Take a Chance and Reduce Risk

A few times over the last few months I had been thinking about risk, and the entrepreneurial lifestyle. I’ve held discussions with various people, and while I have not had any great epiphany, I have realized that it’s only once you think about this that you truly understand.

Before working exclusively for myself, I worked for a few years at a company with about 1000 employees. I thought I was taking the safe career route – regular paycheck, nice benefits, regular work schedule feeding a healthy work-life balance. How could I make the jump to work for myself? I needed regular contracts, 20-30 billable hours per week. I needed to promote myself, chase after prospects, close deals.

I then acquired a client who committed to 2000 billable hours over the course of a year, or 40 hours per week. This was what I had been hoping for, and it gave me the final push out the corporate door to enter the world of self-employment. Yet, I was still taking a risk, as I lost my benefits, and still don’t know what will happen at the end of the year. The security was suddenly gone.

Then I came to a realization that finally I had actually reduced my income risk by working for myself. As an employee, not only did I have less control over my career and job, I was also poorly equipped to handle a sudden change in my employment situation. Were I to have been fired, I was not trained to seek other employment, as this is something employees try not to do very often.

As my own boss, however, I have been forced to learn the skills of finding clients, chasing prospects, and closing deals. I’ve had to learn to make work appear on a regular basis. Were one client to disappear today, I’ve learned the skills to find another. Marketing myself and making sales? I’m getting it done. Finding sources of income? I know how to do it.

Basically, being self-employed has reduced my risk by putting myself in the driver’s seat of my career. I now control my own destiny, control the direction my work will take me. Where will I end up? Only time will tell, but now I can help time bring me to where I want to be.

Is it for everybody? Certainly not. But for some people, who can learn these skills necessary to survival as your own boss, the risk is likely not nearly as profound as you might otherwise think.