially starting a business. But maybe you don’t have a choice. Leaving a job or being unable to find a job because of a poor economy sometimes pushes people into self-employment, whether or not it is something they dreamed of doing someday. That was my first experience with self-employment and I know the twin feelings of dread and excitement. How do you make the best of it?

Visualize success. Embrace self-employment, either as a short or long term career choice. The more you fight it, the less energy and enthusiasm you’ll apply to marketing yourself and your business. There is a reason that successful sports athletes visualize success; studies show visualization works.

Understand how your personality type influences your business success. By working in an environment that matches your personality, you’ll be more likely to achieve success. Know yourself and know your options.

Identify your strengths and weaknesses and adapt your business to them. If you’re a writer/artist/lawyer/salesperson who is not good with or interested in financial record-keeping, pay someone else to set up your bookkeeping and file your taxes. It may pinch your wallet, but you’ll hurt more in time and money later if you screw it up.

Effectively use your time, especially if you are still job searching. If you haven’t given up hope on landing a job but want to take on contract work to pay your bills, plan out your work time. You don’t want to do a poor job on both your job search and your business.

By carefully evaluating yourself and following a science-based process to make a startup decision, you avoid the mistakes many people make of reacting to crisis. By being optimistic and forward looking, you’ll avoid a paralyzing funk and take action instead.

1 comment:

Mark said...

This is a great post. Many people are finding themselves without a job and self-employment is certainly an option (and what better time to do this). There is a good post related to this (becoming a consultant) which is worth a read -